chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

Today is a big day on The Muffin Myth! Exactly four years ago today I hit publish on my first post with absolutely no idea what would happen next. And what a four years it has been! There have been ups and downs. Celebrations and frustrations. New jobs, and new friends. Broken ankles and broken dishes. I’ve moved to a new country and learned a new language. And I’ve finished *two* degrees in nutrition.

This also happens to be my 300th post. Seems like we should celebrate, no?

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin mythchocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

I’ve you haven’t tried chocolate zucchini cupcakes before, it’s time to get into it. It’s not just about sneaking vegetables into a dessert; the zucchini adds a ton of moisture. You don’t taste it, in fact, it practically melts away. I used olive oil in these cupcakes because I like the way the grassy flavour pairs with chocolate, and I thought it would be a nice complement to the zucchini. There’s also tangy buttermilk, whole wheat pastry flour, and the whole mess is studded with dark chocolate chunks.

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

I wanted to top the cupcakes with with something that wouldn’t add a lot of extra sugar to the recipe but that was still delicious and a bit luxurious. Mascarpone with a little bit of honey and sea salt swirled in did the trick, and by did the trick I mean you need salted honey mascarpone in your life right now.

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

Of course, cupcakes are only as good as the ingredients you use to make them, so when you’re celebrating I think it’s important to use really good stuff. Your vanilla extract for example, should be the best you can find.

Remember back when I made us homemade vanilla extract? That batch was infused for two months, and the people who I gave it to told me it was the best and most vanilla-ey vanilla extract that they ever did see. Well, unbeknownst to you, I started us another batch, and friends, this stuff has been infusing for Six Whole Months.

homemade vanilla extract // the muffin myth

To celebrate four years of real food and good friends, I’d like to send one of you a bottle of this six-month vanilla extract. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. You can gain additional entries by following The Muffin Myth on Instagram, and liking The Muffin Myth’s Facebook page. Leave separate comments letting me know you’ve done that! I’ll randomly choose a winner next Sunday July 6th.

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

Here’s to four years of blogging, good food, and good friends. Thanks for being along for the ride, it just wouldn’t be the same without you.

MM_Know_Icon_FINALYou’re eating cake my friends! Glorious chocolately delicious cake, with an indulgent smear of mascarpone cheese on top. Yum! Enjoy every bite, and then maybe a salad?

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth

One year ago: Roasted Strawberries + Yoghurt Cake
Two years ago: 
Chocolate Yoghurt Bundt Cake
Three years ago: Strawberry Birthday Cupcakes
Four years ago: The Muffin That Started It All

chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone // the muffin myth
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chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcakes with salted honey mascarpone + giveaway

As is so often the case with cake, I think that these are better on the second day. You can bake them in advance and keep them stored in an air tight container until the next day. Whether you eat these on the day you make them (still delicious) or the next day (even better!) top with mascarpone at the very last minute.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Author Katie Trant


  • 1 cup light brown muscovado sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 packed cups grated zucchini
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry or all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 100 g dark chocolate chopped
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF / 180ºC. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, olive oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir in grated zucchini, and set aside.
  • In a smaller bowl sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  • Add the dry mix to the wet, and stir to just combine. Fold in the chocolate chunks, and spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared cupcake liners.
  • Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, rotating the tin once about half way through. A toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake should come out with only a few crumbs attached.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While they are cooling, prepare the mascarpone. In a small bowl mix mascarpone, honey, and salt together until well combined.
  • Using a spatula, spread a small amount of the mascarpone onto each cupcake.
  • Serve immediately.



  1. Katherine says

    These sound delicious! I think I’ll make some tonight with all my zucchini. And that vanilla sounds bomb – I would love a bottle!

  2. erika says

    Woowoo!! Four years!!! That’s quite the accomplishment! I’m so happy to have found your blog because your Monday round ups are seriously one of my favorite blog series. Always so educational! And your recipes, like this one, are BOMB. Salted honey mascarpone?! I mean…*SWOON*

    Now it’s my turn to be out of range for your giveaway! But just in case it’s not too far to send an amazing bottle of vanilla…I just liked your facebook page (I’m ashamed I hadn’t already done it!) and I follow you on instagram, of course 🙂

    • themuffinmyth says

      No one is ever out of range for my giveaways! I hate being excluded due to where I live so I make sure to have mine always open to everyone, everywhere!

      Thanks for the kind words, Erika! I know you’re one of the biggest fans of the WGATW series and your comments always make me so happy!

      And yeah, salted honey mascarpone! Get into it!

  3. Shannon Brooks says

    You have a new follower! When I spotted the Coconut Bacon, OH my goodness!!!! Can’t wait to try this. Then I came upon your Chocolate and olive oil zucchini cupcake recipe! All I can say is I can’t wait to see what you have planned next!! Congrats on you blog! Sbrooks

  4. ichigocup says

    Very nice – these look so pretty and chocolate-y! Perfect for using summer’s abundance of zucchini!
    Liked on FB and following on instagram.:D

    • themuffinmyth says

      There is always so much zucchini to deal with at the end of the summer! I love making zucchini bread (I’ve got a chocolate version with quinoa deep in the blog archives) and these cupcakes too. Yum!

  5. Christianne says

    Love this site and would love to get good vanilla extract! Usually have to ask visiting relatives to bring me some.

    • themuffinmyth says

      It is super hard to find good stuff in Sweden! I totally don’t understand that vanilla sugar stuff. I also usually pick it up when I’m in Canada, but the home made stuff is easy and sooooo delicious. All you need is vanilla beans and vodka, neither of which are difficult to find here!

  6. Tara says

    Congrats on all your accomplishments this year Katie! And for always sharing your delicious recipes:) Real food that tastes amazing!

    • themuffinmyth says

      I haven’t tested the recipe with another sugar so I can’t say with any degree of confidence that it will work out if you make a substitution. I’ve been wary of coconut sugar for its ecological ramifications, though I do know it’s lovely for the GI. My philosophy is that treats should be treats and enjoyed in moderation, so I’m ok with a bit of muscovado here and there, and really 1 cup per 12 cupcakes isn’t so bad when compared to other recipes!

      You’re welcome to use a photo and a link to the original post / recipe. Thanks for asking 🙂

  7. SarahT says

    Congratulations on 4 years, 300 posts, and 2 degrees!! I’ve been here almost from the beginning, I think, and have received much inspiration over the years. Happy Canada Day and enjoy your poutine!

  8. Christine says

    Congrats!! : ) I would looooove some of that vanilla extract, and this recipe sounds awesome, will try it very soon. I already follow you on facebook, but don’t really use instagram. Hopping over to read about smoothies vs juice now – thanks!! And happy Canada day!

  9. Donna says

    I have enjoyed coming to know your blog with its thoughtful and evidence based slant upon healthy eating. I have, through reading it over the last few months, been able to implement changes to my diet gradually and knowingly rather than from a place of uncertainty or anxiety. Apart from your recipes, I also enjoy your weekly round-up ‘what’s good around the web’ as I find it helps me to keep a perspective and to remember that there is more than one way of looking at things.

    • themuffinmyth says

      Thanks for the kind words, Donna! It’s really great to hear that what I’m doing here is helping people. I’m also really glad to hear you like WGTW – there is so much conflicting information out there it can be overwhelming, but I think learning to think critically is the key 🙂

  10. Tessa says

    The grandchildren are coming in a month. They love chocolate. I think we will have to make a few of these together. Should be a nice little bonding time.
    Oh, but we would need the vanilla! 😉

  11. Kathryn says

    Congratulations on four years blogging and 300 posts! And what a way to celebrate…that salted honey mascarpone sounds like something I need to try asap! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you : )

  12. Antonia U. (@health_inspirer) says

    Happy blogging anniversary, Katie! 4 years is such an incredible achievement, especially as you’ve been studying/working alongside of blogging!!! I’m so glad we met at FBC and that I got to learn about your blog 🙂 I’m looking forward to many more posts xx

  13. Kimberly Walterscheid says

    I love your blog!!! I love muffins and eating healthy and that’s how I discovered it. I have made 9/10 of your muffin recipes that I’ve pinned to my “muffin board” on Pinterest (waiting for ripe peaches to try out the BC Summer Muffins). Whenever I have company I make the Whole Wheat Ricotta muffins and throw in whatever fruit is in season and I always get rave reviews. In fact, they are going to be the stars of my after-wedding brunch I am throwing in August. My sister-in-law specifically requested them with raspberries! Also, I am super excited to read your paper on artificial sweeteners/diet soda. I have a family member who is hip deep and I’d like to help her out. I hope you publish your findings!
    Also I LOVE love love the “Know What You’re Eating” at the bottom. I always like to remind myself about what I’m putting in my body.

    • themuffinmyth says

      Wow, thanks so much Kimberly! What an honour for my muffins to have a starring role at your wedding brunch!

      We are aiming to publish the artificial sweeteners paper, but I may write about our findings a bit here – it’s pretty crazy stuff! And I’m glad you like the Know What You’re Eating section – there is more good stuff like that coming when I do some renovations to the blog over the summer. Thanks for reading, and for the sweet comment!

  14. Natasha Murphy says

    I love reading your blog! Very informative…I “liked” you on my FB page 🙂 Would love to win one of those Vanilla Extracts.

  15. Allison says

    These look delicious! I love the combination of honey, sea salt, and mascarpone. Thank you for all you do 🙂

  16. Pauline Killam says

    Hi Katie! Congratulations on 4 years and 300 blogs! Love them all! I am now following you on Instagram & Facebook, but I was already the lucky winner of your fabulous vanilla so time for someone else to win. Keep up the good work! And congrats on finishing your schooling.

  17. Karen says

    Looks delicious! My grandmother used to make me zucchini chocolate cupcakes but I’ve never tried that icing before. Looks like I’m going to the grocery store… 🙂

  18. Deena Kakaya says

    I didn’t know you had been blogging for so long! And what a lovely celebratory post full of moisture and happy hormone releasing cocoa…i like that the frosting is not loaded with sugar x

    • themuffinmyth says

      Yup, four whole years. That basically makes me a blogging grandma, right? I’d hesitate to even call the mascarpone frosting, it’s so basic! But it is really lovely with the honey and sea salt.

  19. Sandra says

    Congratulations to four years and 300 posts. How did you ever line those two up? Either crazy good planning or crazy stroke of luck 😉 I love zucchini in baked goods and a honey mascarpone icing sounds perfect. So happy to follow along with you on The Muffin Myth, and I hope you have many more years to come 🙂


  1. […] wait! Don’t forget you have until Sunday July 6th to enter my giveaway for a bottle of six-month vanilla […]

  2. […] wait! Don’t forget you have until Sunday July 6th to enter my giveaway for a bottle of six-month vanilla […]

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