Four Favourite Zucchini Recipes: Breads, Muffins & Brownies

Take me to the recipe

Four favourite zucchini recipes: muffins, brownies, classic zucchini breads and double chocolate zucchini bread

Zucchini can be a bakers’s secret ingredient.

Mild in flavour and easy to shred, zucchini adds moisture and texture to many of my favourite summer baked goods. In these four favourite zucchini recipes you’ll see how this plentiful summer vegetable can help to make simple, wholesome baked goods extra satisfying and almost decadent.

I grow zucchini in my garden  but my harvest is rarely bountiful. But as you know, there are always people willing to share their zucchini harvest.

We have had a very dry summer in New Brunswick so the zucchinis aren’t overflowing at the markets yet, but they will be soon. I’m getting ready to stock up and get a few of these lunch box snacks in the freezer.

Two of these recipes are refined sugar-free, sweetened only with molasses and honey or maple syrup (see the recipes for zucchini muffins and double chocolate zucchini bread).

Four Favourite Zucchini Recipes:

Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Healthy Zucchini Brownies, fudgy brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Zucchini gives these moist and decadent brownies a healthy twist. They’re fudgy, flavourful and are just over 100 calories each for a generous portion (if you’re counting).

Old-Fashioned Zucchini Muffins

zucchini muffins 3 640

These zucchini muffins are refined-sugar-free, sweetened only with honey and molasses. They have the greatest texture thanks to the oil (instead of butter) and they’re moist and beautifully spiced. The molasses-honey pairing is brilliant. Great for texture and flavour balance.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

zucchini bread 2

This recipe is more like an old fashioned zucchini bread. It’s on the sweeter side, nicely spiced and the recipe makes two loaves.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double chocolate whole wheat zucchini bread

Who needs chocolate cake when you have double chocolate zucchini bread. Seriously, this is a moist and decadent bread that is refined sugar-free.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email..

We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Molasses and More newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

Double Chocolate Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

Servings: 12-14 slices serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 65 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Take me to the recipe

This is an extra moist, intensely chocolate zucchini bread that’s refined sugar-free. (Chocolate chips are optional.)

Double chocolate whole wheat zucchini bread: an extra moist, intensely chocolate zucchini bread that's refined sugar-free. Sweetened with molasses and honey

Solve your back to school lunch box challenges with double chocolate whole wheat zucchini bread.

It’s not yet mid-September and already we’re having a hard time ensuring our kids pack reasonably healthy lunches. Fruit and protein aside, I like to have little treats on hand for snack time but my kids are tired of homemade cookies. And they’re at the stage where homemade granola bars aren’t nearly as appealing as store bought.

I remember being the same, growing up in a house where homemade baked goods were on the counter almost every day. (Through junior high and high school I was obsessed with Dare maple leaf cookies and those little Vachon chocolate-coated cakes with the dollop of caramel in the middle.)

I’m pretty sure my kids’ palates will lead them back to homemade cookies but in the meantime, I left double chocolate whole wheat zucchini bread on the counter for them this morning.

Double chocolate whole wheat zucchini bread: an extra moist, intensely chocolate zucchini bread that's refined sugar-free. Sweetened with molasses and honey

This is an extra moist, intensely chocolate zucchini bread that’s refined sugar-free. (Chocolate chips are optional.) It makes good use of the local zucchini that is so abundant in the markets right now.  Use green or yellow zucchini or summer squash for this recipe.

If you use whole wheat pastry flour the texture will be a bit more crumbly than when made with regular whole wheat flour. The texture is always lovely whatever flour you use.

*Update* This recipe is so adaptable. I have made it using 2 cups of grated zucchini, I have omitted the honey and simply added an extra tablespoon of molasses instead, and I have reduced the chocolate chips to 1/3 cup. Every time it’s delicious.

Double Chocolate Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

Makes 12-14 slices

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup oil (olive or canola)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, divided (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9”x 5” loaf pan with parchment paper or grease and flour it well.
  2. After you grate the zucchini (on the coarse side of a box grater), grab a handful at a time and squeeze it over the sink to remove a bit of the moisture.
  3. In a large bowl whisk oil with the eggs (adding one egg at a time). Whisk in molasses, honey and vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
  4. In another bowl whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture and stir until almost combined. Stir in all but 2 Tbsp. of the chocolate chips.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 Tbsp. of chocolate chips.
  7. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the bread feels set when tapped on the top.
  8. Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Nutritional info: Per Slice

  •  Calories: 151,
  • Fat: 7.8 g,
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6 g,
  • Cholesterol: 27.5 mg,
  • Carbs: 19.3 g,
  • Sugar: 9.5 g,
  • Fibre: 2 g,
  • Protein: 3.1 g,
  • Potassium 238 mg

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

 

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies | a Wholesome Treat

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 29 minutes

Cooking time: 14 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies have a comforting cake-like texture and are studded with dark chocolate chips.

Wholesome Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies have a comforting cakelike texture and are studded with dark chocolate chips

A chocolate chip cookie with vegetables is a parent’s dream.

It’s what we’re all in search of: a lunchbox treat or after school snack with a bit of goodness in it.

Now that we’re back into the swing of school, lunches and after school snacks are top of mind in our house. And the zucchini is plentiful, so why not combine the two?

Wholesome Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies have a comforting cakelike texture and are studded with dark chocolate chips

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies have a comforting cake-like texture and are studded with dark chocolate chips. Use yellow zucchini if you’re not a fan of green streaks in your cookies (the zucchini isn’t peeled) or if green in a cookie gives your kids reason to pause.

Wholesome Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies have a comforting cakelike texture and are studded with dark chocolate chips
You can also change up the spices, going with just the cinnamon or swapping ginger for the nutmeg.

Be sure to give your grated zucchini a little squeeze to get rid of excess water before adding it to the batter.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Adapted from the Barbara Kingsolver book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • Grated zest of an orange (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (with some of the liquid squeezed out)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl cream butter with sugar. Beat in molasses then the egg, vanilla and orange zest.
  2. In another bowl whisk the flours, baking soda, salt, spices.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by tablespoonful on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 12-14 minutes

Nutritional info: Per cookie.

  • Calories: 146.6
  • Fat: 6.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 18.6 mg
  • Sodium: 61.8 mg
  • Carbs: 19.8 g
  • Sugar: 11.1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Calcium: 20.4 g
  • Fibre: 1.1 g
  • Potassium: 136 mg
  • Folate: 25.9 (DFE)
  • Vitamin A: 38.5 (RAE)

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Whole Wheat Molasses Zucchini Muffins

Servings: 16 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Take me to the recipe

whole wheat molasses zucchini muffins

I asked my 14 year old the first week of school, “What would you like me to bake for your lunchbox treats?”

His reply: “You know mom, I’m not really fond of baked goods anymore.”

I felt a tiny ping of hurt inside and then I laughed because how ironic is that? It’s like the lobsterman’s kids hating lobster.

whole wheat molasses zucchini muffins

Is this the challenge of home cooks everywhere? So many baked goods around that all those packaged cookies look iresistible.

I get it. I remember craving those maple sandwich cookies when I was little, and grocery store pound cake always felt like a treat. But homemade was always my favourite. Even at a young age my palate was tuned to the difference between homemade and processed.

It took my son about three days to come around and now he’s back to devouring everything in sight, including these whole wheat molasses zucchini muffins.

They have the greatest texture thanks to the oil (instead of butter) and they’re moist and beautifully spiced. The molasses-honey pairing is brilliant. Great for texture and flavour balance.

Whole Wheat Molasses Zucchini Muffins

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Makes 16 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grape seed oil or canola oil
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cardamom or nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the oil with the honey and molasses. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the two flours, baking soda and baking powder, salt and spices.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir gently until almost combined.
  5. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes (until the tops feel done when you touch them lightly.)

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email.



We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

 

 

 

 

Nela’s whole wheat zucchini bread recipe, with molasses

Molasses elevates whole wheat zucchini bread to a whole new level. It adds both flavour and substance to this wholesome snack.

Whole wheat zucchini bread recipe with molasses. A hearty loaf with a delicate texture.

I have a friend who is a fabulous cook and is now venturing into the baking world. She’s expecting her first child this fall and early on in her pregnancy was craving baked beans, which got us talking about molasses as a natural, healthy sweetener.

Now she’s experimenting with molasses in baking and a couple of weeks ago gave me a slice if this delicious bread.

It’s an extreme makeover of a recipe she found online. (Making any recipe healthy is a great skill of Nela’s and it’s always a good idea to arrive hungry to her place.)

I have to tell you, as much as I like regular zucchini bread, molasses elevates it to a whole new level. It adds flavour and substance to the bread.

Made with whole wheat flour, this is a hearty loaf with a delicate texture. The recipe makes two loaves, which is even better.

Nela’s whole wheat zucchini bread recipe

Makes two loaves

  • 3 1/4 cups flour (half and half whole wheat and white)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (only peeled if the skin is tough)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts and/or seeds (walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, coconut)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine oil and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add molasses and water then stir in zucchini and lemon juice or vanilla.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry, mixing gently. Gently fold in nuts and /or seeds.
  5. Pour batter into two standard loaf pans that have been well greased. (I also line the bottoms of my pans with parchment paper so the loaves come out more easily after baking).
  6. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

Whole wheat zucchini bread recipe with molasses. Flavourful with a delicate texture.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Zucchini brownies with molasses and flax

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Too many zucchini in your garden?

I WISH I had that problem but so far I only have zucchini blossoms. Our local markets are teeming with them though and already I have more in my fridge than I can reasonably use in a week so I went looking for new ways to eat them up.

I call this a healthy brownie

After all, something that includes zucchini and flax seeds is bound to be good for you.  Molasses and unsweetened cocoa powder have nutritional value too. So I had one at breakfast this morning.

A couple of tips: I grate my zucchini on the coarse side of a box grater and then squeeze the water out a handful at a time. Also, the batter is dense so I used my hands to incorporate the zucchini.

Healthy tip: Feel free to reduce the sugar to 1 cup, reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp. and reduce the chocolate chips to 1/2 cup. Increase the cocoa by 2 Tbsp. (This is how I make them for my kids’ lunches).

Zucchini brownies

  • ½ cup oil or melted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded, drained zucchini
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Line a 9”x9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Combine oil, sugar, vanilla and molasses. Add egg and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, flax, cinnamon, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips (if using).
  6. Spread in prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes

This recipe is loosely based on a recipe I found on the lovely baking blog,  iambaker.net.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.