zucchini bread

[Note: There’s a newer, ultimate zucchini bread on the site now, published in 2019. Check it out!]

If any thing could tear me from my at times maniacal devotion to small spaces, walk-up apartments, crowded sidewalks and our crystal rattling at 11:30 p.m. on a Sunday while the stench of hot tar seeps in through our leaky windows because the City decided this would be a good time to repave the avenue below, it would be the suburban pastoral longing for a backyard garden where I could grow tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and herbs.

one-bowl zucchini bread

Growing up, this is what my parents set aside a space on the side of the house for, lined by a raspberry bush and just steps from the sour cherry tree. Sadly, the tree died just as I developed a taste for the tart cherries, the raspberry bush became overrun with poison ivy, and the last round of landscaping whittled the garden area to half its size, but I swear, somewhere in the back there is still a matted indentation from the Summer of the Zucchini Bats.

zucchini bread batter, minus my finger swipe of it

I don’t know if something was particularly haywire in the soil that summer (insert your best Jersey joke here) or maybe this is just what happens from time to time if you don’t pick your zucchini when they’re a more manageable size, but the summer when I was about seven, the zucchini never stopped growing. Now, I was short then (and sadly, still am) but I remember these things being at least half my size. And heavy. And we had no idea what to do with them.

ready to bake

Which brings me to my very first cookbook, aptly titled something along the lines of My Very First Cookbook. I’d do anything to find another copy of it today, but to be honest, I’m not even sure if it was mass-produced in any way. Bound with one of those white plastic comb spines, with hand-drawn illustrations inside, it could easily have been picked up at a craft fair form by the neighbor across the street who gave it to me as a birthday gift. It’s generic title and odd construction have not made it easy to hunt down.

zucchini bread

But in truth, no matter what nostalgia I deck it out with, it was nothing spectacular, your run-of-the-mill peanut butter sandwich recipes with a hippy-dippy bent of “try this with raisins!” But within its pages was a timely gem, something we’d never made before but were surprisingly delicious. And although I can’t actually imagine my mother letting us bake batches upon batches of sweet cakey food, I remember making a lot of zucchini muffins that summer.

zucchini bread

Zucchini muffins are sheer brilliance, if you ask me, crafted from the same ingenious logic as carrot cake: of course it’s healthy, it has vegetables in it. And, um, there’s nothing wrong with that line of thought, not that you couldn’t swap half the oil for yogurt or applesauce or half the flour with whole wheat for an especially earnest treat.

zucchini bread
classic zucchini bread

But I didn’t bother with any of that last night. I just wanted it the way I remembered–loads of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and a heaping pile of shredded squash. Of course, I have this husband thing now and he has but one suggestion for all food items, always: couldn’t you add chocolate chips to that? Thus, in the loaf I didn’t bring to work today, I did, but I’ve got to say, although delicious, they didn’t work for me because my idea of what zucchini bread should taste like was set at an early age, and is apparently unwavering, like some ten-pound zucchini from back in the day.

Which brings me to a question I’ve been itching to ask: Do you remember your first cookbook? Do you remember what you made from it?

Zucchini Bread

  • Servings: 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins
  • Print

[Note: There’s a newer, ultimate zucchini bread on the site now, published in 2019. Check it out!]

This zucchini bread, which I mashed together from several sources, has never failed me. But in 2016, I went back and made it even easier: it’s now a one-bowl recipe with a little less cinnamon (now: 2 teaspoons, previously: 1 tablespoon) and found the sugar could be reduced (now: 1 1/3 cups, previously: 1 3/4 cups, both are listed), and I need to tell you that I started making it with turbinado sugar (often sold as Sugar In The Raw) and it gives it these extra toasty faintly caramelized notes that are so wonderful, I cannot go back to making it with regular sugar. Feel free to do a full or half-swap. A half-swap with light brown sugar works well too.

This makes two loaves; one should always make both and freeze one — future you thanks you. This is great on the first day but even better on the 2nd and downright exceptional on the third.

I suggest add-ins such as dried fruit, nuts or chocolate but absolutely never use them.

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (235 ml) olive, vegetable oil or melted butter (I use a mix)
  • 1 1/3 to 1 3/4 cups granulated or turbinado sugar (the latter is the original amount)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 2 cups grated, packed zucchini, not wrung out (from about 10 ounces or 2 smallish zucchini)
  • 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1 to 2 cups dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)

Heat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour or (coat with a nonstick spray) two loaf pans (8×4 or 9×5; this doesn’t fill the pans so smaller is fine). Alternatively, you can grease 24 standard muffin cups or line them with paper liners.

Whisk eggs, oil or butter, sugar and vanilla in the bottom of a large bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt over wet ingredients and whisk them in well. Stir in zucchini. Gently stir in flour, mixing only until flour disappears. Stir in any add-ins, from nuts to chocolate.

Divide between prepared pans and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. [Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.] You can let them cool for 10 minutes on a rack before inverting and removing cakes from pans, or just let them cool completely in pans. Store it wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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609 comments on zucchini bread

  1. My first cookbook was the Betty Crocker kids cookbook and like you my neighbor (one of 2 boys at my 7th birthday party) gave it to me. I can’t recall the first recipe I made from it, but I do still have the cookbook with my name written in the front cover in big 7 year old letters!

  2. Erica

    The first cookbook I remember receiving was one my mom gave to me when I went to college. She gave me the Betty Crocker Cookbook that she got as a wedding gift (25 years ago, at that point).

    The first, and only, recipe I made from the book was macaroni and cheese.

  3. My Aunt used to make this for me when i was a kid. I managed to get her to give the recipe to my Mom but she never made it for me because she can’t cook. Oh Well. So Sad.

  4. Lauren

    The Boxcar Children Cookbook, and I made beef stew with dumplings. My family ate it, if I remember correctly, but I don’t remember a whole lot of praise. Probably because I don’t recall it asking for any salt or pepper?

  5. My first exposure was a cookbook for kids that I still have on the shelf at home. With the help of my mom I made a simple version of Shepherd’s Pie for my family. I remember how proud I was of myself, presenting dinner to the family as if I was now a bona fide chef.

    PS…Zucchini bread does ship well!

  6. Audrey

    My first was the Alpha-Bakery cookbook. I think my grandparents sent it when I was 12ish? I’m 28 now and I still make Cheeseburger Pie and Lemon Bars from it. I’ve tried a dozen or so other lemon bar recipes and I SWEAR that this one is the best. Or maybe it’s the nostalgia that tastes so good…

  7. My boyfriend’s mother just mailed us his first cookbook– The Superheroes Super Healthy Cookbook. It is brilliant. The recipes are your usual peanut butter and banana sandwich, salad (Batman and Robin provide that), and grilled cheese, but the illustrations are my favorite thing. Wonder Woman lassoing a glass of milk. Batman zooming over in his batmobile to get a taste of the salad dressing. I seriously want to blow up these pictures and hang them in our kitchen.

  8. Kara

    Fun question! My first recipes came not from a book, but from the loose-leaf pages my sister brought home from her 7th grade home-ec class when I was 10. She said the “German pancake” (aka Dutch baby or oven pancake) was really good, so I decided that I was going to make Mother’s Day brunch for my family, even though I don’t think I had made anything other than a sandwich or boxed mac n cheese to that point. The pancake came out beautifully, all puffy and running with butter; the homemade apple syrup made it a real treat; and if I remember correctly, I served it with strawberries, grapes, and orange juice. I set up a card table in the back yard under the huge hawthorn tree, covered it with a white tablecloth of course, and basked in my family’s enjoyment. It became a tradition. The next year for Mother’s Day I did dinner instead. For that I took on a curried chicken and vegetable rice dish from my mother’s local Junior League cookbook, and had raves once again. I was hooked and have been cooking ever since.

  9. I think it was the Betty Crocker cookbook as well.. And I would steal my mom’s Gourmet magazines and read them too.
    P.S. I have a boyfriend of the same mind as your husband — anything could be improved with the addition of chocolate.

  10. deb

    Isn’t it funny? They always say women are the chocoholics, and while I would never turn down a champagne truffle from La Maison du Chocolat, I positively swoon at the thought of a vanilla bean-flecked creme brulee.

  11. Alison

    Have you ever made chocolate zucchini / zucchini chocolate cake? (Sounds healthier the second way.) Perhaps your taste buds wouldn’t mind the addition of chocolate if it’s intended to be a different sort of cake altogether. I think Clotilde has a good recipe, although the one from Anne in Clotilde’s comments looks more like the one I usually make. Soooooo good. In fact, I’m going to make one right now! Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Delaney

    There was a series of children’s activity books in the library, I can’t remember the name of the series or the publisher… the illustrations were all rather creepy, children with big eyes and circular curls… but the purple book in the series was recipes. I made tea from pine needles and the major culinary accomplishment was Daisy Buns: canned biscuits dipped in butter and sugar, arranged on pineapple tidbits and maraschino cherry halves arranged to look like flowers.

  13. Alice

    The first and only cookbook I consulted throughout my childhood, mainly for baking recipes, was The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. When I moved to college, my mother gave me one of my own. It, for me, was and still is the quintessential go-to source for American cooking and baking. I use it to this day, broken spine, covered in food stains, and all.

  14. Nic

    My first cookbook came with a set of plastic measuring spoons. I only remember making the breakfast recipes, hard-boiled eggs, french toast, and raisin bran muffins. I was very proud of my muffins. Oh! And popcorn with different toppings.

  15. Alison

    Oh, as for the actual question you asked, I think the first cookbook that was supposed to be mine (I read everything in the house, including my parents’ cookbooks) was something by Pillsbury. Ooh, found it in the closet… it’s by Gold Medal flour, called Alpha-Bakery. There’s a recipe for every letter of the alphabet. :) The recipe we made the most was Turtle Bread: a white bread dough arranged in the shape of a turtle, with raisins for eyes. All the recipes in the book are pretty decent though, with the exception of Quick Cheeseburger Pie.

  16. Jennifer D.

    Mine was the Betty Crocker New Boys and Girls Cookbook. I still have it although it’s now just loose pages between the yellow and white stripe covers! My first recipe was the “Cinnamon Puffs” dated Nov. 29th, 1971 (I’ve always dated my recipes..still do it today!) I even included my family’s mom said to “make them smaller”, my sister thought they were “good” and my 10 yr old brother said “I don’t hate them”.

  17. Deb – The cookbook you described was my cookbook as well! Once you mentioned the spiral binding I figured it was the same. I still have it at my parents house, I saw it about a month ago. It was so simple and so adorable. I will take a picture and e-mail it to you. So crazy.

  18. Ang

    Debbies, just get some pots and grow some veggies and herbs on your roof. Our zucchini, tomatoes and herbs are doing great in their containers on the patio. You can do it!

    I had the Mickey Mouse cookbook, which is weird because I hate Mickey Mouse and all Disney-related things. I was really into the cookbook, though. Thumper’s Tuna Noodle Casserole = mmmmmmm.

  19. *Thank* you! People who didn’t grow up with gardens never ever believe me that zucchini get so big – ours were the size of small children for so many years running that I still think of the ones in the store as miniatures.

    My first cookbook was the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook, but I don’t remember making much out of it except biscuits, like once a week for a year. Much more formative were my mom’s instructions for making scrambled eggs on our push-button stove: 25 years later, on any stove in the world, I still think “turn it down to 3” when I lower the flame and put in the eggs.

  20. dingbat

    The first one I ever owned myself was Betty Crocker. I think as soon as I signed the lease on my first apartment, it magically materialized in my hands. I use it for basic structure of recipes now. I used it yesterday to make pancakes, albeit with half-and-half white and whole wheat flour, plus some flax meal for extra “I’m not fun anymore” adult-itude.
    The first ones I ever used, though, were a spiral bound, short and fat little book we called “The Amish Cookbook.” I have no idea what its real title was. Having a mother who would subsist solely on desserts and breads if she could manage it, I learned to bake before I learned to cook, and almost exclusively from this book whose recipes never extended past 3/4 of a page, for all their straightforwardness.

  21. RA

    My first cookbook was the Better Homes and Gardens for Kids (or For Youth or something like that) and, after I tried to fathom meatloaf with marshmallows on it – ugh – I always made snickerdoodles with my mom. That recipe is still good!

  22. Lizzie

    My (former) sister-in-law gave my first two cookbooks one Christmas when I was 8 or 9. The “Fun to Cook” book must’ve been a Carnation freebie because every recipe used Carnation milk (evaporated, condensed or powdered). The pictures were cute, the girl reminded me of Pippi Longstocking. But who cooked with carnation?

    The “Lip Smackin’ Joke Crackin’ Cook Book for Kids” had jokes, recipes, puzzles and fun. And the words to On Top of Spaghetti next to a meatball recipe. I worked the puzzles, sang the song, told the jokes.

    I cooked out of my sister’s copy of McCall’s that my Mom appropriated. First recipe was chicken pot pie. Still a favorite.

  23. I don’t remember the first cookbook I owned, but my first memory of cooking something from a cookbook was Christmas Cutouts from the red plaid Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that was my mothers. My poor mother, she is not a fan of the cooking and even less of the baking. She and I spent an entire flour covered weekend making sugar cookie stars for me to take to school. Most of the batches were burnt to a crisp, but I can still taste them today in their shortbready goodness. 25 years later they are still my favorite flavor of Christmas.

  24. Bettina

    Your zucchini bread, like your writing, is impeccable!

    My first cookbook was inherited from a garage sale–the ubiquitous orange Betty Crocker hardback. I must’ve been about seven or eight; I made chicken fricasee (even though I didn’t know what it was–still kinda don’t) and peanut butter cookies.

    So ’70s, indeed.

  25. Here here to the orange Betty Crocker hardback–that was me, too. Except mine had permanent concentric circles burned onto it from someone’s well-meaning stove. Nice touch.

  26. That’s a great question! My first cookbook was Linda Mccartney’s Home Cooking and I made Aubergine Parmigiana. I was 12 and I didn’t know what an aubergine was, but I knew it looked delicious. I don’t think I realized it until just now, but that cookbook was probably the reason I stopped eating meat as a kid… I have since come back to the darkside though. Maybe I should dig up that book… Thanks for the walk down memory lane question!

    Your zucchini bread looks wonderful.

  27. Joann

    My first cookbook was Betty Crocker hard back my Mother-in-Law
    brought it for me. As I really didn’t need it my mother was a great
    cook & tought me at a very young age. I think that is why I
    like to cook, I have been doing it all my life. As for the zuchine
    I know I have grown in my own yard very BIG ONE’S made a lot of
    great reipes with them. will share one day.

  28. Jim

    My first cookbook? A relatively recent acquisition called “How to Boil Water.” It’s rather simple, meant for a cooking newbie like myself, but I made my first proper meal using it, and it was quite a moment of pride.

  29. Jess

    My first cookbook that was all my own was a cheap, thin paperback that I got from one of those Scholastic book things we all got in grade school. I don’t really remember any of the recipes, probably because I only made one dish out of it. It was a “5 Alarm Chili con Carne”. I still make a variation of it today. So yummy!!
    Ok, so as I was writing that, I just remembered another cookbook that may have come before that one. It was a Chez Panisse cookbook for kids. I used to read that book over and over. All the food sounded so amazing(lavender ice cream!! for an 8 year old, this was an astonishing idea) I think the only thing I ever ended up making out of it was chocolate kisses. Which didn’t turn out as perfectly as I wanted, so I gave up on cooking for awhile. Yeah, that’s the kind of perfectionism I’ve been blessed with. If I don’t get it perfect on the first try, stop and never return. : )

  30. My first cookbook is still the only cookbook I own. My mom typed up all of the recipes she makes and printed them all out, 3-hole punched them, and stuck them in a binder for me. She gave it to me for a going-away-to-college gift. I just graduated and finally have a kitchen (no more dorm, yay!), and finally have a chance to make stuff. The first thing I made was chicken parm. Yummy.

  31. Liz

    Good question. The very first cookbook I actually remember reading through and making something from was a little church fundraiser book. It was one of those plastic-bound local copy shop specials, complete with pb&j recipes for the kids and amusing 1970’s dinner party food, but my grandmother had contributed some artwork and a few of the Southern desserts she had grown up eating (chess pie, chocolate chess pie, and — of course — pecan pie). I swear, I must have read the whole thing through every time my mom and I made one of those pies… The book was lost in a move years later, but I dreamed about the chocolate chess pie for years. I only recently managed to find a copy of the recipe, and I think it took me a whole two seconds to decide to go get the ingredients and start cooking!

  32. Traci

    I don’t remember the name of the cookbook, but I remember the first thing I made out of it was deviled eggs. Gotta love those complex recipes in kid’s cookbooks. ;)

  33. My first cookbook was actually my mother’s copy of Joy of Cooking. That and Betty Crocker were the only two cookbooks I remember her owning. I would read it for fun out on the couch – I remember their descriptions of seaside clambakes and cooking potatoes in hot resin were especially fascinating. The first recipe I remember actually making was what they called, if I remember, Creamy Italian Dressing. It was so good I could have eaten it with a spoon.

  34. Nancy

    Seems like Betty wins the day. My mother thought that teaching us to cook was teaching us to bake. When I got married I could bake anything, but cook nothing. A few months later she moved to Maine, and I had Betty Crocker. Today it is missing its spine and some pages have been so stuck together you can’t read the recipe. I don’t rely much on Betty anymore – not with the internet so handy, but I still turn to her for that muffin recipe, and recently went searching for that “just like mom’s” recipe for Snickerdoodles for my boyfriend – and yes, Betty had the exact one.

  35. Gwen

    My first cookbook was “Whole Foods for the Whole Family” – can we tell that my mom was a member of LLL and a health food junky? this probably explains my addiction to ice cream and chocolate as an adult – and the first recipe out of it I remember making was “Dandy Candy”. It was a brilliant mixture of peanut butter, honey, powdered milk and carob powder and I can remember eating it long before it set and was ready to be eaten.

  36. deb

    Wow, Gwen. I just saw on a blog this week something about rolled up peanut butter candy that sounds like that. I had never heard of it before, yet it was someone’s favorite thing on earth. What a coincidence!

  37. dingbat

    Nancy (37), I think we had the same mother. My mom still can’t cook worth shit, bless her heart, but the confections she bakes, my goodness. I myself learned to cook on the job, when I got promoted from the deli to the kitchen of the only (wannabe) frou-frou restaurant in a very small western KY town. Now I go home and make the most standard of dishes–spag and meatballs, say, and knock the fam’s socks off. But I still can’t touch Mom’s chocolate pound cake.

  38. Amy

    Hey, just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. I was recently asked to list my top 5 female bloggers and I had to put you down. I love your great pictures, writing style and recipes. I am determined to try most of them!

  39. mk

    My first cookbook (or the first one I remember) was the Beatrix Potter cookbook for children, and there was a recipe in it for stewed fruits (or was it baked?) that I loved as a kid – raisins, apples, other assorted fruits that were – I think – sort of mulled in cider? I also remember a local church cookbook (with comb spine thingy) that had recipes in it for play-dough as well as really yummy lemon bread – that one I think my mother still has!

  40. i don’t remember the name of the book exactly – but i bought it through the book ordering service in my school – around the 5th grade. and i remember that peter max did all the art. and the recipe i made over and over was a pineapple upside down cheescake for my father because he loved it. that was over 30 years ago…. total blast from the past memory. thanks for stirring it up.

  41. Marisa

    My first cookbook was the Boxcar Children Cookbook and the first recipe I ever tried was along the lines of “Broken Bottle Apple Pie” or something equally dangerous-sounding. I think this is the main reason I wanted to try it but my mom made me use a boring wooden rolling pin instead of a bottle like the Boxcar Children used and it just wasn’t the same.

  42. I had a cookbook in Russian that allowed me to make boats out of wedges of tomato with Swiss cheese slices as sails, and parsley on the side as oars. It wasn’t so much cooking as ‘crafts with food’ but Russia didn’t exactly have a market for young, budding cooks age 6. I started my own cookbook when I was 4 though where I attempted to document my culinary journey through my childhood. I think I lost it shortly before we left for America though.

  43. liz

    Mine was a hardback book with a red and white checkered front. I believe it featured a couple of 70’s kids stirring something in a bowl. I have a vivid memory of some strange gingerbread cookies–shaped like worms? Or maybe letters of the alphabet? I do believe they had raisins for eyes. I also remember making a meatloaf covered in mashed potatoes from that book.

    For the record I am definitely the vanilla person and J is 100% the chocolate.

  44. Kim

    Oh, the amazing flashbacks I’m having from these comments. I believe my first cookbook was somewhere in the Betty-for-kids family; I remember that it featured a cake frosted to look like a giant hamburger, complete with real sesame seeds on the top “bun”, that I shamelessly begged, BEGGED! my mother to make for my 13th birthday. She can’t cook either, poor dear, but she persevered through that cake. I also have distant memories of a four-color pamphlet of fancy Christmas cookies that my grandmother had, probably a grocery store or brand giveaway.

    And way up there, to Kara: I think there’s some sort of federal law that mandates teaching the Dutch Baby recipe to all junior-high home ec classes. Everyone I’ve ever known learned it under the same circumstances!

  45. kitty

    My first cookbooks were from the checkout line at the grocery. I was in 7th grade and my sister was in first. Mom went back to work that summer and I was in charge of babysitting. Her payment to me was a new little cookbook nearly weekly! Oh, the joys of Betty Crocker’s 101 Things To Do With Chicken, or Bisquick’s pages upon pages of impossible pies. (I made up those names, but you get the point.) I still have some of them and treasure them. I tried something new nearly daily and I’m sure the grocery bill that summer was more than childcare would have been. But now I’m an adventurous cook in love with my kitchen!

  46. First off, I swear I was trying to picture a particular type of bat (marsupial) that thrived in zucchini patches until about halfway through your post. But I am a sleep-deprived new mom whose refrigerator just crapped out today, so I’m not thinking super-straight.

    Second random thought in a jumbled beaded thread . . . this zucchini bread looks fantastic Deb. I too grew up on zucchini EVERYTHING and have been craving my mom’s zucchini bread as of late . . . she puts peanut butter in hers which is quite heavenly.

    Third . . . I have my first cookbook sitting right here in front of me–Betty Crocker’s NEW Boys and Girls Cookbook (interesting boys came first). My mom just rescued it from their attic so that I can pass it on to my daughter. I’d take a pic and insert it here if I knew how to do that in the comments area.

    The most spilled-on pages are: Silhouette Sandwiches (where you make cutouts from a piece of American cheese and lay it over a slice of salami); Frank Roundup (I LOVED this one! You make shallow slices on one side of a hot dog and wind it around a dollop of pickle relish on a hamburger bun); Sloppy Joe (self evident); Bunny Salad (canned pear halves with cottage cheese tails, almond ears, cinnamon candy noses and raisin eyes); Polka Dotted Macaroni and Cheese (a mac and cheese casserole with sliced hot dogs); Chocolate Chip Cookies; and, sadly, the Tuna and Chips Casserole.

    Lia Huber

    1. JO

      Bunny Salad, Of all the things to remember after 50-some years :) thanks for reminding me, I think!
      I currently have an entire shelf of cookbooks, most of which I use one or two recipes from, over and over. But for new inspiration, I always go to Smitten Kitchen because Deb ROCKS!

  47. So hungry now!

    I don’t believe I ever had a first cookbook… but I do remember lots of random pieces of paper that my grandmother had scribbled recipes on. I still love those recipes to this day. =D

  48. Grace

    My first cookbook was my mother’s Betty Crocker cookbook – it came as a ring binder, and I think it dated from the mid 50’s. I still fondly remember my favorite chocolate frosting (Brown Beauty), among other gems. My mother in law is on high alert to bring me back one from a tag sale find, because I don’t want to pay the premium price it commands on the net!

    My mom was a straight up housewife raised in the midwest by depression era parents, and she always had a huge garden with tons of zucchini. Sadly, I didn’t learn about the joys of zucchini bread until I was 17 and out of the house, when my roommate and I made zucchini recipes for all of one very long hot summer. Great memories :-)

  49. Actually yes, there are two of them and I still have them, let me go look…

    1. “La Cuisine Est Un Jeu D’Enfants” because my mother wanted to raise me speaking French, though she fell off the bandwagon rather quickly. It’s an oversize book with hand-done drawing and it involves make-believe mushrooms, a crouton omelet, lemons stuffed with olives and sardines, cheese souffle and chicken in a salt crust.
    2. Step-by-Step Cookbook which is British so I never managed to get the measurements right , but has everything shown by color photo step-by-step. It has a killer recipe for beef stew that my mother still makes (the key is a bit of orange peel).

    This was really fun, great idea!

  50. Strange to me that only one other person so far has mentioned the Joy of Cooking. My mother had my great grandmother’s copy (with extra recipes, like her pie crust, written on the end papers). The first things I made from it all on my own were peanut butter cookies and raspberry jam. I was seven years old and wanted pb & j cookies. It’s funny, because I was just remembering this the other day (might have something to do with those nutter butters). Oh, and I’m with you on the chocolate thing, I’d much rather have crème brûlée or other vanilla bean inflected desserts over chocolate (and definitely not in my zucchini bread thank you very much), but my husband is in Alex’s camp.

  51. Oh, Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook, circa sometime in the ’70s, for sure. That was my parents’ go-to cookbook for everything and it was the first one I used on my own, to make my mother’s heavenly pancakes for the first time when I was about 14 or so.

    Claiborne’s collection was unfussy but exacting – everything I’ve made since from that book is classic and well-balanced.

  52. The first thing I ever remember making wasn’t from a cookbook. My mom would make her crust for pies, and then give me the leftovers. I would use small cookie cutters to make shapes out of the dough, and them bake them with sugar and cinnamon. When I was a little older, I would roll them out, add butter, cinnamon and sugar, roll them up and slice like cinnamon buns. They came out crispy and good!

    My favorite item with zucchini is chocolate zucchini cake. So moist. We puree the zucchini first.

  53. My first cookbook? The original,non-updated, loaded with dairy fat Moosewood Cookbook. It was a 16th birthday gift from my stepmom who wasn’t thrilled about my refusal to eat meat, but found a way to be supportive. Honestly though I don’t remember what I first cooked from that. I do remember that at 16 my specialty was curried rice made with plain old white rice, raisins, almonds, peas, and tons of Sun Brand Madras curry powder. And now I find myself with a bit of a craving for that gummy and very yellow dish……

  54. i remember reading cookbooks for kids as a child, but my most oft-executed recipe was chocolate frosting with graham crackers. wow, my first mastered recipe was extemporaneous. to this day, i read cookbooks like no one’s business, but rarely follow them.

  55. This looks so good, and the zucchini adds moisture and nutrition-somehing to do with all that garde-grown zucchini! To answer your question, my first cookbook was the Better Homes and Garden classic red and white checked binder cookbook (I’m feeling likeJune Cleaver about now!)

  56. I remember the Betty Crocker kids’ cookbook, but what really sticks out in my mind is the storybook “Old Black Witch!” It’s about a witch who haunts a tearoom, and had a recipe for blueberry pancakes that I made many times, first with Mom’s help, and then on my own.

    Here’s a picture of the cover. You can still find used copies at, Amazon and eBay.

  57. alicejanee

    My first cookbook, given to me by my Mum shortly after I got married, was The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. It’s been an excellent resource ever since, even though I now live in Europe (and long ago divorced the husband) and have to do various math contortions to get the measurements right. Now I cook WAY more than I ever did growing up. My Mum was such a fabulous cook that there was simply no need… and no room for an inquisitive kid in the kitchen with eight of us to feed three times a day. (Great question!)

  58. Patty

    I love this blog, I grew up with my mom and grandma in firm charge of the kitchen. They rarely used a coockbook but owned every one that was ever printed ,lol. Oh the memories, me standing on a chair , apron on…I just knew I was a the best cook on earth . Thanks to my mom and Grandma, I am a good cook, never afraid to wing it and yes, I go home and read my moms cookbooks still…My specaility is homemade spaghetti, strangely taught to me by an aunt , to this day Im still asked to make it for all our family functions

  59. Alexandra

    The first cook book I was given was “Look! I Can Cook” and I was 5 or 6, and the first things I made were chocolate kisses (sandwich cookie). The book fell apart over the years and then disappeared. I mentioned it in passing to My Lovely Young Man who, unbeknownst to me, found it on eBay, bid for it, and a nice lady in NYC sent it to me in London a few years ago. I was sooo happy :-) And it brought back lots of lovely warm memories.

    Love the blog, and I hope you are going to love Napa.

  60. I didn’t have buy my first cookbook until I was in college, but I remember my mother transforming the overwhelming bounty of our garden grown zucchini into zucchini bread. Let me tell you it’s hard to convince folks outside of the States that it’ll be good, and I often have to refer to carrot cake as an example of vegetable used in sweet breads or cakes. Once sampled though, there is no denying that it’s delicious!

  61. Meghan

    I think I had a couple of cooking-for-kids type cookbooks, but didn’t really use them. In college, when I went to Budapest for a semester, my mom gave me the paperback Joy of Cooking (volume 1)…so virtually everything I made for 6 months came from there. Particular favorite was chicken and dumplings – Thank goodness for that book or we would never have eaten chicken! I had no idea how to cut up a whole chicken and that was the only way you could buy it in Hungary at the time. But Joy of Cooking had explicit directions, of course!

  62. Gladys Kabanek

    It’s been a while since i first wrote, but i look forward to your Smitten Kitchen every day. I miss it when you take a break. I don’t cook now, living with my daughter and family, but the book i did use when i lived by myself was always the Joy Of Cooking. My daughter now has my copy and faithfully uses it for her family cooking. Love you pictures, the comments and all. By the way I’m 75 and you make my day brighter.

  63. My first cookbook was a kids science cookbook. It had nifty pictures and I loved cooking out of it. I believe my first thing to bake though was chocolate chip cookies or pretzels. I can’t remember which one. Maybe my parents know.

  64. jess in boston

    I don’t remember my first cookbook, but I vividly remember the first recipes I ever made. I was about 12, and I made Caesar salad (julia’s recipe) and beer-and-cheddar soup (a la the Frugal Gourmet — I wrote the recipe down desperately quickly while the episode rushed by on PBS. So glad we don’t have to do that anymore! Or send SASEs to get recipes from the TV show. Instant gratification: The Only Way! Anyway, where was I? . . . oh, right.). I remember loving the Caesar salad, but not being able to get down more than a spoonful of the soup. Luckily, my dad loved it (or did he?) and ate way more than his share. Thanks, dad!

  65. Crystal Anne

    Hrm- my first cookbook… I don’t remember what it was called, but it was something to do with mircowavable dishes. It had this bright yellow cover, with the black spiral bound sides. Inside it had little traffic lights, little red, yellow and green lights indicating the hardness of the recipie and if parents should be keeping a close eye!
    I was so proud to get that book!

  66. Robyn

    I read smitten kitchen every day and I too am sad when there are no new posts. Also, I can’t tell you how many random people I have told about it.
    My first cookbook was a Gold Medal Flour cookbook for kids. It was just a little pamphlet type deal and I am certain the first thing I made from it was pancakes. As a grown-up, I couldn’t wait to get my very own copy of the Betty Crocker cookbook. My favorite recipies are brownies and the yellow cake best known by my family as “Birthday Cake.”
    However, most of my early cooking memories don’t involve a cookbook. Just time spent in the kitchen perched on the stepstool with dishtowel for an apron and tutoring by my Grandma, aunts, uncles and mom. That’s the best way!!

  67. Mar

    The farmers market by me sells those insanely large zucchini that grow unchecked for the same price as the teeny ones, but I usually get small ones anyways.

    My first cookbook was a hand-me down from my mom that sounds much like the one you described. I’m not sure though if I ever made anything out of it though.

  68. My siblings and I were all avid devotees of the Klutz Kid’s Cookbook. Frequent favorites included Happel Bagel Sandwiches (bagel+apple+cheese+cinnamon, all toasted), Chili con Carne, Put-Back Potatoes, and Frozen Bananoids (bananas+chocolate+coconut, frozen)…all of which I still make from time to time for a good dose of comfort food.

  69. courtney

    I love zucchini bread, but only my step grandmothers. However I am no longer in touch with my step family and cannot get the recipe. I have tried a couple but they weren’t right, and I have seen too many that ask for pineapple.

    Looks like this one is next on my list. I’m not sure if hers had nutmeg, but other than that, is seems about right. I may just have to try it both ways.

    Hope my husband likes zucchini bread.

  70. …And I think we must have been on the same wavelength yesterday, because I made zucchini bread with chocolate chips yesterday, too! (only the chocolate chips were my idea… heh, heh)

  71. I was cooking out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 8th grade. But I also used Joy, and Diet for a Small Planet.

    When my mother tried to grow zucchini, my brother & I used to knock the flowers off because we hated the product so much. She never understood why she didn’t get more zucchini. We fessed up recently.

  72. Linda

    My first cookbook was Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cookbook, not the new one, but I’m guessing the original. I still have it, but it’s really in bad shape after all these years. My first recipe was a cake made in the shape of an igloo that I made for my 11th or 12th birthday in January. I thought it would be really “cool” to keep with the winter b’day theme and do the igloo cake. I remember being extremely proud of it. I also remember baking breakfast muffins from the book along with a candle salad made with a banana and a cherry flame!

  73. deepa

    the bread looks great! i just make 101cookbook’s bread with curry powder and was VERY pleased. oh – a garden is not always all it is cracked up to be. after leaving mahattan for boston, i was SO excited to plant my vggie/herb garden. among other things, i had zucchini last year – not only did the plants overrun my pepper plants, but i had all leaves and no fruit!

  74. I’m a little disappointed in my zucchini plant because it’s not as prolific as I’d hoped. No bats yet (cucumbers are a different story). My first belongs-to-me cookbook was a Better Homes & Garden cookbook, a paperback that fell apart quickly, but from poor binding rather than lots of use. I think I made popovers first–my brother and I were briefly obsessed with them. My first use-it-frequently cookbook was my mother’s Betty Crocker Cooky book. Whenever she dies I’m taking it. Actually, whenever she unearths it from the boxes of her recent move I’m probably taking it, because the day I started making cookies, she stopped. Dad has to make chocolate chip cookies himself if he wants them.

  75. M

    First cookbook was a Sunset Magazine basic cookbook (Sunset is a west coast thing). I think my grandma found it at a library book sale or something. It’s actually still good for basic stuff and has a great chart that lists the cooking time for every vegetable you could ever think of. It came in handy the first time I made a baked potato on my own.

  76. The Settlement Cookbook! A present from my American grandmother to my Roman mother, who promptly shut it into her kitchen cupboards until I discovered it as a pre-teen.

  77. I can’t remember actually owning a cookbook until i moved to college (after which I collected them by the dozens, it seemed). I loved cooking though, and most of the stuff I remember was learned either by just figuring it out on my own or by hanging out in the kitchen with my Mom/Dad/Grandma and “helping with dinner”. One of my favorites that I can think of right now was my Mom’s apple crisp. I loved helping her peel all those apples, anticipating how great it was going to taste after it was all done.

    BTW, I made your chili recipe last night for my husband and I, and it was just perfect! Thank you. =)

  78. heather s

    How wierd, I had a book with plastic spiral binding, also called something like “A Child’s First Cookbook”! I remember making some sort of candy that ended up tasting like burnt sugar – yuck!
    I have the same feeling about banana bread – although I think that almost everything can be improved with the addition of chocolate (or if not chocolate then bacon, but that’s another story) I don’t want chips in my banana bread. Melted chocolate added to the batter however, is wonderous!

  79. My first coookbook was “The Sesame Street Cookbook. It was filled with truly trashy American delights like: Cookie Monster’s Un-Cookies (refrigerator cookies made with ccookie crumbs, peanut butter and chocolate chips), Oscar the Grouch’s Trash Salad (a chopped salad featuring tinned sardines) and my favorite Snuffaluphaloaf on Big Bird’s nest of noodles. The Snuffyloaf was just meatloaf shaped like Snuffaluphagus sitting on a tangle of buttered egg noodles. – I remember making his eyes from hard boiled eggs and olives. Wow – The memories that cookbok brings back are just so intense. I can practically smell the beef, onions and buttered noodles. Good times.

  80. another Gwen

    The Mennonite Community Cookbook… I grew up using that cookbook and had to have my own copy when I left home. Not that my Mom and I didn’t use plenty of other cookbooks.. and I have shelves and shelves of them now…along with a bunch of bookmarks to recipe and food blog sites (I’ve made that whole lemon tart you posted a few weeks back twice now) and I subscribe to two cooking magazines (only two at the moment, that’s some serious self control :-D ) but the Mennonite Community cookbook lives in the cookbook holder on my kitchen counter because it’s just not worth putting it on a shelf since it won’t stay there long enough to make it worth the effort.

  81. modigli

    My first cookbook was called “Yum! I Eat!” and it was written specifically for kids in that 70s style of handwritten fonts. My mom gave it to me, and I loved it. We would make things from the book together, and to this day, if we are eating together and something tastes good we exclaim “YUM! I EAT!”

  82. My first cookbook was The Joy of Cooking
    My first recipe was Banana Bread.
    Still make it, but from memory now and with a few small changes.
    GREAT question!

  83. joylynn

    My first cookbook was the ever-popular Betty Crocker Boys & Girls Cookbook. What’s funny about the timing of this post was that I just gave my daughter 2 cookbooks (her request) for her 11th birthday this past week. Also, I made 2 loaves of zucchini bread from a “bat” that a co-worker shared with me. My husband mentioned the addition of chocolate chips, but instead I used mini cinnnamon chips in the batter. My original recipe is very similar to yours, but the cinnamon chips melt into little pockets of extra cinnamon flavor. Yummy. I also use them in pancakes & homemade waffles that the kids love.

    BTW, I hope you can find (a copy of) your first cookbook again.

  84. I, too, had a spiral-bound cookbook from the seventies, but I don’t remember a recipe for zucchini bread. It was illustrated and arranged by holiday, suggesting meals you could make for say, Father’s Day (I think it was something like hot dogs and lemonade). But, the recipe I remember was for Christmas candy cane cookies. One batch of sugar cookie dough flavored with peppermint extract. Half of the dough was flavored with red food coloring (lots, so the dough was red, not pink). Grab a piece of white dough and roll it into a snake, same with the red, then twist together and shape into a candy cane. Good times.

  85. I made my first batch of brownies when I was about 10 with my mother’s cookbook which I think was a Betty Crocker. I didn’t have my own cookbook until I married and bought The Good Housekeeping Cookbook. I still have it today, well worn and it has the best brownie recipe ever. I’ve got some extra zucchini from my garden but I think I will make some fritters. I did that last year and they were really good.

  86. Catherine

    My favorite cookbook as a kid was based on the Charlie Brown characters. I loved making Lucy Lemon Squares. Love your blog!

  87. Peggasus

    My zucchini bread (though I prefer them in mini muffin form) recipes is virtually the same. I always swap out half the oil for applesauce, and half the flour for whole wheat as you mentioned. I also add 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 3 Tbs. flax seed, and 1 1/2 Tbs. wheat germ. Then I feel all virtuous eating them, as they are moist and delicious. They freeze beautifully, too. A few years ago I grew a zucchini in the garden that was the size of MY LOWER LEG. I am not kidding.

    My first cookbook was the little black binder that my mother has had forever, and which holds all of our family favorites, including ones from my great and (regular) grandmother. My brothers (three) and I never fight, but there just might be a turf battle over who gets that binder when Mom is no longer with us. I, as the only daughter, of course call dibs, because Mom didn’t make THEM cook dinner every Wednesday, from third grade until I left for college, with recipes from that book.

  88. Irène

    Mine was that old 50’s Betty Crocker kids cookbook that belonged to my mother and aunt first and they left it with my grandmom, who took care of me for years. I seem to remember being very into the recipe where you cooked the egg inside the toast with a hole in it and the concept of “Pig in a Blanket” intrigued me, but my grandmom thought those “biscuits” were an abomination (We are from Memphis, TN)!

  89. Jezzie

    My mom had a whole set of Ladies Home Journal cook books, slim, alphabetized like encyclopedias, hardbound, with he most gorgeous color illustrations. I cannot for the life of me imagine where she got them,or, if she bought them, how she afforded them, but we cooked out of them since I can remember.
    She passed when I was 16, but I kept them until they molded and roaches got to them (I live in Florida) before I finally gave them up. They were the only really personal items she left me when she died, and I owe my love of cooking to her and those books.Thanks for that memory Deb, I had forgotten.

  90. Kat

    The Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook was the first cookbook I remember ever making something out of. It was almost three inches thick, and my parents cooked it from cover to cover on a fairly frequent basis. My dad would make Saturday breakfast for us out of it, and my earliest memories of cooking were helping him make thick velvety Russian pancakes out of it.

  91. My very. very first cookbook was, embarassingly, the Barbie Cookbook, courtesy of my grandmother (defying my mother, who had banned Barbie). Published the year I was born, it contains charming vignettes of the Blonde enjoying home, school, and holidays in the kitchen. Shortly thereafter I graduated to a Unicef cookbook entitled “Many Hands Cooking,” and then the Mennonite Central Committee’s “Loaves and Fishes.” At about the same time, my mother gave up her long-standing flirtation with Adele Davis, and turned into a Franky (Moore Lappe) devotee. I still wake up screaming some nights, thinking of those hideous blobs of oily “natural” peanut butter mixed with gritty undissolved powdered milk, honey, and carob powder, then rolled in shredded unsweetened coconut. Curse you, Diet for a Small Planet!

  92. Ahna

    Betty Crocker? Junior League? Who are you people? Obviously, I grew up in a far different… remote location that the rest of the world. I grew up in Minnesota so of course my first cookbook was a “Lutheran Church Basement” cookbook. Really, a collection of recipes handed down to the younger members of the church for important occasions like… dating …or the ice going out on the lake. This cookbook had about 50 recipes for jello salads (my husband – the Philly boy – just about died when I called Jello a “salad.”) and about 100 recipes for bars (cakes and cookies made in a rectangular pan and cut into 1″ squares. Bars come in a large variety, but chocolate and lemon are the best.) and the rest was dedicated to hotdish recipes. (Hotdish in MN is anything that is held together with cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup. Hotdish is usually topped with tater tots or a can of crispy, fried onions.) Does anyone else notice that the vegetable category is missing? My husband attributes my avoidance of all things green to this fact. To this day, a hotdish is my go-to comfort food.

  93. My first cookbook , which I still own, was The Peanuts Cookbook and the first recipe I made was Lucy’s French Toast or maybe it was Peppermint Patty’s..Now I have to go dig that out for Izzy. Reading these comments has been quite fascinating..

  94. Annie

    Love these comments! (Ahna, great post!) Glad you asked the question! (tho this new preview feature is a bit freaky, watching a mirror image of what I’m typing magically appear at the same time!
    Growing up my mom had a Fanny Farmer cookbook. She never encouraged me to cook, so it wasn’t until after I moved out after college that I even got my own.. and I haven’t stopped. Dozens, and dozens… but do I use them? I keep printing out recipes fromthe Food Network, and yours…
    My first own cookbook was the Joy of Cooking, and one put together by a social group. All high fat and yummy. Ignorance was bliss back inthe late 70’s.


  95. The Peanuts Cook Book! I remember that! I think that was my first cookbook as well – I can remember making Security Cinnamon Toast as a wee kidlet. Fond memories.

    My first real cookbook was the 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking; first I learned how to bake cookies, then cakes, then bread. It’s still the cookbook I refer to most often. Can’t beat the classics.

  96. by the time i grew up adn started taking an interest in the kitchen my mother had quite a collection of cookbooks and all them, specially the ones with loads of pics, amazed me no end… Tho my first and favourite one for its sheer simplicity is the one mom got for free for collecting a number of McDougalls product wrappers, Better Baking cookbook!

  97. Linda

    I don’t remember which came first, the chicken or the egg, Cooking with Susan or the Joy of Cooking. What I do remember is how everything changed when Julia Child appeared on PBS in the 60’s. I went right out, bought her books, read them from cover to cove, and that was it for me. I was hooked. What a gal.

    I have a similar feeling about you. This blog (this is a blog,right?) is terrific. You are very funny, down to earth, an incredible photographer, and I know you would be a hoot to bake cookies or break bread with. Cookies, hell, let’s cover everything in plastic and make a croquembouche!

  98. liz

    My first was “Strawberry Shortcake’s Cooking Fun”. We made sandwiches shaped like cat faces (cheese triangle ears, celery whiskers). I don’t remember making anything else from the book, except perhaps the occasion PBJ pinwheel roll-up. What a fun thread to read, and see where we all started from!

  99. RLS

    I love a walk down memory lane! My first cookbook was a winnie-the-pooh small hardcover that I got for Christmas around age 8 or 9 (I’m jewish but we believe in celebrating). I made the blueberry muffins and they were AWFUL. One of my favorite cooking rituals was making shirred eggs with my father–lots of pomp and circumstance and so good.
    On the chocolate chip front–I ran a very basic cooking (really baking) class for little kids at my temple for a few years and the 2 rules were everything was made from scratch and everything had chocoloate chips. Really messy but a lot of fun!
    Thanks for asking and I love the site.

  100. I had (and still have) the Betty Crocker New Boys and Girls Cookbook… well as the beloved BC Cooky Book that I still pull out for the Toffee Bar and Spritz recipes each Christmas.

    But how funny that Kitt mentioned The Old Black Witch. I loved that book!

  101. Gerrie

    I don’t remember the very first cookbook I cooked out of-it was probably more like something off of the back of a canister of Quaker Oats- but the first cookbook I bought for myself was the Real Vegetarian Thai Cookbook in college. I still make the Green Curry with Zucchini and Bamboo shoots on a frequent basis. Delish! That first purchase made a monster out of me and now I have 42 cookbooks on my bookcase along with a box of antique cookbooks stored away somewhere.

  102. clayton

    i don’t even remember the name of it, but the cover was bright yellow with cartooney-like people characters on it, and it had a red comb binding. i wish i still had it, but alas, i believe it still resides somewhere in the confines of my parents’ home, about 1700 miles away. it chock- (choc?) full of extremely basic recipes like “peanut butter on celery,” but with twists, like how to turn them into wagons by placing them atop toothpicks with carrot rounds on each end. let me tell you…was i amazed. i think my favorite recipe, however, was that for witch’s brew. it was an ever so easy concoction of orange and cranberry juices, and probably something like gingerale. let me tell you, that sh** was delicious, and it’s still something i seek to make every halloween.

  103. I DO remember my first cookbook – Joy of Cooking. I was a new bride, at that moment living in some pretty ugly temporary digs in Pensacola, FL (with a kitchen that hardly qualified as one). I made cherry pie. But I didn’t have a pie plate, only a round aluminum cake pan. Made crust. And filling. And a lattice top that I hitched to the edges. Baked it. It oozed all over the sides of the pan and the bottom of the oven. Awful. Pie was wonderful, but it stuck to the pan, so it came out in spoonfuls. Looked dreadful, but tasted just fine.

  104. Elizabeth

    My first cookbook was also the Fannie Farmer cookbook. My brother and I used to make sugar cookies all the time. He would mix the wet ingredients, I would sift in the dry, and then we would race to see who could fill up a baking sheet first. After gorging ourselves on cookies, he would wash the dishes and I would dry. Good times (sniff, sniff).

  105. mary

    hmmmm…first cookbook was actually a collection of three different sources: my mother’s Joy of Cooking (still one of my favorites), the Southern Living series (bestest, southernest desserts EVER), and a small wooden drawer in the spice rack that held a myriad of my mother’s index cards, faded and stained, collected from friends and relatives. Still has the best southern cornbread recipe I’ve tasted.
    daw. Now you’ve made me sentimental for cornbread. have to go make some now.

  106. Believe it or not, my first cookbook was the Nancy Drew Cookbook. I still have it…recipes for “Togo dogs” (corn dogs…I remember searching around the grocery store for self-rising flour at age 8), homemade fortune cookies, and my second grade piece de resistance — a “stained glass window cake” featuring little cubes of colorful gelatin and made in a springform pan. In retrospect, I can see that my mother was very patient!

    From there I moved on to my mom’s Bon Appetit subscription…at age 10 I made homemade croissants, Chicken Kiev, and apple fritters. I will also third the recommendation for the Fannie Farmer cookbook – the best all-around resource I know. I often give it as a graduation present.

  107. AngAk

    I too first thought this post was about dodging flying bats in the garden!! LOL. Some of my first cooking came out of the Campbell Soup Cookbook and the Joys of Jello cookbook(is making Jello considered cooking?) The first cookbooks I bought were in college and I chose the Better Homes and Gardens 3 ring cookbook and Sunset Cooking for Two and the Casserole Cookbook.

  108. Amanda

    My first cookbook was the Mandie cookbook. It took years and years, but I made the bread pudding recipe in it a few years ago. My first “real” cookbook was the all-purpose Betty Crocker cookbook with the red cover. I made cheese sauce with it. I mean, what can’t you make better with cheese sauce?

  109. Melody

    What a wonderful topic!

    My first cookbook (seems I stole it from my sister since it says Happy Birthday [sister’s name] inside) was Meals of Many Lands: A Cookbook for Children. I’ve always made the simple Ground Beef Stroganoff and have modified the can of cream of chicken soup and can of mushrooms to now be a can of Golden Mushroom soup. It’s a quick and easy alternative (although rightfully not as good) to a traditional stroganoff.

    I remember us making many of the international recipes in this book – probably why both my sister and I have wonderfully broad palates today!

  110. I don’t remember the name of my first cookbook, but I do remember it was from the grade school book fair. The first thing I made was english muffin pizzas. MMmmm…NOT! Nasty sounding, eh? *shrug*

    btw- I work with Jocelyn your substitute blogger! “Hi!”

  111. Jennifer

    My mom’s “red plaid” Better Homes and Garden book. Since my mom was a great cook with no sweettooth, I was all over cookies (frequently sugar) and brownies….

  112. At least one person has mentioned this already (I can tell thanks to that nifty new “five most recent comments” feature over on the left!), but the red and white plaid Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. My mom’s original — that she got for her wedding — is now in a hope chest of sorts, waiting for me, but I have another edition of it and use it more than any other cookbook I’ve owned. What did I make first? Probably snickerdoodles or chocolate chip cookies…I’ve always been a cookie girl. This cookbook has the recipes of my childhood, and it’s the only way to recreate the things that aren’t simply “family recipes.”

  113. Carol

    My first cookbook was one my grandmother owned, but I baked from it. It’s called ‘Aunt Chick’s Pies’. It’s a simple paper cookbook all about pies, with a red paper cover and 36 pages, covering 345 different types of pies. It was published in 1941. I baked my first pie (apple) with it when I was 10, by this time the book was well over 20 years old. But, from this little book, came the best pies with the flakiest, lightest piecrusts that just melted in my mouth. My grandma’s copy was mere shreds by the time she died in ’81, so my mom threw it away. A few years ago, in a fit of nostalgia, I went to eBay looking for this heavenly cookbook. I found it immediately, bid on it and won it. When the cookbook came in the mail, the pages were dark from age and had some stains from baking. That was fine, as it evoked strong memories of my grandma and her cookbook. I again made a apple pie from this book from scratch and it was just as good as the first one I made at age 10.

  114. I wore off the covers of my first cookbook, The Auburn Cookbook, published by the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. It had a meal planner’s guide, menu patterns, tips on “harmonizing” flavors and even how to follow a recipe! I was given the cookbook for a wedding present, and it was one thing I used a lot since it had step-by-step instructions. The page to biscuit recipes is still turned down at the corner.

  115. Amanda


    I just wanted to say that I tried out this Zucchini Bread recipe and it was simply amazing! I am a frequent visitor to your site, and had been wanting to try out a one of your recipes. So when I purchased an abundance of zucchini at the farmstand down the street the other day, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

    I substituted applesauce for the 1 c. oil and made muffins instead of the loaves. Some I made plain, others I added raisins, and others still chocolate chips. My favorite by far were the chocolate chips ones — especially dunked in milk the next day!

    The only problem I encountered was that the muffins stuck to the cupcakers liners quite a bit. I found that the spraying the tin with the Pam spray with flour worked better.

    Can’t wait to try out more. Thanks!


  116. Susie

    I’m not sure how I found your web site, but I’m so glad I did! Finally a collection
    of recipes that makes sense and are simplified! THANK YOU!!!

  117. Kindercrunchies from Discovery Toys. It was “healthy” snacks for kids. I made the big, soft pretzels like 1000 times LOL! My mom held on to the book and after my daughter was born she passed it along. Now we both enjoy it together :)

  118. C

    Heya – I hope you’re still getting notified about this. There’s some funky rendering of the text so I just wanted to make sure

    1¾ cups sugar = 1 3/4
    ½ teaspoon baking powder = just 1/1 teaspoon and not 1 and 1/2

    Thank you :) I adore your website.

  119. I just made the zucchini bread and it’s in the oven now. My apartment smells incredible! I can’t wait to try them. I tried the recipe with 2 cups of white flour and 1 cup of whole wheat.

  120. Judith

    My first cookbook was one that was handed down for many generations, originating in the 1700’s. My Mom was a wonderful cook (still is!), and taught me everything she knew. I’ve been making your zucchini bread for years, my grown kids now ask me to send them some! Love to bake and cook, now I do it for others as my 4 kids are grown and gone.

  121. Betsy

    My first book with a recipe was a hardbacked Sesame Street book that had a recipe for banana bread. It was a one page comic strip where Grover marched through every frame, from measuring the ingredients to mashing the brown bananas. When I was little (under 5 yrs), my mom used to let me ‘make’ banana bread with Grover’s help. It was a great way to get rid of old bananas, I am sure. I can remember sitting in front of the oven window, willing the banana to rise to perfection. 45 minutes seemed like an eternity to me!

  122. Mike

    Hah! I was just doing a little surfing while waiting for my lunch to show up at the office, and I followed your new link back to this post. Since I was young, Zucchini Bread has been one of my most favorite foods. On a whim, I found an old copy of my mother’s recipe to see how it compares to yours… and they’re almost exactly the same! Sure, she didn’t use nutmeg, but did put an extra teaspoon of vanilla. Also, she only used 1/4 tsp of baking powder and no dried fruit. But other than that, even the proportions are the same.

    Now I want to make some.

  123. My mom had this beautiful (I thought) international cookbook with full-color photographs of each of the dishes. I was 9 when I decided I wanted to cook something and the oyster soup sounded delicious. This turned out to be a hugely labor-intensive project for a young girl but I had committed and was going to see this thing through. My mom helped me gather the ingredients and made sure I didn’t do anything stupid. We served it up to my family and I anticipated heaping helpings of praise from each of them. We tucked in and it was terrible. It had this sickly sweet flavor and was not at all what I had imagined. Suddenly my lets out this little gasp. She had told me to use a jar of chicken broth that was in the refrigerator – just as the recipe had called for – but she had forgotten it was actually honey/peach water left over from a batch of canning she had done. My first cooking experiment was a dismal failure, but I’ve always taken comfort in the fact that it wasn’t really my fault.

    Can’t wait to try the zucchini bread recipe!

  124. lisa

    My mom had every year, starting at 1971, of Southern Living’s Cookbook series. I started thumbing through the weird hued pages – they all had that strange prisma color look that the first colored movies had.. kind of like they were all taken during a total solar eclipse..
    Those were my first books. My first recipe out of them was some casserole that basically demolished any structural integrity of a squash and topped it with delicious ritz crackers.. And lots of butter. I remember, even at seven years old, feeling as if the butter measurements had to be completely wrong..
    She stopped collecting sometime in the 90’s – has them all proudly displayed on her kitchen shelf to this day…

  125. deb

    Karen — It would probably depend on when you froze the zucchini. Already shredded? Whole? I’ve never worked with frozen zucchini before but I suspect if it was the former and well squeezed out before adding it, it would work just fine.

  126. Renee

    Just wanted to say I made the Zucchini Spaghetti last week for my husband, sister-in-law and myself and we LOVED it. Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but this is the first time in the six years of knowing him, that my husband actually. ate. cooked. vegetables!!! I’m sure to make it again now that I know that he enjoyed it! Thanks. love your site.

  127. Melissa

    My first cookbook was Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Cookbook, which included recipes from all of the famous Disney characters, in all of the major dining categories – appetizers, main courses, beverages, and desserts. I remember the illustrations so clearly! One of my favorite pages showed the Seven Dwarves decorating enormous cupcakes…I think it might be time to give Moosewood a rest, and break out Disney for a little fun in the kitchen! Thanks for sending me on a trip down memory lane with this post. : )

  128. Brooke

    This is the first time I’ve made this delicious recipe this summer, as my zucchini matures to abundance. I’ve actually been anticipating making it for about a month, because the flavor is just so simple but delicious. I brought it in to my office and already some has asked me if they can take home any leftovers (if there are any). Two things I tried that are delicious additions are some shredded carrots (with the nuts, raisins and spice it is almost like a carrot cake variation) and some ground ginger for zing.

    As for the frozen zucchini, I have made this before using some shredded frozen (I did a bunch in the food processor and put a batch in the freezer to test it). It was OK, but I prefer fresh, obviously. You definitely do need to dry it very well before freezing, and I found that it shriveled up a bit, so I’d use more than the 2 cups of fresh that the recipe calls for.

  129. Rachel Donahue

    My first cookbooks of my very own were hand-me-downs from my Aunt’s Sister-in-Law. I know one of them was the Betty Crocker Kid’s cookbook and the other one was red and might have been called “Mary Alden’s Children’s Cookbook” or something of the sort. I still cook out of the Betty Crocker (there isn’t a finer sugar cookie out there!) and my copy was so worn and tattered that I recieved a new copy for Christmas last year. I guess so many of us had such fond memories that the powers that be decided to re-issue it for another generation to discover! What’s interesting is now they have added an editor’s note of sorts warning you about using raw eggs and other things that are frowned upon nowadays…not like it was in the 50’s when the book was originally released.

  130. My mom bought me a few kid-friendly cookbooks when I was younger, but MY FIRST COOKBOOK, the one I went out and bought myself at age 16, was Ina’s very first cookbook. Did I tell her this when I met her at a signing a few years ago? No. I drooled and slobbered all over her and made a total fool of myself. The first things I made from the book were her Cheddar Corn Chowder, Perfect Roast Chicken, and Outrageous Brownies. The book now opens to the roast chicken page. Be still my heart.

  131. Katie

    Getting to this a little late, but I will answer none-the-less! My first cookbook was my mom’s 70’s Betty Crocker cookbook. I still have it right above my fridge and use it to this day! It’s chock-full of poorly colored pictures of “grandma food” on avocado and harvest gold plates. I don’t remember what I first cooked with it, but I’ve never been one to cook true to a recipe–something that’s got me into trouble at times, but has taught me a lot about how to cook! Right now I have two loaves of your marvelous sounding bread in the oven which, true to nature, I modified slightly to include maple syrup instead of sugar ;) We’ll see how it works!

  132. Kim

    This question brought a flood of memories, and a few tears. As I child there was no cook book, partially because my mom’s family handed down all their recipes by word of mouth and they included a lot of pinches of this and a dash of that. The first cook book I owned was givento me by my husband’s grandmother as bithday gift before we were married. It was one her church ladies group published, so it had recipies from her and his mother and their friends.

  133. Great question! I cooked and baked with my mom often but my very own first cookbook was Peanuts Cook Book (as in Lucy, Linus, Charlie Brown). I ordered it at school from Scholastic. Does anyone else remember those monthly newsprint book orders? I used to practically drool over the pages, circling every book I dreamed of owning! Then, my mom would take a look and narrow my choices to one! Anyway…The Peanuts Cookbook was both a collection of Peanuts comic strips AND a cookbook. I still have it. Best thing about it?…The pages are all NEON PINK! (so seventies!) My favorite recipe is Lucy’s Lemon Squares.

  134. Meg

    My first cookbook was a Christmas gift from my mother, similarly entitled, “MY FIRST COOKBOOK.” Published by Imperial sugar company – Sugarland, Texas Copyright 1959. It naturally contained dishes requiring SUGAR!
    My cookbook is paperback, with tan and orange line drawings and well placed staples rather than a plastic comb to bind the spine.

    Jerry’s Bars, a pecan bar cookie were my favorite due to my grandfather’s home grown pecans and possibly because they just tasted so sweet and crunchy! Good luck tracking down your cookbook from your childhood.

  135. Kimberly

    I remember my first ‘cookbook’ was a child’s no cook, cookbook. I don’t remember the title right off hand, but I still have it and my children use it from time to time. The cookbook I remember using most is a Betty Crocker book my aunt gave my mom as a gift when my parents married. I have greatly enjoyed cooking from it for years. My aunt (actually my second momma) passed away 15 years ago and I miss her a lot. My mom gave me her cookbook last year. Now as I, and my daughters cook from it, it’s like adding a little of Aunt Betty to our home each time we open the book. My daughter’s favorite recipe is the yellow cake. Me… there are to many to list.

  136. Booty Food was my first cookbook that I myself purchased. Lol. Growing up I utilized my parents books mostly consisting of recipes gathered from the ladies of Star Pride (women’s club) in small town Texas where I grew up! Note: Your zucchini bread recipe is in my oven now (x2)! :) This is one of my favorite recipes of all times. I now write down all of my and other peoples recipes that I really enjoy on index cards and keep them in a box. Next weekend I’m having a recipe party!

  137. Rachel

    My first cookbook was a Sesame Street cookbook. My mom and I made a meatloaf shaped like the Snuffleupagus that was sitting in a ‘nest of noodles’. I know we did it more than once, because we had so much fun molding the groundbeef. As I write that, it makes me wonder… Anyway, I know I couldn’t have been older than 5 at the time. Wish I knew where that book went :(

  138. I was just surfing looking for a zucchini bread recipe and found a couple of them, yours sounding the best, can’t wait to go home and try it out, I am making baked goods baskets for work friends and at the holidays so many people do cookies I wanted something different and zucchini bread is just the right addition to my homemade scones and biscotti. Thanx so much.

  139. my first cookbook: the kids kitchen takeover by sara bonnett stein (published 1975). my younger brothers and i always made the raw cookie dough recipe (no eggs) for two reasons: 1) it was raw cookie dough satisfaction before cookie dough ice cream was invented and 2) it was the only junkfood/sweets we were allowed to eat in our no-sugar-whole-grain-homeschooled household. i think because we ‘cooked’ it ourselves, my mom could never say no to a raw cookie dough baking session. as she saw it, cooking was reading comprehension practice and science class all rolled into one. ah, good times!

  140. Idell & Steven

    Hi Deb, My fiance and I have been reading your blog for a few months now and finally tried one of your recipes – zucchini bread. It turned out great, I really like the addition of vanilla. I think it really made the flavor richer. We didn’t add any nuts or dried fruit – I think we’re going to try that out next time. BTW, my first cookbook (like everyone else on this board) was the Betty Crocker Cookbook (what my mom always referred to as the “red check cookbook.” Although I now have tons of other and much fancier books, its still my go to for just basic recipes :)

  141. Sarah

    Does it make you happy, Deb, that people are still commenting on this post almost 3 years later? :)

    My first cookbook was not really mine, it was my mothers’ mother’s, some old Pennsylvania dutch cookbook with a green worn-in cardstock-like cover. My first recipe that I remember making all by myself (other than brownies from a box, which came out fine except for the fact that I forgot to grease the pan 9/10ths of the time!) were called “Millie Richardson’s No-Bake Cookies” and they still are some of my faavorite things. Margarine, sugar, and some cocoa are boiled for just one minute, then quickly mix in peanutbutter and 3 C of oats, scoop onto wax paper and TADA! Heaven in your mouth.

  142. Eva

    My first cookbook was some sort of European kids cookbook. Impossible for a 9yr old to figure out how to convert the measurements to cups and tablespoons from grams and ounces. I think to this date (I’m 26 now) the only thing that we ever made from it was chocolate truffles. Equal amounts of chocolate powder, powdered sugar, and butter. They never make it past the mixing stage cause we eat it on everything. Dried apricots? Graham crackers? Spoons? Oh yes.
    My mom also has the Whole foods for the whole family cookbook. We make cheese leather and b-b-q chicken from it.

  143. Brittney

    My first cookbook was called Clueless in the Kitchen which I promptly took offense to since I decided at a very young age I was going to be a Chef. Despite my resentment I actually WAS clueless at the time and made a good portion of the recipes in the book.

  144. Poppy

    I love the layout of your website. It’s been a joy looking through.
    First cookbook, from my dear mamma, Moosewood. First recipe I made was the tomato soup, which I still make to this day.

  145. My first cookbook was “The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook,” which my mom gave to me as a birthday present for my ninth birthday because 1) I loved the book so much and 2) she wanted me to learn how to cook and thought this would be a fun way for me to learn, and it was! The recipes are simple and delicious and created from foods served during parties and picnics in the book.

    The first thing I made from it was egg salad; the second, pound cake. Twenty-some-odd years later, my family still begs me to make the pound cake. Good thing I’ve kept the book all of these years.

    P.S.- I remember the raspberry tarts being exceptional.

  146. Wow – I am so glad I came across this site. I’m in Florida and it’s the middle of May and already have zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers coming in like crazy. Can’t wait to try some of these recipes!


  147. Meredith

    Believe it or not, Zucchini bread works really well with fresh blueberries. My husband and I experimented one early fall when we couldn’t find any other type of fruit. We have only used blueberries since. Our recipe is very similar to this one.

    My first cookbook was the Strawberry Shortcake Cookbook. My mom gave me a box of stuff she saved for me in case I had a little girl. Well, when I had my daughter a year and a half ago and there it was in the box! I using the recipe to make different types of berry floats and berry roll up sandwiches. I plan to recreate these with my little girl!

  148. Anita Dunbar

    My first cookbook that I actually used was the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I used it for recipes like stuffed peppers (heavenly), oven-fried chicken (awesome), and just for hints like cooking temperature for meatloaf or cornbread. I have used this paperback one so much in the last 15 years that the pages are all falling out, but among all of the 20 or so cookbooks under my cabinet, it is the only one that was worth the money.

  149. Catherine

    Wow, I’m having such a great time going through this site.

    My first cookbook was either the Little Women cookbook–I can’t remember what I made from it, maybe molasses cookies? I still have it actually, and it’s got a few things that don’t look too bad; bought it when my mom took us to visit the Louisa May Alcott house. —

    anyway, either that or a Jill Krementz book, The Fun of Cooking, which I also still have and which I also actually occasionally use. It’s got great photos of about twenty kids (ranging from six up to late teens) who each contribute their favorite recipe and talk about it. I got obsessed with the idea of baking the teddy bear bread (bread shaped like a bear–you make various sizes of dough ball and put them together) and talked my dad into helping me; I was probably about eight. It came out pretty well, if I recall correctly.

    I remember making strawberry parfaits out of that book all by myself, too.

    I didn’t cook very much as a kid; my parents cooked a lot but there wasn’t much space in our kitchen and I would have mostly gotten in the way. I did learn to bake early though; my grandmother taught me about pie crust when I was probably nine or ten (my mother’s never been any good at it; she says it skipped a generation) and by the time I was eleven I was supervising smaller kids making peanut butter cookies so I guess I knew how to do that on my own by then.

  150. gentlekath

    My first cookbook, was my grandma. It was all in her head. I remember she had a big huge drawer she had filled with flour and the other one with sugar. A dash of this and that, and voila…sugar cookies! Like grandma magic! She would have special sunday dinners and I could always count on fresh iced tea in the summer. I really miss her. The very first thing I ever made were bread loaves shaped like teddy bears for her birthday. With mustard I put a big old “7” on one and “8” on the other and I made her homeade lemonade. I was only 10 or 11. She made the biggest deal of that, to this day that memory makes me smile.

  151. gentlekath

    The best zuchinni bread I have ever made (and I am a professional baker). There was nothing I would do differently or change. Keep this in your books!

  152. Tiffany

    My very first cookbook was a “Laura Ingles Wilder Favorites” (You know, Little House…) Anyway, it didn’t have zucchini bread! :( I actually first encountered zucchini bread while i was on an airplane, and i figured if it tasted that good on an airplane, it must be better when its homecooked… and it is. I’m actually off to cook some now. :)

  153. Laurie

    Good Housekeeping cookbook, 1947 edition; my mother’s copy had fallen apart, but my Great Aunt Mary had a copy that was still in good shape and I begged it from her. It has the best banana tea bread recipe and a lot of rather quaint stuff you can’t always find easily now. About the same time, I got my mid-sixties edition of Joy of Cooking, which is still a useful reference too. Off to make zucchini bread, thanks for the ideas.

  154. Kari

    My brother also has a garden that produces giant zucchini and being the loving brother that he is, he gave me one. Since it weighs about 8 pounds I am guessing that it will produce far more than 2 cups of zucchini…..what do I do with the rest of it? Can I freeze some for later? Or do I have to do a baking marathon and pass out loaves to everyone I meet?

  155. I’m making this today, with my fifth zucchini of the season! I made a (nonsweet) yeast bread yesterday–it’s a nice alternative when you have too, too many squash.

  156. Sarah

    My first cookbook was KidsCooking, from Klutz Press – I still have it and the measuring spoons that came with it! I consider its “Disgustingly Rich Brownies” to be THE definitive brownie recipe, and there are enough splotches on those pages to prove it. Other memorable (though not as recently repeated) recipes were french toast with strawberry butter, put-back potatoes (more commonly known as twice-baked), and Frozen Bananoids (chocolate-covered frozen bananas on popsicle sticks!).

  157. I’ve made this recipe for zucchini bread and it’s fantastic! Thank you for sharing. For me too, zucchini bread is all about summers in the backyard as a child and demanding my mom to “Make Zucchini Bread!” the moment I discovered the zuccs were ready for the plucking. As for my first cookbook, our entire basement as a child was devoted to my mother’s cookbooks which desperately needed some sort of catalog system, but what stands out the most for me is her TIME LIFE collection of cookbooks in every category under the sun.

  158. Just made this recipe (as muffins, with cranberries) and I have to say that it is easily the best zucchini bread/muffin recipe that I’ve ever tried. Fantastic! (Though I was concerned about the amount of sugar and oil….oh well, you only live once!)

  159. My first cookbook, was a hand me down from my mom, which was of course her first cookbook as well. It was the Betty Crocker for kids Cookbook that came out in the early 60s maybe late 50s. My favorite recipe in the book was gingerbread real ginger bread, not cookies, with Fire-Dog topping to drizzle on the slices, (something I rarely see and haven’t made since childhood). Hmm…maybe I should make soo delicious

  160. angi

    First cookbook(s) were probably related to 4-H and 11 years of cooking projects! Now 12 years removed from that I finally feel like I’m starting to learn something about cooking.

    I made this recipe over the weekend (in muffin form with choco chips and walnuts), and it is absolutely fabulous! I can’t stop eating them! This will quickly move into my favorites file. Thanks!

  161. Sky

    My first cookbook was not a cookbook at all, but a set of cards in a special filing system organized into soups, sandwiches, entrees, breakfasts, desserts, kids, etc. It was something my mother ordered from TV and we would get a new set of recipes every week to try. At the time, I thought this was very cool and loved fingering the colorful cards which showed the finished product. I remember making quiche and chili and pancakes.

  162. Amanda

    Oh my gosh, this is the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had! Between me, my 3, 2, and 1 year old we’ve eaten a whole loaf in less than 24 hours. Sad but true! Thanks for a great recipe….I am actually using your birthday cake recipe for my daughters birthday this weekend, now I’m extra excited!

  163. LCS

    Thank you for the recipe.

    I’ve finished baking my first batch of this. I’ve added 1 1/2 cup of grated carrots in place of the chips/raisins, and switched the 1/2 cup of walnuts/pecans for 3/4 cup of almonds. I’ve also decreased the amount of sugar to 1 cup. Finally, half of the flour used was changed to whole wheat flour.

    I am having my muffin right now and they taste wonderful.

    I’ve recently moved into a new place with my boyfriend, and until now, none of us has really cooked. Prior to this, we relied mainly on dining out and cheap take-out from various places. And so far, I’ve been relying on recipes that my family as taught me since I was a kid. That, and your blog.

    Since I’ve never cooked anything with meat and rarely touch it. I need help. So, I bought my first cookbook yesterday: The Cook’s Bible written by Lorraine Turner.

    As I’ve said before, I do love your blog. Beautiful photos, simple layout, and easy to read and understand.

  164. jayne

    I still have my first cookbook. A 3 ring binder with my grandad and grandmom’s favorite recipes, as told by them. Written in my hand. I still add to it every time I test a “new” recipe. It is my most prized posession. The memories flood back to me with the turn of each page. My Grandparents have both gone on now, but I have them, with me, right here in my kitchen.
    The first thing I ever made was the first entry: buttermilk biscuits, Grandad was my “quality control”. I can still see the look on his face when I took them from the oven.
    Thanks for the memory.

  165. Ashley

    My first cookbook was The American Girl’s cookbook. I made volcano mashed potatoes for my whole family! I fondly remember the rush of independence I felt in the kitchen as I topped each mound of potatoes with cheese and paprika. Thanks for this post! I can’t wait to try it with my fresh-from-the-market zucchini that I’ll pick up this weekend.

  166. eliza

    These were good, but we’re not big fans of oil based breads/cakes, so our viewpoint is a little off. We made 24 mini muffins, 8 mediums, plus 2 mini bundt cakes… love the minis! It was super easy, and just used half of our baseball bat zuke… we’re thinking of making latkes with the rest.

  167. claudia

    longtime pregnant lurker who just had to post upon reading about “my very first cookbook” after searching your archives for zucchini bread. think i had the very same cookbook! had completely forgotten about it, but was the same kind of construction and title. my first recipe from it was the cinnamon toast. wish i could find it, but it’s probably in some manhattan ministorage locker growing mildew. good luck with the baby stuff. i’m 28 weeks and only have energy enough to plan my next meal. thanks for all the delicious recipes

  168. I must say, I just made this recipe and it’s fantastic.

    May I suggest getting yourself some lovely cast iron bread pans. I made mine it in and they fell right out when finished – not sticking at all. I’ve never been able to get anything as non-stick as seasoned cast iron (I was often baking in my skillet for that very reason (round zucchini bread anyone?), until I bought the bread pans).

    I also suggest sprinkling a little sugar (perhaps a teaspoon or two per loaf) on top of the bread right before you throw it in the oven. It makes for a delicious crispy crust right on top and it gives it the most beautiful look. You can sprinkle turbinado sugar as well for some crunch.

    Thanks for the recipe, gives me something to use all those zukes from the garden for.

  169. Pat

    I think my first cookbooks were Time-Life cookbooks. I loved the real Texas chili from it. But the book I loved most was a Good Housekeeping cookbook probably back from the late 1950’s. It’s in my sister’s house now because my mom moved in with her. It had the best pie crust. It never failed to be flakey. I think it’s Susan pie crust #1.

    But my real thought is zucchini bats. My first year growing I had no idea that they grew so fast. I go out to my garden one day and nothing, then 3 days later I had 10 pounders. Now I go out every day and harvest. And even now every so often I find a bat.

    I just made bread yesterday but my recipe got wet and I couldn’t read it well. I’m going to try your recipe along with the raisins and walnuts (and maybe a pinch of cardamon). My husband can suffer without the chocolate.

  170. kitsmit

    I don’t remember my first cookbook, but I remember the first one I used. It was my mom’s and she still has it uses it often. The first thing I remember making from it was No-bake Cookies. The first thing I actually baked from it myself were Mexican Wedding Cookies. The funny thing is that I remember liking the cookies (or maybe I was just so proud of myself that I believed I liked them) but I have never made them since. Maybe it’s time I do!

  171. tamar

    The Peter Rabbit cookbook. It must have been a gift, because I’ve never liked Peter Rabbit, and none of the recipes appealed at all- except the oatmeal cookies. My dad was ultra health conscious those days, and wouldn’t buy processed foods. Those cookies were my only treat, and even though I had to beat the butter by hand, I had them perfected by the age of 6. Seriously! He wouldn’t even help me make them. I can’t even imagine my 10 year old making cookies like that. My dad still doesn’t eat anything processed, and I still prefer my cookies to storebought, but luckily I’m all grown up and own a stand mixer. :)

  172. Gotta say I’m disappointed that so many first memories were the Betty Crocker variety. I grew up in the West, same vintage as most of you, and I guess there was always a mild streak of rebellion in my family, because when I found the
    Alice’s Restaurant cookbook, I knew I’d found what I could relate to. I loved her loosey-goosey requirements and substitutions, plus her chapter on “If You Worry About Your Weight,” which advised “Don’t.”

  173. Cristina

    Just made this zucchini bread and the flavour is DELICIOUS, but a bit too cake-y and less bread-y, in that I can’t really pick it up to eat it because it falls apart. Is this how its supposed to be? I am also living in Holland right now and am experimenting with their baking soda (has to be purchased at the pharmacy) and self-rising flour (the only one at the store). They may be off – do you think this has something to do with it?

  174. Elizabeth

    My mom was a nutritionist and food instructor and we had many cookbooks around the house, including the Betty Crocker but the one I remember most strongly is the softcover Peanuts cookbook. I honestly can’t remember cooking from it, but we carted it around forever and it is probably still at my mom’s, minus a few pages.

  175. Jamie

    My grandma gave my mom a BH&G cookbook many years ago and my mom told me it would be mine when i finally move out. The first thing i made from it’s pages was the best muffins recipe. over the years we’ve made just about everything in the book. it is so much fun to pick a recipe that we’ve never had before and cook with my own son.

  176. Dianna Kreter

    when I was 8 I started cooking in 4-H on my 3rd year we had a cook book with a great dinner roll recipe I still use to this day. That recipe was the only one I saved was wondering if avy of your readers know where i can find another one it would have been around 1971

  177. Joanna Seymour

    That bread was wonderful I recommend this 100%. I made a little change brown sugar not white sugar, a dash ground allspice and a little more flour.

  178. Mindi

    mmm, I am going to make this today. I think I will try it in a 9×13 with cream cheese frosting. My mom and sister hand wrote a cookbook of all their favorite recipes. I cherish it. There is space for me to add my own recipes too.

  179. LOVED this recipe! The olive oil gave it such a lovely texture and delicate flavor. My 3- year old loved it too and we made it together for out “Letter Z” day! Thank you!

  180. Julie

    I had heard of your blog but never checked it out until I googled “zucchini bread” and there it was. Needless to say I’ve spent the last few days drooling over your recipes and gorgeous pictures. I made this recipe exactly as is, and it’s absolutely delicious and a total keeper. I’m intrigued by other commenters’ suggestions, particularly fresh blueberries… why not? =) Maybe next time I’ll swap half the oil for applesauce and use some whole wheat flour, just in the name of being healthy, but honestly this recipe is so good there’s no need to tinker with it. Thanks for this incredible resource, and congratulations on your beautiful little boy! You’ve made a permanent fan out of me.

  181. Kelly

    lovely zucchini recipe. Thank you. My first cookbook was Betty Crocker, and I’ll never forget the pancakes made with buttermilk on p. 57. That’s the only recipe I remember. Not sure where that book went!

  182. Stephanie B

    Betty Crocker as well – and I loved making peanut butter cookies with my mom. She would do most of the work but I would stand on a step stool in my little apron, dip the fork in flour and put the criss-cross pattern on top :)

  183. Rebekah

    I’m wowed, again. (Though I shouldn’t be by this time… everything I’ve tried from SK has been awesome.) I used two-thirds whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar to 1 1/3 cups. Absolutely delicious, with approval from everyone from the husband to the seven-year-old. I didn’t peel the zucchini and it turned out with these gorgeous flecks of emerald green all through the batter. I’ll use this recipe from now on!

  184. just took the muffins out of the oven and love them! although my boyfriend is completely put off by the idea of a vegetable in something slightly sweet like this and has psyched him self into thinking they are bitter (they are soo not bitter!)

    my first cook book was called Perfect Vegetarian…i am not a vegetarian but my boyfriend is and my mom gave it to me when we started dating

  185. Kathleen

    Yes, I check Smitten every day. But today I was led here in a google search for my mom’s apple fritters, which she says came from the old red and white BHG cookbook. The new pink version does not have the recipe (shame!), but maybe someone has that veteran cookbook? It featured chopped apples, not rings, and did not involve separating eggs or anything else too complicated for weekday breakfast.
    My first cookbook was the Tassajara Bread Book! And the first Moosewood. Does that date me or what?

  186. This is such a sweet post! Nostalgia tastes good, doesn’t it?

    I don’t remember which cookbook was my very first, but I have lots of fond memories of flipping through my mother’s collection at a young age. She kept them in a box in the cupboard (poor Mom didn’t even have a bookshelf for them!) and I combed through them, delighting in all the possibilities. I don’t think I cooked much from them, but still, it was a nice pastime. And it’s clear that my cookbook reading habits haven’t changed much, except that I do try to break out the pots and pans every once in a while and MAKE something!

  187. I made 2 batches last weekend, and they were absolutely delicious!! One was 2 big loaves and the other was 6 small loaves which I baked for 45 minutes. Shared a loaf at work and everyone was delighted. They couldn’t believe it had zucchini in it or that it was made from scratch. Can’t wait to make some more!

  188. Lea

    I just made Zucchini Bread using your recipe, and it is amazing!!! First time ever making it and I’m very proud!! :-) Thanks so much for the post!

  189. The Kids Cooking Cookbook – it came with its own measuring spoons and I 100% absolutely adored it. I made lots from it…buried treasure muffins, walrus salad, tuna cones…and the forget-the-cookies-just-give-me-that-batter chocolate chip cookies come to mind :)

  190. Rachel

    Delicious recipe. And I love that you can eat one and give one away. First cookbook I liked to look at was one from Hershey’s because, well, because it was from Hershey’s. I liked the Rockwell-style illustration on the cover, and the stylized photographs were amazing. Pinker than pink icing on a layer cake with choco kisses. It was almost too much for a grade-schooler to bear! I was one of those kids, tho, that got to “help” Mom bake by licking the bowl, and not making a mess, so I didn’t really start following recipes until I got married. My 9-year-old daughter, however, can make choco-chip cookies pretty much by herself. Of course, she does make a mess . . .

  191. Sara

    We just pulled our first zucchinis from our garden and I may shred every last one it produces to make this bread over and over again. This is ridiculously good. I subbed milled flax seed for eggs because we are out. I let my 3.5 y/o dump in about a fourth cup of semi sweet chocolate chips. So SO good.

  192. My mother wasn’t a huge cook or baker but one thing she did make every year was zucchini bread. I had already decided to make some for her this year when I found your recipe and saw your suggestion of making it into muffins. For some reason that had never crossed my mind. I made half into a loaf and half into muffins. The bread is for my mom, the muffins are for myself and friends. Worked out perfect!

  193. Ok, I’ve made this recipe 4 times in the past 2 weeks. I have a garden full of zucchini and now I have a freezer full of zucchini bread. First, this recipe is FLAWLESS. Love it!
    But I wanted to let you know some substitutions I used that worked for me:
    1. I use 1 cup of whole wheat flour (not whole wheat pastry flour, just the regular, heavy whole wheat flour). So overall, 2 cups unbleached flour + 1 cup whole wheat.
    2. The first time I made the recipe, I halved it. I used 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk to make a loaf and it was perfect.
    3. I almost always add 2 heaping cups of zucchini, so you can get away with adding more if you have it!
    4. I have been making 1 loaf plus 12 muffins in the same oven. I take the muffins out after 25 minutes and leave the loaf in there for 55-60.
    5. I don’t add nuts or fruits because of the picky eater I live with. So yes, you can get a great loaf without add-ins that isn’t too dense.
    6. I added 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (along with the vanilla) once and it was great too.

    Thanks again for the perfect zucchini bread recipe! I have tried MANY others without great results. You’re the best, Deb! :)

  194. Becca

    i have never made zucchini bread before and i just finished baking this recipe! and OMG IT WAS SO GOOD! i halved the recipe and made a second loaf into a chocolate zucchini bread/cake thing – both were FANTASTIC. but the original recipe with included raisins and pecans was FANTASTIC. seriously good.

    by the way, this is now my 4th recipe of yours that i have tried and i can’t tell you how great of a cook/baker you are! you never fail me! : )

  195. amyviking

    I am a new fan who has been BINGEING on the archives the last couple days in preparation for a move to brooklyn and finally gaining that foot of counter space (yes, our current apartment has no counter, just an oven and a sink. literally.) Anyway, this post made me crave my mother’s chocolate zucchini cake in the worst way. And doesn’t the zucchini cake deserve a little love? It’s all carrot this and carrot that, but in my family we ate at least a dozen chocolate zucchini cakes every year and carrots were eaten raw. Am I alone in this?

  196. Cos

    I did a search and found this recipe, looks fantastic. I’ve got a couple zucchinis knocking around and will give it a whirl – the cranberries are a nice touch. :)

    Your website is great!

  197. Incredible! I just made this recipe (the whole thing, yeah) and beat the living daylights out of the eggs while adding a thin stream of the oil, to make an emulsion (read: mayo) before adding the other ingredients, and this had a great effect on the texture of the muffins.

    These + chopped walnuts + simple powdered sugar/milk/vanilla glaze = Heaven! :) And no butter? Yes, sirs. I will be making this again. Thanks, Deb!

  198. o’murdoch

    Just made this- wonderful!
    I used some Greek, extra-fruity, extra virgin olive oil. Next time I will swap half for yoghurt, and half the flour for whole wheat. I made 12 muffins and small, square casserole dish. Simple, easy to make, and baked off beautifully in a crumby oven on a 100% humidity day.
    I’m so glad my pal turned me on to your blog- all the quick breads I have on file are too sweet, and this is just perfect.

  199. Susan

    I’ve been making this for several weeks now, and forgot where I got it so I could comment! This is really good bread, Deb. My son just hounds me to make it now. The only change I made was to use half melted butter (I tried browning the butter one time, but you couldn’t tell the difference, so never bothered again) and half oil. I used toasted pecans, ground in a hand cranked nut chopper, so they were finely chopped and raisins one time then cranberries ever since. That’s it! It’s so good and not as sweet as some I’ve tried, so we like this recipe best. Thanks for all you do!

  200. Alexis

    My first cookbook was a large yellow paperback that I think I got from school, also with the comb spine, except mine was red. I remember reading it like a pleasure book, which, for me, I suppose it was. To this day I read cookbooks just to read them. I vaguely remember making homemade donuts (the kind where you cut a narrow circle of dough into 1/4ths, so the donut has no hole) and shaking them in a bag of cinnamon sugar while they were still hot, and then walking around the neighborhood and knocking on doors with my hot donuts in tow. I wish my neighborhood had kids like that now…

  201. JanetP

    My first cookbook was the Tassajara Cookbook, very Zen. No wonder I never actually follow a recipe to the T. I showed it to some baking friends recently and they had a fit. “There’s no measurements!” “How do I know how long to cook it for?!” “There are too many suggested variations — what if not all of them go together???” I was 20 then, and I learned more from that cookbook than I have from any other: trust your instincts; my well-done might be your raw; if you dislike something, leave it out.

  202. Chloe

    I just made this tonight, and it was fabulous! I made one regular loaf and one chocolate loaf by adding a bit of cocoa to half the flour. I didn’t have any trouble with it sticking to the pan, since I used parchment paper. It made for a slightly rumpled loaf, but no sticking!

  203. Jennifer

    Made this. It was very good. I’ll make it again! Loved the addition of nuts and cranberries. I used a Chai Spice in a zuc. bread recipe, not this one, and it was really good. I might try that with apricots and pistacios next using this batter.

  204. Samantha

    ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! Just made this yesterday and will be making more probably today because the zucchini plants exploded this summer! This is the best non-banana bread I’ve ever had and I LOVE there is NO ICKY PINEAPPLE. (Sorry if you like those versions!) My cousin down the road was making one of the infamous pineapple recipes yesterday as well and when she walked by last night, I had her try mine and she was shocked at how good it was!

    I substituted 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 white and will try more ww because that’s all I use in banana bread and that turns out fine.

  205. Cinnimnstix

    My first cookbook was The Joy of Cooking, when I was about 6, which I know is totally weird for a little girl. I was food obsessed from day one; for my fifth birthday my mother asked me what I wanted to have for dinner and I requested steamed artichokes and fettucini alfredo with creme brulee for dessert. My first recipe was making blueberry pie from that cookbook. It is a staple recipe that I can’t live without, its beauty is in its simplicity. Every bite of that pie is bursting with memories of eating warm pie on the back porch under the shade of a large tree in virginia while shooing the gnats away.

  206. Laurie

    The charlie brown cookbook – a thin green hardback with bright pink pages. It was my older sisters and she made lemon squares, buttermilk banana cupcakes (fabulous) and sauce pan brownies…I made iciing. Over 35 years later it is in my kitchen.

  207. Linda

    Have lost a zucchini cookbook and would like to replace it but don’t remember the exact title or the author. Can any one help. It was the size of half of a page and plastic spiral bound like most church cookbooks but not one. The cover was off white with light olive green design and printing and the pages were yellow to orange colored. Probably from the 1970’s. Thanks, Linda

  208. Katie

    Hi Deb!

    I am a 14 years old food junkie and Smitten Kitchen lover of many years and last night I baked this recipe and I couldn’t be any more pleased with the results! I “healthified” it by halving the oil and using Fage 0% Greek yogurt, used Splenda instead of sugar, and replaced half of the flour with Buckwheat flour. I love some raw walnuts in practically anything so I added some into it. I also really agree with the amount of cinnamon you used because it gave a heavenly scent to the whole thing (and my kitchen!). I made mine as muffins so I could pack it up and take with me to school!

    Thank you so much!

  209. Caro

    My first cookbook was one my mother had compiled herself; it had grease and chocolate-stained pages which had become so fragile over the years. I can’t remember the first recipe I made. I was always helping her with something in the kitchen, but I do remember making her brownies fairly frequently, especially when I was able to do it on my own. Makes me very nostalgic to think of that.

  210. Amanda

    My first cookbook is an odd one most people won’t ever find. It was one from where my mom worked compiled with employee recipes. It is a monroes 35th commemorative cook book. The first thing I made was stuffed green peppers.

  211. I made this and brought it to work to keep myself from chowing down both loaves. It’s a people-pleaser (esp if you brag about how the zucchini came from your own garden!) and I would say it’s pretty much perfect. Not too oily or sweet. Only one thing: I didn’t sift my dry ingredients and got a nice mouthful of baking soda. Ptewie.

  212. Courtney

    I have one small tip that helps keep the zucchini bread from becoming soggy.
    After grating the zucchinis place them in a clean dish towel and ring out all the extra juices before you add it to the egg, sugar, oil mix. I love this recipe my bread and muffins turned out perfect.

  213. This is in the oven right now and I’m so excited! I just wanted to say that when I make breads I grease or butter the pan, then line the pan with a piece of parchment long enough to go down the side, over the bottom, and up the other side. Then I grease over the paper. When the bread is done, one can just pull it out of the pan using the paper as a “sling” (i.e. just pulling the paper up and out with the bread “hammocked” on it). This works great! Thanks for the recipe!

  214. Update: MMMM yum! Perfect! A couple caveats: I halved the recipe, I used half butter and half oil, and I did use pecans, some (<1/4 cup) raisins, and some (<1/4 cup) chocolate chips.

  215. Heather T

    just made this today…i used pumpkin seeds (without the shells) and milk chocolate chips for my nuts/chocolate combo. it turned out splendid! this is my new fave recipe for zuke bread. alot of others turn out too wet or too dry. this one is the perfect combo of moist and dense, but it still light enough to not feel super heavy in your tummy…which means eating more than one piece! thanks!

  216. My attempts to bake almost always end up in disaster. I think it has something to do with my lack of measuring anything.

    But this was AMAZING! Moist and delish. Next time I’ll substitute half the oil for apple sauce and add in some chocolate chips. Also, I used almost 3 cups of grated zucchini and it turned out fine. (I was a bit over zealous when grating)

  217. michelle

    The first cookbook I ever used was The Joy of Cooking (first edition!) However, the first thing I ever cooked was skillet bread, a cross between a biscuit and corn bread, cooked, as the name implies, in a skillet. It was my grandma’s recipe. Many years late, I inherited her own cookbook, a simple elementary writing pad filled with her hand-written recipes. Most of them are so faded, I can’t read them – what a loss.

  218. Shannon

    Great recipe! Since I was craving chocolate as I woke up (a rarity) I just tried it with the addition of a cup of mini chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of sweetened coconut. Mini muffins cooked at 400 for 11-12 minutes. You should smell my kitchen!

  219. Pamcakes

    I was given a giant zucchini from a friend’s garden & last night I turned it into two zucchini bread loaves & one pan of muffins! The muffins were the most successful, I would have to say. To that batter I added a small grated apple, raisins, craisins & the zest of one lemon. They were so good! (“were” as in past tense, because the whole pan is gone as of this morning!!).

  220. wendy m

    First ‘cookbook’ was from the ditto copies collected from my home ec class in 6th grade. Learned to make crepes, and still do to this day. I laughed when my friend made crepes from a box mix and said that she couldn’t make it anymore because she was out of the box mix I told her you can make it from scratch and has very simple/basic ingredients! Thanks for the recipe. The very first time I made zucchini bread, I didn’t drain well and it turned out soggy, and I didn’t make zucchini bread for a long time after that, now I wring it to death for fear of soggy bread!

  221. Frankie

    Long time reader – love your sight. Never commented before, but I had to respond to the question about cookbooks that you posted years ago…

    My first cookbook was “Kids Cooking: A very slightly messy manual.” My mom bought it for me when I was about 5 or 6, and it came with its own measuring spoons and everything.

    I made a number of the recipes (very few of which I would care to revisit in my adult years), but the one that was made many, many, many times over is the Disgustingly Rich Brownies. Best brownie recipe ever, and I stand by that statement to this day. I know the recipe by heart, but I still love to consult the 20 year old, chocolate-batter-stained, egg-crusted and tattered pages. Love.

  222. Ena

    this was my first time baking zucchini bread, and this is a keeper. It is just incredibly good, moist, not heavy and not too sweet. Another great recipe from you.

  223. Erin

    I made these muffins, and they were a HUGE hit with my son who was 14 months at the time (who devoured 6 muffins in one sitting!). Instead of putting in 1 cup of zucchini in I made them with 1/2 a cup grated zucchini and 1/2 a cup grated carrot. I also used 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup multi-grain flour, and finally I put in dried cranberries which I had plumped with a little Grand Marnier. I have to say that I don’t often adapt recipes, but I really liked the changes to this one! Thanks for such good recipes Deb, they are really well tested!

  224. I baked this this morning and followed your recipe to the letter – it is absolutely, without a doubt, the quintessential zucchini bread. I made a loaf for my boyfriend to bring to his office and a loaf for us to keep, and our loaf is already half gone. To me, this is the perfect thing to bring to someone’s house for brunch… it’s so easy to make! Thanks for making my Sunday morning nicer!

  225. A

    Hey Deb! I have to say – I am a HUGE fan of your blog. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to all.

    So I baked these twice in the past two weeks and they turned out wonderful. I haven’t tried making them into muffins yet… I’d like to bring the muffins into work the next day for a lab meeting (usually held at the end of a work day). Do you have any tips on keeping the muffins fresh/moist until then, if I make them a day ahead?

  226. thanks for this – i have a garden bursting with ridiculous amounts of zucchini right now (down in New Zealand). i made some muffins and bread for the office today. they are definitely delicious!

  227. Leah

    ~Hi Deb~
    Your mention of very first cookbooks and asking if any of us remember what it was and what we made from it reminded me of my very first cookbook. It’s called Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual and even came with its own measuring cups!!! i very much wish i still had it, but amazon does sell it, so that could be an option at a later date. I can’t remember everything I made (with or without help, though remember making some of the recipes with my friends and felt sooo grown up having my very own cookbook and kitchen accessories! The menu items that I do remember are: eggs in a frame (that my dad made for me, I was definitely WAY too young to be using the stove, and wouldn’t have come close to being tall enough to use it at that time, I think I was around 5 years old when I was given that very cute cookbook), buried treasure muffins, personal pizzas, homemade lemonade, oven fried potatoes (which I remember was something that was made on multiple occasions, and frozen bananiods. I first found your beautifully presented fantastic recipe site almost 2 months ago when I was looking for a better challah recipe than the one I had used last time. That challah came out AMAZING! (and soo very pretty and by far the darkest brown ‘crust’ that one normally sees at the deli/bakery. I ‘liked’ your facebook page and subscribed on twitter, but was wondering how exactly I could show you the picture of the pretty (and very tasty) challah that I made a couple weeks ago? Thanks sooo much for your time. I can imagine that it would take many hours to just do the research, tweaking, trying it out, writing it up complete with your absolutely incredible photographs (and I can kinda understand about searching for that one recipe as I’ve spent more hours than I could or would want to count). I’m still working my way through reading all your recipes. I’m at the moment looking for some recipes to try out during a house party. I’ve really been enjoying reading through your blog! And Happy (early) Valentines Day!
    *take care*

  228. Spring

    was the cookbook organized by color from easiest to hardest? I had a similar cookbook, the first recipe was honey lemonade and I think the last was beef stew or meatloaf. I loved it!

  229. I am a huge fan of zucchini bread and had a disappointing cooking experience last weekend with a different recipe I usually use. I went on the search for a new one and when I came across the one you have listed here I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed! I’ve yet to try one of your recipes and found myself wanting more! I am happy to say that after baking this recipe up today, the result is a delicious zucchini loaf and 9 scrumptious zucchini muffins! It’s a winner! As always, thank you thank you!

  230. Christina

    Like Leah, my first cookbook was “Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual”, complete with the measuring cups. It must have been back in 1992 or so. Guess who still has that cookbook with the others? Yep! I still make the twice baked potatoes from it, and reference it when I need to know how exactly to make a baked potato.
    Love that cookbook.
    Also, I’ve loved zucchini/nut/raisin muffins. So many people are grossed out by the idea, then crush on the actual product.

  231. Just made this from CSA Zuc! SO delish. :) My first cookbook was a DK number called… My First Cookbook. I made quiches in a muffin tin for my mom, and she still talks about it to this day! (15+ years later!)

  232. Giselle

    This looks absolutely divine. This recipe is definitely going on reserve for the time I want a zucchini cake.

    My first cookbook was Cooking Light. I made strawberry shortcake and it came out awful. The first cookbook in which I managed to create an edible and absolutely delicious recipe was (surprise!) the Joy of Cooking’s pound cake. I ended up making a delicious boston cream pie with it. I was so happy! Joy of Cooking made me really love baking.

  233. Alli

    I remember mom receiving hard covered Southern Living books through the mail during the eighties. I was 8-10 years of age, hungry and mom was working. I searched for a recipe which used the same ingredients I could find around the kitchen. We had everything for Potato Skins! I still make them to this day :)

  234. Sally

    My first cookbook was the Little House on the Prairie cookbook! I loved it because my dad read the books outloud to me when I was little and then we would make the food that they ate in the book! It was great!

  235. Jaime

    LIZ! This recipe is so, so easy to make vegan. I did it today because I ran out of eggs – just Google flaxseed vegan egg substitute.

  236. Marcia R. Gregorio

    My daughter Julie introduced me to your site — it’s so wonderful.
    My first cookbook was THE MARY ALDEN CAKE AND COOKIE COOKBOOK, and my favorite thing from it was cookies called Applesaucies. That was back around 1960.
    Looking forward to trying your zucchini muffins.

  237. mairsydoats

    Almost identically to another post – “my” first cookbook was my older sister’s copy of the Peanuts’ Cookbook. And it’s so very true – Lucy’s Lemon Squares are truly the quintessential and absolutely perfect lemon squares. I believe this is also where I learned to make French Toast. I do remember feeling quite superior because I ALREADY knew how to make Cinnamon Toast. :-) Also, the Betty Crocker Cooky Carousel got quite the workout around our house!

  238. My mom gave me a Betty Crocker cookbook which I still reference to this day. One of the funniest recipes I use is for guacamole. I’m sure that guac was incredibly novel and very exotic when the cookbook was first published. What’s even funnier is that the guac is fresh and amazing. I’ve entered it in friendly competitions and won!

  239. Deb – huge thanks for this recipe. I made it for a market baking competition and won (I blogged about it and linked back to you).
    My first cookbook was an English one for kids and I made a victoria sponge cake. It was good but flat. As it was an English book it assumed the use of self-raising flour and I didn’t add any baking powder so ended up with a wafer cake. It was good but I was crushed. I think my mum made the rest of my family eat it all so I would feel better.

  240. jules

    just made this recipe – and my loaves were done after about 35 minutes. I used a convection oven (not sure if that makes a difference) and split the batter into two 8×4 loaf pans.

  241. Kathy

    Hi Deb… a person might guess, it’s zucchini season…. and I just saw your recipe as I was searching for a new one. The photo looks exactly like what I wanted, and it is in the oven as I write. Growing zucchini always makes me feel like a successful gardener….whether I am or not! Lucky for me I love the stuff and keep finding new things to do with it. Thanks for the recipe….my house smells so good right now!!

    P.S. My first cookbook was a Better Homes & Gardens (the notebook loose-leaf kind) that my mother gave me when I was 16. I have had it almost fifty years now (yikes!), and it is falling apart.

  242. Ambika


    Thanks for the recipe. My first cookbook is actually entitled, “My First Cookbook.” It’s yellow and is bear-themed and I got it at the book fair in the first or second grade. I think the first thing I made from it was banana bread and I still use that recipe today! I still have the cookbook too– falling apart though it may be.

  243. Kathy

    P.S. The zucchini bread was perfect….exactly what I wanted. I actually added a banana (but only because I could bring myself to throw it away). Thanks again for the recipe. I love your website, and your photography is super.

  244. Ann

    It was awesome! I couldn’t bring myself to tell the kids it had a vegetable in it. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” lives on… in my kitchen.

  245. verybluejenny

    looking forward to making this bread! reading the post about your first cookbook reminded me of mine. it was “Kids Cooking: A Very Slighty Messy Manual” and it came with my first set of measuring spoons which i still have and use!! I made eggs in a frame, and it seriously is one of my favorite breakfasts to date.

  246. I love your zucchini bread recipe. It is exactly what I want when I go to make that traditional loaf. I just wanted to let you know that I was inspired by your recipe to come up with one of my own. It has rosemary, orange and pecans in it. I wrote about it on my blog today
    I made sure to give you credit for the inspiration and linked back to this post. I don’t have a ton of followers but I love your blog and hopefully some people will check it out. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  247. angela R

    What a wonderful and warm post, from the heart . I am going to try this for my grandchildren as they love to cook . Thank you.

  248. Debra

    Sadly, I don’t remember my first cookbook or what really turned me on to cooking. But, now I pay more attention to these things and I will definitely recall the first time I encountered your recipes, when a friend gave me the link for the summer strawberry cake this summer. I made it and ate it three times, as long as the strawberries held. So, now that I have a huge zucchini in my fridge, I know where to turn for tomorrow morning’s baking event with my four year old. Thank you thank you!

  249. NanaJaci

    I am definitely going to try your zucchini bread recipe….sounds delish (gotta use that 10-pound monster from my garden). My first cookbook was an old Betty Crocker Cookbook…..I LOVED it. The recipe I used, and STILL use, isn’t in the new Betty Crocker books….but it was the Olive Cheese Balls recipe in the appetizers. It is scrumptious.

  250. Sengkelat

    I’m awash in zucchini from the garden (and the kindly neighbors bring more over…I don’t have the heart to refuse) and I have fond memories of the zucchini bread my mom used to make. I knew SK would have a recipe. I just had zuke bread with melting butter fresh from the oven, delicious!
    So counting the zucchini in the fridge and the ones growing on the vine, I only have to make…let’s see…90 more loaves and it’s all used up!

  251. I made this zucchini bread, my family – especially my 1,5 year old son – loved it. Your website is fantastic! Thanks for it! Mónika from Hungary
    ps.: My first cookbook was a Hungarian cookbook: Ilona Horváth: Szakácskönyv :)

  252. Yvonne

    Betty Crocker’s Jr. Cookbook was my first one, back in 1977! I still have it.
    I made the peanut butter crumble muffins and the best oatmeal raisin cookies (which I would add chocolate chips to), because everything tastes better with chocolate!

  253. Jessi

    I just finished making a double batch of muffins. The texture and aroma are divine! I made a “hippy dippy” version with mostly whole wheat, oats, flax, wheat germ, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/2 coconut oil. And then made yours to the T. I love them both! Thank you to friends who share garden zuch’s and to you Deb, for promising a tried and true recipe to showcase my gift:) Most Sincerely, Jess from Tallahassee Florida

  254. Rose

    Yummmmmm! Last week we expected a share of cucumbers from our CSA and got zucchini instead. I’ve been cooking with zucchini almost daily since and just got to the point that I can see the bottom of the box. I made muffins using this recipe last night and they turned out wonderfully. Thanks for another zucchini recipe to add to my collection.

  255. Ray

    whoa…a colleague brought some of this yummy goodness into the office and it was devoured within hours! Unequivocally the best bread my belly has ever had…

  256. Sarah

    My first cookbook was some Italian herb recipe book… I was really little and when my Dad told me a recipe for cookies was in it it completely blew my mind! I remember standing on a stool and making lavender cookies with him from lavender we picked from the front beds and ground ourselves. After that we squirted the dough out of a cookie press into different shapes and tried to figure out what each shape was. Very nostalgic.

  257. Mary

    Betty Crocker “New Picture” Cook Book, published in 1961. It was my grandmothers. She gifted this book to four of my aunts and my mom, all newly married; at the same time, she bought a copy for herself. She was a great cook and baker and loved learning new things. She inscribed the book to herself, “To Elsie, From Elsie. March 1964”
    When my grandmother passed away, my mom passed Elsie’s cookbook on to me. Great illustrations, meal planning and kitchen management basics.

  258. What a wonderful blog, and what an impressive group of readers/responders you attract! Cooking and cookbooks certainly touch our lives, isn’t life grand? Just discovered a huge zuchinni in the garden (something of a jungle, no wonder it wasn’t found when it would have been lovely roasted), but that led me to recipes for zuchinni and this delightful site, thank you very much. Now, just wondering (re: that jungle/garden) what do you recommend to use up a constant supply of green beans…….
    My Mom had an odd little recipe book, the Inglenook Cookbook, the Banana Cake with caramel frosting…….yum

  259. Nina

    I know this post was from 2007, but as I was looking for a great zucchini bread recipe (and knew I could count on you…), I read the post about children’s cookbooks. I still have mine 35 years later. I had two – Cooking Adventures for Kids and a UNICEF cookbook called Many Hands Cooking. From the first, I would make both the family macaroni and cheese and the paprika-garlic roast chicken. From the second, I loved making the Swedish meat balls and the Guava Toast from Brazil. I wasn’t so adventurous back then to try the Fu Fu from Ghana or the African Stew from Zaire (!!). Oh how I wish I could find this book now for the kids in my life! I look for it every so often, but alas, I can’t seem to find it. Let me know if you ever see it! Thanks for all your great recipes!

  260. my first foray into zucchini bread, because i can’t stop myself from buying more zucchini! had two for dinner last night, totally two more for breakfast this morning. they’re amazing.

  261. vanessa

    My very first cookbook was one my 2nd grade class put together to sell so we could go to marine world! My favorite recipe in it (as well as the one I contributed) is the only one in there that was not food…. it was for playdough!

  262. Eleanor

    I made this zucchini bread last night and while it tastes delicious it barely rose at all. It’s only about an inch tall. Is there a reason this might have happened? I followed the instructions as listed…

  263. Anne

    i have tried a few of your recipes and they always turn out great! i just made this and it’s delicious! i put two cups of courgettes in but next time i think i will put more in!
    thanks for all your nice recipes!

  264. DORA

    I made this bread last year for Christmas gifts and everyone LOVE it. This is the BEST recipe ever. I am making 20 loafs tomorrow to give away to my friends and family, thank you for this lovely recipe!

  265. Julia

    This recipe worked really well. I halved it using 2 eggs instead of 1.5 eggs and 2 t cinnamon instead of 1.5 t. I used toasted pine-nuts (1/2 cup!) and baked them as muffins. EXCELLENT. Thank you, Deb!

  266. Katherine

    I do remember my first cookbook! I can’t remember the name, but it was like a board book, had a spiral spine, and a set of measuring spoons were attached to it. The first recipe we made, and the only one I remember, were Frozen Bananoids. Peel and halve some bananas. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a saucepan. Insert popsicle stick into cut end of banana, dip/roll banana in chocolate mixture. Freeze in one layer on wax paper. Ha!

  267. the.mrs

    I made these last week and they were absolutely wonderful! They didn’t last more than a day! I did make some substitutions. I cut out 1/2 cup of the sugar and I used 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup melted coconut oil instead of the cup of veg/olive oil. The coconut oil gave it a nice flavor, too. Tonight I’m substituting fresh blueberries. Can’t wait!!

  268. Yum! I made this yesterday and it was quick, easy and the bread came out delicious! (I made it with chocolate chips, of course!) :)

    I’m a new reader and I love your blog! I’m also pretty new to cooking/baking and find that your recipes are easy to understand, yet come out tasting fit for a gourmet! My first cookbook… the one I received as a wedding gift. The Joy of Cooking.

  269. Meg Cupman

    My first cookbook was also the Betty Crocker Cookbook for Girls and Boys. I wish I knew what happened to it. My goal when I got it was to make every recipe in it and I did. I remember making cookies as one of my first attempts when no one was home but me, and I used cornstarch instead of flour, I didn’t know the difference, and they spread off the baking sheet onto the bottom of the hot oven and it made a smoking black mess that my poor Mom had to clean when she got home. Thanks Mom and sorry. She still encouraged me to cook after that.

  270. My husband and I eloped at 18 and moved to Florida. His grandmother sent me Betty Crocker’s Cooking for Two. It had sections for economizing, starting out and back to two. It was great, actually.
    The first recipe I cooked was halibut baked with butter fresh dill. I used dried dill and margarine. It was good, but I didn’t know my new hubby didn’t like fish. :)

    This is my new go-to zucchini bread recipe. The cranberries really round it out.

  271. Dana

    Zucchini season is definitely upon us…I get a weekly veggie box that never fails to contain at least 2-3 full size zucchini (and a few summer squash to boot). Every Wednesday emails fly around my office about what to do with all the zukes!

    I have made many loaves of zucchini bread and this is hands down the best. I made a few small adjustments, as I only have one bread pan…I cut everything in half, using 2 eggs, a little less olive oil, and probably about 2-2.5 cups of zucchini.

    It was amazing! I think this is definitely going to win me the title of office baker.
    Thank you!

  272. It is that time of year again.
    I have a bowl full of cucumbers sitting in ice waiting to make the pickles.
    I have several zucchini waiting to be turned into something other than roasted, so I thought I would give some bread a try. Love the idea of the cranberries. Will try a loaf with walnuts and cranberries, it will be a great combo.

  273. Julia W

    I love your recipes, especially the desserts! I am planning on making a birthday cake next week for a friend who loves carrot cake, and I thought it might be fun to add a summery twist and make zucchini cake (with the requisite cream cheese frosting) instead. Do you think this recipe would lend itself to layer-cake form? Or would I be better off using a carrot cake recipe and substituting carrots for zucchini?

    1. deb

      Julia — Maybe a carrot cake (like this one!, which also yields a 2-layer 9-inch cake) using zucchini. Zucchini will be wetter and it might take slightly longer to bake. I think it will be delicious because I had lunch a few weeks ago at ABC Kitchen and they had a slice of a two-layer cream cheese frosted and filled zucchini cake for dessert, and it was wonderful and seasonal and I ate it all.

  274. I’ve been a long-time reader, but this is my first comment! I love absolutely everything on your blog and have made many successful recipes, so thanks! I’ve had zucchini bread before but never made any myself, so I thought I’d give it a shot tonight, and oh my goodness is this ever a wonderful recipe. Just so moist, so delicious, and hands down the best zucchini bread I have ever had.

  275. Mary Katherine

    Oh my goodness, this is a good bread. I made it tonight with yellow squash that needed to get used. I didn’t have any cinnamon (who doesn’t have cinnamon??), but I did have some lavender, so I swapped the two and kept the nutmeg. It is SO good. The lavender is amazing in this mild, moist loaf.

  276. Oh, how I love the internet and google search. That is how I came across this post. My first cookbook (not as a child but as a young adult) was a Good Housekeeping cookbook. I made zucchini bread from a recipe in that cookbook that was fantastic. The binding of the book loosened, and the book fell apart, and I got rid of it and did not keep that recipe and have regretted it since. Your recipe looks really close from what I remember, and I cannot wait to try it. Thank you for posting this, and for the memories you invoked.

  277. Linda in Victoria

    Love a good zucchini bread.
    And loved my first cookbook (which I still have 40 years later, in a box in the basement). It is called My Learn to Cook Book and was a gift from the UK so had all these weights and measures in it that were tricky to work with. Hand drawn pictures, which made it all look easy. And things like Baked Alaska, that I never made. But I did make the chocolate mousse. Carefully followed the steps and very carefully poured it into 4 little glass bowls. So pleased. But living in Winnipeg had its perils and a mosquito promptly landed, stuck and died in one. At first I was upset. Then pragmatically made very sure my brother got that bowl (heh).

  278. shazzer

    my first cookbook wasn’t really mine, it was moms. i believe it was an old copy of “The Joy Of Cooking”, spiral bound and grungy pages worn from use. I liked to make the potato dumplings that were a part of our Thanksgiving feast. I also liked making Salmon Loaf, which was and still is a family favorite. As for the zucchini bread – i love it toasted with a little butter. simply delicious!

  279. Merritt

    Mmmmmm… this turned out super!

    I had half a huge zucchini in the fridge that was pleading to be used up, but I couldn’t bring myself to make anything too naughty. Happy to report that an earnest attempt at a healthy-ish zucchini muffin turned out moist, fluffy and delicious with half of the flour swapped with whole wheat flour, half of the oil swapped with plain yogurt, and half the sugar swapped with mashed banana. The recipe gave me 22 muffins at, if anyone is curious, 179 calories each (with the walnuts, without the chocolate/dried fruit). Thanks for such a good recipe to play with, Deb! (I’m sure the original is to die for, too!)

  280. Robin Keller

    I forget the name of my 1st cook book but I remember making the pineapple-banana candle stick salad recipe someone else mentioned. When I was in about 6th grade we moved to a house in southern California that had a huge yard. My mother grew a zucchini plant that unfortunately produced lots of zucchini. My mother would sauté slices in oil, which I truly hated. It wasn’t too long before I ripped it from the ground and threw it in the incinerator. My mother would occasionally comment about it’s sudden disappearance but i didn’t confess until I was in my 40’s.

  281. Julie

    This was an excellent recipe — thank you! I made muffins (with extra walnuts and raisins, cooked in pineapple juice) and they turned out wonderfully! My zucchini crop was unexpectedly successful this year.

    My first cookbook was my mom’s, the big red classic Betty Crocker … but the first I bought for myself was the Moosewood series, and remain my favorite.

    Thank you again for the great recipe — fantastic website.

  282. The very first cookbook I ever worked out of was the “Mighty Funny” cookbook. I think that’s the title, and we made birthday cake cookies from it endlessly. It is still stained and crusted with batter and chocolate chip mush. The very first cookbook I ever “owned” was given to me by my mom called the Gold Medal (as in the flour) Cookbook, and I have only ever made one recipe out of it, which I’ve made several times…Banana Bread, with or without chocolate chips. Delish. :)

  283. Beth

    My first cookbook was MMMMM! A Feasiary by Ruth Reichl, in about 1975 and I use it still. Favorites from there: Ever Pucker (shaker lemon) Pie, lemon chicken, baked potatoes stuffed with eggs and cassata.

  284. Wendy Poole

    My first cookbook was the Pillsbury one from the early 70’s and my best recipes were the Spicy Apple Crescents and the Quiche Lorraine – the apple recipe comes out every fall and the rave reviews continue after 40 years! Next was the orange Betty Crocker which I run to for White Mountain or 7 Minute Frosting and Snickerdoodle and Peanut Butter Cookies – but the best (in my humble opinion) is the Fluffy Meatlaof (from Mom’s 50’s version)! This was not “prison food” as others remember meatloaf! Next was the Woman’s Day Encyclopedia with a slew of favorites – but the old family and friend cards and scraps will forever win my applause and will be my “go to” for the memories, the love and the countless hours shared comparing, correcting and trying to read the German-English, spattered and tattered pieces!
    Thank you for this recipe – my memories of baking this with my Grandmother for my Mom following an accident – will compliment the tasty treat for dessert tonight!

  285. I just fricking love you. So many times there have been ‘projects’ that I haven’t quite got to completing (like, make the perfect store-cupboard tomato sauce) and then you’ve just handed me the whole thing completed. It’s like having someone do my homework for me before I’ve even unpacked my school bag. Thanks, thanks and thanks, I’ve wanted to make a courgette loaf cake since I had it for breakfast (yes, cake for breakfast, totally legit in France) at a B&B in Provence. And you’ve done it for me! Cannot wait for your cookbook, have it on pre-order. Kisses xoxo

  286. Jessica

    A bit late to the party, but to answer the question it was the 1989 Betty Crocker three ring binder style cookbook. My first recipe was the butterscotch brownies. I located a copy at the local thrift store a few years ago and it is delightfully outdated with it’s discussion of the “miracle of microwave cooking” but the baking sections are no nonsense, utilitarian and great for a base for modifications.

    1. deb

      alice — No reason why not, although splitting an egg can be like splitting hairs. You can blend the egg and pour half in the batter or just use the egg yolk from one to get 1 1/2 eggs.

  287. Lusche

    Delightful blog. I really enjoy coming to your site and using the recipes you have here.
    My first cookbook was a checkerboard Betty Crocker soft bound book. Still using it. I grew up with the 3 ring book at home and loved the recipes in there.
    Thanks again.

  288. Tara

    I loved this recipe and it came out perfectly EXCEPT all of the chocolate chips were at the bottom of the bread. Why is that? And how is this avoided in the future? Thank you!

  289. Lori

    I have a beautiful, underused Wilton bundt pan. Can I grease and flour the hell out if it for this recipe, or is it more of a line loaf pans with parchment situation?

  290. c8h10n4o2junkie

    The first cookbook I remember owning was “The Little Cooks Cookbook” with recipes from around the world. I remember making delicious almond pyramid cookies for my 6th grade report on Egypt.

    I’m curious. This was posted five years ago (jeeze!); have you had any luck tracking down your own first cookbook?

  291. Melinda

    I know I’m a couple years late on this, and in the wrong season… but for good reason. ;) My local co-op puts together 99¢ grab bags of damaged/past prime fruits and veggies; this cold January week I ended up with a plethora of zucchini and am tickled to thaw out my bones with a favorite summertime treat. Next, you brought back the memory of The Pooh Cook Book, which I don’t think we tried many recipes out of. As an adult, my first cookbook was The New Vegetarian Cookbook which I often still reference.

  292. Tammy

    Hi I tried your recipe this afternoon as a gift to a friend-I was quite disappointed with it. My bread did not look anything like you’d at all it was dry–very very dry despite adding an extra half of a cup of zucchini. I’m not sure what when wrong but something did! :(

  293. So it’s coming towards the end of Summer here in the Souther Hemisphere, and I had a glut of huge courgettes (or zucchini’s as you may prefer to call them!). Really massive, like Marrow sized (maybe a marrow is just an oversized courgette? Hmm, not sure)…

    Anyway – I tried this recipe in the hope that it might use up some of the green veg taking over my pantry. I did, however, replace the flour with store-bought gluten free flour (wife has gluten intolerance), and I have to report that it was *outstanding*!

    The zucchini itself could probably be left-out or replaced with, well, pretty much anything, but that’s beside the point; How would I claim it was a healthy snack without the zucchini? 10/10, would bake again ;)

  294. Rebeca

    I love your blog!!! I’ve just made this yesterday. Everyone loved it!!!! I used a Bundt Pan instead the 2 loaf pans, and it was perfect. :) Thanks a lot.

  295. Patricia

    My first cookbook is called was bought in Scotland by me. I was 19 and it was 1976. I still have it. It is called “Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book” and the first item I made was Chelsea Buns. This book is kind of odd but I love it.

  296. Kristen

    How come when I make this it comes out much lighter then yours…? Taste is good but super light? Did you use white sugar or brown?

  297. deb

    I use granulated (white) sugar. I am not sure why yours is darker. Some of the color comes from cinnamon, but otherwise, I just find that this bread browns well.

  298. My first cookbook was my mother’s: “The Women’s Home Companion Cook Book” 1942. However there is no substute for a great teacher and my grandmother was that for me. As my babysitter, she coached me on the finer and fun points of bread making and baking and I helped her with her English, she spoke Russian.
    wtrying your zuccini bead recipe today. Our garden is full of zucchini right now!

  299. Jeannette

    I purchased my first cookbook as a young adult when I got my first apartment. I was 19. However, I do remember checking out a cookbook at my school’s library called the nancy drew cookbook. It had the best chocolate waffle recipe and english muffin pizza recipes. I used these for years. As an adult when I went to get my oldest daughter her first cookbook, I searched high and low for the Nancy Drew cookbook. It was no longer in print, however I did find an old copy through a specialty book seller and presented it to my daughter. And we all agree that the chocolate waffles rock.

  300. Susan in MI

    Was never allowed to participate in cooking growing up so the first cookbook I purchased was “The French Chef” by Julia Child. She’s the one who taught me how to cook and that it’s OK to think beyond the box of the recipe. All my kids (now grown) learned how to cook, chop, prep, at an age appropriate age growing up so all are marvelous cooks, bakers, and foodies as well.
    This zucchini bread recipe ROCKS!!! I was looking for one to make something “healthy” and love quick breads. Have to admit I *did* squeeze out the zucchini after it was shredded because I wanted to use apple sauce (based on Ina Garten’s) instead of the oil just because. Cut down on the sugar as well due to the apple sauce is sweet on it’s own. Thanks for being “out there” in cyber space where I could find you.

  301. Mandy

    I tried this recipe a few minutes ago, and boy did I regret it. I followed the recipe to the t and it didn’t turn out like the pictures and the taste is not very good either. It did smell nice, though.

  302. Michelle S.

    The first cookbook I ever used was my mother’s Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. I loved the pictures of cakes and cookies. For some reasons I decided that muffins were the easiest thing to make, so I’d make different varieties all the time. I still have that cookbook, and though I rarely use it, there are still a few fancy cakes I wouldn’t mind making. But my first “signature” recipe was Brother Boniface’s pumpkin bread, from a recipe I found in Southern Living: (not my blog)
    Now that I actually live near to where Brother Boniface was a monk, I’ll have to try to find his cookbook.

    Thanks for summoning up a lot of memories!

  303. Gayle Brandt

    Deb…. love your recipes so when a co-worker brought me a gigantic zucchini, I couldn’t wait to get home and try out your zucchini bread recipe! I made it faithfully per your recipe except that I made enough for 3 breads. Turned out fantastic! Unfortunately, though, I guess I HAVE to share it with the other folks I work with who saw me take the zucchini home… In answer to your question a few years ago about my first cookbook, it was the Fanny Farmer cookbooks (two in a set) that my Mom gave me when I got married. When my daughter got married, I gave her a set, too! I still use them, BUT my favorite, go-to cookbook is my Good Housekeeping cookbook; poor thing is now held together with some yarn as the pages have come out of the binding, but I will not give it up!

  304. Jenna

    I now have a little boy who loooooooves zucchini, and I knew your little guy did too, so I’ve begun to work my way through your zucchini recipes! I made a few changes to this – cut the oil to 1/2 cup, sugar to 1 cup, and added 3/4 applesauce instead; replaced 1 cup of the white flour with whole wheat; used large muffin pans, so ended up with a dozen muffins. My oven’s on the warm side, so they were done in 20 minutes. Very popular with the short set!

  305. LOVED this recipe. I doubled the recipe and then made 3 super loaves, one with chocolate chips, one with pecans and a plain jane. I am looking forward to the Zucchini season that is upon us! Thanks again for all the wonderful recipes, I love love love your site!

  306. jmarie3

    LOVED this! Made it but a) swapped out 1 c of the sugar for turbinado and b) added a tsp of molasses. It has a tender, moist crumb with just a hint of the richness of the molasses. I also can’t stop eating them. YUM!

  307. Kate

    My first cookbook was a gift, “The New Basics”–lots of raspberry vinegar, if I remember correctly. My mom has given me her (and my) favorite recipes, one of which is for zucchini bread. So I am looking forward to trying this one as a comparison!

  308. Laurel A.

    My first cookbook of my very own was A Feast of Ice and Fire (the Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire cookbook), a 20th birthday present from one of my best friends. I think the first recipe I made (that was more involved than “heat milk, add honey and spices, ice” for iced milk) was a spicy leek soup from A Storm of Swords (if you’ve seen the second-to-last episode of season 3…it was the soup from that feast in the book). This was so successful that it became the soup course for the Thanksgiving meal I cooked for my college-age friends from home, and resulted in them all getting me cookbooks for Christmas.

  309. Anne Wilson

    I just made this today, I used roasted unsalted pistacios for the nuts. The green color went nicely with the green of the zucchini, delicious!

  310. Terri

    A six-pound monster squash showed up on my doorstep three days ago, courtesy of a neighbor. Our plates were piled high with mounds of garlic-soaked sauteed veg for two nights in a row, and the first words out of my two year-old’s mouth this morning were, “No zucchini tonight, okay Mama?” With a pound of the stuff still socked away in the fridge, I turned to SK for help.

    This recipe is, as promised, exactly as you remember it from your childhood. I made muffins rather than loaves. My regular-sized muffins came out perfect at 25 minutes in my temperature-guestimating GE Profile gas oven, and the mini muffins clocked in at 18 minutes. I added raisins plumped in boiling water to the mix when I added the zucchini. The muffins were perfectly moist in both sizes, but I’d beware adding unplumped dried fruit to the batter, lest they rob it of some necessary water. Because I’m Type A, I also sifted all of the dry ingredients a few times to incorporate everything evenly and add some air into the mix. I’m no chemist, so I can’t say if that actually helps, but it certainly didn’t hurt. The amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla specified in the recipe struck a beautiful balance, although I admit to being wary that the cinnamon would be overpowering beforehand.

    The little one has no complaints about eating his zucchini tonight!

  311. Michelle

    Just made this, used safflower oil. Absolutely scrumptious!! I used one of my “I forgot to pick you” huge zucchini a from the garden.

    Science experiments you can eat… First cookbook

  312. Kristin

    Just made this tonight with the last of the GIANT zucchini I bought last week at the farmer’s market. I made the muffin version, and added chocolate chips… but I’m still counting the whole thing as a vegetable. Planning to bring them in to work tomorrow, but we’ll see how many actually make it to the sharing stage…

  313. Amanda Mason

    Just wanted to tell you I love your recipes!!!
    I tried this one today and received many compliments.
    Changed a couple of things.
    1) used 1/2 vanilla bean
    2) cut sugar to 1 cup.
    3) used coconut oil

    Wow!! –Much love, From Sebastopol CA–
    P.S. You can come to dinner anytime at my house. Standing offer.

  314. jen

    Had some extra yellow squash I needed to use up, so some muffins were in order. I upped the amount of nuts & chopped them up extra fine- all the flavor of well toasted walnuts without the (what I find annoying) big chunks. And just because why not, I soaked the raisins in some rum before putting them in. Utterly delightful!

  315. Eric Amberg

    And I thought just growing big zucchs was hard. Last year, nothing. Now, huge ones the size of my calf and I’m 6Ft. Gave away four. Now to bread. Thank you for the current posts, mostly scanned. Will be adding bananas, applesauce, nutmeg per comments with reductions in oil and eggs. My first cookbook was Fannie Farmers given to me by Mom for Christmas in 1985. Use it first, then I’ll come here. Thanks again, let you know how the muffins/bread come out.

  316. Carrie

    I have a gigantic zucchini, and I am going to use it to make this bread. Yum. My first cookbook was the urban peasant. His tv cooking show was my after-school show when I was growing up. It’s what introduced me and got me into cooking. I can’t remember what I first made from it, but I know it introduced me to strawberries and pepper and strawberries and balsamic vinegar.

  317. I’m not much of a baker, but I am determined to break through that self imposed cooking glass ceiling I’ve put up for myself. I love zucchini bread and that it is a healthy treat. Thanks!

  318. Janel McGovern

    My husband would like molasses zucchini muffins. I love this zucchini bread recipe. Any suggestions on how to add this new ingredient? (My first cookbook was The Joy of Cooking. I am sure I baked something with my mother on it’s maiden voyage.)

  319. carla

    Your recipe is close to my recipe for zucchini bread….except I use 3/4 cup of honey and 3/4 cup of sugar. I also add a sm. box of vanilla instant pudding. It is yummy!

  320. TerryB

    This is my go to recipe for zucchini bread. My 17 year old non vegetable eating son love it. Oh and I love “zucchini Bats”, When said son was about 2 or 3 he would call those huge squashes “zucchini babies” and wrap them up in a blanket and carry them around, he got upset when I cooked them!

  321. Jeannine

    Making the zucchini bread right now…love your website! My first cookbook was published in 1967 when I was five years old. It was an end-of-kindergarten summer present from my grandma. I found a copy of it recently at a tag sale but I’d always kept the original so now I have two! It’s called “The Girls and Boys Easy-to-Cook Book” and I love it still. Scrambled eggs in toast cups, Tommy Tangburgers, Porcupines,….still classics in my house!

  322. Jennifer

    I just made my 6 month od some delicious puréed zucchini and he hated it haha. I am wondering if I can sub in puréed zucchini? And if so how much? Thank you in advance!

  323. First cookbook I owned was at age 17 (58 years ago), newly married to college student. Mom gave me 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger, and it still resides in my bookcase with certain treasured recipes still in use (Devilburgers have gone from feeding 7 children to cooking for one!) I had a similar zucchini summer, and made very risque going away gift for a friend.

  324. Ambi

    My first cookbook was also aptly titled, “my first cookbook” by Rena Coyle. It was narrated by a bear and had cartoon-like pictures of the bear throughout. I’ve been making the book’s banana bread recipe for more than 25 years, though I’ve upgraded it for more adult tastes. I bought it at the first grade book fair! Thank you for your inspired and inspiring recipes, Deb! You’re my go-to for everything food…

  325. Gretchen

    Made this last night and it was amazing. I only had a 9×5 bread pan and all the batter (dough?) fit into that one pan. It still cooked in one hour- it it HUGE and moist and delicious!

  326. I LOVE this recipe. I know it’s been on here for a while and I’ve made it a number of times, just thought I would mention it. Your recipes are great and taste fantastic! This time I added a little bit of Mymoune Rose Water to the dough… I’ll know how it tastes in approx. 40 min. Yumm! Thank you!

  327. sfr

    This recipe was really good. My Ma puts crushed pineapple in hers. (I forgot until after I used this recipe.) Makes the bread even more moist and not overwhelmingly pineapple-ly just more delicious. I work for a farm and there’s a lot of zucchini in my life. Thanks for all the easy to follow vegetable recipes!

  328. Laura

    Its giant zucchini season! I love your recipes and they always work, thank you for your hard work. Made a two minor changes for mine, swapped 3/4c of granulated sugar for drk brown sugar, and added about 2T of Ghirardelli cocoa powder, since I used up my reserve chocolate chips on ’emergency’ :) cookies.

  329. Trina Mendita

    My first cookbook was actually a photocopied Hershey’s Baking Recipes book. I just found it one of my mom’s old files. She must have borrowed a friend’s book and got it photocopied but she never got to use it. I was fourteen and so amazed at the thought of baking (I learned in Home Econ) so I decided to give it a try. The first recipe I tried was the classic chocolate cake, minus the icing. I live in the Philippines and back in the 90’s it was hard to find confectioners for home baking. The cake was a bit dry, but the experience was nonetheless exhilarating for me. Creating something out of basic ingredients was intoxicating. :)

    Years later, my intoxication continues. I’m so excited to try this recipe soon. :) I will report the outcome to you right after. Thanks Deb. :)

  330. Laura

    Moosewood. As a kid/teen I cooked from my stepfather’s copy, then got my own once I moved out of home. Some 30 yrs later, I still have it, held together with duct tape. If there was an apocalypse and we had no food I could boil in and make a nutritious broth. I still make a number of the recipes — Montana’s Mom’s Cheesecake is a Xmas tradition for our family, and the lentil soup is a classic.

  331. Colleen

    Because it’s fall and because the zucchini in my store looked sad, I subbed seeded, shredded delicata squash. They’re a little dryer than zucchini, so I upped the oil/applesauce combo I normally use. Turned out great!

  332. My first cookbook was one my boyfriend- now hubby bought for me. Called romantic evenings. Everything in this book is amazing. Speaking of amazing- a friend gave me the smitten kitchen cookbook for Christmas- and we love it!!! Just amazing recipes- thanks!

  333. Lauren Kolo

    This is a wonderful recipe. It took only 50 minutes in my oven. To make only one loaf, I halved the recipe (I kind of guessed on halving the egg and it was fine) Used dried cranberries and chopped walnuts in my loaf. Thank you!

  334. Kirra

    I swear to god you just gave me a flashback!
    And also I’m so sure that your ‘my first cookbook’ was also my first cookbook lol. I got it from my great grandmother with it’s somewhat dodgey raisin strewn recipes, horrific sandwich ideas and 50’s inspired hand drawn artwork that looked like it was done in crayon.what I remember cooking from it most vividly is the rock cakes that were amazingly more rock like than anything god has ever produced… And another loaf cake that had cornflakes in it, that one was pretty good. Then again it’s hard to go wrong with cornflakes, butter and golden syrup as the main ingredients.
    Anywho… Thanks for the recipe and the trip down memory lane. They made me smile equally big.

  335. Shellie

    My first cookbook was Cooking Wizardry for Kids. Baby-blue cover, bright red sprial binding. Can’t remember who gave it to me. Total flashback, can’t believe I found it on amazon!
    I remember making the caramel popcorn balls (looking back on it, I can’t believe my parents allowed me to make caramel!); red cabbage (the cookbook talked about acids and bases and changing colors); gelatin squares (basically just jello with less water, so they harden into jiggly but play-with-your-food-able shapes) and I never did make the pretzels but I so vividly remember how much I always wanted to. Mostly, I remember enjoying reading it. Didn’t realize until jsut now that my love of reading cookbooks began at a young age. Deb, thanks for asking the question and sparking my trip down memory lane!

  336. Cynthia

    4-H cookbook! Threre was a new one every year, but I remember making peanut butter cookies for my first 4-H project. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 5 so my mom was always working to find things that didn’t spike my bloodsugar while still being yummy & easy to make. She’s always been a pretty good lady, in my humble opinion. We used The New Diabetic Cookbook all the time & that’s the one I remember most. In fact, I still have it in my pantry 25 years later. Best recipe for Mexical wedding cookies I’ve ever found, low-sugar or not. :-)

  337. Rosa

    Just made this last night. Devoured a quarter of it already. I planned on giving one of the loaves away but feeling very greedy right about now. Will have to make more. I skipped the “cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof” only because I have a deeply biased idea of what zucchini bread should taste like already. And it’s perfect without the extras. Thank you!

  338. I’ve had the same experience with zucchini – when I lived at my mother’s house and we planted a few zucchini plants, we ended up with massive zucchinis. It seemed like it happened overnight. We just skipped a day or two and went to water them and they were HUGE. They will just keep growing and growing. Ours were a good 2′ long and 6′ or more in diameter. And when you have a whole plant full of them… what do you do with them all? I’ve heard many people say large zucchini get tough and bitter, but ours never did. I’m not sure what we did with all of it, but I know we had bread coming out of our ears.

  339. Clara

    Just finished this bread, I used 1 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of 1 3/4 white, only because I only had brown at home, and I always try to reduce a little sugar, you know… for my waist line. I used pecans, walnuts, dried raisins and cranberries and white chocolate chips, all of what I happened to have at home. Delicious! My kids, 1 and almost 3, are devouring it as I type :)

  340. Shifra

    I baked these yesterday in muffin form with a crumb topping. I didn’t have oats so I just mixed together flour, brown sugar, butter and salt until crumbly and sprinkled the mixture very generously onto each muffin before baking. Highly recommended!

  341. I’m super late to this game, but my first cookbook, like so many others, was the Moosewood Cookbook. We must all be “of an age.” I made the calzone recipe and it was by far the fanciest undertaking ever attempted in our kitchen. Imagine – dough from scratch! For perspective, I remember my mother making tomato sauce from scratch once (ever) and my oldest brother pulling her aside to ask if we were broke (which we were, but that had nothing to do with the sauce). I just carted several bags of squash & zucchini back from my in-laws’ garden and am excited to get started on this recipe!

  342. Gale

    Made this exactly as written and it turned out fabulous. Cooked for 55 minutes and was not overdone on the outside as breads can sometimes be but cooked perfectly through out and delicious. Thanks for the recipe. Love your blog.

  343. Gale

    I was born with an in house cookbook named Mama. She always cooked everything from scratch and I was taught from day one to eat balanced healthy meals so that’s what I taught my two daughters. She could cook anything so whenever I had a question she was there to help me. Sadly, she is gone now but I still think of her every time I am in the kitchen baking. She would have loved this bread. She made homemade bread for dinner every night. Sometimes it was “just” from scratch biscuits and other times it was yeast rolls or bread. She would slip in cornbread once in a while but mostly wheat rolls were the bread of choice. All of our birthday cakes were made from scratch. I was 12 years old before I even knew that there was such a thing as a cake mix and I was shocked and wondered who in the world would use them. My girls continue the mother/daughter tradition today by calling me when they have a cooking question. And, having the Internet to compete with makes that all the more special to me. Thanks again for all your recipes.

  344. Marge Wood

    I remember the first cookbook in my married life. We used S&H Green Stamps to buy the BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS COOKBOOK, the looseleaf one. I still have it, stained pages and all, and use it for certain things. Our oldest son and his friends made batches of EVERYDAY CUPCAKES from that cookbook at the age of nine and scarfed the goodies down. I made GINGERSNAPS from the cookies section and still believe that is the best recipe in the world for gingersnaps. Of course I used whole wheat flour and blackstrap molasses. Don’t overbake them; they burn real easily. And if you eat too many you will get a terrible tummy ache. But they are so delicious, and are great gifts. I even used to take a box of them to the Public Utilities Commission where they knew me as the Cookie Lady.

  345. SandyH

    I had cookbooks as a kid, but my first one as a newly-married, was the Pillsbury Cookbook, looseleaf binder style, bright yellow. I read it like a novel and still nearly know it by heart. I still use the cream pie recipe! Thirty nine years later….

  346. Kelly

    I am baking this as I type… I went the opposite way as most who have commented here… by going less healthy. I used brown butter instead of vegetable oil and raw organic sugar (which contributes a slightly carmel flavor). Walnuts and golden raisins… smells great. Thanks for the recipe!

  347. SJ

    Was looking for a zucchini bread/cake recipe and Smitten Kitchen is always my first stop;). I added two ripe bananas (about 1 cup) and altered it to 1 cup organic white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. I also added 1/2 cup (hand) crushed walnuts, 1/2 cup whole cranberries and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pretty much the kitchen sink! I baked 6 muffins and 1 bundt cake, so far the muffin is delicious! I’ll definitely make this again simplified :).

    1. deb

      puncturedbicycle — Yes, weights now added! Just for you. :) However, I don’t know the zucchini one offhand and will have to check next time I make this. Hope you can eyeball it.

  348. Shortbread

    Made this a couple days ago to rave reviews. And the best part: this recipe is very forgiving to how much zucchini you add. I added an extra 3/4 cup and I probably could’ve added more if I had it. Finally! My CSA zucchinis will definitely not go to waste!

  349. RJSimon

    Terrific zucchini bread. Made it tonight for a tailgate party tomorrow.
    As for my first cookbook. I think it was Betty Crocker’s Kids Cookbook. I can Remember the yellow and white striped book with the two pasty faced children! I can’t recall what recipes were there. But I do recall being about 7 and making a cake with a friend. We assumed that bis quick was just flour. Surprised we were to make a pancake rather than a real cake. Live and learn!

  350. Adrianne

    How late is this? lol

    My first cookbook was a children’s book that featured cuisine from around the world and the first thing I made was pizza — it sucked, but I was hooked! :D

  351. Deb

    I first tried this recipe in August, and it’s now my go-to recipe for zucchini muffins. I also reduced the sugar to 1 cup and for a muffin it was perfectly sweet, and I added the raisins. But here’s the thing: I sprinkled the pecans on top of the batter, rather than mixing them in (initially as an after-thought, but definitely on purpose after that) – and I sprinkled a cinnamon/sugar mix on top of the pecans. The pecans toast (with a hint of sugar and cinnamon) as the muffins bake, and the taste really pops out. It was wonderful. Thanks for all the amazing recipes!

  352. Richard O

    Wow! 400+ comments over a 7-year period! this must be good. I will try it for Easter
    this week-end. I really like your recipes and the fact that you respond to the feedback on this blog. Thank you!

  353. My first cookbook was and is a Betty Crocker. The one recipe I started out with, and go back to, is pumpkin bars. Well, much to my surprise, it turned out to be the most moist cake I ever baked. I put a cream cheese frosting on top and it gets devoured by the family. I have used others, but this is the best!

  354. Nan

    Made this bread over the weekend with some ginormous homegrown zukes. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE, hands down LOVES this bread. :)

  355. Eliza

    Yum! Today’s version was with a little extra sugar, 1 cup of whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and I let the zuke sweat for a bit, before squeezing the liquid out (I still used 2 cups). Great recipe!

  356. I know this post is from forever ago, but my first cookbook was Molly’s Cookbook from American Girl and I made deviled eggs! I was so proud.

    I just made this zucchini bread for the first time and it is amazing. Unlike so many other recipes I’ve tried, it actually stays together. Thank you!

  357. Jean Blythe

    At my wedding shower, I got a copy of Peg Bracken’s ‘I Hate to Cook Book’. It was funny and basic with lots of fun recipes, including that classic of the 70’s, Tuna Noodle Casserole! I’ve made many a zucchini bread. Great recipe!

  358. Susan webb

    Add crushed, well drained PPINEAPPLE. Raisins(large ones). Walnuts. Really moist zucchini bread. My Mom told about her friend; she made zuc bread all summer, had it ready for her daughter’s wedding. At least there was enough zucchini!

  359. Marla

    The first cookbook that I called my own was a Joy of Cooking, talk about starting out right. Given to me by my boyfriends Mother, trying to tell me something? But I left home with a box of hand copied recipe cards, all in my mothers beautiful handwriting, and funny smelling photocopies of favorites from Moms cookbooks.

  360. Rob

    My mom raised us in her own and sadly never had the time to do much home cooking but she owned 2 cookbooks – The Joy of Cooking and Second Helpings, Please! (Jewish cookbook) As a young boy I loved to read and cookbooks were no exception. I read lots of recipes from both cookbooks. The first dish I me was sweet and sour meatballs from Second Helpings and it’s still one of my favourite comfort foods at almost 50 yrs old.

  361. Danita

    Just made this with grated yellow squash and chocolate chips. It turned out great. I need to stop eating it. I halved the recipe and followed a previous comment of using 1 egg + 1 yolk and that works. Thanks

  362. Barbara

    One of the best zucchini bread recipes I have made this summer, I get 5 mini loaves out of the recipe, which works just for the two of us, as that means I have some for the freezer…have made it with mini choc chips, and cashew pieces, our nut of choice, and have never been disappointed…

  363. mirandamidas

    I made this recipe yesterday and it turned out brilliantly. I halved the recipe, adding walnuts, sultanas and dried cherries. I wasn’t sure whether to squeeze the grated zucchini to remove the water, but trusted that Deb would have told us in the recipe if we were meant to, so I didn’t – just grated it and added it. I see now that it’s that zucchini juice that makes the cake/bread so deliciously moist. I was really unsure about using olive oil, as I only had extra virgin on hand, and the batter smelled weird with it in there, but the taste is fabulous – kind of grassy and fresh, really complementing the zucchini. We will definitely make this again, possibly using a little less oil, maybe subbing in some yogurt or buttermilk as others have done, and next time I may use half white sugar, half demerara (turbinado) sugar, with an extra sprinkle on top of the loaf to give a little crunch.

    My first cookbook was the Peter Rabbit cookbook. I made the Pig-Wig peppermint creams over and over again!

  364. I’ve been making this to manage an overflow of tromboncino squash, which is the most amusing squash and prolific squash I’ve ever grown. The bread is great as is.

    BUT! Those of you who requested chocolate zucchini bread can just use this recipe and whisk in 2oz melted bittersweet chocolate with the rest of the wet ingredients. Follow everything else to the letter. Today’s delicious loaf is proof that it works!

  365. jill lustig

    Hi, Deb & Bakers, I whipped this up last night in a back to school baking frenzy. I got some nice zucchini from the farmer’s market here on the still sunny Eastside of Seattle. I thought you might like to know that I made a glaze with orange zest, juice of 1 orange, a very healthy slug of dark rum & powdered sugar. Winner!
    Our family (2 college aged girls and 1 almost, plus me, Mom, and as you so aptly say, the husband/dad thing) motto is we bake, read about baking, go to bakeries, and then work it off. We are headed to NYC in Dec. Where should we go? We like to support the small, personable, and delicious.
    Also, if you haven’t already you may want to check out the baking books by Cheryl & Griff Day, Back in the Day from Savannah. Not a clunker in there. Let me know if/when you get to Seattle we have a very artisan minded dedicated food community. Thank you and so happy I found you! Jill

  366. Anika

    I love this question! I can’t remember the name of my first cookbook – how I wish I could – but I remember that it was entirely too cutesy for me (I think it had a teddy bear theme). However, there was a very simple recipe in there for vanilla sugar cookies that were utterly perfect – delicate and flavorful and divine. I used to make them so often that I memorized the recipe. Then, foolishly, I got rid of the book, figuring that the recipe was locked safe in my ten-year-old brain. Of course it wasn’t, and I STILL miss those cookies.

  367. Naveen

    Hi – I use many of your recipes including this one. I made it and tasted good BUT it yielded only 1 loaf and 4 muffins. Also I had to add 1/2 cup of yogurt because the mix was too dry once everything was combined.

  368. Lindsay Belfatto

    Love your website! I was wondering if you’ve ever tried making this with coconut oil instead of vegetable or olive oil?

  369. Peg

    The Charlie Brown Cookbook (or maybe The Peanuts Cookbook?–got it from the library. I recall making the french fries, with mom’s help. I still use that recipe! First grownup cookbook I became enamored of was the Vincent and Mary Price Gourmet Cookbook, which my dad got. I still have that copy and treasure it.

  370. Hope

    My first cookbook was the original Cake Doctor cookbook. I made a hummingbird cake, and my sugar hungry parents made such a fuss that it sparked a lifelong passion for baking. My hummingbird cakes have improved since then though.

  371. I do remember my first cookbook. It had a red cover, it was french, and I was 11. The very first recipe I learned to make from my probably age inappropriate french cookbook was Halibut with Lemon. I remember feeling so fancy making a fancy french dinner that required wine.

  372. Kerry

    As newlyweds living in London in the 70s, our (enlightened hubby who cooked as well!) first cookbook was from the legendary Elizabeth Davis … Mediterranean Food. We still have it, dog-eared, covered in oil spatters and coming apart at the binding.

  373. My mom always worked so at around 12, I decided I would learn to cook and take over dinner preparation. For some unknown reason, we had a Black Panther’s publication called something like Revolutionary Recipes, laying around the house. That was my first cookbook. I can pretty much guarantee that we were the only Irish-Jewish family in South Buffalo eating neck bones and greens on a regular basis. I still cook rice the way I learned from that book…

  374. lorelei muncey

    Amazing recipe! Added a tad more vanilla (can never resist) and baked for exactly 55mins and the best recipe I’ve ever used! Rotated them halfway and made two perfectly baked/sized loafs. Thanks so much, love your blog

  375. rohini

    I wanted to make 1 loaf for today and one for 2 days later. Do you think I can keep the batter in the fridge or freezer? I don’t want it to become dry so want to bake it fresh. Thank you !

    1. You’ve probably already made your loaves, but for future reference, I think cakes and loaves store much, much better wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer! The fridge will always dry ’em out. That’s what I’ve learned from personal experience (AKA my mom), anyway.

  376. Lisa Spicer

    I made this over the weekend due to an overabundance of squash in my garden. I have made this recipe before but this time made some adjustments and I have to say I think it is better and got rave reviews from my family. I cut the oil to 1/2 cup and added a 1/2 cup of yogurt. With the added acid I increased the baking powder to a full teaspoon. A little added embellishment of pepitas on the top gave a pretty little salty bite which was great. The bread rose beautifully and the texture was perfect!

  377. Nancy

    My first cookbook that was truly MINE was the original Colorado Cache junior league cookbook. I was about 12 years old and spent a week near Denver with my grandmother and also my aunt, who gave me the book and showed me how to bake a pie. I still think of her every time I see the book on my shelf!

  378. Ellen

    My mom’s Settlement cookbook had the binder missing. This was my first cookbook when I started baking at the age of 10 (cupcakes, of course). I vividly remember the cover where, underneath the title was written, “The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through his Stomach.” As you can tell, this cookbook was written a very long time ago!

  379. Julia

    This recipe made 28 standard muffins for me. I used the walnut and dried cherry option. They were light in texture and very tasty.

  380. Hilary

    Thank you, thank you for a delicious and moist zucchini bread recipe that isn’t oily or super sweet. Too many zucchini bread recipes call for absurd amounts of oil and sugar. Your recipe is wonderful. I used 2/3 cup oil and 1/3 cup applesauce and can’t imagine it being any better.

  381. Lisa

    I’ve been enjoying your site for years and recently shared it with my mom and sister. We have a part of our brains that is devoted to food, and I’m beginning to think it is actually one shared space. The number of times I have called one of them to describe my latest cooking endeavor, only to find that they have just prepared something similar, is uncanny! My first cookbook was The Pooh Cookbook, full of yummy kid-friendly recipes categorized as Smackerels, Elevenses, and Teas or Provisions for Picnics and Expotitions, etc. My first recipe was one for blueberry muffins made with, of course, honey! Thanks for sharing all your recipes, humor, and stories!

  382. ISM

    I make a chocolate zucchini cake covered with chocolate ganache and chocolate nibs for a decoration and a bit more chocolate that is to die for. I use a very dark cocoa so it makes the cake almost black. The cake is moist and delicious. Alex would love it.

  383. Lisa

    My mom gave me the Fannie Farmer Cookbook one year for Christmas. The first thing I made was the Pot Roast, and I’m still making it 40 years later. So yum! This zucchini bread seems a little heavy on the sugar for me. Do you think it would make a difference if I cut it back to, say, 1 1/4 cups?

  384. Jill

    Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys & Girls! It was the 60’s. I used to make these tuna melt sandwiches with cubed cheddar cheese. You put the tuna on buns, wrapped them in foil and put them in the oven until the cheese was all melty and gooey. I haven’t thought about them in years and now I want one! And zucchini bread. But don’t add anything but nuts to the bread. That’s what’s imprinted in my brain under zucchini bread. I have some leftover toasted pecans (don’t ask) that would be great.

  385. Mira

    This turned out so tasty!!

    I used Lisa Spicer’s modification, and only 1 cup of sugar. For me, that was still sweet enough, though I find most sweets and cakes in the US so sweet as to be inedible, so 1 cup probably wouldn’t be enough for most.

    I used 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped up (because that was all I had left), instead of chocolate chips, and really liked the added hints of cocoa, even though it didn’t taste as intense as regular chocolate chips would have been.

    1. deb

      There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL + P from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template.

  386. Lisa Spicer

    I love this recipe in it’s pure form but I made a few modifications that have worked out very well. I did half and half white and brown sugar then added some grated carrot and put pumpkin seeds on top. The green and salty of the pumpkin seeds is really good! Plus it makes them very pretty!

  387. Daragh

    My first cook book was my Mom’s Joy of Cooking and I used it to made strawberry shortcake. My mom was a good cook, but not that fond of baking. I grew strawberries the summer I was 14 and she wouldn’t make the sponge cake, so that I had to make it myself because I didn’t like the sponge cakes you could buy at the grocery store.

  388. Carin

    This is the best zucchini bread I’ve ever made! I especially love the one bowl/no mixer process. Because Deb gave me permission to modify it (!) , I used 1 1/2 c AP flour and 1 1/2 c King Arthur white whole wheat flour, 1/2c cane sugar and 1/2 c light brown sugar, and 1/2 c oil, 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce and 1/4 c Greek yogurt. Moist and not too sweet. I’ve gotten rave reviews!

  389. margie s

    Thank you for adding how many zucchini is the right amount for 2 cups! Also in the past I have swapped out half the flour for whole wheat and couldn’t see a difference.

  390. Ro

    My first cookbook was a Betty Crocker cookbook, an updated version of my mother’s ‘go to’ cookbook. She is a wonderful cook and baker and I learned from her the importance of measuring when baking. Roasted chicken was the first recipe I followed from it in 1976 and cooked it for myself and at the time, my new husband. I still have and use the same cookbook and I can safely say it is my ‘go to’, especially for baking pies.

    The zucchini bread looks wonderful and the recipe is similar to one given to me by a dear Hershey, PA friend 40 years ago. I just made a couple loaves of it last week, sharing a loaf with my son who loves homemade food.

    Thank you for gifting to us your incredible recipes, I’ve followed quite a few on your website and every dish has turned out perfectly.

      1. JP

        I’ve subbed melted coconut oil, and whole milk Greek yogurt, and a mix of both. All scenarios worked great so far. Today’s bread, a mix of both, had dough drier than usual but today I also used white whole wheat flour, so I’m wondering if perhaps that soaks up more of the liquid content and so I should’ve used a bit more yogurt. We shall see! It’s in the oven now.

  391. Janice

    Normally I would jump at this recipe – but now I’m cooking from scratch for my diabetic , high cholesterol , heart diseased 89 yo mom. I just found a recipe for zucchini bread that is delicious and virtually sugar free (Splenda and Splenda brown sugar blend ), cholesterol free , and virtuall sodium free. Using whole wheat flour, egg beaters , melted margarine or olive oil and grated zucchini and carrots. Nutmeg is the added spice that really kicks up the flavor . If anyone wants the recipe , let me know . My friends don’t believe it’s a healthy recipe!

  392. Nance C.

    Ha!! I still have my first two cookbooks, along with 112 others!!! The first was from the book fair in 4th grade: Betty Crocker’s New Boys and Girls Cookbook. First thing I made was the sugar cookie recipe I’ve used ever since. My 2nd cookbook was given to me by my mom for my 16th birthday to get me ready to move out on my own. :) Ahhh, the memories. And I plan to make your zucchini bread tonight!!

  393. Jen

    If you have 9×5 pans and want a large loaf, making 1.5x the recipe works great! I use 4 eggs and 1 egg yolk and I always use 1.5 cups of dark chocolate chips. This summer has been the summer of the bats for me, and I have made this recipe so many times I can’t count! I would be interested in trying the lower sugar version and I just picked a zucchini from my garden!

  394. Okay Deb, a local coffee shop I frequent infrequently makes the most amazing zucchini bran muffins I’ve ever tasted, with hits of ginger and lots of spice, super moist but not heavy… do you have a suggestion for adding some bran to this, to experiment, and how I should add extra moisture to compensate?

    1. deb

      Perhaps swap out 1/3 the flour for the equivalent weight of bran — you’d need almost double, I think? I last noted bran clocking in at 90 grams for 1.5 cups, which is like 60 grams/cup so you’d want maybe 2 cups bran for 1 cup less flour. This sounds like a lot! But it’s my best guess. Or, wait, you could do the opposite. Take this bran muffin recipe and replace the 1 1/3 cups buttermilk with 1 to 1 1/3 cups grated zucchini… Good luck!

  395. connie

    I don’t remember the cookbook, but the recipe I decided I HAD to make was spaghetti. The ingredients for the sauce called for garlic and onion powder, but we only had garlic and onion SALT. So, in it went along with the additional salt the recipe called for. I think I was 11. To my parents credit, they didn’t say a word about it being too salty, just said I could make it again, but we all had swollen ankles the next day.

  396. Mary Heinz

    My first cook book was a spiral Betty Crocker with the red and white plaid cover. I made a recipe called ‘Chicken Mushroom Bake’ for dinner with my new in-laws. It was a hit. It became my entertaining ‘go to’ for many years.
    This past year I resurrected that recipe for a dinner with my husband’s family and they loved it too. True confession – I did swap out one ingredient, the Campbell’s mushroom soup, with fresher ingredients…..white sauce flavored with mushroom sauté. That recipe will always bring happy memories.

  397. Carole

    My mom gave me the Betty Crocker Cookbook for children, loved looking at the pictures. When I became a stay at home mom myself I bought The Fannie Farmer Cookbook edited by Marion Cunningham, cooked my way through it and learned how to cook.

  398. Stacey

    I love a good treasure hunt! Do you remember the picture on the front or just the white apiral binding? My first cookbook was Alpha-Bakery we would make the “E”lephant Ears recipe but not flatten them for a quick biscuity cinnamon roll.
    And I agree, keep the chocolate out of my zucchini bread.

  399. Molly

    I made this and liked it. I also give it the thumbs up for recipes that can be started after the kids go to bed at 9:00, for a school event the next morning. I made 12 muffins and one small loaf, and was done before 10, including a half hour of Louis c.k. (baking time), not including dishes (husband’s job, but one bowl, not bad!)

    Changes/variations I used:

    Used lower sugar amount, all turbinado
    Used 1/2c. butter, 1/4 olive oil, 1/4 canola
    Replaced 1c. AP with 3/4 c. ww pastry flour and 1/4 c. muesli

    Changes I will make next time:
    maybe replace some of oil with Greek yogurt,
    Add more muesli,
    Add more zucchini
    a bit less sugar

    I served with lemon zest and sea salt compound butter (which is also great for pasta or fish in parchment if leftover) but I think I prefer it with a slice of cheddar cheese.

  400. This has been my favorite zucchini bread recipe for years! This year though I have been eating mostly all sprouted grains and replacing sugar with coconut sugar and honey. Sooo, I thought I’d try this recipe with the adjustments and it worked! Still delicious! Swapped the sugar for equal amount of coconut sugar and used 2.5 cups sprouted flour instead of 3. I also made the 2 cups of zucchini 2 heaping cups to add extra moisture. So good!

  401. Taryn

    This is my absolute favorite zucchini bread recipe–it’s amazing toasted with some butter. I haven’t made it since the recipe was updated this year, and I’m glad you left the old amounts of cinnamon and sugar…it’s so perfect in my mind I don’t know if I can bring myself to try the updated version, with the exception of trying the turbinado sugar instead of white sugar.

  402. Jen

    I made this zucchini bread yesterday using half canola oil and half whole milk plain yogurt. I used turbinado sugar as the sweetener and followed everything else in the recipe as written. I felt the zucchini bread was lacking something in flavor. It’s good, but not great the way I usually feel about Smitten Kitchen baked goods. Next time I would try Deb’s recommendation of half oil and half butter to see if that bumps up the flavor. I’d also decrease the cinnamon to 1.5 tsp. An addition of grated orange zest might be what I can’t put my finger on to make this bread sing.

  403. karin glass

    My first cookbook was the children ‘s Betty Crocker Cookbook. I loved it. Made almost every recipe. Now, it seems I own almost every cookbook under the sun but come back to the tried and true for basics.

  404. Cindy

    So yummy! I swapped in 1 cup of white whole wheat, a touch less than 1 1/3 cup turbinado sugar, and half and half butter and coconut oil. These are perfect, they are just sweet enough and have a nice, crunchy outer layer with a super moist interior. I’ll try swapping in half yogurt for the oil next time but otherwise, this is great!

  405. kam

    I just made this the new way with one bowl and feel like they turned out better with two bowls. The moisture of the zucchinis increased as it sat with the sugar for several minutes. I think, that could be the difference. Do you have your old instructions? Or could tell me what order things went in, my favorite zucchini bread ever.

  406. I made this today with 1.5c turbinado sugar and 1c shredded zucchini, 1c shredded carrot because that’s what I had. All canola oil. It came out absolutely delicious. Another hit!

  407. Cat

    Deb, you’ve done it again. Everyone at work has declared me a master baker. I keep sending them here, but everyone still keeps clamoring for me to bake.

    This is the first zucchini bread I’ve made that hasn’t turned into a dense solid almost WET loaf. It had lovely bread bubbles in it and was if anything a little dry (I had to make due with store-bought zucchini because it’s winter), though no one else complained.

  408. Ok I’m a happy camper. Some changes I made:
    All coconut oil, no butter.
    The smaller of the two sugar amounts and the 1/3 brown sugar
    3 cups of flour were split between bread four, whole wheat and white
    It turned out amazingly delicious though I’d bump the sugar down even more. It was too sweet. I loved the crunchy edges!
    Thanks as always, deb!

  409. Sarah

    I just made muffins with this recipe over the weekend and they turned out so good my daughter and husband have almost eaten them all already.

    I did reduce the sugar by half, which I think was a good call since they are very sweet anyway. I used half whole wheat and have AP flour as well as added dried no sugar added cranberries and dark chocolate chips. They were amazing.

  410. Do you have a suggestion on how to make this into a Lemon Zucchini recipe? I always find it tricky adding lemon to a recipe because just zest won’t do it, additional liquid is problematic, accounting for the acid and baking soda interactions gives me headache, and lemon extract can come out too artificial. Any help is appreciated! :)

    1. deb

      I would totally use zest. The finely grated zest of 1 lemon rubbed into the sugar before adding the sugar to the recipe (so it gets all bruised and releases the most flavor) should give a good strong lemony vibe. I’d then toss the zucchini strands with the juice. Oh, and a lemon powdered sugar glaze would be awesome here. Hope that helps.

  411. Leah

    I made this on Saturday, with modifications, and it was the best zucchini bread I’ve ever made. Zucchini bread is like the holy grail for me. I grow them in the summer and have tried many different versions and they always fail. Just wet, soggy messes. I noticed that in Smitten’s version, the zucchini looks more like it went through a mandoline rather than grated. I have one of those things but was too lazy to take it out and clean it. So I chopped the zucchini carefully in 1/4 inch cubes. This has got to be the best thing I’ve ever done. No sogginess at all! In fact, I probably could have added more zucchini with no ill effects. I also reduced everything else by 2/3 to fit one in my 9×5 in pan. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 c so we can eat it with dinner. The tiny zucchini cubes were like little jewels throughout. Next time I will probably mix the baking powder and the baking soda with the flour just because mine had clumps. Other than that, this recipe is perfection. I am so thrilled I finally conquered the dreaded zucchini bread!

    1. Leah

      Made this again today but with grated firm (not soft ripe) persimmons instead of zucchini. I replaced one cup of ap flour with whole wheat and half the butter with coconut oil and reduced the sugar to 1 c brown sugar. I made them into muffins instead of a loaf. I’m sure the recipe as written will work with the persimmons or maybe even carrot. Great seasonal recipe whether it’s fall or summer.

  412. Jennifer

    Our family cookbook. Nothing fancy but compiled by all the women in a family of 11 siblings and hand typed by my aunt’s and grandma. They copied every page then assembled them into categories in a paper folder with brads. Very time consuming and as a child I wasn’t very impressed. I appreciate it more now that I’m older, of course, but also because grandma is no longer with us and I think of her when I pull it from the cabinet to use it. Every recipe is someone’s name in the family… Patrick’s (my younger brother) Chocolate Dreams. Basically, no bake cookies. Margaret’s (my mom) Cathedral Windows. I think those are a Christmas cookie. It’s great going through it and seeing which aunt, uncle or cousin is famous in the family for what recipe.

  413. Alice K.

    I made this yesterday with zucchinis from my garden. I had two pieces at lunchtime today. They were terrific! I took Deb’s idea about making it healthier (!) and swapped 1/2 cup oil for 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. Didn’t seem to harm the outcome one bit. Also I added in 1/2 c pecans and 1/2 c chocolate chips. And one loaf is in the freezer to give to some lucky friend or loved one! Thanks, Deb, for another winner!

  414. Kathe

    Here to report that this recipe worked just great with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 coconut oil, and a scant 1 cup of turbinado sugar. I used raw pecans from trader joe’s and chopped them up before stirring in. As always, I lined the pans with parchment paper. Kind of wish the zucchini were more present; maybe next time I will try with 1.5 big zukes instead of just 1. I did not use chocolate chips. <3 your work, Deb!

  415. Susan

    My first cookbook memories are all jumbled together…The Art of French Cooking, Moosewood, Vegetarian Epicure. I read them like novels. It wasn’t until Silver Palate that I actually started cooking from them.

  416. Lisa Thomas

    So this post is nostalgic for me – it was the very first SK I ever read. We are deep into zucchini season here in my corner of NJ and I’ve made at least 8 loaves over the last month. It is still a favorite here in our house! Thanks again for this recipe & lots of other great ones over the years :)

  417. Casey

    My first cookbook was a Diamond Nuts book that I got for free for sending in UPC codes from packages. I don’t recall making anything from it, it was the joy of possession. My mom was a fair cook and a very good baker, and the first thing she taught me how to make was Anadama Bread from one of those Oh so 70s horizontally long, rectangular, single subject book called something along the lines of “Bread by Hand”. I was maybe 7 or 8. I did go on to a 15 year career as a bread baker in a very traditionally European bakery.

  418. Jinjah Snapper

    This was also one of the first things I ever baked. I reckon I was 7? And for us, it was also a treat disguised as ‘healthy’ so my mom always let me try to make it:). My first cookbook was my grandmother’s Fanny Farmer Cookbook. It was yellowed with age and stains, completely held together on the outside by large swaths of cloth medical tape, also yellowed with age. Both muon and grandson were nurses: medical tape was out “duct tape”. Hahahah … I also remember the font used was rally old fashioned, possibly even printed on the Gutenberg press (?!?). I loved that book.

    And I still love zucchini bread. I now in live in Australia where they think I’m a weirdo for making cake with zucchini, but no one ever complains. I also make this bread with carrots when at a loss for zucchini ( it does happen sometimes)

    The FF book is long lost. And now, SK, you are now my first choice for recipe searches .. always a treat :)

  419. Meredith Gayed

    I just made this and it is delicious! What is the max time you would recommend keeping a loaf in the freezer?

    1. deb

      It can last and last. It’s much more about how long it takes your freezer to impose a freezer-y scent on things, if it does at all.

  420. Carla

    This turned out great. Used the smaller amount of sugar (half brown and half white–didn’t have turbinado), and half coconut oil/half evoo. My loaves were almost overdone at 55 minutes (but just short of it)–I wish I had checked them at 45 minutes.

    Also, I made this because a friend had made two loves weeks earlier. Her additions were dark chocolate chips and fresh raspberries and they were AMAZING. So I’d consider that, even though I’m normally a plain zucchini bread lover.

  421. Marci

    Love this recipe. Our zucchini plants produced nicely this year (we don’t usually have much luck growing zucchini, contrary to the experience of most) so we had a few extra and I’ve already made this recipe twice, each time with 1/2 for a loaf and the other 1/2 for muffins w/chocolate chips. Even better, my kids love them and one of them really doesn’t eat much in the way of veggies so it’s nice to get at least some veg in her. This has a really nice level of sweetness and spice. It’s a keeper!

  422. Darcee

    I made this on Sunday, and have to say it is one of the best zucchini bread (muffins, in my case) recipe that I’ve ever made! You’ve done it again Deb!! Every one of your recipes has been delicious and I can’t wait until I can get my hands on your next cookbook!

    My first cookbook, was not a book, but my grandmother’s shortbread recipe – still my favourite recipe, ever. The first actual book was my Mom’s Blue Ribbon Cookbook (now held together by a rubber band!)

  423. Heather

    Couldn’t find this in the comments, but I apologize if it’s already been asked and answered…. do you squeeze the water out from the zucchini after it’s grated? Or just plop it in the bowl?

      1. Tracie

        If the water has been squeezed out (due to thawing frozen shredded zucchini), do you think that would be a problem, or would you make any changes?

        1. Anna

          I’ve used finely grated zucchini that’s been frozen and thawed and is just swimming in watery juice. I didn’t drain or squeeze at all– just dumped it all in. Great results three times so far!

  424. Teresa

    We came back from vacation to two giant summer squash (in addition to seven more normal sized ones!). I cut the giants up a bit, scooped out the big seeds, shredded them
    in my food processor, and made both this bread and King Arthur’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Delicious!! I used half butter and half oil and a little whole wheat. Thank you for helping to deal with the squash overload!

  425. b

    I am making this recipe as muffins to share at work! Glad I came across it, thanks! Just one ?? Can whole wheat flour be substituted, maybe half wheat and half regular?

    1. Alice K.

      I often substitute whole wheat flour or wheat germ in baking. But I do much less than half and half, more like less than a cup’s worth of the substitute. No difference in the outcomes.

      1. Helen

        Hi Deb
        Writing you from Canada, near to Toronto. I made your zuc muffins yesterday. We loved them. As you’d suggested, I used half oil/butter and half plain Greek yogurt.

        I also pressed the zuc to extract the excess juices. Should I do that or not?

        Here’s another marvelous zuc recipe (soup) that was created by cookbook author, Laura Calder of New Brunswick: called VÂCHE QUI RIT SOUP or “LAUGHING COW” soup.

        It’s easy, attractive and delicious. Don’t braise the vegetables first as you might be tempted to do. Laura’s way is better! I use about 3/4 tsp of cumin and homemade chicken broth. I think the red in the soup photo is paprika. The soup freezes fairy well. Reheat gently. Helen Kearns.

        1. deb

          The soup sounds delicious! Did you know that Laughing Cow wedges are one of my favorite snacks? Do not drain the zucchini — it’s not necessary here. Did it come out dry?

  426. Hannes

    Fantastic recipe! One thing I was struggling with this recipe which basically applies on all sweet breads and also cakes. For dietary reasons, I try to avoid wheat flour – I always use spelt flour instead. The taste is always perfect, but the cakes won’t rise as when using wheat flour. I tried to use more baking powder/soda, it helps, but still not the exact same result. Any other idea how to deal with this?

  427. Susan

    I made this according to the revised recipe (one bowl, less sugar, less cinnamon), and I’m sad to say that I don’t love it. I have a huge sweet tooth, and this just wasn’t sweet enough for my taste. (I should note that the family recipe I grew up eating, which I consider the holy grail of zucchini breads, is very similar but calls for 2 cups of sugar and only 2 cups of flour.) I also took the directions a bit too literally (“Gently stir in flour, mixing only until flour disappears”) and ended up with lumps of white flour in my baked bread. Whoops! Not quite a disaster, but not a keeper for me.

  428. Darcie

    I’m familiar with zucchini bats. I ignored the garden for one hot, rainy day and BOOM! Giant zucchini. This recipe was perfect for dispatching one giant fruit. I used half butter and half coconut oil and did not include any optional additions. Delicious! Up next: zucchini fritters.

    1. Darcie

      Amending my previous comment to say that this loaf keeps well in the freezer! If ever a week is an emergency zucchini bread week, this is the one for me.

  429. Wendy H.

    My future self really did thank me, as Deb predicted, when we had family over and I hadn’t properly planned dessert. We simply pulled out the extra loaf from the fridge, let it thaw on the counter, and served each slice with a dollop of whipped cream. Yum! For anyone who can’t decide between loaf or muffins, I used 2/3 of the dough for the smaller loaf pan size and the other 1/3 of the dough for mini-muffins, which the kids enjoyed.

  430. Anna

    I’ve made this three times in two weeks (so much zucchini)! Everyone who has tasted it has loved it, and two loaves disappeared fast at a potluck. I grated the zucchini on the fine holes of my grater, and I was concerned it might make the bread too wet, but it’s been beautifully textured every time. I’ve tried various amount of sugar and ratios of whole wheat and white flour, and my favorite has been half white flour, half “white whole wheat” and one cup of sugar. The bread is moist but not overly greasy, lightly sweet, and hearty without feeling heavy. It makes perfect loaves in two 4×8 loaf pans, and bakes for an hour and ten minutes in my oven, and even then is only just done. This recipe is getting saved forever!

  431. Aynsley

    I love this recipe. I’ve made it several times, with oil, 1.5c sugar (all white or a mix of brown and white), typically unmeasured zucchini (so I’m sure its always 0.5-1 cup more). I bake it until its looking set, if browning too much I’ve decreased the temperature to 300 for 15-20 mins until the middle comes out clean. This isn’t a loaf you need to worry about overtaking too much I don’t think. The zucchini adds a buffer to some extent.
    The last time I made it I only had one egg so I substituted 2 flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flax and 2.5 tbsp warm water, let it sit for 5-10 mins until it gels). This was a great substitution. I expect you could sub all the eggs for flax, use oil and call it vegan. Using the full amount of fat and the 1.5c sugar makes an almost streusel topping on the loaves which is out of this world- and zero extra effort! A friend of mine swears by putting a couple chopped jalapeños in hers- the mix-in possibilities are endless but I guess I’m a purist.

  432. Lisa

    I have found my forevermore zucchini muffin and bread recipe – thank you! I made one loaf and then had enough for eight muffins. They were light, had a perfect crumb, not dry (I cannot use the word for what they were – eek!), and not at all oily.

    Used 1 cup almond flour, 1 cup whole wheat, and 1 cup white whole wheat as it’s what we had. Used 1/2 c oil and 1/2 cup yogurt. Increased baking powder to 1 tsp.


  433. Kate

    My first cookbook was some no-bake cookbook. I can’t remember the name. I had been cooking with my mom forever, but the first thing I really made on my own were peanut butter-honey balls, coated in… something. It sounds really gross to me now. At the time, I was so proud, and I made my whole family eat them! (I’m sure they were gross.) I wonder if my mom still has it. She keeps everything, but it’s entirely possible she got rid of that one so she’d never had to eat another peanut butter-honey ball…

  434. Marilyn

    Just outstanding! I made it with a sugar amount of 1-1/2 cups of combined white and turbinado. Also I squeezed a lot of the water out of the zucchini, so the batter was thick. Did the half olive oil/canola, added chopped, toasted walnuts and a handful of chocolate chips. I definitely will make it again as the zukes are producing like mad in the back. Planning on cutting back the sugar to 1-1/3 cup as it was pretty sweet and still doing the combo of turbinado and white sugar.

  435. Debora Sator

    oh My gosh! The Betty Crockers Cookbook for Girls and Boys. It was a birthday gift from my next door neighbor when I turned 8 and I made the hot coca recipe first. I eventually made about everything in the book. I still own it and couldn’t imagine parting with it. That was in July 1964. Wow If we could turn back time!
    I like your recipe but I always add 1 cup of chopped nuts, walnuts in zucchini bread and pecans in my banana bread. Funny carrots get to be in cake….
    From another Deb to you, Deb, Thank you for your blog and cookbooks and your website LOVE it ALL and you keep me sane, now I’m gonna get that book out now!

  436. cpauldin

    This bread is heavenly. The cinnamon and nutmeg shine. My zucchini was grated very fine so didn’t have many large pieces. I added dark chocolate flakes and that brought this over the top. Another winner!

  437. Grant

    So growing up, my mom made zucchini bread all the time, and as it’s been years since I’ve had hers, I got a craving and wanted to make some myself. I made this recipe really not expecting it to be anything mind-blowing, just standard ol’ zucchini bread. But then I tried some, and wow. I don’t know what’s different, but this is way better than my mom’s zucchini bread ever was (sorry Mom I love you).
    I swapped half the oil for applesauce and half the flour for white whole wheat flour and half the sugar for brown sugar, by the way, and I’ll do it exactly the same way next time.

  438. Mikko

    Major user error. For the fat, I used all vegetable oil – and it was sorta old oil to boot. Bread came out tasting heavily of the old oil. Like freezer burn, but with oil. :(

    Next time, I will definitely try the 1/2 applesauce 1/2 fat idea. Sounds like everyone had success with that. Even if my veggie oil was new, I think all oil is kinda overpowering.

    Also, I used one 9×13 loaf and it took 1.5 hours to cook at 350F – with some tin foil on top at the end so as not to burn the outer loaf.

    Hey, has anyone tried using a combo of zucchini and yellow squash? Would that be gross?

  439. Leah

    One of the few Smitten Kitchen recipes I found a little lacking. Texture was good but it didn’t have a lot of flavor. I used the reduced amount of sugar, half white half turbinado. If I were to make this recipe again I’d use more sugar, choc chips, maybe more salt or spice.

      1. Lisa

        Thank you for adding that note. I made this (one loaf to freeze, 12 muffins to eat) last night after work. The prospect of squeezing the juice out of shredded zucchini did not appeal after a long day in the office. They came out perfect.

  440. Ashley

    First time commenter- long time fan, I make many of the smitten kitchen recipes :) next up will be the zucchini bread, as my garden has produced those zucchini’s-as-big-as-your-arm this summer.

    First cookbook: Company’s Coming by Jean Pare the kids cookbook. The most memorable recipe was the FunBuns which I made for everyone and anyone who would eat them back when I was 12. I’m tempted to find the book and see if the FunBun should be revived!

  441. Andrea

    I made this twice. The first time, I think the zucchini was too wet and I got soggy, inedible loaves. The second time, I let the grated zucchini sit on two kitchen towels while I mixed the other ingredients. I got 12 muffins and a lovely loaf – husband and kids gobbled it up! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  442. Lindsay Byres

    My friends and family have endured no less than 12 batches of this bread over the summer because I’m great at growing zucchini and awful at preparing it creatively. I have enjoyed a substitution of brown sugar from time to time, and the addition of a 1/4 – 1/8 tsp addition of almond extract. I love it with walnuts but enjoy it without as well. It’s also not sensitive to the addition of an extra 1/2 C zucchini when you’re trying your damndest to get through the yield.

    1. Alice K.

      I laughed at Lindsay’s comment… I, too, suffer (!) from loads of zucchini during the summer. My family gets Deb’s zucchini fritters over and over again, and her zucchini bread a lot (but not nearly as much as Lindsay’s). Having grown up in an apartment with no access to home-grown veggies, I still remain awestruck and grateful that I can now harvest from my own community garden plot and enjoy wonderful produce. I have grated zucchini in my freezer, BTW! I will make the zucchini bread after a “decent interval”, letting my dear husband (of 50 years!) forget that he had zucchini bread numerous times this past summer!

  443. christinadepaolo

    I’ve had a really hard couple of weeks between being sick and work losing it’s magic. Standing at the counter making this bread listening to music put me in such a good mood. Thank you! My first cookbook was a softcover peanuts cook book for kids. My dad and I made Lucy’s 1000 island dip. I forgot all about it. Bread is in the oven, can’t wait to try it.

  444. Madeleine

    My husband hates zucchini, but he ate half of this loaf! He even told me he wouldn’t mind if I made it again. I think we found a winner! I made it half olive oil and half vegetable oil, so it would be parve. Turned out great, even after sitting on a hot plate before lunch for a few hours.

  445. Dahlia

    I absolutely loved your pumpkin bread, will try the zucchini bread next. What is the difference in baking powder and baking soda? Sometimes recipes use one, sometimes both. Have you tried swapping them or doubling up to use one not both? Just curious. Maybe I need to take a chemistry class.

    Thanks so much,

    1. deb

      I’m not a cooking science expert (go here for that) but baking soda is “older” — it existed before baking powder so a very old baking recipe is more likely to use it. It needs an acidic ingredient present to activate. Baking powder *is* baking soda + an acidic ingredient so it circumvents it. (You can make your own.) You can swap the two in some recipes, but not 1:1. Baking soda is 4x as strong as baking powder. Baking soda is known to have better browning and spreading properties, too, so you’ll often see it in drop cookies.

  446. JP

    I made this again today because I love it. I used whole wheat white flour from Trader Joe’s for the first time and made my usual subs (plain Greek yogurt instead of butter or oil, extra zucchini, and just a scattering of mini chocolate chips). It is good, but is drier than prior attempts. Does whole wheat white flour necessitate using more liquid? Or perhaps the combo of the whole wheat white flour and the yogurt sub resulted in this? I used the turbinado sugar in this for the first time and I love that slight brûlée taste it brings.

  447. Janis

    Can I puree the zucchini instead of just shred it? I want to make it for my toddler who is the pickiest eater ever. He might not eat it if he sees the zucchini bits LOL! If i can use puree, do i need to substitute or remove/lessen some of the loquid ingredients?

  448. Karen

    I love this recipe, it’s now my go to zucchini bread recipe. Thanks so much for sharing your delicious food with the world.

  449. Novia

    Call it laziness or exhaustion (because toddler and newborn), I dumped the whole batter into a 9×13 pan (instead of doing one loaf and then mini muffins for my little). It was perfect after 30 minutes and I simply cut them into 2in squares, freeze them then pop in the microwave for 30 seconds as needed for snacks. I love this recipe with cranberries added because their tartness brightens up the zucchini.

  450. Nisa

    yes! age 10 my birthday treat was to cook dinner for my family from a Barbie cookbook!! I did it, including a cake from scratch. 1965!

    1. deb

      I think there were too many variables to list.
      1 1/3 cups granulated sugar = 265 grams
      1 3/4 cups granulated sugar = 350 grams
      1 1/3 cups turbinado/raw sugar:
      Turbinado can range from 195 to 240 grams per cup depending on the brand.

  451. Elisa Casas

    My first cookbook was “The A-Z No-Cook Cookbook.” It was a cookbook written in the 70s by a Spanish chef who went on to be a partner/chef at what I believe was the first modern Spanish tapas bar in New York City, The Ballroom. My mom was Penelope Casas and she was friends with him, which is how I ended up with the cookbook. It was empowering…nothing was baked or heated, so young kids could prepare food completely on their own. I still have my copy and although it’s difficult to find there are copies on eBay or Amazon from time to time.

  452. Lindsay

    Beautiful texture and a delicate taste. I think you could punch the spices up a bit- next time I might add some cardamum as well. Overall a really great base recipe to jazz up as you see fit.

  453. Allison

    Just made my first batch of the year with my giant garden zucchini! I actually doubled the recipe to make 4 loaves! This recipe is always perfect. Many more loaves will be baked and frozen by summer’s end!

  454. Kate

    I made this last night and it was really good! I split the batter in half and in the first batch mixed in a chopped up dark chocolate bar and I topped the second batch with walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Both loaves are delicious. I did a 1/2 cup of whole milk yogurt, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup olive oil. I used coconut sugar (about 3/4 cup…I really don’t like my breads sweet) and also a drizzle of molasses. I also accommodated an egg allergy by using “flax eggs” and the loaves still came out perfectly. I will definitely be making this my go-to recipe for zucchini bread!

  455. Katarina Ljung

    My kid was disappointed to gear that the cake contained squash. He decided to tryba little bit of a slice and then came back for the rest. Success!

  456. JP

    Deb, any possibility of a zucchini brownie or other chocolate/zucchini bread, cake, or brownie recipe some time in the future? Or can anyone else recommend one? Thanks!

  457. Janet in NC

    Terrific tall, crisp, golden topped goodness. Used Lisa’s recommendation halving oil with 1/2 c yougurt, 1/4 c butter, 1/4 c coconut oil, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 c turbinado sugar, added pecans and chocolate chunks, moist and delicous, another SK fave!

  458. Frances Spoon

    I just made these and they’re soooo good! Wondering whether the same recipe could be used for carrot muffins and just sub the grated zucchini for carrot?

    1. deb

      Yes and no. I think it would work but I think carrot cake benefits from more carrot, adjusted proportions. Can’t be positive without testing it, though.

      1. Frances Spoon

        I actually ended up trying it with carrots (just a straight substitution for the zucchini) and it didn’t work all that well. The muffins turned out too flour-y. I know you’ve got other carrot bread/muffin/cake recipes, but I just love how simple and perfect these muffins are! That being said, I just did another search and found these and feel like they’d be pretty similar (sans frosting) if you cut some of the sugar and subbed it for turbinado?

  459. Mary Flanagan

    Love your recipes, my first cookbook was Betty Crocker Junior and I made the apple crisp which is a recipe I still use 50 years later

  460. Emily

    This is the most perfect recipe! I’ve made it twice now. My variations:

    {First Bake} Used Coconut oil in place of vegetable oil, subbed half of oil for applesauce. Was so beautiful and delicious.

    {Second Bake} Again, used Coconut oil in place of vegetable oil and subbed half of oil for applesauce. This time did half grated Jazz apple and half grated zucchini. Added a cinnamon sugar top before baking for a crisp finished crust on top. So amazing. <3

  461. Susan Umberger

    I love your original recipe the best. Have to admit I also use a teaspoon more of vanilla and I make sure that salt is a rounded teaspoon. I add raisins and nuts but plain is great too.
    Thank you for the best 2018 recipe!

  462. I’ve made this before with impeccable results (and my family thanks you for finding alternate uses for our excessive zucchini supply from the garden every summer!). Do you think I could swap out the sugar for honey or maple syrup? Or would it be too wet? Thanks!

  463. Lin Lin Shao

    I made this as a bundt cake (with walnuts and some brown sugar) and it was wonderful! Not too sweet or oily at all with 1 1/3 cup sugar and 1 cup oil. I think this cake could handle more than 2 cups zucchini. I’m going to push for 2.5 cups next time!

  464. Daphne

    I was thinking of making a savory version of zucchini bread (potentially with some garlic and cheese). Would it work with this recipe if I just omit all the sugar and sweet spices? Or do you have a savory zucchini bread recipe?

  465. Tracy Spiess

    Just made these GLUTEN + DAIRY FREE!!! So freakin’ tasty!!! I opted for the lesser sugar option (1 1/3 turbinado sugar) but may try it next time with only 1 cup as I found them to be a bit more sweet than my liking. My kids are totally digging them and the husband asked that at least one be saved for his return from work travel, later this week. (For all interested: I used 1 c. Coconut Oil and “Bob’s Red Mill 1-to- 1 Baking Flour” for the oil and flour respectively).

  466. mt

    Made basically as written (using mix of white/brown sugar, Canola and walnuts…. as that’s what I had). Divided batter evenly into 4 mini porcelain loaf pans (5-3/4″ L x 3-1/4″ W x 2-1/2″ H); baked for 50 minutes. Perfect.

    Next time: remember to use yogurt instead of some of the oil

    1. deb

      Yes. Safely, without further testing it, I’d say 1/3. You could probably do 1/2 with white whole wheat flour. Don’t skimp on the zucchini — the moisture will offset the dryer qualities of whole wheat.

  467. Sharon Blaney

    My first cookbook that I cooked from was my mother’s beloved Yankee Cookbook (which I still have) and I made Apple Sauce Cake. Still love this cake which is more like a sweet bread. I love that almost every recipe has a story to go with it. Just made your Cherry Rum sauce which we top our homemade cherry ice cream with. Yum! Thanks for bringing so much deliciousness to my life!

  468. Marlana

    Made this with some edits. Subbed one cup of flour for whole wheat, brown sugar for turbinado, and used half olive oil and half whole milk yogurt. Also added one ounce unsweetened chocolate and half cup of cocoa powder for chocolate zucchini muffins. Delicious! Chocolatey and not too sweet. Great healthy option and the kids love it.

  469. My very first cookbook was from Mirro, the cookware company. Our Mom had to work two, sometimes three jobs and at 12 y.o. I became a home cook for myself and my younger brother. The Mirro cookbook, (said with humble reverence please) was my teacher and source of dinnertime inspiration. The Mirro was a book for the beginner in the kitchen and housewives of the 40’s and 50’s. Fifty two years later, I still grab that book, which by the way, survived many drops of coffee, has notes written in No.2 pencil, page edges marked by less than clean fingers and miraculously,our house fire. She has been lovingly rebound by my husband with duct tape, and submerged in baking soda for weeks to cast out as much of the soot and smell as possible. I still turn to her and watch the pages fall open to almost exactly what recipe I want. And although I pretty much know my favorites by heart, habit has me prop open the tome and guide me like an old friend.

  470. Beth Turi

    I’m eager to try this recipe, as I love zucchini bread and it’s the perfect time of year. In the past I’ve used some amount of whole wheat flour in combination with A/P, and have used whole, fresh cranberries (frozen) and walnuts as add ins. It was wonderful.
    These would also be great as mini-loaves.

  471. Deb

    The local deli, Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, CA, makes a zucchini bread that is a dark brown. I can’t figure out what they put in to make it that way. It is very moist and yummy, but dark. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Deb! Could be the sugar or type of flour they use, but also I wonder if their bread pans are dark metal? That could promote browning more than a glass or light metal pan. Bread baked in my Mom’s old pans (well worn and very loved) are darker than those loafs I bake in my glass pans.

  472. Jane

    My very first attempt at cooking on my own was making fresh pasta. I’m nothing if not an ambitious cook, plus I was in love with my high school gym teacher. I don’t remember which cookbook I used, or how it turned out.

  473. Allison

    Just made my first batch of the year.. usually I’m earlier but such is life with a new baby! The house smells fantastic!! Perfect recipe every time. I haven’t even been tempted to try your new one because I can’t imagine changing a thing!

  474. Amber

    Could this recipe be used to make an 8×8 cake? My daughter is adamant that we have a cake for my birthday, but I just want zucchini bread!

  475. Adrianne

    I followed this recipe exactly, and measured the zucchini and flour on a scale. I baked the loaf for an hour and twenty minutes in a new Wolf oven and it was still soggy and wet in the middle. The recipe looks so good, I was so bummed!

  476. Melinda OBrien

    Could you please print nutrition information for recipes. My partner is diabetic and carb counts are important to us. Thank you!

    1. deb

      I don’t include calorie counts because there are too many variables in my recipes (serving sizes, ingredient choices, etc.) but I use this recipe analysis tool when I want to check information. It’s far more useful than any list I could add at the end of a recipe because it allows you to cut and paste whole recipes, removing or adding any ingredients you’d like and adjusting serving sizes to what you’ll eat or make.

  477. Lisa

    Made this today after reading lots of reviews and it was excellent. I wanted it to be a little heartier and healthier than the original recipe as written, so I swapped 1/2 c oil for 1/2 c applesauce (I used olive oil for the rest of the oil). I used 1 c AP flour and 2 c whole wheat flour. Decreased the sugar to 1c turbinado. Made 1 gorgeous loaf studded with walnuts inside and topped with more walnuts and a sprinkling of turbinado. Used the remainder of the batter for 6 muffins, to which I added chocolate chips for the kids. Will definitely make again.

  478. Erika

    Someone gave me a huge zucchini that I had no idea what to do with, then this recipe popped up in my emailbox! I’ve always been intimidated by vegetable breads, but I followed the recipe using half oil and half butter and turbinado sugar like Deb said she did. Add-ins were chopped dried cranberries, semi-sweet coarsely chopped Belgian chocolate chunks, and toasted walnuts on top. This was the most flavourful and moist zucchini bread I’ve ever had, including ones from farmers’ markets that are usually made from family recipes. The loaves got really tall, too, maybe because I accidentally used a whole tsp of baking powder.
    I made an 8-1/2 x 10-1/2 loaf (60 mins), a mini loaf(40 mins), and six muffins (22 mins) with one batch of batter and shared the latter two with my neighbours. We kept the large loaf and it was half gone in six hours. Thanks, Deb!

  479. Jen

    Made this recipe for the 3rd time in 8 days!! 4 hungry growing kids here who love this bread and co-workers keep bringing zucchini to share!!
    Once I found the smaller recipe and almost panicked…but the found my way back to the big one!
    This is a go to for our family!!!

  480. Elizabeth

    I tried adding a can of crushed pineapple and a carrot. It’s baking now – smells incredible! Will report back when I try it!

  481. Holly

    The only cookbook I remember my mom having accessible to children was a well used, three ring, Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (probably the 1970 edition, it was a wedding present if I recall correctly). As kid five, I was paired with my oldest brother for chores and cooking assignments, but he leaned towards making simple breakfasts for dinner. The first thing I made independently out of it was their white bread with an egg wash. There were black and white photos of each stage, and it looked good. Unfortunately, I was used to my mom’s excellent fresh ground honey wheat, so it was a big disappointment. Fortunately, I was not put off the experience, and have been baking bread ever since (38 years now!). If I make white bread, it is your challah, Japanese milk bread, or sourdough for clam chowder (whole wheat doesn’t pair as well with it as white for some reason, even though whole wheat is my always and forever first love).