Friday, July 20, 2012

Orange Scented Zucchini Bread

Usually zucchini bread doesn't thrill me. I'll have a slice if someone has a loaf lying around on the counter, but I've never had the urge to make it myself. With zucchini season upon us though, it seems like everyone is baking up loaves of zucchini bread. So, I decided to jump on the band wagon and make my own bread with the huge zucchinis we got in our weekly CSA box.

I looked at many recipes, but wanted something beyond the traditional zucchini bread but without making it to funky. I started with a highly rated recipe at (gotta love those reviews and tips) and with a few simple additions, I turned out one of the best zucchini breads I've ever tasted! What makes this zucchini bread so delicious? It's the addition of the crumbly streusel topping and a hint fresh orange zest in the batter.

This zucchini bread bakes up with a wonderfully dense, but fluffy texture and is super moist. I don't have bread loaf pans, so I baked mine in a bundt pan. It turned out amazing this way. So, you can use standard or mini loaf pans or a 12-cup bundt pan. You could probably bake these in muffin tins too and freeze some for later!

Here's the yummy orange scented batter loaded with zucchini and spices. It looks like your typical zucchini batter, but boy is it good!
The brown sugar and oat streusel topping elevates the zucchini bread from ho-hum to something truly special. 
If you're looking for a way to jazz up your zucchini bread, look no further than this orange and streusel version. It's really really good.

Orange Zucchini Bread 
Yields 2 standard loaves or 1 large Bundt.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
pinch nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil*
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups grated zucchini
zest of one orange, opt

Streusel Topping (see below)
Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans or one 12-cup bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, orange zest and sugars together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake bread for 15 minutes. Add streusel topping (I do this  at this point so the streusel mixture doesn't sink into the batter) and continue baking another 30 to 40 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. The bake time will vary for loaf pans vs a large bundt pan. 

Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool. I snuck a warm piece and it was heavenly!
Streusel Topping
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
a pinch of orange zest, opt
1/4 cup butter, but into cubes
Process above ingredients until completely combine (I did mine in a small food chopper). Sprinkle on Zucchini bread after 15 minutes of baking. This way the streusel forms a nice crunchy top and doesn’t sink into the bread. Be careful and be quick as you put on the streusel.
5 mini loaves: Bake 40 minutes
1 (12-cup) bundt pan: Bake 55 minutes (I covered the bundt and baked another 6-7 covered with foil. Perfect!)
2 Standard Loaf Pans: Bake 40-60 minutes. All ovens are different!
* Healthy Substitutions:
1 1/2 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1/2 oil and 1/2 applesauce instead of 1 cup oil
Add 1 cup fresh blueberries or 1 smashed banana


Honey said...

oh man this looks incredibly good and light and healthy. Delicious.

Sarah K said...

In the oven baking right now. The smell is heavenly. This is my second time making this. I could eat all day long!


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