Whole Wheat Zesty Lemon Zucchini Muffins

Friends, I’m about to make a very bold statement.

I think these are the best muffins I’ve EVER made.


I’m serious. And as you know from my recipe page… I make a lot of muffins.


I got an enormous bag of zucchini and squash fresh from a coworker’s garden the other day and have been slowly working my way through it. Finally, I decided enough with the stir fry — it was time for baked goods.


So, what’s the key to this recipe’s awesomeness?

Lemon juice and zest. Such a bright, flavorful addition! I’m never making muffins without lemon again. In fact, this is becoming my new go-to recipe. I want to try it with pumpkin instead of squash next!


Whole Wheat Zesty Lemon Zucchini Muffins


(makes 12 muffins)


  • 1 & 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour (or half white, half regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 C shredded zucchini or squash (carrots would work, too!)
  • 1/4 C skim milk (or low fat milk, or non-dairy substitute)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350.

In two separate bowls, mix dry, then wet, and then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until the mixture is uniform-ish. Spoon the mixture into a non-stick or sprayed muffin pan and sprinkle with oats to make them look pretty when they come out :) Bake about 25 minutes — fork check near end to make sure they are done!


Mmmm… these muffins are 100% whole wheat and stuffed with veggies — but you’d never know it. Make them immediately. You won’t be sorry.


Matt snagged one fresh out of the oven and declared them “awesome.”

My work here is done. ;)

I’m off to my dietetic internship bright and early today — we’re helping to judge 4-H district activity day! 4-H is a national youth development organization; my office runs a branch of it. However, for some reason instead of assigning us to the food/grilling/nutrition or even exercise categories, we were given the “expressive arts” category to judge?! This should be a VERY interesting morning, hahah.

Later this evening, we’re also giving a healthy hearts presentation to a club of a bunch of older woman at one of the woman’s home — quite the opposite from how our morning started, huh? I’m giving the part of the presentation where we shock them with how much salt is in standard processed foods — soup, broth, soy sauce, etc. Each person will get a piece of paper with a food on it and they will have to try to line up in order of how much salt everything has — I think they will be surprised!

Ta-ta for now, friends!

p.s. Last call for “perch” photos (see this post for more details)! My post will be up later this week :)

p.p.s. My Easy Canvas Prints giveaway winner still hasn’t contacted me! Click here to see the winner — it’s announced at the bottom of the post. If it’s you, better act fast or I’ll select someone else!


  1. 1

    Thank you for this!!! I’m about to have an enormous amount of zucchini in my garden and I need recipes like this. I think I’d love the lemon flavour. I can’t wait to make these! :D

  2. 2

    I absolutely love lemon zest! It makes anything that much better!

  3. 3

    These look delicious :)

  4. 4

    Just found this blog! I think they look amazing :) nothing like finding the perfect muffin recipe!

  5. 5

    Ohhh, I’m glad I read your post before going on my walk. Those muffins look fannetastic. I will make them this afternoon. Thanks I used to be in the 4-H club when I was a girl. Great club. Have a great day.

  6. 6

    Good luck with your 4-H judging today, just don’t break any hearts out there!! These children are the future Zesty Lemon Muffin Makers of tomorrow!!

  7. 8

    What a great recipe! Question – what is the deal with pastry dough?? How is it different and is it easy to find? I”m a baking novice!

    • 9

      Pastry flour creates a nice, soft texture, so you can go entirely whole wheat without the dense gummy texture that using all regular whole wheat flour will create. If you don’t have it, using half white flour and half regular whole wheat flour will work! I buy my whole wheat pastry flour at Whole Foods, or online!

  8. 10
    Pat Elsberry says

    Perfect timing! I’m having a girls weekend – one day/night spent at a Spa and the next 2 days back at our home. I was just looking for some great recipes and have added this to my Sunday brunch!! Healthy but delicious! Thanks, Anne!

  9. 12

    Lemon zest does make everything better.

  10. 13

    These are on my weekend to do list for sure! Healthy and delicious is a combination that I love to see.

  11. 14

    As an Anne P. muffin lover, that is a VERY bold statement! Can’t wait to try these out!

  12. 16

    I’ll be baking these, maybe even today! Thanks!

  13. 17

    I absolutely LOVE using lemon zest in baked goods! Always adds that extra punch. I just recently made Earl Grey cookies with lemon zest, yum! Thanks for sharing, these look super delish!

  14. 18

    I’m all about lemon in baked goods. I recently made some ginger zucchini carrot muffins and now have MORE zucchini to use up..maybe I’ll try these :)

  15. 19

    Mmm, those look so good! I love that you love muffins as much as I do :D

  16. 20

    The oats on top are a fannetastic food signature ;) They sound deeelish!

  17. 21

    I have canned pumpkin at home do you think that would work? Were you referring to shredding your own pumpkin or the canned kind? Sounds so good!! Also, do you think the lemon and zest will be a good combo w pumpkin? Sounds weird but I’m willing to try :)

  18. 25

    Well, looks like I know what recipe I’ll be basing my next veggie baling experiment on!! Thanks for always posting such simple, delicious and healthy recipes!

  19. 27

    Just took my Whole Wheat Zesty Lemon Zucchini Muffins. The entire house smells heavenly. Can’t wait until they cool.

  20. 30

    Hi, Muffins sound great! Was wondering if you have the calorie breakdownT
    Thanks a bunch!

  21. 32

    Your timing is impeccable – I have fresh-from-the-garden zucchini in my fridge right now. Can’t wait to try these out!

  22. 33

    This sounds awesome, and so perfect for summer.

  23. 34

    The muffins look lovely! What inspired you to use lemon?

  24. 36

    I lahhhhve all things lemon. Why have I not made zuke muffins/bread in forever?!

  25. 37
    Stephanie F. says

    I JUST made these! I had to after I read this post. Yum! Thank you for the recipe :)

  26. 38

    I’m dying to make these muffins. They look perfect!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.