This easy zucchini cornbread is dairy free, lightly sweet, and makes a great summer side dish. Whole wheat spelt flour and maple syrup keep things on the healthier side here.
These are savoury dairy free cornbread muffins, but I think they’re just as good a mid-day snack as regular muffins (though a great classic side for chili, too). Zucchini is used to keep them from turning out dry, a common pitfall with healthier cornbread. It also sneaks a bit of veg in there, so you can feed it to your kids and they’ll never know – a bit like these chocolate beet muffins.
If you have a garden, there’s often a glut of zucchini (courgette) at the end of the summer. I think we all run out of ideas for it at some point, and this is one of my favourite ways to use it, along with a roasted summer vegetable soup.
Scroll to the bottom of the post or click “skip to recipe” above to see the recipe card with full ingredient measurements and instructions.
- Whole spelt flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
- Non-dairy milk (oat, almond, etc.)
- Olive oil
- Maple syrup or honey
- Apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven and line or grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients to combine and make a well in the centre. You may see this instruction a lot – the well makes it easier to mix quick breads quickly without over-mixing.
Grate the zucchini on the large side of a box grater. In a second bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, olive oil, maple syrup, and vinegar, and whisk again to combine. Mix the zucchini into the bowl, then add this to the flour mixture.
Stir the batter with a wooden spoon until just mixed and no streaks of flour remain. Spoon it evenly into the prepared muffin cups, and bake. Cool the muffins for about ten minutes in the tin before removing and cooling fully on a rack.
Tips and Notes
Cornmeal has a range of options in how coarse or finely ground it is. I go for a middle of the range one, rather than very coarse polenta cornmeal. This does make a slight difference to the recipe – more so if you’re using a very fine cornmeal – so keep that in mind.
In general, smaller zucchini is better! I know you might see a huge zucchini at the market and think ah, I’ve really lucked out here, but if they’re all the same price, you’re still getting more value with a smaller vegetable. This doesn’t matter so much for cornbread or baking with zucchini – if you have one that’s gotten away from you in the garden and has turned out the size of a small cat, that’s the one to use here.
Whole wheat flour, AP flour, or light spelt can all be used interchangeably as a substitution for whole spelt here. I imagine a GF blend (like that from Bob’s Red Mill) would also work well, but I haven’t tried it.
Another light-tasting oil can be used in place of olive oil if you prefer. Melted coconut oil (or even butter, if you eat it) might work, but I haven’t tested that. I like the flavour of the olive oil here.
Eggs add some much needed lift and a better texture here. My vegan zucchini cornbread tests were questionable at best, though there’s a nice orange cornmeal muffin on OE. Unfortunately I can’t find a vegan version from a site I trust to link to.
More Muffin Recipes
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- 150 grams (1 cup) spelt flour
- 150 grams (1 cup) cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) non-dairy milk
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 180 grams (1 cup) shredded zucchini
- Preheat the oven to 190C (375F) and grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Make a well in the centre.
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs until slightly frothy. Add the milk, olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar, and mix until fully combined. Mix in the zucchini to evenly incorporate.
- Stir the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until just combined and no streaks or flour remain.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each as evenly as possible. Bake the cornbread for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
- Cool the muffins for five minutes in the tin before removing and cooling fully on a rack. These will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days and freeze well.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 240mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
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This post was originally published in August 2015. It has been updated with new photos and improvements to the text and recipe as of August 2020.