I made my first loaf of quick bread when I was seven years old (under very close supervision from my mother). It was from the back of a children’s book called Cranberry Christmas and it quickly became a holiday tradition (I still make it, with just a few alternations to this day).
Twenty plus years later, quick breads are still one of my favorite things to bake (I have several beloved banana bread recipes, as well as that delicious yogurt loaf). This time of year, when the zucchini plants threaten to take over garden plots and summer squash can be gotten for pennies, the quick bread is most decidedly a good friend to the gardener and cook. This recipe is easy to stir together, makes quick work of a nice-sized zucchini and is amazingly moist. It’s also fairly healthy, packed with whole grains and containing just one stick of butter between the two loaves.
One thing to keep in mind when making this bread. It’s not a super sweet loaf, and I’ve made it that way by design. I like to eat it for breakfast, and at that time of the day, I don’t want to be eating cake. However, if you want a more assertively sweet flavor, I’d add another 1/2 cup of sucanat or sugar (or just spread your slice with a bit of peach or apricot jam).
Go forth and bake!
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 cup sucanat (an unrefined cane sugar)
- 1/2 cup applesauce*
- 3 eggs, beaten well
- 2 1/2 cups packed grated zucchini (about one medium or two small zucchini)**
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts (optional, but adds protein and deliciousness)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans (you can also make these as muffins, the recipe will make 24).
- Cream butter and sugar together (I do this in a stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer or just a wooden spoon). Add in applesauce, beaten eggs, grated zucchini and vanilla and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and then stir them into the wet ingredients in three batches.
- Add in the nuts and stir to incorporate.
- Divide between the two loaf pans and bake for 45-50 minutes****, until a skewer comes out clean and the tops are nice and brown. It is good plain, or toasted and spread with butter and jam.
*I make and freeze applesauce in 1/2 cup portions each fall. However, if you don’t think ahead like that, those little prepackaged applesauce cups that you buy for school lunches are the perfect amount for this recipe.
**When I can’t take any more zucchini during the summer, I grate them, measure out it into 2+ cup portions and freeze it in ziptop bags. That way I can make this bread into the fall and winter, when I’m not so squashed out.
***If this recipe seems slightly familiar to you, it’s because I posted it in muffin format to Slashfood two years ago.
****A reader/friend from college made these as muffins recently and reported back that they baked up perfectly in 20 minutes.