About this recipe:Zucchini bread is an American staple which is not (yet!) appreciated in Britain. "Yuck, courgettes in bread?" I hear you cry; but you like carrot cake, right? This is a ‘quick bread’ (sweet & non-yeasted) just like banana bread, which can be made from this recipe as well (see Tip). With courgettes or bananas, it's a delicious dairy-free treat.
50g soft dark brown sugar (for a richer taste, incorporate some dark muscavado or molasses sugar; no more than half, though)
100g soft light brown sugar (golden granulated/caster will do)
50g chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg
375g courgettes [zucchini] – scrubbed but don’t peel; topped/tailed before weighing
2 large eggs (they should total 130g – 140g when weighed in their shells)
80ml (75g if weighing) vegetable oil, plus additional oil for greasing tin
1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest only
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Preheat your oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Very lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 2-lb loaf tin, and line the bottom with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugars, nuts, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a fork. Break up any clumps of sugar as you go.
Grate the courgettes into a bowl lined with kitchen paper. Squeeze out the excess liquid and discard the paper.
In another bowl beat the eggs manually, then stir in the oil, grated courgettes, and lemon zest until well combined.
Fold the eggs and grated courgette into the dry ingredients JUST until fully moistened. Over-working will create a tough, close-textured loaf, so be gentle. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top.
Bake for up to 1 hour, turning the tin halfway through for even baking, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the tin to cool on a cooling rack for 5 – 10 minutes before turning out (use a palette knife if necessary to loosen the sides of the loaf from the tin).
**For banana bread:** Simply substitute the same weight of peeled bananas for the courgettes (the riper the better – you want REALLY brown skins before you peel), about 3, and mashed well. I also add more ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and a touch of ground ginger, when making this recipe with bananas.