I used to hate zucchini. When my grandpa brought us the occasional mini loaf of zucchini bread from the Emmaus Bakery, this vegetable tasted a little better masked by all the sugar, but I still hoped for the cinnamon bread with doughy crust and gooey swirls instead of this mediocre vegetable loaf.
As I matured into high school and beyond, my taste buds matured too. Suddenly, I loved tons of different vegetables that I never liked before. Zucchini was one of them and with that came a curiosity to retry zucchini bread too.
I decided that I might like it a lot better if I made it from scratch instead of purchasing it from a bakery. So I began my quest for the perfect zucchini bread recipe and after a couple disappointing ones, I stumbled upon one from the Baking Bites blog and decided this was pretty darn close to the one I had been searching for.
Moist and lightly spiced, I also enhanced this recipe by reducing the sugar (as usual), as well as adding in some toasted chopped pecans and some unsweetened coconut. The first time I made this, I added the suggested orange zest, but after not being able to detect it in the bread, I removed this ingredient the second time around.
This recipe makes two loaf breads, but is also wonderful turned into muffins. So choose whichever you like better, or a combination of both!
I also love how this recipe uses sour cream to substitute for some of the fat content (oil), and simultaneously helps moisten the texture, therefore producing a healthier bread.
This is the perfect breakfast item to make right now since we’re smack in the middle of zucchini season and they are abundant at local farmer’s markets. So you’re supporting your local farmers while treating yourself to a delicious treat!
Zucchini Bread (and/or Muffins)
Yield: 2 loaf pans, or 1 loaf pan and 10 muffins, or 22 muffins
2 1/4 C flour
2 t cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
scant 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 C canola oil
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 t vanilla
1/2 C sour cream- light or regular both work
3 C grated zucchini with some of liquid squeezed out- about 2 medium zucchinis
grated zest from one large orange
generous 1/2 C chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 C unsweetened coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans and/or place paper liners in muffin cups and set aside.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla for about 30 seconds. Add sour cream and optional orange zest and beat to combine. Mix in zucchini.
4. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Then, gently add pecans and coconut if using.
5. Divide batter between pans. Bake loaves for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean (this time could vary A LOT because in the original recipe it said to bake loaves for 50 to 60 minutes, so it really depends on your oven; just check it periodically and cover with tin foil and poke hole if uneven baking occurs). Muffins are done in about 15 minutes (in my oven).
6. Cool for at least 10 minutes in loaf pans on wire rack before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins can be removed right away and be placed on wire rack to cool.
Adapted from Our Best Bites