Snacks

Apple Zucchini Bread

One Friday evening,  a few years ago when I had moved back to my parents’ house for a while, I was starving after a mentally exhausting math class (no surprise I’m a right brain, right?). On the kitchen counter, I saw a pan of some sweet bread that looked amazing, soft and moist, and smelled like cinnamon. I have a real love affair with cinnamon. It’s so warm and spicy and comforting. I love fall baking because I can put cinnamon in everything, a lot of cinnamon, and no one will be upset about it.

So I saw this delicious-looking baked good on the counter that smelled intensely of cinnamon and didn’t have a ‘Not for Emily’ note on it. I cut myself a massive piece and nommed my heart out. It had cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, and a texture that I couldn’t quite place. When my mom came home she told me that it was zucchini bread that she had gotten from a friend and didn’t like. After I stopped gaping at her in disbelief that she wouldn’t want something so damn tasty, I asked her if her friend would mind giving me the recipe. She was kind enough to give it to me, and since then I’ve changed it and added to it to make it my own.

Since then, I have loved making zucchini bread. It’s a great after school/work snack, and its great to bring to group events like potlucks or housewarming parties. My recipe is super easy, the hardest part is grating the zucchini – great arm workout though. I’ve taken to baking a pan almost every Sunday so that we can eat it throughout the week. It’s sweet, moist, and quite filling. I’ll eat a piece when I get home from work at 4:30 and be good to go until we start cooking dinner around 7. 

This recipe starts with grating 2 medium sized zucchini. Seriously, just cut off the stems and grate like mad. There will be a lot of water when the zucchini is grated. Save it! It helps make the bread incredibly moist and soft!

In a separate bowl, I mixed eggs, vanilla and cinnamon with white and brown sugar. After those were fully mixed, I added a cup of olive oil. I gently and slowly whisked the oil in so that I didn’t have oil spilling over the sides of the mixing bowl. It will take more than just a few stirs to get the oil fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, I whisked flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnmon and salt together. I like to use whole wheat flour in this recipe because it gives the bread a more complex flavor and texture. When the dry ingredients were well mixed, I stirred in the wet ingredients. Then I added the zucchini, water and all. 

I decided last time around that I wanted to add something to the bread to give it more texture and an extra flavor for some depth. What goes well with cinnamon? Apples! It’s fall, after all. So, I chose to dice a Honeycrisp apple and fold it into the batter. I used Honeycrisp because it’s a sweet apple, not very tart or sour. I didn’t want to use a sour apple and take away from the warm flavor of the cinnamon. You could also throw in some walnuts into the batter for extra texture.
After I folded the apples into the batter, I poured it all into a large, well greased baking dish and baked it for 1 hour. When the top was firm and a lovely dark golden color, I pulled it out of the oven and let it cool for an hour in the pan. The bread was super moist and the apples had cooked perfectly. They were a nice difference in texture from the soft bread. Sweet and bright against the warm cinnamon flavor. 
 
This zucchini bread has never gotten a bad review! I’ve brought it to potlucks, housewarming parties, and for general thank-yous. When I worked my first assignment as a temp last year, I brought this bread in on the last morning of my assignment as a thank you to the wonderful ladies I’d worked with on that team. I hope that you get rave reviews for this bread at any occasions that you bring it to! 
 
Recipe for Apple-Zucchini Bread:
 
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini
1 large Honeycrisp apple, small diced
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
 
Sift dry ingredients together in medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugars, & vanilla together. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until well blended. (Batter will be very thick)

 

Using a large sturdy spoon, add zucchini & mix well. Add nuts if desired. Pour batter into a large, well-greased loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 1 hour after baking. 
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