Glazed Orange Zucchini Bread

Orange Zucchini Bread

Because I think it would be a travesty in this time of prolific zucchini growth to only have one tried-and-true zucchini bread recipe in which to use the humble green veggie, I’ve got your back today with a unique and absolutely delicious variation on zucchini bread that will make you wish you had 13 zucchini plants in your garden.

I happened to plant the worst garden of my life this year.

Thanks to living in a new house/location and misjudging our soil quite badly, we, as in the garden, got overrun with a ferocious weedy ground cover (I need to consult my book of Idaho’s Noxious Weeds my neighbor left on my doorstep; is that a bad sign?) that literally sprang up overnight and choked out all of our budding produce.

It’s been very sad. And all the wasted growth is now being eaten by two pigmy goats we are babysitting (and who incidentally have escaped their pen a bazillion times which leads me to life lesson learned #43: chasing goats is my least favorite activity in the history of ever).

All I’m really trying to say, goats and bad gardening aside, is that I’m literally begging produce off my friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and yes, even strangers. I’m not above that.

Orange Zucchini Bread

It should speak volumes that since I may be the only person hoarding zucchini when everyone else has it coming out their ears, I’d gladly give up one of the green beauties for this glazed orange zucchini bread.

That hint of orange, enhanced with a yummy glaze, is perfect for an otherwise fairly classic, moist zucchini bread recipe.

My Aunt Laurie’s been making this bread for years (she adds coconut which is delicious, too, but optional if it’s not your thing) and it’s no wonder people clamor for the recipe.

Since I can’t leave well enough alone, I adapted the guts out of it – using a bit less sugar, experimenting with whole wheat flour, adding in applesauce to compensate for oil, and changing up a few other things here and there.

And it’s fabulous. That’s all.

In case you have zucchini on your brain (and coming out your ears), my zucchini Pinterest board has some shockingly good inspiration. Go get ’em.

One Year Ago: Epicurean Chicken Salad with Creamy Honey Lime Dressing
Two Years Ago: Fire Roasted Mac and Cheese with Feta
Three Years Ago: Summer Couscous Salad

Glazed Orange Zucchini Bread

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Ingredients:

Bread:

  • Zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups (9.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (see note for substitutions)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups lightly packed shredded zucchini (about 10 ounces)
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose or white wheat flour (or a combination – see note)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (3.5 ounces) coconut (optional)

Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch pans and line the bottoms with parchment (optional but helps the bread not stick as much).
  2. In a large bowl, rub the orange zest into the sugar with your fingers until it is fragrant and combined. Add the eggs, coconut oil, applesauce and vanilla and stir until combined. Stir in the zucchini. Add the flour, salt, soda, baking powder and coconut, if using, and mix until just combined.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pans for 10 minutes. While it cools, make the glaze by combining the coconut oil or butter and orange juice and heating on the stovetop or in the microwave until the coconut oil/butter is melted (don’t overheat the mixture). Whisk in the powdered sugar, adding more if you want the glaze sweeter and thicker.
  4. Spoon the glaze over the warm loaves and let the bread rest for 5-10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Notes:

You can sub several different things for the coconut oil (melted butter or a flavorless oil like canola or vegetable). The applesauce is in the recipe to compensate for oil – if you don’t have it, you can sub it with the same amount of oil (so it would be 1 cup oil total in the recipe). I’ve made this bread with 100% all-purpose flour, 100% white wheat flour and a combination. My favorite is half unbleached all-purpose flour and half white wheat flour. As written, the glaze is lightly sweet and fairly thin. If you want it sweeter/thicker, simply add more powdered sugar.

Also, the recipe makes two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaves but they aren’t super tall – you could play around with adding the batter to a larger 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan (or maybe that size of pan + a mini) if you want a higher loaf.

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Recipe Source: adapted from my Aunt Laurie (after a kind reader, Kira, emailed it to me saying she couldn’t believe I hadn’t made it yet since it is a family recipe!)