Chocolate zucchini cupcakes with marshmallow ghosts

By Julie Van Rosendaal on September 17, 2013
Any cupcake can be topped with a marshmallowy ghost using 7 minute frosting – an old recipe made by beating egg whites with sugar in a double boiler – but we like them atop moist chocolate zucchini cakes.



1/3 cup (85 ml) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola or other mild vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
1 3/4 cups (410 ml) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (185 ml) cocoa
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt or sour cream
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) grated raw zucchini, packed (1 small zucchini)
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Marshmallow Frosting:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp light or golden corn syrup or honey
1/3 cup water
2 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla, coconut, maple, mint, or other flavored extract
chocolate chips, for faces


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar on high speed with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until thick and pale yellow. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the yogurt in two additions. Stir in the zucchini and the nuts and/ or chocolate chips, if you’re using them, and divide the batter among paper-lined muffin tins, filling them almost full.

4. Bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch. Cool completely before topping with marshmallow frosting.

5. To make the frosting, in the top of a double boiler or in a clean stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 7 minutes, or until the frosting stands in billowy peaks. Remove the bowl from the pot and beat in the vanilla. Use to frost the cupcakes immediately, peaking it to take the shape of ghosts. Press in chocolate chips, flat side out, to make eyes, and using a paring knife, trim a few into moon shapes to make mouths.

Makes about 1 ½ dozen cupcakes.

Per cupcake

263 calories, 7.5 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 3.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 47 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 1.6 g fibre.

Originally published in ParentsCanad magazine, October 2013.

By Julie Van Rosendaal | September 17, 2013

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