Zucchini Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

It’s the last day of August, can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about Canada Day and what was on our summer bucket lists!

It’s been a summer filled with lots of wonderful things though- road trips, hiking,  marathon Great British Bake Off watching, travels down south… but most importantly, this was the summer that we finally bit the bullet and started Fancy Dough. We thought that there couldn’t be a better way to celebrate than with a big pan of brownies!

We’ve made brownies before this summer, but these are special brownies (no, not that kind). They’re special because they have zucchini in them which makes them super moist without having to add a bunch of extra fat. Instead, they have 2 whole cups of zucchini in them plus walnuts for some heart healthy fats. They are also egg-less and use canola oil instead of butter which makes these friendly brownies for vegans and individuals with special dietary needs alike.

We added a quick chocolate frosting to ours because a brownie without topping is a sad brownie in our opinion, and we can’t let our brownies be sad. The frosting whips up in a flash using melted butter, cocoa, powdered sugar, milk, and a bit of vanilla. It has the consistency of your classic lunch-lady brownies which we are absolutely in love with.

If you’ve got some extra zucchini kicking around this is a great way to use some of it up that doesn’t include the words bread, loaf, or some kind of stir-fry. The zucchini completely melts away in this recipe leaving you with just its moisture to keep these brownies nice and soft, which makes it a great option for sneaking some extra veggies into your kids’ (or kid-at-heart’s) diet.

We added chopped walnuts to ours but you could also leave them out or substitute them for something like chocolate chips. Or heck, throw caution to the wind and add both! It’s the last days of summer right!

Go bake.

Zucchini Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder*

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 1 large zucchini)

1/2 cup (50 g) walnuts

6 tablespoons (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup (56 g) salted butter

2 cups (240 g) icing sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract until well blended. Add the shredded zucchini and stir to combine.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until incorporated. Add the walnuts and stir until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing the top as you go. Transfer to your oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the brownies spring back gently when touched, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Ours took 25 minutes.
  5. While your brownies are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a small bowl melt together 1/4 cup butter and 6 Tbsp. cocoa in the microwave. Start with 20 second bursts, stirring after each increment, until smooth. Allow to cool slighlty. In a medium bowl, blend together the powdered sugar, milk, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Once cooled, stir in the cocoa mixture and mix until well combined. Spread over the cooled brownies before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Loaded Zucchini Banana Bread

Loaf got us through life in the corporate world. More specifically, the banana loaf that you can get from Starbucks. When you’re starving, and have literally 10 minutes to eat lunch, that glorious piece of banana bread with walnuts on top is like manna from heaven.

Thankfully, we have a lot more time these days to sit down and enjoy a proper lunch and to even make some of our own baked goods so we can skip the stuff at the local coffee shop.

Speaking of which…Have you put zucchini in your banana bread yet? It’s an awesome way to use up the zucchinis that are about to burst forth from the earth in all their abundant glory. Plus, you get the added benefit of adding another green veggie to your diet. Don’t worry about adding any zucchini flavour to your bread though, it just adds moisture to the overall product.

We also used dark brown sugar to add slightly more depth of flavour, and cut down on the granulated sugar. Using ripe bananas is key in order to do this, as they make up the extra sweetness that you lose by cutting down on the sugar.

To jazz things up, we added chocolate chips, pecans, flaked coconut, and raisins. This is our dream combination of add-in’s but the combination of ideal add-in’s may be different for you. Feel free to double up on the chocolate chips and leave out the raisins, or swap out the pecans for walnuts, or the raisins for dried cranberries.

This lovely loaf got us though many a morning working on our business or warded off a mid-afternoon attack of the “hangries”. We know you’ll love it as much as we did!

Go bake.

Loaded Zucchini Banana Bread

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

3/4 cup canola oil

2/3 cup (142 g) paked dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium)

2 bananas, mashed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups (440 g) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (70 g) raisins

1/2 cup (54 g) pecans

1/2 cup (45 g) sweetened-flaked coconut

1/2 cup (90 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 8×4″ loaf pans with non-stick spray (9×5″ pans will work as well, but they wil take less time to cook and be slightly less tall).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar until well combined. Stir in the eggs and vanilla, then add the grated zucchini and mashed banana and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. In a separte bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient and gently mix until half-way incorporated. Add your raisins, pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips at this point, and then stir again until the flour is completely mixed in.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter between your two prepared loaf pans and then bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the loaf pans for 10 minutes, before removing from the pan and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Inspired by this recipe.