Doris Light Zucchini Bread

Here’s one of those recipes that pops out of my folder when I see burstingly fresh zucchini at the produce stand. It’s adapted from a recipe that’s been passed around in my family as ‘Doris Fenton’s Zucchini Bread’ for donkey’s years and so, when I cut half the oil from the original recipe and tweaked other ingredients to suit, it only seemed fair to carry on the name.

“What?” you ask. “You don’t grow your own zucchini?”

Well, let me tell you….

As a kid, it fell to me to pick the zucchini, which I did as best I could. Eight to ten inches long: snip went my knife through the stem flesh and I put another zucchini into my basket. For a while each summer, I kept the zucchini under control.

But then, after a week or so of diligent harvest, I would begin to find other zucchini. Big zucchini. Dark green zucchini with thick skins. Zucchini that dogged my dreams, lurking under the prickly leaves in the shadows so I somehow missed them. 

When those zucchini came out of hiding, it was all I could do to work the knife through the stem and wrestle the big buggers out from under the plants. Sometimes late in the evening I’d smuggle a couple of those monster zucchini over to the neighbor’s garden and slip them under his zucchini plants. I’d see him out there the next morning leaning on his hoe, lifting his hat and scratching his head, but if he suspected me he never let on. 

Quite honestly, I think he suspected my father. 

This zucchini bread may have half the oil, but it has all the flavor of the original. Select medium-sized, unblemished zucchini that feel heavy for their size. And, although I’ll be choosing them from my local produce stand, you can certainly grow your own… if you dare. 

Thanks, Doris! 

Doris Light Zucchini Bread


Makes 2 loaves

3 large eggs

2 cups sugar

½ cup canola oil

½ cup apple juice

1½ teaspoons vanilla

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (see note)

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoons baking powder


3 cups grated fresh zucchini, loosely packed, about 1 pound (see note)


Note: If the zucchini is not fresh – either days old in the fridge or store bought – decrease the flour to 2 ½  cups.  Zucchini fresh off the vine has more moisture. 

  1. Set rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Using a flat beater, beat eggs until frothy.  Beat in the sugar. Add oil, apple juice and vanilla and beat until thick and lemon colored.
  3. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Add along with the zucchini to the egg and oil mixture and beat until blended.
  4. Pour evenly into 2 buttered and lightly floured glass loaf pans.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 375º. Lower heat to 350º degrees and bake for 1 hour longer.  The loaves should have a dark skin with splits along the top, and a toothpick inserted into one of the splits should be nearly clean, with no batter buildup.
  6. Cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes.  Gently remove from pans, using a sharp knife if necessary, and then cool for an hour or more before serving.


Freezing note: This bread freezes very well. Although you can freeze whole loaves, we like to do it in halves for flexibility. Wrap each half in plastic wrap, label, and slip two halves into a loaf bag before freezing. If you exclude all the air, they will last up to a year.

For a printable copy of this recipe in MSWord, click  HERE


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