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Orange Zucchini Cookies – Moist, sweet and delicious! You’d never guess these cookies have zucchini inside!

I’ve been dreaming about these delicious Orange Zucchini Cookies ever since last summer!

My husband Jack originally made these light and perfectly sweet cookies as a test batch when our garden was overflowing with zucchini. They were so good – we ate them all before we had a chance to photograph them to share here on A Family Feast.

Orange Zucchini Cookies – Moist, sweet and delicious! You’d never guess these cookies have zucchini inside!

So a year later – I was so excited to find Jack baking up a batch of these cookies earlier this week. And – they were even better than I remembered!

These Orange Zucchini cookies are an adaptation from a cookie recipe we found in my mother’s old recipe box. Originally these were orange and carrot cookies – but Jack swapped in zucchini for the carrots and tweaked the other batter ingredients a bit as well since the zucchini has more moisture.

Orange Zucchini Cookies – Moist, sweet and delicious! You’d never guess these cookies have zucchini inside!

These soft, sweet cookies have wonderful orange and walnut flavors with a crunchy sugar topping – and really, you’d never guess that there is shredded zucchini in them if you didn’t see the tell-tale green flecks from the skin in the batter! They are addictively delicious, and I predict these Orange Zucchini Cookies will become your new summer favorite!

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Orange Zucchini Cookies - A Family Feast

Orange Zucchini Cookies

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 14 mins
  • Total Time: 29 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • Zest from one large naval orange
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons Demarara or Turbinado Sugar


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat shortening and sugar together until well mixed. Add zucchini, zest, extract and egg and beat just until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder and mix into wet and beat on low speed just until mixture is blended.
  3. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chopped nuts by hand.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Lay out three sheet pans and cover with parchment paper
  6. Using a number 40 cookie scoop or by spoonful’s, drop cookies onto prepared pans, ten per pan, total 30 cookies.
  7. With wet fingertips, press each cookie down slightly to form a disk and sprinkle the raw sugar over the tops of each cookie.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes until done. Bottoms should be slightly brown and the tops will be light in color and slightly springy when touched.
  9. Cool on racks.

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

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  • Janet Gomes wrote:

    What is Demerara sugar.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Janet – It’s a coarse, crunchy brown sugar that adds a nice sparkle and crunch in toppings of baked goods. Many supermarkets sell it these days in the baking section – or you can find it on Amazon:

  • Joyce Nutzmann wrote:

    Made these cookies today and they are very nice. My only problem was the batter was so moist and my cookies are not puffed up like yours are, mine are more flat but they still taste great. Since I did not have orange extract I did a combination of vanilla & almond and then since there was not enough orange for me I made a glaze for the top with orange juice and powdered sugar.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for writing to us Joyce! I don’t know for sure if this was the issue but if you make the recipe again perhaps try squeezing any excess liquid from the zucchini? That might remove some of the moisture. Hope that helps!

  • Carmen wrote:

    I have found and cooked so many of the recipes and I believe they’ve ALL been added to my “favs” list

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Carmen! So glad you are enjoying our recipes! Thank you for taking the time to write to us today.

  • Jane wrote:

    Any other extract you can use if you don’t have orange?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jane – You could add vanilla and then maybe increase the orange zest. The flavor won’t be as intense but it will still be delicious!

  • Medeja wrote:

    Orange and zucchini sound like interesting combination especially in cookies.

    • Martha wrote:

      It’s delicious Medeja! Hope you’ll try the recipe! 🙂

  • Deborah wrote:

    Hi, these sound great! Question…. can you use butter or coconut oil instead of the shortening?

    • Martha wrote:

      I just did a Google search and to substitute solid coconut oil you would only use 3/4 cup of coconut oil to the 1 cup shortening. For butter you would need to use 1 1/4 cups since butter has less fat than shortening. You’ll also need to consider that the melting points for each all vary so your baking time may be different and the finished texture of the cookies will also be different. If you want them to come out as pictured we’d recommend using the shortening as written in the recipe.

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