Zucchini. Coconut.

Not a familiar pairing, you say?

Well, maybe not to those of us who grew up knowing only enough about zucchini, a.k.a. "summer squash," to dislike it.

And those whose only thought of coconut was a Mounds bar.

But for the younger foodies out there, zucchini and coconut go together as naturally as strawberries, bean sprouts, and avocado.

Or chocolate and gingerbread. Lime and mint.

How about pumpkin and Parmesan?

Charlotte, our newest test kitchen baker, is one such young foodie. She's added a fresh, 20-something perspective to the recipes you see printed in our Baker's Catalogue – which are, for the most part, her creations.

The flavor combinations listed above have appeared recently in our catalogues, or will do so soon.

I urge you to give any and all of them a try; you'll see just how nicely they play together, when balanced in an imaginative bread, scone, cake, cookie, or sandwich.

Let's start with these Zucchini-Coconut Muffins, shall we?

Go coco-nutty!

Coconut lovers, you'll want to try all of our delicious coconut ingredients, including (clockwise from top left) flavorful shredded unsweetened coconut; extra-strong coconut flavor; crunchy toasted coconut; and coconut milk powder, a great way to add coconut flavor to all kinds of dishes.

We use all of the above in these muffins, but you can skip any you wish – except the shredded coconut. Substitute regular sweetened coconut, if you wish; the muffins will be a bit sweeter, obviously.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Did you know that by clicking anywhere on this block of pictures, you can enlarge them to full size? Go ahead, give it a try; it'll work for any of our photos.

First, grate some zucchini, skin and all. You'll need about 2 cups, lightly pressed; which is about 1 medium (8-ounce) zucchini. A food processor makes short work of this.

Next, beat together the following, until smooth:

2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon coconut flavor, optional but tasty

Add the following, stirring just to combine:

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Stir in the grated zucchini, and 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or sweetened shredded coconut.

Lightly grease a standard popover pan, mini popover pan, or standard 12-cup muffin pan, which I'm using here.

If desired, line the pan with papers, and grease the papers; this is a good idea if you're taking the muffins to a bake sale, or otherwise transporting them somewhere.

Scoop the batter into the wells of the pan: 1/2 cup for a popover pan, 2 tablespoons for a mini popover, and 1/4 cup for a muffin pan.

I found a muffin scoop, filled level, yields just the right amount of batter for each of 12 standard muffins.

The muffin cups will be just short of full; maybe a touch more than 3/4. Take the time to even them out if some have much more batter than others.

Here's a handy tip: When I want to make muffins that are all the same size, I weigh the batter, and divide by 12. I then place my muffin tin on a scale, and dollop that amount of batter into each cup – (usually) remembering to tare the scale between each scoop of batter.

How do you weigh your batter, you say?

Well, I know the weight of my KitchenAid mixing bowl (1,017g – see?). So I just weight the bowl, batter and all, then subtract the bowl's weight.

Bake the muffins for 24 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean.

Remove them from the oven, and as soon as you can, tilt them in the pan, so their bottoms don't steam. Cool like that for 10 minutes...

...then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Once the muffins are cool, you can ice them with this tasty glaze, if you like.

Sift together the following:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons coconut milk powder, optional; for added flavor
pinch of salt

Yes, SIFT - unless you don't mind lumps in your glaze. Trust me, this extra step is worth it.

Mix in 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, enough to make a thick but still pourable glaze.

Dip each muffin top in the glaze. The deeper you dip, the more "runover" you'll have.

Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired.

These aren't quite sweet enough to be termed a cupcake, but they come close. If you want to impress your younger friends, tell them you've discovered a great new recipe for coconut cupcakes – they may wonder what the tiny green shreds are but sssshhhh, they're your secret ingredient...

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Zucchini-Coconut Muffins.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

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