Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Zucchini Bread is a right of passage in summer. I’ve either grown the zucchini, I get some from neighbors or I buy them, but it gets made every single year. The addition of the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting has only made it better!

Zucchini bread is one of those things that if I had gone all summer without making it would have left me with a sad, that’s just not right sort of feeling. For years it was something my kids really looked forward to, using squash from our backyard garden.

However, as the neighbor’s tree has grown to take more and more of our coveted bit of sun each year and my kids have grown up and moved out on their own; my desire to manage a large garden has grown less and less.

As a result, I no longer grow zucchini and either purchase them at the farmer’s market when they are in season or more likely? Wait for the bounty of others to fill my needs when they have more zucchini that they can manage to use in this lifetime!

Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Without a garden and with an injury that has limited me a lot and kept me from the farmer’s market, if not for a wine tasting in my home, yes, I said a wine tasting, this batch would not have happened either.

Enter the woman who in lieu of bringing either a bottle of wine or an appetizer per our groups rules and had decided instead to gift me with two monstrous zucchini. After an initial  ‘Huh, What?’ moment, I certainly wasn’t displeased because now I had my zucchini for bread.

My intent was to make several small loaves; something I love to do and gift to others; and made so much easier with this loaf pan I got last year…2 pans, 8 loaves…so much easier to handle than 8 separate little NOT non stick pans I used to use. Whoo hoo!

My Aunt Patsy died a couple of weeks ago after a long and good life. I wasn’t able to make it home for the funeral  and that made me a bit sad but to make me feel better and I hope her family too, I planned to do what I always do in difficult times; send food for comfort.

Not just for my Dad, but for my Aunt Jane, my Dad’s other sister and Aunt Pat’s husband, my Uncle Eddie. My daughter Lauren didn’t really know my Aunt or Uncle but think this incident of family and loss was part of the reason she so wanted to make a trip to my hometown and touch base with relatives she rarely sees.

It was cathartic for her so like a lot of things…something good came from something sad. That’s Lauren with my 89 year old Dad!

This seemed the perfect thing. I had plenty of squash, enough to make several loaves and it sure seemed destined to be when I heard of a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Association that needed to include, well, California Walnuts!

Making this comfort food for others is also comforting for me so it seemed perfect for both the fun/sad event as well as a way to show my family I’m thinking of them.

This bread as I intended it would have toasted walnuts both in the bread and on top of the icing; the perfect complement for zucchini bread! See judges…yes, I actually did  use California Walnuts —————->

The original recipe calls for pecan and I assume you could add what you want, but I so prefer walnuts. I always toast them a bit before adding them to the dough mixture and it’s perfect with the cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

No matter that the recipe comes from a very old cookbook, it remains the best I’ve ever had. I’m sure there are other wonderful recipes available but something about this time honored one that is just perfect for me.

The recipe comes from a cookbook that was put together by Sacred Heart Parish in Florissant, MO where I grew up. I’ve had this cookbook for more years than I can remember. It first belonged to my Mother when I was a little girl so I’m guessing it’s at least 50 years old because we lived near that church then.

I don’t think big squash are great for a lot of my favorite recipes but are perfect for bread…both now and later. If you have too much zucchini, or like me one that is really not ideal for your favorite recipes, simply grate them now, portion out 2 cups per package and freeze for baking during the winter.

I don’t blanch them, just include the thawed squash with the resulting liquid and it’s as good as fresh!

Although I love this bread all by itself (well, maybe with some butter!), I wanted to make these a bit more special. I would typically frost them with a cream cheese frosting but I’ve been going brown butter crazy lately and decided to try doing the frosting with brown butter and must say this frosting is nirvana.

This version has cinnamon in the frosting but if you want to use it for other reasons, the  cinnamon can always be excluded if necessary. Hide the spoons and put gloves on your fingers in any attempt to keep from just eating it all. You’ll see; I’m not kidding!

Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Brown Butter Frosting

An old favorite; this Zucchini Bread has been updated with a luscious cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 Servings (2 Loaves)
Calories: 577kcal

Ingredients

For the Bread

  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups zucchini coarsely grated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 - 2 cups walnuts toasted and rough chopped (The recipe calls for 1 cup of nuts but I usually put in double that amount)

For the Cream Cheese and Brown Butter Frosting

  • ½ cup brown butter (melt butter over medium heat watch closely and stir until the butter starts to turn golden brown. I've found that when the butter has the most foam on top is when the butter is browning, so please watch carefully. Brown is fabulous. Burnt is ruined.
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese softened
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons of half and half
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts toasted (optional but not really!)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease and flour 2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini pans.
  • Mix eggs, oil, sugar and spices until well blended.
  • Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to egg and oil mixture.
  • Add zucchini and nuts and stir just to blend.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes for small pans or 1 hour for regular size.
  • Make the Frosting
  • Pour the brown butter into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer; allow it to cool a bit.
  • Add the softened cream cheese and beat until thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the cinnamon, vanilla and confectioners sugar. Beat until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  • Add 2 - 4 Tbsp half and half and mix until a smooth and spreadable consistency.
  • Frost the loaves with icing and top with the chopped walnuts.

Nutrition

Serving: 18 | Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 296mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g

 

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27 Comments

  1. I have made zucchini bread before from other recipes, even my mom’s tried and true recipe.. but this one beats them all. I have never made my own frosting before and it was amazing! I only used 3 cups of confectioners sugar (instead of 5) because that’s all I had – but it ended up making the frosting super light and fluffy and not too sweet at all. The bread turned out beautifully and looked just like the pictures, everyone loved it! Thank you!

    1. Music to my ears! I love when an old standard (and well loved) recipe is so well received. Now the brown butter frosting doesn’t hurt does it? 🙂

      You are most welcome…sharing what I love is why I do this so you’ve made my day.

  2. I love zucchini anything. I’ve made chocolate chip zucchini cookies, chocolate zucchini cake and most recently chocolate zucchini cupcakes with orange basil frosting. All to surely pick you up. Sorry for your loss. Baked good do make the heart sing a brighter song.

  3. Barb, what a lovely post! I’m so to sorry to hear about your loss. Your daughter is beautiful! Love the Zucchini Bread especially with the delicious cinnamon cream cheese brown butter frosting! Yum!!!

  4. Barb,
    What a beautiful post – I am sorry about your aunt – even when people have lived a good and long life it is never easy to lose them. The photo of your daughter and your dad is wonderful! I am sure your daughter is very glad that she went to spend time with your family – it’s always seem hard to find the time but it always worth it!

    I also grew up eating a lot of zucchini bread but mine was never frosted! I haven’t made it in a long time since it’s not a favorite of my family’s but with the frosting it may just become one!!!

  5. Oh my! I love zucchini bread and have never thought of frosting it. Yours looks delicious and the frosting is definitely going on my next batch.

  6. That cookbook looks like its good condition considering its 45 yers old. Great photo and FINALLY Tastespotting has come to its senses! You are inspiring me to bake tonight.

    1. I know…they are treasures here and I try to take good care of them. Making the especially important recipes from this book for safekeeping on the blog though…you just never know!

  7. Barb,

    Looks delightful! Especially with that cream cheese frosting. If it stops raining, maybe I’ll venture into the garden and make some bread. :O)

    [K]

  8. Hi Barb,

    I am sorry to hear about your loss. It is nice that Lauren was able to make it to your hometown to see family. Something great can come from sadness.

    You are having way too much fun with the PP, this bread included! What a great recipe!

    Gwen

  9. That looks lovely! Glad my brown butter frosting inspired you… I’m totally craving it again. Might have to make some more.

    PS – I LOVE (love love love) that loaf pan. I have lots of little mini pans and they are such a pain. I will be looking into one of those very soon 🙂

    1. I found them last year at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Of course I went in looking for something entirely different but like you..just got sick of dealing with and storing a bunch of small pans.

  10. Lauren, your mom is the best! So sorry for your loss, Barbara, and nothing says love and “I care” like the home-baked and home-cooked. This recipe is a winner and so much better with that frosting. Just perfect! And your daughter is beautiful! xo

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