So, I promised you a few days ago that I’d share the recipe that keeps me from getting sick of zucchini at times when my garden seems to be spitting it out faster than I can handle. Without further ado, here it is… Chocolate Zucchini Bread.
I got this recipe last year from my mother-in-law, after I subjected her to my complaints about the abundance of zucchini coming from my garden. When she first told me she had this recipe, she said something to the effect of, “I used to make this for the kids all the time, because it got them to eat zucchini and it just tastes like chocolate cake.” I was skeptical that anyone could pass off zucchini bread as chocolate cake, but figured even getting close would be worth giving it a try.
Now, I have to tell you something. I’ve pretty much won the mother-in-law lottery. You’ll never, ever find me in the middle of a “listen to what my husband’s mother did now,” type conversation- I would have nothing to add. She’s sweet, funny, doesn’t make comments about how clean (or rather, unclean) my house is, and treats me like I’ve always been part of her family. And she helps me to do impossible-sounding things (at least impossible-sounding to me) like start a backyard garden, tile our kitchen, and ultimately, make zucchini bread that tastes like chocolate cake. See? Mother-in-law lottery.
But just in case I wasn’t convinced at how awesome she was yet, this recipe would have sealed the deal. I hesitate to even call this bread, because it really is more like cake. It’s dense, chocolate-y, and impossibly moist. You can really only taste the zucchini if you know it’s there and it’s subtle enough that you really could pass this off as chocolate cake. If you bring this anywhere, it’ll be gone before you even know what happened. It’s just that good. Another sign that it’s delicious: I have given up making this in regular two loaf batches. This bread goes so fast that I find myself making it again days later. So now, every time I make it, I double the batch to make 4 loaves. I usually freeze two of the loaves, since they freeze so perfectly. Then, a week later, once we’ve finished the first two loaves (yes, it does happen that quickly), I pull another one out of the freezer. My personal favorite way to eat it is with a smear of cream cheese, but it is equally good frosted as a cake, or on its own as a tea cake.
I usually make loaves of this delicious bread, but I’ve also used this recipe to make muffins and a Bundt cake. It’s a really unfussy batter that pretty much bakes up perfectly no matter what vessel you use. This can be witnessed by my widely varied array of loaf pans. Seriously, who has four identical loaf pans? Not this girl.
So, here is the moral of the story. If you perhaps didn’t win the mother-in-law lottery, take heart! Make some chocolate zucchini bread, cut yourself a big old slice, and imagine your mother-in-law saying lovely things about your housekeeping….
Chocolate Zucchini Bread/Cake
If you object to using this much oil, I’ve often substituted applesauce for half of the oil. I wouldn’t really recommend substituting apple sauce for all the oil, though. The cake loses some of the moistness that makes it so delicious.
3 large eggs, beaten
½ cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 (or more) cups grated zucchini
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans (or one large Bundt pan).
Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Then mix the next five ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the flour and cocoa mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing gently. Add in the nuts, if you’re using them, and blend well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s), then bake for 45 to 1 hour. The amount of time you bake it will depend on the size of your loaf pans or if you’re using a Bundt. When the cake is done, a toothpick will come out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.