Zucchini is one of the most abundant fall vegetables here in the US. And zucchini bread is one of the most popular ways to use it up, especially when your garden produces an abundance of overgrown, deep green squash. While I don’t have a garden (just a few tomato plants on my patio), one of my associates at work has generously shared this years zucchini crop.
Quick breads often seem more like cake than bread, and I’m ok with that. Classic zucchini bread is so comforting and delicious! However, I wanted my zucchini bread to really stand apart, so I started baking. And baking. And baking. I don’t know how many loaves and muffins I’ve given away in my quest for the perfect bread, but it’s been a lot! However, it has been well worth it because I really do believe that this is the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had. It’s subtly sweet with just a hint of orange while still maintaining that classic zucchini bread flavor. If you like to drizzle yours with a sweet glaze, I’ve included directions for a quick orange glaze that perfectly compliments it. I hope it’s your new favorite!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
zest from 1 large orange
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts or unsalted pistachios (optional)
Orange Glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ teaspooon orange zest
Makes about 2 full-sized loaves, 4 mini-loaves, or about 24 muffins.
Prepare your loaf pan or muffin tins. I highly recommend using parchment if you’re making loaves because, for some reason, this bread seems to stick to my stoneware EVERY time if I don’t.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C)
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest off the orange being careful to get as little white pith as possible. Toss the orange peel and the granulated sugar into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulverize until the peel is very finely minced into the sugar. Set aside.
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla, brown sugar and orange sugar together. Add sifted ingredients to the wet mixture and beat will.
Stir in the zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40-60 for a loaf pan.
Bake approx 30 minutes for muffins.
Test doneness by inserting a toothpick or small tester into the middle. When it comes out clean, it’s done!
Allow bread to cool in pans for about 20 minutes (not necessary for muffins using liners), then turn them out and let it cool completely.
To prepare optional glaze: whisk sugar, orange juice and zest in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over bread.