Chocolate, bran & zucchini muffins

Well, there was much interest in these little chocolate morsels when I put up a preview pic the other day over on Facebook. So rather than making you wait, I’ve fast-tracked them onto the blog for you all to bake up this week. Rather than being puritanical about food and healthy eating, I like to acknowledge that the vast majority of us mortals WILL eat chocolate; so the least I can do is pack a bit of extra fibre into the mix to make them just a tiny bit healthier.

They’re nut free and easily made dairy free too, which means that most lunchboxes should cope with them nicely.

Now I know you’re all out there, I can hear you breathing. Well actually, I can see my traffic stats. But none of you ever really comment on here. Why is that? I know we all chat over at FB, but my poor old blog gets a bit lonely from time to time. I always love to hear about if you try out a recipe, how it goes and what variations you need to make for your family.

Don’t be shy. Remember then when you post recipe comments with the posts they get kept for future reference. On FB they just get forgotten in the jumble of cyber junk.

Both you and the kids will be happy with these!

Chocolate, bran and zucchini muffins

1 ¼ cups self-raising flour
¾ cup Allbran cereal (or any type of bran bits)
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 egg
¾ cup milk (soy works great)
¾ cup vegetable oil (I like grapeseed, but canola is cheaper)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 zucchini, grated (fearless VS testers report back that small/medium zucchini will work best, or a large one may need to have liquid squeezed out).

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 12 cup regular muffin tray (I just use spray oil since I’m too lazy to melt and brush on butter).

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bran, cocoa, sugar and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the egg, milk, oil, vanilla and zucchini.

Pour wet ingredients into dry, mix gently until well combined. Divide evenly between your muffin holes and bake for 25 minutes or so, until they spring back when touched and a skewer comes out clean.

Makes 12.

Optional extra: a ½ cup of choc chips will make these extra chocolatey!

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77 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rach said,

    Yum! *Runs off to check if there’s a stray zucchini in the fridge*

  2. 4

    jo lamb said,

    Please tell me these don’t taste too healthy, my daughter spots a vegie smuggle in a sweet thing. Savoury on the other hand…..

  3. 6

    megan said,

    these look great and I have all of the ingredients already…will make tomorrow 🙂

  4. 7

    meganthorley said,

    These look great, and I have all of the ingredients…will make tomorrow 🙂

    • 8

      Didi18 said,

      Have made these twice, they are very yum……even the fussiest granddaughter likes them……chocolate icing makes them even more delish.

  5. 9

    Nikki Robson said,

    Not sure if they would pass in the school lunch box, but great idea for afternoon snack!

  6. 11

    Shelley said,

    Wendy could I use almond meal or rolled oats in this instead of Allbran ? Can’t WAIT to make these!!!

  7. 15

    Barbara Good said,

    Now this one will have to go onto my pinterest board so I can find it when I have many many zucchinis coming in from the garden.

  8. 16

    Looks delicious! I love the combination of chocolate and zucchini, but have never had it with bran. Would love to know what it tastes like.

  9. 18

    Nicola said,

    I made a heap of bran chocolate muffins/brownies while pregnant to help offset those pesky iron tablets. Well, that was my excuse anyway. But they were always a bit dry. You just *knew* they were secretly good for you. I bet your version, with the zucchini in it, would help keep them moist. Yum!

  10. 19

    Amber Barker said,

    im going to try them with special k instead of all bran because i cant wait , thanks for the inspiration !

  11. 20

    these are so going on my list of baking for my sons 2nd birthday party in a week. Satisfies the kids desire for chocolate and also my desire to not provide too much junk for kids.

  12. 21

    Laura said,

    I don’t know if I did something wrong, but these didn’t work for us. Maybe my zucchini was too big? Or they needed a bit longer in the oven??? (although I did the skewer test and it came out clean…). They were a strange texture and can’t say the flavour was quite right either…… Was I meant to squeeze the zucchini? The recipe didn’t say too so I left it as it was. Hmmmn. Sorry. 😦

    • 22

      wendyblume said,

      Sorry to hear that! I just used a small/medium zucchini for mine and didn’t squeeze it – it wasn’t too sloppy a one though. I think the bran does a good job of absorbing the excess. Only thing I can think is wrong flour maybe?

      • 23

        Laura said,

        Just read over all the ingredients to be sure, but definitely got everything right. I have a feeling it was too much zucchini and maybe not quite long enough in the oven. Never mind. I still enjoyed licking the bowl and picking the crunchy bits of bran off the top of the muffins!

      • 24

        wendyblume said,

        Hmmm. Yes something up. When mine were cooked the bran had melted away so there weren’t any bits to pick. but glad you got something tasty!

  13. 25

    Tanya said,

    I had a similar result and suspect my zucchini was too big. You can definitely taste it. Also had a box of All Bran Toppers to use up and they worked great. Just tastes like little crunchy muesli bits through it. The zucchini taste does go (mostly) when they cool down, much like the spinach brownies.

  14. 27

    Nicole T said,

    I made these today with the chocolate chips and they were SO moist and yummy. A hit with me and Miss Nearly-2, hubby said he’s not a fan but I think that’s cos he knew there was zucchini in them. Thanks for the recipe

  15. 29

    Nicole said,

    I made a few variations…
    I didn’t have any bran so I used a mixture of LSA, chia seeds and oats instead. I also used spelt flour and added half a teaspoon of bi carb otherwise the spelt can weigh them down. I used even less sugar than instructed as I added some dark choc chips. What a hit with all the family. Man of house scoffed four one after the other.

    Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  16. 31

    Hi Wendy, just made these using oats instead of bran and they worked perfectly! Really chocolatey, no zucchini taste at all and a big hit with the kids. Thanks 🙂

  17. 32

    megan said,

    Success! these were great, and best of all, my very fussy miss 3 has finally eaten zucchini! I grated it really finely as I was worried about her spotting it, worked a treat

  18. 34

    Bonita said,

    YUM! Made them GF for the Coeliac of the House, added some choc chips and made them mini-size, because apparently a full size muffin is too big to tackle when you’re a very busy nearly 6yo at school….didn’t have appropriate GF cereal, so just left it out. They were scrummo, but think the added crunch will make them even better next time. Thanks for another great VS recipe!

  19. 37

    Xylina said,

    Hi, I made these for the first time today for my extremely FUSSY 2 year old and he LOVES them! Thank you! I also used Sultana Bran as that is all I had in the pantry. Worked really well and the extra sultanas were yummy 🙂

  20. 39

    Kym Petersen said,

    Wendy these are delish! My 2 1/2 year old helped me make them and was very inquisitive when I put the zucchini in. She couldn’t work out why I was putting it in with all the other sweet ingredients – and then was having a heart attack when I added the All Bran (we call this ‘sprinkles’ and it goes on top of their chosen cereal in the morning!). Nevertheless, I used a large zucchini and squeezed out the excess moisture and no problems whatsoever. The All Bran is really clever, certainly makes them more filling and adds some wholesomeness! We scoffed a couple virtually straight out of the oven, they are great. Another lovely recipe, thank you! Kym

  21. 41

    Natalie Grant said,

    My kids loved them! May put a little more coco next time but they were fantastic! Thankyou 🙂

  22. 42

    Nicole said,

    Made them today with my almost 5yr old. She pointed to the zucchini and said “Will you taste this coz I don’t normally eat that?” lol. I assured her she wouldn’t! Both my kids ate them and agreed they were yummy. I think so to and agree they are lovely and a little crusty with a moist inside. We put in the extra chic chips though 😉
    Funny it’s the adults I mention the ingredients to that turn up their nose – you really have to try them as you wouldn’t even know what was in there. Easy to make to, had all ingredients at home bar the zucchini!

  23. 43

    Em said,

    A big hit with the whole family. I made them in mini size (aporox 12 mins in the oven), and added the extra dark choc chip. Also used All Bran Toppers. Yummy and moist – very chocolatey!

  24. 44

    These look great and healthy too! Thanks for linking up again to the Weekend Cookbook. It is lovely to have you there.

  25. 45

    Anneta said,

    Made these for playdate morning tea,used rolled oats as didn’t have any “All Bran”. Worked perfect and the fussiest child ate the most muffins! Well Done Wendy.

  26. 46

    Melanie said,

    I loved these Wendy… (like all your brilliant recipes!) unfortunately my 5 year old must be the fussiest little as he turned his nose up at them saying “they’re not soft like cup cakes” (think i need to work on the muffin eating in general there). My 2 year old enjoyed them and i am still finding bits hidden in various nooks and crannies in the car seat, 2 weeks later…

    keep up the great work! love your blog… totally on the same wavelength here…

  27. 48

    Danya Banya said,

    Love these! They are on my To-Do list here: http://www.danyabanya.com/2012/11/five-cool-projects-on-my-to-do-list-1-5.html. Can’t wait to make them
    xx Danya

  28. 49

    becky mcclure said,

    I have some allbran in the cupboard which is a little on the soft side, perfect for this!!

  29. 50

    Vivienne said,

    Made these for my son’s birthday party – went down a treat! I also made choc chip muffins that had sweet potato in them, and the main cake was a Chocolate potato cake! Lots of chocolate & veges!

    Thanks for the recipe. These are great.

  30. 51

    becky mcclure said,

    Ended up making them with oats as the Allbran I had was no good, they were great, although a little TOO healthy for my husband, but he spread jam on his!

  31. 52

    […] These are from the Veggie Smugglers website and I know it is strange to think they include 1 grated zucchini, but when you think about it – zucchini has no taste and it adds moisture to the muffins. These turned out really yummy. Next time I will add a few chocolate chips for something extra yummy. Even Mummy loves these! You can see the full recipe here. […]

  32. 53

    Charmaine Briggs said,

    Just gobbled one fresh out of the oven! Yum! Hope they past the kid test. 🙂 what a great recipe, thanks. Looking forward to exploring what else you have on here.

  33. 54

    Sharyn said,

    Great Recipe, my 2yr old finds veggies in almost everything I make, except for these!! They r delicious. Thank you Wendy

  34. 55

    […] Here’s one for Fairfield families.  If you’ve noticed your children are getting bored of their same old lunchbox fillers, and you’re even getting bored preparing them, here’s something that might pep you both up.  It’s one of our favourite recipes to bake in winter, and has the added benefit of hiding ultra healthy (not to mention undetectable) vegetables.  It comes from the clever recipes at vegiesmugglers.com.au. […]

  35. 56

    […] Here’s one for Fairfield families.  If you’ve noticed your children are getting bored of their same old lunchbox fillers, and you’re even getting bored preparing them, here’s something that might pep you both up.  It’s one of our favourite recipes to bake in winter, and has the added benefit of hiding ultra healthy (not to mention undetectable) vegetables.  It comes from the clever recipes at vegiesmugglers.com.au. […]

  36. 57

    Karla said,

    Great idea! Could you add raspberries or such to it?

  37. 59

    Hi Wendy have you converted these for the Thermomix yet? 😉
    Keen to try these as neither of my kids will eat zucchini. Neither like chocolate cake either! Oh well 🙂

  38. 61

    Carla said,

    Here’s my slightly different version due to our family trying to cut out wheat, refined sugar & seed oils, plus my son being dairy intolerant:

    1 ¼ cups GF self-raising flour (150g?)
    1.5 tsp baking powder (5g)
    rounded tsp protein powder (5g) (not sure if it survives cooking, but what the heck!)
    ¾ cup oat bran (80g)
    ¼ cup raw cacao powder (20g)
    ½ cup rapadura/coconut sugar (65g)
    ½ tsp cinnamon
    1 egg
    ¾ cup oat milk (forgot to check grams)
    ¾ cup coconut or olive oil (160g)
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    1 zucchini (small-medium)

    I’ve only had my thermomix for 2 weeks, but I had a go at converting the recipe and it worked just fine. Yay!

    I ‘grated’ the zucchini on sp 4-5 for about 5 seconds (didn’t write it down, but just until it was fairly fine so no one would complain as they did last time I had zucchini in a cake, using a regular grater), scraped down the sides, added lightly beaten egg, milk, oil & vanilla then mixed on reverse sp 2 for about 10 sec.
    Added all dry ingredients and mixed on reverse sp 3 for 10 sec.
    Added 1/2 cup choc chips and just stirred through with spatula just before spooning into 24 mini muffins & 6 regular sized muffins.
    Cooked on 175 fan forced – 18 mins for mini (prob could have gone as much as 20) and 28 mins for regular size.

    They were scrumptious and a bit gooey hot out of the oven so unfortunately not many were left long enough to cool completely. My son (notoriously fussy) asked for a 2nd large one for dessert last night. Lunch box also came back empty. Win!

  39. 63

    Laura said,

    We only had wholemeal self raising. Hopefully it doesn’t change the texture too much. The kids (2 and 3.5) loved making them with me and cant’ wait to eat them. They were even excited to put the zucchini in. I loved that bit 😀

    • 64

      Laura said,

      sadly they were a touch dry. I think it’s because I removed excess liquid from the zucchini. WHOOPSIES! Next time I’ll leave the extra liquid in and may even add some choc chips too

  40. 66

    Nat said,

    Great recipe. Quick and easy. I have one boy who is super fussy and one who eats everything. Both boys loved them and ate them in no time. Thanks.

  41. 67

    Cath said,

    Looking forward to making these!
    On a side note i realise this is an old post but I do think Pinterest has made a big difference to how people interact on blogs – I think there is less conversations happening now that people can just pin and go.
    What are your thoughts?

    • 68

      wendyblume said,

      Yes, but for me it’s not Pinterest – my facebook page has always been where people chat and ask me about recipes. Which is fine, except them the comments get lost in the ether – would be better to have them all with the recipes on the blog. Hope everyone enjoys these!

  42. 69

    muffin22 said,

    3 year old loved them, 1 year old had fun squashing them and I thought they were pretty yum! Made some minnies for the little ones and normal muffin size for me and hubby and am looking forward to another later with a cuppa! Thanks for all the great ideas

  43. 70

    Tegan said,

    Just took these out of the oven and made them as mini muffins, baked them for 15 mins instead. Delicious! Kids won’t know a thing.

  44. 71

    […] Chocolate, Bran and Zucchini Muffins […]

  45. 72

    Kada said,

    We didn’t have any eggs left, so I used banana instead. Mmmm tasty!

  46. 74

    Meis said,

    Thank you & YUM! Just made these muffins with success. (Rare for me!) I had no all bran so used oat bran instead. Took the suggestion of adding a few choc chips to make them extra tempting, but I think they’d be delish without them.

  47. 75

    Cindy said,

    Made this a couple of times with great success! Ive found that weetbix crumbs/whole weetbix crushed works as a good replacement for bran when i’ve run out. Also use 1 large zucchini with the moisture squeezed out and the mixture cooks through well and is so moist! Winner in our household 🙂

  48. 77

    […] Here’s one for Bacchus Marsh families.  If you’ve noticed your children are getting bored of their same old lunchbox fillers, and you’re even getting bored preparing them, here’s something that might pep you both up.  It’s one of our favourite recipes to bake in winter, and has the added benefit of hiding ultra healthy (not to mention undetectable) vegetables.  It comes from the clever recipes at vegiesmugglers.com.au. […]


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