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so pretty

Recipe: zucchini bread

I was in Boulder yesterday afternoon to run some errands and meet up with my guy for happy hour. It had been over a week since I had passed through town on my way to get chemo’d and it was snowing then. The once barren branches of bushes and trees are now delicately dotted with pinks, purples, reds, yellows, whites, and greens. Such a transformation, it does wonders for my mental state.

pearl street starts showing off her early colors

oh the cherries

I may have jumped the gun by a few days because that happy hour fare went down hard and I apparently have mucositis yet again. Puts the kibosh on that whole eating of solid foods thing that I like to do. Patience.

Over the years I’ve gathered recipes from many of the people I’ve encountered. Some recipes you get in passing and others, oddly enough, you hang on to even when the relationship died a painful (but desperately needed) death. Like the turkey meatloaf recipe I nabbed from one ex. I suppose that was from his mother, really. And I didn’t get *any* good recipes from The Crier… just as well – all of that crying made me insane.

Today I made a recipe I got from an old college roommate. Actually, she was my best friend for several years until I began to realize that she was not especially nice to me. Jeremy, my (late) sister, and even this woman’s ex-boyfriend all confirmed it when I asked, and they pointed out that she isn’t what you’d consider “nice” in general. Well thanks for that heads up, fellas… It was the emergence of Bridezilla that helped me make the clean break. If ever you need to find a woman gone evil, try a wedding.

But I kept the recipe. *snort* This one is quite handy for the summer months when you have baseball bat zucchini growing out of your ears.

the start to some great zucchini bread

Let’s give credit where credit is due. This isn’t her recipe, it’s her grandma’s recipe. Grandma had the magic touch. She didn’t measure anything, she just threw it together by feel and golden loaves of goodness emerged from her kitchen. Perfect every time.

yup – i shred all year, kids

Grandma was kind enough to jot down a recipe for us with hand-wavy measurements. It seemed to work just fine, although I always found that it was missing that certain special something… Grandma’s touch.

add the greens

mix the dry ingredients until just combined

This recipe works like a charm at sea-level. I find at elevation (8500 feet asl) I need to reduce the leavening (baking soda) or else the tops of the loaves tend to rise too fast and cave. Damn annoying.

fold in walnuts

pour into loaf pans

This bread whips up in no time and has a terrific moist crumb without being too heavy. If you make this recipe, be sure to thank Grandma E (who is no longer here). Thanks, Grandma E.

perfect for snacking

Grandma E’s Zucchini Bread
[print recipe]

3 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat the eggs until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Mix in the grated zucchini and the oil. Add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda) and incorporate until just combined. Fold in chopped nuts and pour batter into two greased loaf pans. Bake for an hour or until a toothpick comes out almost clean (moist crumb stage).

40 nibbles at “so pretty”

  1. manggy says:

    You know, it just occurred to me that I should be holding back from zooming to the end then reading from the start, haha :) I should just enjoy the slow process and the final reveal. That’s me, read-the-last-page-first manggy. Patience! Patience for everyone! (I hope the mucositis clears up quickly, though.)

    Okay, while the beauty of your Boulder pics did bring a tear to my eye, I’m no Crier!! At least, I don’t think so (not anymore– some of my co-interns thought I came across as robotic, though..). I am just floored by the fantastic-ness of everything. The only trees that consistently produce large, colored flowers here in the urban heat are Plumeria and that gets really tiring after a while.

    I have plenty of friends who aren’t “nice”… I sort of provide the required harmony, the yang to their yin, haha :P If they’re not nice to me, though, I wipe them completely clean off. Then clean out all the DNA evidence, heh heh :) At least something good came out of it– Grandma E’s Zucchini bread! I’ve not had it before, no one makes it here– but at least now I can!

  2. Rosa says:

    I love spring! Your flower pictures are beautiful! And that zucchini bread looks terribly delicious!



  3. fumipuriri says:

    beautiful pictures of the flowers! especially the tulip :) that zucchini bread looks too yummy!!

  4. peabody says:

    Looks like a good one. My zucchini bread has pineapple in it(the family recipe one that is) but this looks nice and simple. Yum.

  5. fanny says:

    I so understand what you mean. I keep that recipe for almond butter truffles – from the mother of the guy who I cried for during a good year – secure in my wallet.
    This zucchini bread looks totally yum.


  6. Madam Chow says:

    This looks fabulous! I love the green flecks in the picture.

    On another note, I used to do cancer research a long time ago, and many patients ended up with mucositis. One of the doctors told me that an old, yet remarkably effective treatment for it (treatment in terms of providing relief) was to mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda until you got a loose paste, and swab it inside the mouth. No side effects, other than looking a bit rabid, and it helped when other things wouldn’t.

  7. Susan says:

    this looks awesome. i love zucchini bread and have only made it once…disaster. i’ll have to try again with this recipe.

  8. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling good again. Those flower photos are gorgeous, and that zucchini bread looks soo good (I imagine it would be insane with lots of butter spread on it)…I love getting recipes from people, recipes that have some kind of story behind them :)

  9. Amanda says:

    The flecks of zuchinni in these pictures is really nice. I bet they add a nice crunch to the loaves as well!

  10. Chris says:

    This bread looks delicious–and your photography is wonderful. One question, though: are the recipes on your site, like this one, sea-level or high-altitude?

  11. Susan at StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Last fall I cut all ties with my 3 closest friends. We were in a vocal group together for 14 years. I found out what they were made of when my back was against the wall and they bailed on me. I asked nothing from them except loyalty. I guess they weren’t “nice” either. I figure I’m better off without them. That’s when I started blogging, so I guess it turned out all right!

    I’ve been looking for a good zucchini bread recipe and here it is! Thanks! It looks really nice and homey.

    Your photos are stunning, as always. You must live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth! My husband just announced that he might like to move to Colorado. I think he was serious. We may be neighbors yet! :O

  12. diva@theSugarBar says:

    love courgette bread, looks yum. you’ve got great pictures on this post. love it! x

  13. Gretchen Noelle says:

    This will be perfect for the zucchini that I have hanging out in my fridge right now! Thanks!

  14. jenyu says:

    Mark – thanks! It’s cleared up now :) Plumeria is gorgeous! I learned what they were when I was in Sydney last year. I love some of the names they have for certain varieties, like fruit salad. Yup, I think when I was in college, I put up with a lot of people I wouldn’t tolerate today. Call it a learning experience. Some people are just jerks.

    Rosa – thank you!

    Fumipuriri – glad you like the pics!

    Peabody – mmm, pineapple, that’s a nice touch!

    Fanny – oh!! poor dear. How could any guy make you cry for a year?! :( If anything, they should be crying over you, love.

    Madam Chow – thanks for the tip, that’s really sweet of you. It’s actually in my esophagus and not my mouth (well, for the first three rounds of chemo it was in my mouth). My oncologist has me on some antibiotics to prevent thrush which helps in eliminating the mouth sores.

    Susan – hopefully you’ll meet with success on this one. It’s a good recipe.

    Laura – yup, I really like to toast a slice and spread butter on it… except it makes my ass big ;)

    Amanda – um, not so much of a crunch as a mush. It’s all pretty soft. No wait – the walnuts provide some crunch as does the crust (my favorite part).

    Chris – ah yes, this recipe is for sea level as are all of the recipes on my site. If there are any high-altitude adjustments to make I will put them in parentheses (mostly for my own benefit so I don’t forget).

    Susan – oh girl, I’m sorry. That sucks, but if you’re better off for it now, then you did the right thing. And we all love you to bits. If you want to come live in CO I can recommend a good realtor and mortgage broker (he’s so cute). :)

    Diva – thanks!

    Gretchen – I usually make this recipe when I have a random zucchini hanging out in my fridge too :)

  15. Marc @ NoRecipes says:

    Wow you’re photos are amazing! That zucchini bread looks delicious too!

  16. zoe / puku says:

    this looks delicious, and sometimes it’s a very smart thing to cut ties with some people, isn’t it? It’s funny how certain foods become ‘attached’ to people or situations, if you really like the food you need to ‘divorce’ the two, so you can eat it without feeling like you’re swallowing the hurt/bitterness/anger each time… maybe a good step in getting past those feelings in the first place?

  17. Mollie says:

    I can’t wait for baseball bat season! Who was it that had that comedy bit about not leaving your car unlocked in late summer for fear of neighbors leaving giant produce?

  18. jenyu says:

    Marc – thank you!

    Zoe – I think I just needed to learn to identify assholes in my life and remove them :)

    Mollie – ha ha, since I can’t grow much at my elevation, I would gladly leave my car unlocked if someone would leave zucchini in it!

  19. White On Rice Couple says:

    I’ve learned long ago to release myself immediately of those “not so nice to me” relationships. I have more peace and can sleep at night now.
    At least she left you with a food zucchini bread recipe! It looks moist and delicious. Do you think she could have made it this well? ;)

  20. White On Rice Couple says:

    Oh I forgot (kept thinking about his “not so nice to me” ex-friend of mine), those cherry blossoms and tulips look beautiful!! Ours are all finished now, but they certainly don’t look nearly as nice as those. Cold weather definitely makes a difference!

  21. Tartelette says:

    I will be the last person blogging to make zucchini bread…not that I don’t want to…just never get around to it. It made me giggle to realize I was a zuccini bread virgin…ehehehe…but I will do my first one with this recipe. Promise! The blooms and flowers pics are gorgeous!!

  22. Patricia Scarpin says:

    So tender and delicious.

  23. Kevin says:

    That zucchini bread looks really good. I am going to have to try making a zucchini bread this year when they are in season.

  24. Christine says:

    I used to make a really great zucchini bread but my mother accidentally threw it out on one of her purges where she threw out my one box of books and left the rest of the mountain of crap in the garage. Anyway…I haven’t made it since but one of these days I’ll have to try your recipe – it looks fantastic and fairly easy to put together.

  25. jenyu says:

    WoRC – yeah, don’t those “not so nice to me” people get under your skin at times? :) I’m sure she makes the z-bread, but at this point I just don’t care what she’s doing, as long as it isn’t to me!

    Tartelette – That’s because you make soooo many other things! :)

    Patricia – thanks :)

    Kevin – yeah, isn’t it incredible in summer when all you can see is zucchini zucchini zucchini!

    Christine – omg, I would have been so upset! This one is quite easy, although I sometimes forget to omit the baking soda and it gets a mild crater in the top up here at elevation…

  26. Kelly says:

    Um, silly question, but can I use this recipe (which is fabulous, by the way, as I made it up last night, brought it into work, and it was instantly devoured) to make muffins instead? I mean, aren’t quick bread and muffin recipes basically the same? I have lots more zucchini to use up, and maybe the muffins would freeze well (at least that’s my theory)….

    You have an awesome blog, by the way, and I’m slowly making my way back through your archives and right now have so many recipes bookmarked that I’ll never go hungry for lack of inspiration!

  27. jenyu says:

    Kelly – yes, I think you can easily translate this to muffins, just with shorter baking time (not sure how much, but you probably know better than I do). I think the loaves also freeze well if I recall. Thanks and I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes!

  28. wonderment » Blog Archive » Earlier this month, this would have been better (Zucchini Linkfest) says:

    […] Zucchini Bread (this is the recipe I used back in August and everyone agreed it was delish – I added cinnamon and nutmeg; just so you know, it makes 2 full loaves or a crap-ton of muffins) […]

  29. skinnymum says:

    i half your recipe and bake it for tea today. my hubby and 2 girls loved it. they “wiped it off” in record time and requested to bake another for breakfast tomorrow. i was surprised cos they are not fans of zucchini!

    i reduced the sugar (cos my family do not have a sweet tooth), subs half the oil with applesauce and it turned out moist and yummy.

    i just put another batch in the oven. this time i mini loaves, and subs the walnuts (i ran out) with macadamia, and up the zucchini.

    thanks so much for sharing.

  30. jenyu says:

    Skinnymum – you’re very welcome. I’m happy that your family likes it so much.

  31. JTan says:

    Why does the zucchini bread rise higher in the center & cracks? Am I doing something wrong or missing some ingredients?
    I just finished baking the loaves & letting it cool now…Can’t wait to eat it! Yummy….smells so good

    Thank you.

  32. jenyu says:

    JTan – Well, I think that’s normal. The edges probably rise less as they are touching the edge of the hot baking dish and the center cracks probably because the leavening is causing expansion.

  33. 20 Zucchini Bread Recipes To Try : says:

    […] Grandma E’s Zucchini Bread: Let’s give credit where credit is due. This isn’t her recipe, it’s her grandma’s recipe. Grandma had the magic touch. She didn’t measure anything, she just threw it together by feel and golden loaves of goodness emerged from her kitchen. Perfect every time. Recipe found at Use Real Butter. […]

  34. Carrie says:

    I have a similar recipe at home only I use Organic Unrefined Sunflower Oil. Sunflower Oil has a superior “clean” flavor and is an excellent oil for all your oil needs. I also add 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, and 1 tsp Lemon Peel and I only use 1 1/2 cups sugar. My recipe also calls for only 3/4 tsp Baking Soda but adds in 1 tsp Baking Powder. For added crunch/sweetness I sprinkle Brown Sugar on top of the batter before baking.

  35. Komal says:

    Hi Jen we recently moved to Colorado from Rochester NY and since I love baking it has been a hard time for me seeing my cakes and cookies not turn out as perfect as I am used to! Your blog is exceptional in the way you treat your journey as an adventure passing along wonderful recipes on the way :)
    For this particular recipe should I completely omit baking soda as I didn’t find any corrections in parenthesis and from your replies gathered that this recipe works at sea level n you omit it for co else it leaves a “crater” in the middle :)
    Thank you for your time and reply! Take care

  36. jenyu says:

    Komal – I don’t know where you are in Colorado, but if you are in Denver or near 5000 ft. then try the recipe as is (for sea level) first. If it works out, then you’re good to go! If it craters horribly, then try reducing the leavening. Unfortunately for us high-altitude bakers, we sometimes have to try the recipe and watch it fail before we can figure out how to adjust it for our elevation. But I’d say half the time the recipes are great as they are for sea level. Good luck!

  37. Komal says:

    Thank you for your quick response Jen….we are in louisville/superior area….I will try with the sea-level measurements :-)

  38. Komal says:

    Hi Jen…thank you for the kind response….have made this bread several times and taken to ofc as well…gone in seconds is all I will say!!!! Awesome texture n amazing taste… Thanks a bunch

  39. Victoria says:

    I found this recipe when I search the web asking for a recipe to make zucchini bread with butter. I found the recipe on a website called When I read the recipe, to my surprise, the recipe didn’t have any real butter in it! The recipe calls for vegetable oil instead! I don’t understand where is the real butter?!?!?

  40. Feta and Zucchini Bread: how I went from a sweet dish to a savory one | Chef v. Pin says:

    […] and change it up to match your own personal taste or purpose. When I came across this recipe from Use Real Butter (again) I got very excited. But that was before I realized that their zucchini bread was sweet and […]

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