If you are looking for a delicious way to use up those end of season zucchini, try these air fryer zucchini muffins. Zucchini muffins make a great healthy snack or on-the-go breakfast. They’re moist, flavorful and are quick to make in your air fryer.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Zucchini muffins are great because they are tasty, healthy, and quick to make in an air fryer. They are perfect for when you are in between meals or are hungry in the morning but don’t have time for breakfast.
Don’t worry about the fact that they are healthy- you’ll never taste the difference! And it’s super easy to make them in an air fryer.
However, baking muffins (or anything that rises during baking) in an air fryer can sometimes give you interesting shapes because of the effect of the hot air on the rising batter. Check out my guide to baking in an air fryer for more details.
Scroll down for the printable recipe card for these air fryer zucchini muffins, or read on for all the details!
What do you need?
Note: Quantities for all ingredients are given in the recipe card below.
You need 1 cup of shredded zucchini, which is around 1 medium zucchini.
Use all-purpose flour for this recipe. You could substitute whole wheat flour, though it makes quite a dense (albeit delicious) muffin. Avoid using bread flour as this will result in a chewy gummy texture which is not ideal for muffins.
I just use a store-bought spice mix, but you could use a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Baking soda and baking powder:
Using both baking soda and baking powder gives these muffins a good lift while they are baking, so you should get nice round tops.
Use fine sea salt or table salt.
You can use any mild-flavored cooking oil. Vegetable oil, light olive oil or melted coconut oil are all good options.
Soft brown sugar
Soft brown sugar gives a lovely rich flavor to these muffins. You can substitute granulated sugar if you prefer.
This should be room temperature for best results, so try to remember to get it out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours ahead of your cooking.
Optional extra ingredients
You can add up to one cup of extra goodies to your muffins. Try chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dates or other dried fruit, or a combination.
I have found that using paper muffin cases on their own leads to the muffins spreading and baking into wild shapes (a result of baking using hot air). To remedy this I normally use silicone muffin cases, which you can either use on their own, or lined with regular paper cupcake cases.
How to make zucchini muffins in an air fryer
This recipe is very simple to make, but there are a few key steps to get them just right:
- First, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl or large mixing jug. Add any extra choc chips etc., that you want to include. The dry ingredients need to be well combined ahead of mixing with the wet ingredients so that you can minimize the amount of time spent mixing once wet and dry ingredients have been added together.
- Shred the zucchini and blot it with paper towels to remove some of the moisture. The zucchini is where these muffins get a lot of their moistness from, however, so don’t squeeze the moisture out.
- Place the zucchini in a large mixing bowl and add the other wet ingredients. Mix for 2-3 minutes until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and fold together (or mix on a low speed) until just combined. You want to mix the bare minimum until the ingredients are just combined. Over-mixing muffin batter will over-activate the gluten in the flour, causing the muffins to be heavy and chewy rather than light and crumbly.
- Preheat the air fryer (400°F/ 200°C), before scooping the muffin batter into muffin cases. For tall muffins like in my photos, fill the cases to the top (you should get 8), or for regular smaller muffins, fill the cases 3⁄4 full (that should make 10).
- Air fry muffins. Carefully place muffins in the air fryer basket, remember it will be very hot from preheating. Then bake at 400°F/ 200°C for 4 minutes. Then when the cook time is up, do not open the air fryer, reduce the temperature to 320°F/ 160°C and air fry for an additional 14-16 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the air fryer and allow to cool on a cooling rack. If using paper and silicone cupcake cases then remove the muffins from the outer silicone case. If just using silicone cases, allow them to cool in the cases.
Why do you need to change the temperature during baking?
Baking the muffins at a higher temperature to start with helps the muffins to rise up quickly and form nice round muffin tops before they are set by the hot air.
If you just air fry them at a lower temperature, you will find the tops start to set before they have risen properly, forming tall peaks. Then the batter often bursts out because there is not enough space for the center of the muffins to rise properly. This can lead to strange-looking muffins, though they will still be delicious!
Store any uneaten muffins in an airtight container. They should last for 2-3 days at room temperature or 5-6 days in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze these muffins. Just place them in a freezer-safe airtight container and pop them in your freezer. They should last for up to three months.
Air Fryer Zucchini Muffins
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 medium zucchini shredded
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup soft brown sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- optional 1 cup chocolate chips/ chopped nuts
- Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl or large jug.
- Shred the zucchini and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the other wet ingredients and mix for 2-3 minutes until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed until just combined [Note 1].
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F/ 200°C.
- Scoop the muffin batter into muffin cases [Note 2]. Work in batches according to how many will fit in your air fryer in one go.
- Carefully place muffins into the air fryer basket [Note 3].
- Air fry muffins at 400°F/ 200°C for 4 minutes.
- When the cook time is up do not open the air fryer. Reduce the temperature to 320°F/ 160°C and air fry for an additional 14-16 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the air fryer and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- Don’t over-mix as this will give you overly dense chewy muffins. Some streaks of flour remaining is OK.
- If you want tall muffins with big tops like in my photo, then fill the muffin cases to the top (makes 8). For regular sized muffins, fill the muffin cases 3⁄4 full (makes 10).
- Paper muffin cases will spread during cooking, however you can reduce that by placing them inside silicon muffin cases, or just cooking your muffins direct in the silicone muffin cases (give them a quick spray with cooking oil before adding the batter).
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.