Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chocolate honey zucchini bread

We're on the tail end of having fresh zucchini available, so I thought it would be timely to make this delicious treat one last time before moving on to pumpkins and pears and cranberries. I stumbled upon this recipe through Penzey's Spices. And though it is truly a muffin mix, I decided to use two loaf pans today instead. I find that most muffin and quick bread recipes are interchangeable, it's simply a matter of adjusting the baking time.

Here's what you need to get started:

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup honey
3 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tblsp. flaxseed (optional)
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
raw sugar for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

I lined the two loaf pans with parchment paper. If you don't have parchment paper in the house (buy some!), you'll want to grease and flour the pans. If you are making muffins you'll need about 20-22 paper liners for your muffin tins.

In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. You can sift these ingredients together, or simply whisk them around until they are well-blended. Make sure to break up any clumps of cocoa. Mine actually had a lot of lumps, so I ended up pushing it through a fine mesh strainer.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and vanilla. Slowly add the honey in a fine stream. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well.

Next, add the dry ingredients in batches. Fold in the zucchini and, if you want, the flaxseed. I've been adding flaxseed to a lot of baked goods lately, even to pancake mix and the breaded coating for chicken cutlets. Flaxseed is loaded with Omega 3 and fiber, and it makes me feel like I'm doing something healthy for my family to offset the fact that we are addicted to chocolate and eating fried chicken cutlets. Also, it has a nice nutty flavor. You can call it a secret ingredient. Kids love the idea of secret ingredients.

Now, add most (but not all!) of the chocolate chips. The batter is kind of thick, so if you are making muffins, you'll need two spoons to scoop it neatly into the liners. Once the batter is in the pans, toss the rest of the chocolate chips right on top and bake at 350, 20-22 minutes for muffins, 50-55 minutes for the loaf pans.

About halfway through baking is the right time to add the raw sugar crystals. If you add them too soon, they'll melt and you won't get that shimmery sugary look on top. If you don't have raw sugar, it's no big deal. You'll never miss it.

I love this recipe because, a) it's chocolate, and b) it's loaded with healthy zucchini and flaxseed. Here's the thing about the zucchini and the flaxseed: You'll never know they're in there. Really. So, if your kids turn their noses up at zucchini, or your husband hates green vegetables, no problem. Just don't mention it (little white lies can be very useful in the kitchen. I used to make sure my son ate his fruits and vegies by hiding them in pancakes or stirring them into yogurt!).

Also, if you call it a cake or a cupcake, chances are your kids will be all over it. My eight year old son makes his disappear with a cold glass of milk. I prefer mine with a nice, strong cuppa joe.


  1. Mmm. Chocolate with healthy hidden inside! I love that "little white lies can be very useful in the kitchen. Heehee....

  2. I made this (muffins) on your recommendation a few weeks ago and they were absolutely delicious! Very moist. You'd never be able to identify the zucchini in them but it makes you feel better knowing it's there!

  3. This seems easy enough to make gluten free. I accidentally bought a bag of all-purpose gluten free baking flour that says 'perfect for quick breads and muffins.' I think I'll use that as a sub for the flour in here and give this a try. I know my kids will eat it because it's chocolate!

  4. Jordan, glad to hear you liked the recipe! It's become a favorite at our house.

    And yes, pixiemama, little white lies are very handy kitchen tools. ;-)

    Goodfountain, let us know how it goes gluten-free!

  5. Hmmm, I tried to post a comment earlier but it never showed up. :-( Goodfountain, double check that the baking mix doesn't already include baking soda. Otherwise you'll have a really awful bread. It'll taste slightly bitter or soapy. ICK. (Ahem, not that I've EVER experienced that!)

  6. Chocolate honey zucchini bread? You had me at Hello.

  7. Just tooled around this blog. I love to cook, but don't enough lately. Perhaps your recipes and beautiful photos will motivate me. This one sounds particularly good.