Zucchini Bread: Revisited

My mom went through a mischievous phase as a cook.

She would make delicious sweets and cakes and breads. You would admire the unusual richness of a cookie, the silky texture of a pudding. She’d wait for you to say: “This is sublime! What IS it?” Which, you would. Her treats were that astoundingly good.

Spritely, she would reply: “Sauerkraut Surprise!” Then you would realize that what you thought was coconut was, in fact, sour cabbage.

Her favorite sly recipe was her chocolate cake. This gateau was renowned the county over. It won local awards, it was frequently praised and often requested for gatherings. The family alone knew that there WAS indeed a secret ingredient that gave the cake its complex, unusual, almost nutty flavor. MAYONNAISE.

I wonder now if maybe her baking was a reaction to my picky eating habits. Now that I cook for, er, choosey eaters, she has my sympathy. Better late than never?

My favorite of all her roguish recipes was her zucchini bread. There were a lot of zucchinis at the market today, but the truth is I hate zucchinis in their usual guise. Still.

So I decided to recreate the classic in her honor: a sweet bread that, oddly, contains a vegetable.

Zucchini Bread, Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 (or 375, if you have an old, decrepit oven like me)

Beat eggs, stir in oil. Stir in sugar, vanilla extract and zucchini.

Slowly sift in the flour.

Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Last, add the chocolate chips.

Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Grease with butter (even if your pans are non-stick) two 8 x 4 loaf pans.

Cook for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the bread.

Did any of your family recipes growing up contain any unusual components? What were they? (If you are allowed to tell!)


Filed under Cooking the Classics, Traditions Revisited

14 responses to “Zucchini Bread: Revisited

  1. My mum’s sauerkraut contained sauerkraut – which when you think of it as what it is, i.e. rotten cabbage, is a rather unusual and eccentric thing to be serving up. Also rotten, fermented fish. I am a traitor to my northern European antecedents. Strangely enough, my mother didn’t hide vegetables in sweets, but she would try to hide vegetables in horrible sauces from packets. Even as a child I preferred the vegetable on its own!

  2. Oooh thank you for sharing this. I will definately try it! I love the idea that it’s a vegetable in the bread. I actually read this earlier and already picked up a few of the ingredients needed when out doing some errands. 🙂

  3. I have a chocolate cake recipe that has beets in it. It’s really, really good (and the beets actually make a nice color with the chocolate). My mom made zucchini bread a lot when i was growing up. I tried making some a few weeks ago when I got too much zucchini in my CSA, but i was a little alarmed at the amount of eggs and oil in it. It was still tasty, though. 🙂

  4. I love zucchini bread! The first time my mom made it, I was like, What? Zucchini? In a deliciously sweet bread?? I can’t think of any other sneaky foods she made, but my dad would make us try all kinds of things, like oyster stew and cow’s tongue!

  5. Since I had all the ingredients to make this, I couldn’t resist and made it last night. YUMMMMM!!!! Thank you so much for sharing, its seriously delicious!!

  6. Oooooooo I am going to have to try this recipe! I love zucchini, but never had the bread!

  7. Zucchini bread was a standard in my house growing up because there was SO.MUCH.ZUCCHINI in the summer … my dad great them to the size of baseball bats, just because he could. And my grandmother made it, too, as did half my neighbors … in fact, I’m always surprised when I find someone who’s never had it! 🙂

    Mayonnaise cake was a Southern thing, no? I have to go look that up now. I never made one, but I know that the mayonnaise makes cakes incredibly moist.


    • New Jersey and California seem to both have an overabundance of zucchini and tomatoes! I’ve heard New Jersey tomatoes are the best in the US?

      Interesting about the cake…my mom is from Montana, and I think her mom made the Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake. It does make the cake VERY moist (and kind of nutty). I may revisit it?

  8. Pingback: Confidence in the kitchen: fish recipes and a lovely sweet bread « marwil

  9. I love Zucchini bread, always have. My Nanny used to bake it all the time.

  10. Pingback: Do You Like Baked Treats? | Too Many Fish to Fry

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