An old family favorite zucchini bread recipe lightened up with applesauce and reduced sugar.
Imagine, after an eight hour, overnight plane trip, being welcomed with a plate of this delicious autumn-spiced zucchini bread, still slightly warm, accompanied by a ramekin of sweet cream butter and a steaming mug of coffee. My word to describe this is heavenly! This is exactly what my daughter had waiting when I walked in her door after my all-night flight to London in September. It’s an old family recipe, what I call an “heirloom-recipe”, that I had all but forgotten about. I’m so glad she didn’t!
It’s so funny to me that you never know when a recipe you receive or find will become a family treasure. That’s the case with this yummy bread. I remember the first time I tried it; a co-worker brought it for a treat to work one day many, many years ago. I took one bite and knew I’d have to have the recipe. I’d tasted and tried a lot of zucchini bread but this one was different. It had something special about it that I couldn’t quite determine till I asked her- it was crushed pineapple! The pineapple adds an extra layer of sweet deliciousness and moisture. The spices are just perfect – this just seems to be one of those “never fail” recipes!
One day I went to look for the recipe and it was GONE, MISSING, AWOL! I looked everywhere but to no avail, Not only that, but I had moved from Wisconsin to North Carolina and had lost touch with my friend. This was before computers so I couldn’t even check with Mr. Google (a very good friend of mine). Every time I got a new cookbook or saw a recipe in the newspaper (or a magazine) for zucchini bread I’d check to see if it had pineapple, nope, nope, notta!
A few years later, while spending a weekend with my mom I was absently looking through her recipe box and there it was! SCORE!!! I couldn’t believe it. I copied it down quickly and from that day on kept it in a safe place. Nowadays I”m double safe as Cait has the recipe also!
This zucchini bread is a staple in our house, we make about once a week and it gets gobbled up every time by whoever happens to be hanging about – visitors, my kids, my husband, ME! The recipe originally came from my grandmother, I believe, but it had an entire cup of oil in the ingredient list. Since I wanted to not feel terrible about feeding it to my family on a regular basis I started slowly substituting applesauce for the oil increasing the amount with each time I made the recipe. Eventually, I added too much and the bread got dry and chewy, however, I found that I could use somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of applesauce in place of the oil without anyone noticing! I also decrease the sugar by about 1/4 cup since there’s sweetness gained from the applesauce. So, between those substitutions and the two zucchinis that are already in the recipe, I feel pretty good about giving this to my kids as dessert! And for me and my sweet tooth? Shhh, but sometimes I add a bit of cream cheese frosting on top…yum!! Enjoy, and thanks, Grandma!
P.S. I call it Cait’s Zucchini Bread for two reasons, first of all because she changed the recipe a bit as noted above (making it more nutritious). Secondly, I think she deserves it because she can whip up a batch of this bread faster than you can say “lickedly split”! One day while I was visiting this Fall, I went upstairs to my room for not more than a few minutes. By the time I got back downstairs a batch was in the oven and she was cleaning up the kitchen! That’s my girl! 🙂
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup oil
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup chopped nuts pecans, walnuts, macadamia, really whatever kind you like
- 1 cup raisins
- 8 ounces canned crushed pineapple, undrained
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease two large bread pans. (Mine are 5x9 inches)
- Mix sugar and oil. Add eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into 2 large greased bread pans
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I’m sharing this yummy recipe at Stone Gable’s On the Menu Monday – check it out, you’ll love Yvonne’s site and all her wonderful crafts, decorating ideas and recipes!