Lemon Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I *love* baking with zucchini – don’t you agree? It makes it feel like what you’re baking has a semblance of health. These healthy lemon zucchini cupcakes are cupcakes for adults – they’re not too sweet, but feel just decadent enough. The cream cheese frosting is really special, too. It also features my foolproof lemon curd recipe — this lemon curd never breaks and always comes out. Try these lemon zucchini cupcakes this summer!

Lemon Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve lately been really into my Imperfect Produce box (don’t x out the window – this isn’t sponsored content) — and last week got a ton of zucchini. Like, 4 zucchinis. Instead of eating zoodles again, I thought, why not bake some lemon zucchini cupcakes?

Lemon and zucchini beg to be baked into tasty treats – while you see specks of green in the final product, the zucchini really adds moisture to the whole result and lemon complements the flavors so well.

These cupcakes are an oil-based cake recipe, so it’s really moist and not crumbly at all.

As an option, you can cut out the core of the cupcake with a cupcake corer and fill it with lemon curd, for extra lemon flavor.

Top with cream cheese frosting and voila! Sooo good.

Lemon Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Mimi Newman
These healthy lemon zucchini cupcakes are not too sweet, but feel just decadent enough.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Cupcakes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup 120 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 oranges for both zest and juice)
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick/115 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 –4 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 350F and grease and line 12 large cupcake molds.
  • For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, zucchini, lemon juice and lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
  • Add in the dry ingredients until the batter together.
  • Pour a half cup of batter in each cupcake mold. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan before frosting.
  • Prepare a water bath. In a heat-proof bowl on top of boiling water, whisk the orange zest, orange juice, eggs, and sugars for about 10-20 minutes until the mixture thickens and if you dip a spoon into it, and swipe the back of the spoon, the mixture stays separated.
  • Remove the bowl from the water, and add in the cubes of butter in thirds and whisk until it's combined. Let it cool slightly.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, and test the thickness/taste as you go.
  • Cut out the core of the cupcakes and fill with lemon curd.
  • Pipe frosting onto your cupcakes and enjoy!
Keyword lemon zucchini cakes, lemon zucchini cupcakes
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