Zucchini, Parmesan & Basil Muffins

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Prep 15min (+ 5min standing time)Bake 25min-30minMakes about 12

Savoury muffins are a great alternative to the sweet ones, especially when served as a snack or instead of bread alongside soup or salad. The zucchini in these makes them lovely and moist while adding substance.


Light olive oil or sunflower oil, to grease (optional)
150g (1 cup) plain flour
150g (1 cup) wholemeal plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
70g (⅔ cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
65g (⅔ cup) coarsely grated vintage cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped basil leaves
185ml (¾ cup) buttermilk
80ml (⅓ cup) light olive oil or sunflower oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 zucchini (about 100g each) ends trimmed, coarsely grated
40g (¼ cup) pine nuts, to scatter
Cayenne pepper, to sprinkle


    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole 80ml (⅓ cup) capacity muffin tin with paper cases or grease with a little vegetable oil.
    2. Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, returning any husks left in the sieve to the bowl. Season well with pepper and then gently stir in the parmesan, cheddar and basil. Make a well in the centre.
    3. Use a fork to whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil and eggs in a bowl. Add the zucchini and mix to combine. Add to the flour mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until just combined. (Don’t overmix – the batter should still be a little lumpy.)
    4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin holes, dividing evenly. Scatter over the pine nuts and sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes or until the muffins are golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Baker's Tips

    • These muffins are best eaten the day they are baked, however they freeze well – wrap individually in plastic wrap and then seal in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

    Photography by Alan Benson.