Batter Up Zucchini Bread with Walnuts and Cherries

by Kelly on August 10, 2012   

Anybody else have a baseball bat-sized zuke in their garden? The little one is for scale…

It was so innocent looking, in its small pot, hanging out at the nursery. One little zucchini plant. I knew better than to buy two, but I was tempted. I remembered, though, making loaf after loaf of zucchini bread when my dad (briefly) had a garden that included the plant. One thing about zucchini — they give back. You can wander out in the morning with your coffee, poke through the prickly leaves and see a few adorable little squashes. By evening it seems like they’ve bulked up to giants! I’ve gotten out my old recipe and with a few changes and adaptations have, well, one delicious solution to zucchini invasion.

One of my zucchini loaves has, in addition to walnuts, dried bing cherries in it (one member of the family doesn’t like them), but that’s optional. Raisins are nice, and pecans work well, too.

So moist and delicious — try it with cream cheese!

Now when you go out with your coffee to check on the garden, you can take a piece of zucchini bread with you!

Zucchini Bread with Walnuts and Cherries | makes 2 loaves

I like this recipe because you don’t even need a mixer, just a whisk.

3 eggs
1 cup neutral oil, like canola, safflower, grapeseed or sunflower
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 heaping cups shredded zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
1 cup dried cherries, raisins, cranberries, or other chopped dried fruit (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and lightly flour 2 bread 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 bread pans (standard 1 pound loaf pans).

You will see from the flour coating if you’ve missed a spot

In a bowl, whisk the eggs together, add the oil and beat until well combined. Add the sugars and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in the shredded zucchini.

If your zucchini is extra large, cut out the seedy center

No need to peel the zucchini

Stir in the shredded zucchini

Combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Blend together with a dry whisk or fork.

Combining the dry ingredients beforehand avoids a pocket of unmixed baking powder or soda

Add the dry ingredients to the egg/zucchini mixture and stir until combined. Don’t overmix.

To keep a tender crumb, just stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened

Stir in the walnuts and cherries.

I added half the cherries to half the batter — so only one loaf had cherries

Divide into the two prepared loaf pans and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on racks and serve warm or room temperature.
And it’s batter up!
Kelly McCune © 2012
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