Josephine’s Zucchini Loaf


IMG_6789The perks of growing up Italian: food, food, family and more food. Since before I can even remember, we enjoyed amazing fruits and vegetables from my grandmother’s garden, we’ve been eating organic long before organic was trending. My grandmother’s garden is truly a work of art; something that she takes pride in and loves to share. Every summer I look forward to nonna’s garden goodies; making fresh garden salads, grilled veggies and for the past few years, zucchini loaf, which my grandmother refers to as “zucchini cake.”

After trying a few different recipes and realizing that many traditional loaves really are a lot like “cake,” I decided that zucchini loaf, something that sounds and looks like it should be healthy, might actually still taste good if I made a healthy version of this beloved summer treat. This way you can enjoy a sweet slice and still feel like you are reaping some of the benefits of healthy garden veggies.

IMG_6791This past weekend my grandmother brought over three massive zucchini from her garden and my husband’s eyes started to sparkle. It took me a second to figure out why he was excited about zucchini, as he’s usually on a strict diet of meat and potatoes, but then I made the connection; zucchini loaf. He has a serious sweet tooth and the idea of baked goods makes him giddy. It was our anniversary this week and I too love a good loaf, so I decided that it was time for zucchini loaf season to begin at our house. I’ve made four loaves this week and below is the best version I came up with: a healthy twist on a traditional family favourite.

Josephine’s Zucchini Loaf



1 cup whole-wheat flour

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cocoa

3 tsps cinnamon

2 cups of grated zucchini

3 eggs

3 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 cups of brown (or yellow) sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup dried cranberries (optional)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 loaf pans. Grate two cups of zucchini and set aside.
  1. In one bowl, mix flour (white and whole-wheat), salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and cinnamon together until all the dry ingredients are well combined.
  1. In another bowl, using a hand or stand-up mixer, beat eggs, vanilla, sugar and vegetable oil until they resemble a cream.
  1. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix until well combined.
  1. Add zucchini and dried cranberries and mix.
  1. Divide batter evenly between two pans, filling each about ¾ of the way.
  1. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until loaves are baked all the way through. Let stand/cool for 20-30 minutes and serve.


*Tip: To test if the loaves are baked through put a knife all the way into the loaf and if the knife comes up clean (with no batter on it) your loaves are done!

* Prepare Ahead Tip: grate the zucchini ahead of time and put in the fridge or freezer so this part of your prep-work is done. Zucchini can stay in the fridge for up to three days and freezer for a month.


6 thoughts on “Josephine’s Zucchini Loaf

  1. I have 3 huge zucchini sitting in my fridge as we speak. I will be trying your recipe, looks good, and we all love zucchini bread.
    Vanessa, I’m really enjoying your blog. I love the one you wrote last week about letting things go, so so true and well said!!
    Keep on writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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