My parents used to joke that there was no need to lock the doors of your car in our small rural town, except for late summer. In late summer people started locking their cars so that other people wouldn’t sneak zucchini into their backseats during church.
And they were only half kidding.
So when the summer garden hands you zucchini . . . make this delicious zucchini bread. With its cinnamon streusel topping, this golden brown version is more like a coffee cake– if coffee cake were stuffed with hidden vegetables. Score.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this.
Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon Streusel Topping
(adapted from Allrecipes.com)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 1/2-3 cups grated zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
1 cup add-ins, if desired (raisins, chocolate chips, walnuts, etc)
Cinnamon Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Turbinado sugar (also called “Sugar in the Raw”)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Add in flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix slowly, just until combined. Stir in shredded zucchini and add-ins, if desired. Place in greased mini loaf pans (fill about 1/2 full) and top with streusel topping (just mix streusel ingredients together to make topping). Bake loaves at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until loaves spring back when touched. They may not give the “clean toothpick” test, due to the streusel’s moisture, but the spring back test will let you know when they’re done– there shouldn’t be any loose batter in the middle. Cover loaves with foil toward end of baking if topping begins to get too brown. Cool on racks before cutting.
Now, in pictures!
Ahhhh, beautiful zucchini. You are packed with vitamins and slim on calories. You make my zucchini bread nice and moist, without packing on the pounds. And almost every day you show your cheery face in the garden. Gosh, you’re nice. 🙂
The great thing about zucchini is that you don’t have to peel it to use it. Just wash the zucchini under clean water, cut off the ends, and shred it with a food processor. Yep– skin and all.
It looks like one heck of a bad hair day, but it will taste like delicious glory here, in a little while.
Next, mix together your eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla. If you want to be especially healthy, substitute some or all of your oil with unsweetened applesauce. You’re so sneaky, getting your kids to eat fruit and vegetables by hiding them in CAKE. Nice.
Then add in your flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Start mixing slowly so that you don’t get baptized with flour 😉 Don’t overstir– just slowly mix until everything is combined. The batter will be very thick– but don’t worry, because the moisture in the zucchini will make the bread just right.
Next, take your bowl off the mixer and stir in the shredded zucchini and add-ins, if you want them. I chose not to add anything besides the zucchini, and it was delicious just like that. You can use 2 1/2-3 cups of zucchini– no need to split hairs, here– if you have a little extra, just throw it in. The more the merrier. 🙂 I used about 2 small zucchinis and got about 3ish cups out of them. You can also freeze shredded zucchini in pre-measured amounts and whip it out to make zucchini bread in the middle of winter. Just thaw it and add, moisture and all, to the recipe. Just don’t forget to label your bags so you’re not squinting in the light of that one teensy bulb from the freezer trying to figure out if you have zucchini, broccoli, or Aunt Mabel’s green smoothie surprise (bleck). Just label your stuff. It’s safer that way. (*Aunt Mabel, it was an accident! I thawed your fantastic smoothie surprise, thinking (innocently!) that it was zucchini, and then I had to throw it out!*). Just kidding. Although . . . Hehe. 😉
Next, let’s make the streusel. This part is super easy– mix together your streusel ingredients and stir. Done. Don’t you wish life were always that easy?
I like to make these little beauties in mini loaf pans (mine are about 6×3 inches), because that seems to be the perfect size for sharing with friends. 🙂 I get 6 mini loaves out of this recipe. You can also use 8×4 loaf pans or even make zucchini muffins. Any way you do it, they’ll be delish 🙂 I also love to use cookie scoops for portioning (my favorite are these, here). That way, each loaf (or muffin) comes out exactly the same size, because they have the same amount of scoops per loaf. Sweet.
Divide the streusel topping evenly over the loaves. It will sink down a little bit into the batter, and that’s OK. It will make your crust oh-so-sparkly and delicious.
Bake the loaves at 325 for 40-45 minutes, until the loaf kind of “springs back” when you touch it. I find that the toothpick test doesn’t work as well for this bread, because the streusel is sticky and makes the toothpick look damp even when the bread, itself, is done. I have better luck gently pressing the loaf with my finger– you just want it to be solid, with no liquidy batter in the center. Every oven is different, so keep an eye on these little beauties so they don’t get a sunburn. 😉 If the streusel starts to get too brown, cover the pans with foil so that they can finish baking in the middle without getting too brown on top.
While these loaves are baking, your entire house will smell like 1,000 grandmothers are baking up magic in your kitchen. Take a deep, appreciative whiff. Oh my goodness. It seriously smells AMAZING. It’s like 40 minutes of the best air freshener you’ve ever had, and the smell of autumn glory and cinnamon will waft through your house for hours, afterward. I actually woke up the next morning after I made this, and I caught a lingering whiff of magic in the air. It was awesome.
Let the loaves cool on a cooling rack and then wrap them in pretty paper and tie with a festive ribbon. Who cares if it isn’t a holiday– every day is a good day to share delicious, cinnamon-topped bread with your friends. Maybe take a loaf of bread to a neighbor or to an exhausted new mom. Share a cup of tea and a few slices of this bread. And just listen. Sometimes food feeds the soul, as well as the body.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which just means that we get a few pennies if you purchase through our link. I never recommend products that I don't personally use and love. Thanks!