Lately, I have started baking not necessarily for the enjoyment of eating what I make, but rather so that my kitchen is filled with the aroma of cinnamon, citrus, and anything else that ends up in the mixing bowl and eventually in the baking pan. However, I have been craving zucchini bread for breakfast and I knew I wanted to make a stand-out gluten-free version that didn’t fall victim to the many flaws that can take shape when you bake with gluten-free flours, you know what I mean? Those gummy, putty-like blobs that make you miss the real deal, gluten-full version? Yes, let’s agree not to make anything that screams “GLUTEN-FREE”.
To me, the key to a good gluten-free recipe is to make something delicious that just so happens to be made with almond, coconut, spelt, or whatever other kind of flour substitute you use. It might not taste like the original, but it can taste better by virtue of being different. To revision the original and make it just as crave worthy – that’s the end goal.
That being the litmus test for this recipe, I wanted to create a zucchini bread that had the distinctive texture of a classic zucchini bread but twice as much flavor. Some extensive research into various zucchini bread recipes led me to this wonderfully zesty and delightfully sweet creation that combines cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and orange zest.
What’s in this Recipe:
- Zucchini: Shocker, I know. But, using zucchini requires a little bit of finesse. For this recipe, you want to get a medium-large zucchini and make sure to squeeze all the excess water out of it with a paper towel or cheesecloth before adding it to the batter. And when I say squeeze, I mean SQUEEZE. Too much added moisture from the zucchini will make the bread gummy in texture and alter how well it bakes.
- Orange Zest: I was hesitant to use orange zest in this recipe at first because I am not a huge orange lover. But the first go-around, It was obvious that this recipe needed a fresh twist. Using just one teaspoon of orange zest completely transforms this zucchini bread and is the key ingredient in this recipe. If you are not a huge fan of orange flavor, you could also try lemon zest to add a slightly different kick to this bread.
- Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg add that distinctive aromatic quality to zucchini bread that makes it absolutely irresistible.
- Gluten-Free Flour: I often incorporate a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour in a bread recipe to ensure it has a solid structure. I love Cup4Cup and Bob’s Red Mill baking flours in particular.
- Coconut Flour: Having attempted this recipe with just gluten-free flour first, I felt it made the zucchini bread too dense. Coconut flour helps keep this bread lighter, but still with a similar crumb profile to traditional zucchini bread.
- Greek Yogurt: If you have followed this blog for a while, you won’t be surprised to know that I added Greek yogurt to this recipe. When it comes to a bread or muffin recipe, I like that greek yogurt adds a slight tang and also keeps the texture light and fluffy. For this recipe, I used a honey vanilla Greek yogurt to drive home the bold flavor in this recipe, though plain yogurt will work perfectly well too!
- 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium-large zucchini)
- 1 cup GF flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1/3 cup melted coconut/vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Start by grating the zucchini and using a paper towel or cloth to squeeze out all the excess moisture. Set the zucchini aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to fully incorporate the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a larger bowl, add the coconut sugar, egg, Greek yogurt, egg, and vegetable oil. Whisk everything together until you achieve a smooth consistency.
- Next, add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and use a spatula to fold the ingredients together, making sure not to over-mix.
- Now, fold in the zucchini and grated orange zest.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- Remove the zucchini bread from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the pan and slicing.
- Store in an air-tight container or cover the baking pan in foil and enjoy within 3-5 days of baking.