A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a serious zucchini bread fail, which was a major disappointment. I had high hopes for the bread, so it didn’t take me long to give it another shot, and luckily the second time was a charm. The calendar has turned to September and cooler weather is right around the corner, but the grocery store is still brimming with locally-grown zucchini, so I’m guessing that your grocery store or garden is still overrun with an abundance of fresh zucchini. If that’s the case, then take advantage of the last of summer’s bounty and give your traditional zucchini bread a fresh spin. This is a large, substantial loaf that is packed with spices, as well as dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. The flavors are the perfect bridge between summer and fall seasons.
My Chief Culinary Consultant and my mom both said that this was the best zucchini bread that they have ever had. Thanks to all of the zucchini that’s packed in there, it’s supremely moist and loaded with flavor. The spices are reminiscent of pumpkin desserts, which also pair incredibly well with zucchini. To top it all off, I added some dried cranberries and walnuts. I wasn’t sure how the cranberries would work, but they were fantastic. All of the components complemented each other wonderfully; my only regret is not making two loaves!
If you still have garden-fresh zucchini at your disposal, you must make this bread! You won’t regret it, I promise.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x5;-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment, so that excess parchment hangs over each side.
Place the zucchini in a clean dish towel, gather together and twist and squeeze to drain out as much liquid as possible.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the drained zucchini.
In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Add the zucchini mixture and fold together until just a few streaks of flour remain. Add the walnuts and cranberries to the batter and gently fold to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 65 to 75 minutes. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Leftover bread should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.