Summer is flying by, and I’m already struggling to keep up! In just over a month, I’ll have been working full time for a year. It’s been over a year since I graduated college, and more than 6 months since I dreamed up this little blog as a way to track my favorite recipes and share them with all of you! And with the inrush of summer comes a swath of fresh and delicious produce to bake and cook with. One of my favorite summer veggies is Zucchini – I’ve been obsessed with “zucchini boat” dinner recipes lately.
Today, I’m sharing a family recipe I received years ago from a family member in West Virginia. I call her my aunt, even though I’m pretty sure she’s a first cousin once removed. When you have a family as small as mine, sometimes the proper terminology gets lost in translation! She and my “uncle” aren’t farmers, but their garden is essentially the size of a small subdivision. It was here that I was asked to help pick zucchinis, and rewarded with a loaf of fresh bread to bring home. After my first taste of this zucchini bread, I begged my aunt for the recipe until she finally relented. Ever since, this family recipe has been one of my most requested and most beloved baking staples. It’s perfect for breakfast or dessert, and can be eaten plain or slathered with butter (this is my personal preference, because of course butter makes everything better).
To begin this easy recipe, lightly beat 3 large eggs in a large bowl. Add in 1 cup of vegetable oil, 2 cups of sugar, and 3 teaspoons of vanilla. Grate the zucchini using a medium shred with a handy dandy box grater (or whatever grating mechanism you happen to have). I always buy more zucchini than I think I need, but it’s easy to use up the leftovers by sautéing them as a side with dinner!
To get two cups of grated zucchini usually takes about one large or two medium zucchini. Add the zucchini directly to the wet ingredients (do not pat dry or otherwise attempt to squeeze the moisture out!) and stir to combine. Set this bowl aside.
In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon each salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Whisk these ingredients together, and then add to the wet ingredients. It’s best to do this in 2 or 3 installments. You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or a rubber spatula to do the mixing, as this batter comes together fairly easily.
Once combined, pour into two prepared bread tins. I prefer to spray mine with non-stick spray, and then line them with parchment paper. This way, when the bread comes out of the oven, I can quickly remove the loaves from the pans and they can begin the cooling process right away.
Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes to one hour. I prefer to set my timer for 40 minutes, and then check the bread with a toothpick at 5 minute intervals until the toothpick comes out clean. In my oven, the loaves are perfectly cooked after 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and pans and place the loaves on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled enough to handle, slice them up and enjoy! This bread is delicious warm or at room temperature, and great with butter or just plain! I hope you try out this family recipe soon and let me know how you like it, so I can pass along the love to my aunt Cindy!
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 medium or 1 large zucchini
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare two bread tins by spraying them with non-stick spray and lining them with parchment paper.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, sugar, and vanilla.
- Use a medium grate to shred the zucchini. Two cups is roughly one large or two medium zucchini. Do not pat the zucchini dry or otherwise attempt to remove the moisture. Add directly to the wet ingredients, and stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk with a fork to combine.
- In two or three additions, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix by hand or with your favorite mixer until there are no more visible lumps of flour in the batter. This will only take a few minutes.
- Pour the batter into the two prepared bread pans, and bake for 45-60 minutes. I recommend setting a timer for 40 minutes, then checking doneness with a toothpick at 5 minute intervals. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Remove from pans and allow to cool on wire racks. When cooled, slice and enjoy warm, either plain or with butter!
- When wrapped in aluminum foil or kept in an airtight container, loaves will keep at room temperature for about a week. Perfect for a busy morning breakfast!