This is a recipe that my mother-in-law gave me about 19 years ago. In fact, she wasn’t even my mother-in-law yet! I remember thinking at the time, “oh! She likes me!” because actually writing out a recipe for someone else is such a thoughtful and generous thing to do. It’s something you don’t do for just anyone, but you definitely do it for a friend, or a daughter.
Lynn passed away coming up on ten years ago now. This was one of Lynn’s favorite recipes, and we talked about it many times. It has always made me think of her.
I’ve made this bread numerous times over the years and have tried several variations: with and without cloves, with and without nuts, with thick frosting and with thin. Some variations I liked better than others, but it always works. It always makes a nice moist, dense quick bread. Yum.
Zucchini is one of those garden crops that you really have to keep an eye on. Check on it every few days, and there are usually a one or two fruits ready to harvest each time. But wait a week, and next thing you know you have three or four enormous squash to deal with. This recipe is a great way to use up those huge zucchini. Last week I set a record when I made four loaves of this bread from one zucchini – with leftovers!
Chop up whatever nuts you decide to use. Lynn always used pecans, so that’s what I used this time too, even though they burn my mouth a little. Feel free to use any type of nut that you like. I also double the amount of nuts called for in the recipe.
I’m not normally a particular fan of cloves, and I’ve left them out of this recipe a few times. But I don’t recommend that unless you absolutely can’t stand them. In this recipe, the cloves are just PERFECT. The pairing with the orange flavor is the key. Just trust me on this.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or even a little longer if you need to. One warning here: the toothpick test does not work well with this bread. The toothpick comes out clean, even when the bread is not finished. So I usually use a butter knife to test for doneness instead.
Cool the bread on a wire rack while you prepare the icing.
Eat this bread any time, for any reason. It’s delicious for breakfast or even dessert. I love the little green and orange flecks in it too: it’s like Funfetti bread! OK, it isn’t. It can still be fun, though, can’t it? Well, it tastes great anyway!
- Zucchini Orange Bread:
- 4 eggs
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup orange juice
- 2-4 teaspoons orange zest
- 3¼ cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups zucchini, shredded
- ½-1 cup chopped nuts
- Thick Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4-5 teaspoons orange juice
- Thin Icing:
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1-1½ tablespoons orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two bread pans and set aside.
- Whisk eggs lightly. Add eggs, sugar, oil, and orange juice to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Add grated orange peel and stir gently.
- In a separate bowl, add together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves, and stir well to distribute the ingredients evenly.
- Add dry ingredients to egg-sugar-oil mixture and stir gently until completely combined. Fold in grated zucchini and nuts.
- Bake 45-60 minutes, or until butter knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Top with icing.
- Add powdered sugar to small mixing bowl. Add orange juice, one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Spread or drizzle over warm bread.