Zucchini Cupcakes with Lemon-Dill Frosting

August  5, 2016
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 12 cupcakes
What You'll Need
  • Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium-large lemon
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (132 grams) white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (40 grams) oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 ground cinnamon
  • rounded 1/4 teaspoons lightly packed, freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) lightly packed, coarsely grated zucchini (I use large holes on my box grater)
  • 3 tablespoons (9 grams) finely chopped fresh dill leaves including only the thinnest tender bits of stem
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (15 grams) lightly packed fresh dill leaves with very thinnest tender bits of stem
  • 4 cups (225 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (113 grams/4 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 medium-large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (see note)
  • 1 Equipment:
  • 1 Cupcake pan with 12 cavities
  • 1 Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the pan with paper liners.
  2. To make the cupcakes, grate the zest of the lemon in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer). Add the sugar, eggs, and salt. Beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is thickened and lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Or beat with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and oat flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, zucchini, and dill and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in the olive oil. Divide the batter evenly among the cups.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean and dry, 18 to 20 minutes. Set pan on a rack to cool for a few minutes before tipping cakes out onto the rack to cool completely before icing or storing.
  5. To make the frosting, put the dill into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add 5 or 6 tablespoons of the powdered sugar and process until the dill is pureed, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, and adding a little more sugar as necessary until the mixture is a thick syrupy puree. Grate the zest of the lemon directly into the processor bowl and add the remaining sugar and the butter in chunks. Process until smooth and spreadable. Process until completely smooth and spreadable, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the olive oil and pulse to blend.
  6. Note: I always try to sneak in a little more extra-virgin olive oil—it adds a lovely dimension and complexity to the frosting that ties into the cupcakes—but at some point, too much oil will curdle the frosting. If that happens to you, smooth out the frosting by pulsing in a bit more powdered sugar.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sophie Madeline
    Sophie Madeline
  • Asha Loupy
    Asha Loupy
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

2 Reviews

Sophie M. February 5, 2018
I used bob’s red mill “sweet rice flour” for the GF sweet potato cake, but the recipe called for a different amount of flour if using Thai rice flour vs white rice flour, and I assumed mine was closed to “Thai.” Would the same hold true here if using sweet rice flour how much to use?
Asha L. August 8, 2016
What an unusual combination! I can't wait to try these with my glut of zucchini. Do you think the frosting method would work with other tender herbs like tarragon?