Oct 03 2011

#MuffinMonday: Zucchini and Sesame Seed Muffins

Even though I had a garden this summer–and grew zucchini–sadly, I had none of my own. I fed them, I watered them, but my stubborn plants insisted upon throwing out only male flowers. Sure, they were pretty yellow blossoms perched upon those big-leafed vines, but I would have liked at least a few zucchini, considering their reputation for being so fruitful.

When An sent out this week’s Muffin Monday recipe for zucchini muffins, it was therefore a bit bittersweet. There were my zucchini vines outside my kitchen window, mocking me. And there I went to the grocery store to buy some locally-grown zucchini. What choice did I have?

zucchini and sesame seed muffins

On the way home, I plotted my variations. Would I add pineapple? Maybe some walnuts. Oooh…chocolate would really hit the spot! The brainstorming continued on with a variety of sweetness that would make these muffins ever-the-more perfect.

Back home, I looked at the recipe one more time before I assembled the ingredients…and realized–duh!–this was a savory muffin recipe, not at all suited to the add-ins ticked off on my mental list. A savory zucchini muffin? Really? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those before. This threw me off my game entirely.

So no, I didn’t make any major adjustments. I substituted most of the all purpose flour with white whole wheat, just to make it a little healthier, and used olive oil instead of the sunflower oil or melted butter. That’s about it. Why change something that is already a new experience?

The verdict? My 4-year-old took one bite and said he was full. My daughter told me she prefers sweeter muffins, though she liked the sesame seeds. As for me, I have to agree: I think we’re more of a sweet than savory muffin family. But it was worth a shot!

zucchini and sesame seed muffins

You can see the other variations of this week’s recipe at Baker Street, where there are sure to be some interesting spins on this savory treat.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Zucchini and Sesame Seed Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Serves: 12
  • 2 medium zucchini (roughly 300 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1¾ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp fine sea salt salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, divided
  • ½ tsp dried mixed herbs (I used Wildtree Garlic Herb Mix)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or line it with paper cups. Set aside.
  2. Peel the zucchini, cut into cubes, and chop in the mini food processor. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and push out as much moisture as you can. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add to them the buttermilk and olive oil. Mix until well-blended.
  4. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, sea salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp of the sesame seeds.
  5. Make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Add the zucchini and stir until just moistened.
  6. Divide batter between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbsp sesame seeds over the tops.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

About the author

Carrie @ poet in the pantry

Carrie is a home baker and amateur photographer who dabbles in writing and poetry.


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  1. Baker Street

    Ah.. I wish you had given this a hint of chocolate. Chocolate and zucchini are a lovely combination!

    Our holiday muffins will have plenty sweet ones for the kids, i promise. ;)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Chocolate and zucchini go hand-in-hand! But when I saw the dried herbs and pepper, I thought I should at least give the savory version a try. I don’t regret it, but I wish they had been more of a hit with the kids. Can’t win them all, right?

  2. dudut @mytwistedrecipe

    same with you, i am more of the sweet muffins :)

    happy to be baking with you :)

  3. elena @3greenonions

    :) I actually think I’m more of a savory muffin type of girl..I know, I’m weird that way:) I think these needed a little something extra to make them fall-in-love-with-savory-muffins. Sharp cheese or something…great to bake with you again!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I think some sharp cheddar would have definitely gone a long way in improving them. If it’s going to be savory, then it needs to be cheesy. :)

  4. Anita Menon

    Such beautiful looking muffins. Mine were rough and dented.
    Happy Monday

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I bet it was that cheese, which is well worth the sacrifice of beauty, right? :)

  5. Barbie

    I’m with you on the “sweet muffins” part. That’s why I just had to modify! But your muffins look gorgeous! :)

  6. Stay-At-Home-Chef

    I have to admit laughing out loud when I read how your son took one bite and said he was full. Classic kid move ;) I didn’t have your willpower to stick through the savoury tendencies of this muffin and caved to chocolate and Kahlua. Highly recommend ;)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I think just about anything paired with chocolate and kahlua would be phenomenal. :) I was surprised with the little guy; he’s usually pretty adventurous. Not this time, though.

  7. Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves

    Glad your little person loved the muffins where my grown hubs acted like a little kid & made an ugly face when I said zucchini muffins! They look good and I love your pic!

  8. Kate

    Your muffins came out beautifully… even if they weren’t a family favorite ;) I think your idea of putting pineapple in them would have been fantastic! I may have to give that a try.

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I used to have a zucchini bread recipe that included pineapple, but I can’t find it. I should have thrown it in anyway and used spices instead of herbs. Live and learn, right?

  9. Aimee @ Food: Je t'Aimee

    Aw. Too bad they weren’t a hit, but they certainly look lovely! Love the mental image of your zucchini vines looking in on you. Haha. I hope they are better behaved next year!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Just to show me who’s boss, they threw out another male flower yesterday. Defiant little vines!

  10. carolineadobo

    Aw, too bad it’s not a fave. My kids ate them but not something they would ask for again. It definitely need a little tweaking.
    I don’t think I’ve ever had zucchini bread with pineapple before so hope to see your recipe soon.

  11. Sally - My Custard Pie

    Drat those evil, mocking vines! The end result looks lovely with home grown or not. Good idea to add wholewheat.

  12. Yuri - Chef Pandita

    Gorgeous muffins! I am adding chocolate next time :) all these muffin monday posts with chocolate are making me so jealous [and hungry!] I am moving in a few months and want to have a little edible garden. It must be nice growing your own food, even if your plants didn’t give you actual zucchinis you can still eat the flowers, right?

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Yeah, you can eat the flowers, but they really shouldn’t open first. I’m not very good at discerning them before they open and since I never got any female flowers to compare, I couldn’t tell til they were open that they were all males. Still, it was a nice try.

  13. Terra

    Oh Yum! Pineapple would be awesome with this recipe. I mean carrot cake has pineapple right? What a fun idea, and gorgeous muffins! Hugs, Terra

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