One of my favorite homemade breads is zucchini bread, especially when it involves chocolate! I prefer to keep my bread in the fridge because it’s so moist and dense. I spread a little butter on top and proceed to eat the entire loaf.
When the snow melts and mud season comes to an end (Editor’s note: Mud season is a Vermont thing. You’re not crazy, no one knows what it is), my dad is outside preparing his garden for summer vegetables. He plants a variety of vegetables (they usually get eaten by rabbits and deer), but the one thing that usually seems to produce the largest crop is his zucchini. They are some of the largest zucchinis I have ever seen. When the crops are good, my dad bakes dozens and dozens of Zucchini breads. He likes to experiment with different flours, cocoa powders and other additives. Then he freezes the loaves to enjoy them throughout the year, or better yet, he ships them off to my siblings and me!
I decided to take my dad’s Zucchini bread recipe and add even more chocolate to it. So I made a chocolate streusel to put on top! I made some muffins and a loaf of bread to put in the freezer for later. We ate 3 or 4 of the muffins immediately out of the oven.
Recipe makes enough for 2 regular sized loafs, or 1 loaf and 12 muffins.
3 C Shredded zucchini (about 3-4 medium sized)
2 C Sugar
1 C Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp Pure maple syrup
3 C All-purpose flour
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 C walnuts (optional) (Editor’s note: skip nuts)
3/4 C Chocolate Chips (optional)
1/2 C All-purpose flour
1/3 C Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp (heaping) Unsweetened Cocoa powder
3 tbsp Butter, softened to room temperature
- Wash and peel zucchini (core out seeds if necessary). Use a cheese grater to finely shred zucchini. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
- In a separate large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until light and foamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add sugar, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
- Use a wooden spoon to fold in zucchini. Proceed to slowly add dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until combined, being careful not to over mix. Lastly, fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
- To make the streusel topping, combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and use a pastry cutter or a fork to blend the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. There should be no large chunks of butter remaining.
For muffins preheat oven to 425°. Fill lined muffin pan completely full; yes all the way to the top of the liner! Generously spoon streusel mixer on top and spread with a spoon. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes then reduce temperature to 350°. Bake at 350° for another 13-15 minutes until done. You can check for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the center of the muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done. Allow muffins to cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack.
* This is a trick I learned from Sally’s Baking addiction. Heating the oven to a higher temperature and baking for 5 minutes will help the muffins to rise and create a nice dome! I was worried at first about filling the muffins tin to the top but it totally works! Thanks for the tip, Sally!
To make Zucchini bread, generously grease and flour loaf pan (glass or aluminum). Fill bottom half of pan with batter, add a layer of streusel crumbs and top with remaining batter. Pour remaining streusel crumbs on top. Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes. Baking time will vary greatly by the amount of batter in the loaf pans. I usually set my timer for 20-25 minutes and check my bread by turning on the oven light. I then set my timer for 15 minutes to come back and check. I continue to do this in 5-10 minute increments until my bread is done to make sure I don’t overcook it. Cool completely before removing from pans.
Either way you make this, you will be eating this by the muffin full! Excuse the editors notes above, he’s from California, there are no seasons here.