Who doesn’t just love little loaves of sweet bread?
You know: banana bread, zucchini bread, lemon bread, cranberry bread, pumpkin bread . . . the list could go on. With a cup of coffee or tea, sweet breads are a welcome treat in our day.
With zucchini running wild in our gardens, it’s time to perform a marriage between two of my family’s beloved and most cherished recipes: my husband’s perfect banana bread and my to-die-for zucchini bread. We wanted to try something new and at this time of year, the banana – zucchini combo was a no-brainer!
Well what resulted from this union of fruit and veggie in one bread? A perfectly soft, tender, ultra-moist, yet dense enough textured sweet bread! Sweet enough to taste like a dessert. This is hands-down now, the most delicious zucchini banana bread recipe ever!
When plated on a pretty green serving dish, the green pieces of zucchini brighten this delicious bread.
A sweetened mascarpone cheese is perfect to top the bread as a frosting/icing, or to simply pass around to guests to lather on their individual bread slices.
So let’s get cooking! I’m hungry, aren’t you?
Grate 2 small to medium sized zucchini with the green peel left on. Use the largest hole size.
You want to have as much ‘green’ to peak through inside the bread.
Oh so pretty isn’t it? Gotta love that bright, vivid green color of the fresh zucchini!
With a fork, mash up the ripe bananas. This won’t be difficult since ripe bananas are just about mush anyway.
For better organization and simplicity in cooking/baking, always measure and lay out your ingredients.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: brown sugar, cinnamon, white sugar, butter, baking powder & soda, and salt.
After mixing the dry ingredients very lightly, add the mashed bananas, beaten eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
Again, mix very lightly until combined…
Lovely brown color, yet still runny . . . patience. We still need to add the flour.
Now add the grated zucchini to the mixing bowl.
Give the mixture another very brief whirl in the bowl.
See how the pretty green zucchini shows in the batter?
Now add the 3 cups of flour about a half cup at a time. Mixing can be done by hand, but if using a mixer, then use the slowest and gentlest speed so that the flour doesn’t fly all over the place and for a more tender bread.
One last very brief mixing in of the flour and you can see how the batter is now nice and thick.
The batter is ready to pour into bread pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray, floured and lined with parchment paper.
You simply must dip your finger into this batter to taste it. It is AMAZING!
Bake in a 350 F degree oven for 50 – 60 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool in the pan set on cooling racks.
When the bread has cooled a bit, take a knife and slice around all of the four sides of the bread pan to loosen the bread from the pan. Turn the bread pan over and tap the bottom of the pan several times, shaking the pan gently while doing so. You will slowly feel the bread release from the pan. If you used parchment paper, this will be very easy and fast.
Please share the love and pin this vertical image:
- 2 cups ripe bananas
- 2 cups grated zucchini with green peel left on
- 3 jumbo eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream (you can also use buttermilk)
- 2 sticks of butter, softened (you can also use half butter and half canola oil)
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup sugar + 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tub mascarpone cheese
- 2 tsp. butter flavoring
- If necessary that the cream is too thick and hard, add 2 Tbsps. of heavy cream. Add more if necessary. You want this to be like a thick frosting.
- Grate zucchini.
- Smash ripe bananas with a fork.
- In the bowl of food processor, add all dry ingredients except grated zucchini and flour and mix on slow speed until just blended.
- Add smashed bananas, beaten eggs and sour cream. Mix again on slow speed until just blended.
- Add grated zucchini and take the mixture for another whirl on slow speed.
- Add flour about a half cup at a time on slow speed so the flour doesn't fly all over the place. Stop when all is blended.
- Spray cooking spray on the bottom of 2 bread pans. Line with parchment paper.
- Pour batter equally into bread pans.
- Place filled bread pans in the middle of a 350 F degree oven.
- Bake for 50 - 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow breads to cool in the pan set on cooling racks.
- When the bread has cooled a bit, take a knife and slice around all of the four sides of the bread pan to loosen the bread from the pan.
- Turn the bread pan over and tap the bottom of the pan several times, shaking the pan gently while doing so. You will slowly feel the bread release from the pan. If you used parchment paper, this will be very easy and fast.
Prepare Sweet Mascarpone Cream:
While the zucchini banana breads are baking in the oven, prepare the sweet, creamy frosting/icing.
Blend all ingredients together.
If necessary that the cream is too thick and hard, add 2 Tbsps. of heavy cream. Add more if necessary. You want this to be like a thick frosting.
Either use as frosting/icing or pass it around in a pretty bowl for guests to lather on to their individual slices of this delicious bread!
My Top Tips for Making Zucchini and/or Banana Bread:
- Use ripe bananas for a wonderful, sweeter natural sweetness. Over-ripeness is essential to the success of banana bread. If your bananas are brown and yellow, that’s perfect.
- If you can’t wait for your bananas to ripen on their own, here’s the secret trick to ripening bananas in no time at all. Simply bake unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet in a 250°F oven until soft, 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool, then peel them and go!
- For a richer flavor, add half of your sugar with regular white sugar and half light brown sugar.
- Add nuts if you want a little crunch. My husband doesn’t prefer nuts, so they are left out. Keep this in mind for people who have allergies to nuts as well.
- Dairy is often added to banana bread recipes. For extra moistness and improved texture and flavor, add sour cream, mascarpone or buttermilk.
- Use small to medium sized zucchini that have much more moisture and sweetness. I use the larger zucchini for my Stuffed Zucchini with Bolognese Sauce recipe in which a less sweet zuke is better.
- Grate, don’t chop or grind up the zucchini.
- Leave the green peels of the zucchini on for color in the bread.
- If you feel that you need to remove the seeds from zucchini, then do so; however, I’ve never had a problem with seeds in my bread recipes and just leave them in.
- Don’t squeeze the grated zucchini . . . that’s one of the secrets for a moister, denser zucchini bread.
- Always mix lightly, especially in the food processor. . . use only slow speeds with one to three whirls around the bowl for ingredients to blend and then stop. If mixing by hand, mix all dry ingredients together in one mixing bowl and wet ingredients in another mixing bowl. Then gently stir with a spoon until everything is moist. Overmixing sweet quick bread causes them to develop a tougher texture while baking.
- Use cooking spray, flour, AND parchment paper to cover the base and sides of your baking pans. You want these loaves of bread to come out of the pans cleanly without anything sticking to the bottom of the pans to maintain their perfect rectangular shape for serving. Allow bread to cool on metal cooling racks to finish cooking before slicing.