Award-Winning Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Ingredients:

Brown Sugar Oat Streusel

  • 2/3 cups (60g) old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon (10g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Zucchini Bread & Muffins

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil*
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium-large)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • optional: 3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or use pecans or walnuts)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x5 (or 8x4) inch loaf pan. If making muffins, preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) and spray a 12-count pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the streusel first by combining the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with two knives or a pasty cutter (preferred) - or you may use your hands. Mix until the streusel resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla until evenly combined. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Avoid overmixing.
  4. Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the bread for 20 minutes at 350F degrees. Remove from the oven and top with the streusel - press it down into the top. The reason you are adding it after 20 minutes is to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the bread as it bakes. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I covered the bread loosely with aluminum foil after 35 total minutes to avoid the top from getting too brown. Allow bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan and serving.
  5. If making muffins, fill 11-12 muffin cups all the way to the top. Press the streusel into the tops of each muffin. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 18-21 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  6. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Make ahead tip: Make the bread ahead of time by freezing it. Bake it, cool it, wrap it up in aluminum foil and freeze the loaf as a whole. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before slicing and serving. Freezes well up to 3 months. Likewise, freeze the muffins for up to 3 months as well.

Recipe Notes:

*Instead of vegetable oil, you may use canola oil or melted coconut oil. I find the recipe tastes best with vegetable oil. Healthy bonus: I tried swapping half of the oil with applesauce and didn't notice much of a difference as far as taste and texture goes! However, to avoid a rubbery texture, I would not swap any more than half of the oil for applesauce.

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