I have not yet posted my zucchini bread recipe, even though it is a family favorite, because it seems very ordinary. It is very easy to make. Doesn’t everyone make zucchini bread? If not, they should.
I remember the first time I had zucchini bread. It was (…wait for it) in St. Louis, in the mid 80’s, in a little deli on the corner of Pershing and Jackson. I saw this thick, dark, lush looking bread with little green flecks in it. Zucchini bread!!! I was stunned. I imagined, somehow, that it was healthy. I felt virtuous eating it, and yet it was so delicious. I remember thinking that it was rather mysterious, but now, of course, I realize that it’s really just cake with zucchini in it. But still, oh so delicious.
I can’t remember when I started making this bread, but I looked around for a recipe, and found one that looked simple and easy, and that got good reviews. I have never felt the need to find a better recipe.
I found the recipe on allrecipes.com. All of my tweaks, which are pretty basic, are in parentheses, but it is delicious as originally written. And a note about zucchini bread – it is much better the second day, or third day. This last time I made it, I put a bunch of dried fruit and walnuts in it, as I was making it for a friend, and that’s how she likes it. But it’s not how we like it at our house. We like straight up zucchini bread, maybe with walnuts. One half of our household likes walnuts.
So this time, I was so curious about the fruit and nut version that I couldn’t wait until it had cooled completely. I sliced into one of the loaves and had a piece – I did not like it. But oddly, the next day, it tasted delicious. All of the flavors had mingled, and it was perfect. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still a plain-Jane-zucchini-bread kind of gal, and I do occasionally like walnuts in it.
But I was surprised at how yummy the fruit and nut version was the next day. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: this recipe is very versatile. Add whatever you like. It is the perfect baseline for your favorite zucchini bread. And be patient and wait until the next day to enjoy it, or at least wait until it has cooled completely. Several hours please!
(Ever so slightly adapted from Mom’s Zucchini Bread)
- 3 cups (13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour (or 2 cups all-purpose plus 1 cup whole wheat)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup apple sauce and 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (or 1 1/2 cups granulated and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
- 3 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups grated zucchini (or three cups, or even a bit more)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Butter and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans (mine are glass, 8.5 x 4.5)
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Whisk together flour, salt baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and sugars together. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack. Make sure bread is completely cool before serving. It’s even better the next day.