These Almond-Scented Zucchini Muffins are sweetly aromatic thanks to a secret ingredient: mahlab!
Most often I find that zucchini bread is warmly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s a lovely flavor pairing that just works.
Growing up we had a neighbor who was the best baker (quite possibly in the history of baking), and she did something completely different with her zucchini bread.
She left out the cinnamon altogether and instead flavored her zucchini bread with almond extract!
I know it sounds sacrilegious to skip the cinnamon, but I’m telling you, it also works! Plus it’s fun to switch things up from the ordinary a little, isn’t it?
Here in addition to almond extract I also added a little touch of mahlab, which is the seed kernel from St Lucie Cherry pits. It’s ground into a very aromatic spice, and to me, is reminiscent of a cross between almonds and cherries. I find that it enhances baked goods with a really lovely aroma and subtle flavor that’s hard to pin down exactly (unless you take a look at the ingredient list).
The holidays are right around the corner and if you have company staying with you, try these for brunch one morning. They’re the perfect option for people who want to keep things lighter without sacrificing flavor.
- 1 ¼ cups (140 g) almond meal
- ½ cup (75 g) coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon mahlab (optional)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or avocado oil or light olive oil)
- 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 medium-large (300 g) zucchini, shredded (about 2 cups shredded)
- Preheat the oven to 375F; line a muffin tray with 9 paper liners.
- Whisk together the almond meal, coconut sugar, arrowroot starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and mahlab (if using) in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the eggs, oil, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry being careful not to over-mix, and then fold in the zucchini.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tray and bake until a wooden pick inserted inside comes out clean, about 20 minutes.