So there is zucchini season and what do we do with all the zucchini? A moist lemon zucchini bread is the answer. It is so quick to whip up a batch and freezes well so you can double or triple the recipe depending on your zucchini situation.
In addition, I made this bread with elderflower sugar, just like I used lilac sugar for these lemon lilac cupcakes. So if you find yourself in possession of too many elderflowers too, make elderflower sugar!
That little floral hint is excellent in summery dishes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this recipe if you love light, fresh, summery dishes. And moist. Who likes dry cake? Not me.
As I said, it is easy to make too, so you don't have to slave away in the kitchen when it is so hot. Whip it up in less than 10 minutes. Then you can relax on the porch for the 50 minutes it takes in the oven, enjoying a delicious summer drink.
- Grated zucchini: providing moisture to the dish, and you get to hide some veggies in there for the kids - just like carrot cake cupcakes!
- All-purpose flour: To bind it all together in a cake-like consistency.
- Salt: Flavor enhancer which should never be omitted.
- Baking powder and baking soda: To make the cake rise beautifully, giving it a fluffy consistency.
- Light olive oil: Contributing to the tenderness as well as enhancing the flavors. You should not be using extra-virgin olive oil because we are baking the cake.
- Egg: The right balance between flour and eggs provides the strength of the cake/bread.
- Elderflower sugar: For sweetness and a tender crumb. You don't have to make elderflower sugar and can use just regular sugar if you want. If you still want the flavor, you can add 1 tablespoon elderflower cordial to the dish along with the vanilla extract if you still want a hint of elderflower!
- Vanilla extract: A delicious added flavor that works so well with these other ingredients.
- Lemons: Got to make it fresh for the summer!
In addition, the lemon elderflower cream cheese glaze is literally the icing on the cake. That creamy, tangy, sweet, and sour mix is incredible.
The elderflower sugar needs to be made in advance if you want to use it for this recipe. Clean all your elderflowers, making sure they are free of bugs. They also need to be completely dry before mixing with the sugar.
Then simply start with a layer of sugar in a glass jar (1), then top with a layer of flowers (2-3), a layer of sugar, and continue until you have used all the sugar and flowers (4).
Store it in a dark and cool place. Shake the jar, once a day for a week. When the sugar is dry (dry-ish), the sugar is done. It will not be as dry as regular sugar, but it shouldn't be very moist either.
Then you should strain the sugar to discard the flowers (5), and the sugar will be ready to use (6)!
I know, a week really is a long time to wait for the lemon zucchini bread. But you know my life hack? Make one without the elderflower sugar today (just use granulated sugar), and then in a week, make another lemon zucchini bread - this time with elderflower sugar! Thank me later.
To make this lemon zucchini bread, start by preheating the oven to 350℉ (175℃) and grease one 8x4 inch (20x10 cm) bread loaf pan.
Grate the zucchini (1), and just lightly blot it. Don't squeeze and discard all the water, we use it as some of the liquid in the zucchini bread. Just make sure you don't swim in zucchini water.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together: all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda (2).
In another bowl, mix wet ingredients: grated zucchini, olive oil, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice and zest (2-3).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and carefully mix them together using a spatula (4).
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan (5) and bake on the middle rack for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs (6).
Cool for 20 minutes in the pan before cooling completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, mix all lemon cream cheese glazing ingredients and drizzle them on top of the zucchini bread.
The elderflower sugar lasts for over a year after you remove the flowers. Just make sure you store it in a clean jar, in a cool and dry place.
The lemon zucchini bread lasts for about 3 days on the counter, in a cookie box, or plastic bag. However, I prefer to slice it up and freeze what I don't need on the same day of baking.
Then you can just let it thaw on the counter for a few hours and it'll be as moist as when you made it! You can also reheat it in the oven (300℉ (150℃) for 10 minutes), but then I recommend omitting the cream cheese glazing.
Do you peel zucchini for zucchini bread?
No. That is not necessary. The skin will melt into the bread in the oven and you will not get that tough texture when you bite into it. No worries!
Should you squeeze the water out of the zucchini?
Depends on the recipe. In my recipe, you should not because it is part of the moisture or liquid of the recipe. Just lightly blot the grated zucchini with a paper towel is enough.
However, if your zucchini is exceptionally watery, you should blot it one extra time.
Why is my bread wet in the middle?
Most likely, your zucchini was exceptionally watery. See the previous question.
Why did my bread not rise?
You may have mixed the batter too vigorously. That means you have incorporated too many air bubbles into the batter, which will collapse when you take the quick bread out of the oven. Make sure to carefully mix the ingredients just to incorporate them together.
Why is my zucchini bread dry?
You may have squeezed too much water out of the zucchini. As mentioned, you should only lightly blot it. Some of the liquid in the recipe comes from the zucchinis.
Other uses for elderflower sugar
Most likely you'll have more elderflower sugar than cake batter. However, this elderflower sugar can be used in so many other things. Here are my ideas as to where to begin:
- The most obvious are these lemon lilac cupcakes, using elderflower instead of lilacs.
- Pretty much all summer bakes, e.g., these lemon ricotta pancakes, strawberry peach pie, or blueberry muffins.
- Make simple syrup from it and use it in drinks, e.g., mojitos, whiskey sour, or iced teas.
- Use it in recipes that already call for elderflower/flower something, e.g., lemon sorbet or elderflower cordial.
P.S. For more quick-bread recipes, make sure you check out this healthy honey banana bread too.
Did you like this recipe? Here are more summer brunch dishes I think you’d love:
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