Tastes like home.

I don’t normally post the “old stand-bys,” the banana breads and blueberry muffins that all cooks have snug in their oldest recipe boxes. I figure we all have our favorite recipe, or method, for making these foods, so why throw my version in and muck everything up?

That’s not to say I don’t love reading about them on other blogs. Whenever I see a banana bread or simple blueberry muffin I remember that it’s high time I make some again. These posts are my gentle reminders, telling me that I’ve gotten too caught-up with newfangled, out of the ordinary recipes. I’ve lost track of the foods that are simply needed if you want a warm, cozy home.

Zucchini bread brings me home. Just one whiff of the baking bread zips me back to my mom’s kitchen, where my sisters broke eggs and I begrudgingly measured flour (I wasn’t a cook back then, though I loved to eat) and my mother helped us read the recipe from her big old cookbook.

I loved zucchini bread… I still do. The combination of cinnamon and clove remains my favorite for baking. It shouts family, holidays, sitting around the kitchen—love. I was amazed when I realized that I’d never baked it for Jim. Me, with all my domestication and home-cooked meals, the frilly aprons that I wear when cooking to feel more 50’s housewife, my nurturing need to feed him.

Maybe I wanted to keep my childhood memory to myself. Maybe, living too far from my sisters and mother to see them often enough, I felt like I needed to horde away my treasured thoughts of them—I wasn’t going to share.

Then I came to my senses. How silly of me! Every man (or woman) should, at least once, come home to a freshly baked loaf of zucchini bread, made by someone they love. Everyone should experience this dense, moist loaf, warm with the scent of cinnamon and clove and flecked with little green bits of summer. The crisp, sugary crust should be bitten into by every single person on this earth, because it’s that good.

There’s a reason why it’s a old favorite.

Zucchini Bread

makes one loaf

  • ½ cup buttermilk*
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 large or 2 small)
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-by-4 inch loaf pan. Combine buttermilk, oil, and sugar in a medium bowl or your stand-mixer workbowl and whisk until light-colored and fluffy, a few minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk a few minutes more (it will seem very liquidy now, that’s okay). Fold in the zucchini.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, and clove. Stir to combine. Mix the raisins into the flour then combine everything with the wet mixture. Stir until completely combined, but no more.

Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for about an hour, or maybe 70 minutes, or until the top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for a bit before turning it out onto your counter. Enjoy with a cup of tea and some smooching.

*I use buttermilk to lighten up the batter but if you don’t have it, you can substitute oil in its place, using 3/4 cup oil for the recipe.

26 thoughts on “Tastes like home.”

  1. Just made some banana bread, as it happens. It’s still in the oven! I’ll save the zucchini bread recipe for later this summer, when I’m overrun with them.

  2. You are right, everyone has their own standby. But I still like to test everyone’s out for some reason. Maybe because it takes me in to their own personal kitchens. I get to experience what everyone else has, and that is really interesting. It’s cool to see how similiar everyone is when we are connected through food. The next time I stop by at my farmers market, I’m hitting that squash stand up HARD 🙂

  3. I’ve never made zucchini bread before, but I am going to have to try your recipe. My kitchen is begging for a homey, aromatic bread to bake in the oven!

  4. Looks good. Hope Dad doesn’t see it, he will be wanting me to make some. Or better yet, let’s try yours!

  5. mmm…. me and mom had zucchini last night and were talking about zucchini bread! i miss it.. i can almost smell it looking at your pics! :p droollll hahaa

  6. I think that it’s important to share these flavors of your childhood with Jim. It’s amazing what you can learn about each other that way. Sometimes my husband will surprise me by commenting on how much an aroma or a taste reminds him of his childhood, and I am reminded how much we can still discover about each other–even after being together nearly a decade!

  7. Love zucchini bread. Lisa makes a pretty good one herself. She has been getting much more into baking the last couple of years. I’ll make sure to have her check out your recipe.

  8. For those of you who’ve never tried z. bread, you’re in for a treat.

    eatingclub: tell her it’s easier than pie!

    same for your John, make sure Lisa knows it’s the simplest thing to bake!

    Kath, Mom: Whoops, sorry I didn’t bring any up the other day! I’ll have to eat it all myself now! 😉

    Sarah: I loved reading your comment, makes me happy to look into the future!

    Judy: a freezer full of zucchini— lucky girl!

    Redmenace, Milena, Sorina: Thank you so much for the kind words about the blog!

  9. I too love zucchini bread but have never thought about using buttermilk to lighten the batter! I’ve recently rediscovered my love of this ingredient (cookies, pancakes) and am looking forward to switching up my go-to zucchini bread recipe. I’m a big fan of lemon–it adds a little something to the loaf. Thanks for giving me a good reminder 🙂

  10. Oh My god! I have died and went to heaven! This zucchini bread is so delicious, thanks mom– robin thank you for these receipes and dinner–raspberry shortbread and every cookie you made for the holiday was awesome! Your mom & sisters are GREAT in the cooking department too! Greatful to learn a thing or two or three. As I told you about my famous “crispy critters” comment from my family — sad to say, but true – He ,He Thanks

  11. Nice blog…thanks for sharing the zucchini bread recipe, now I need to try it out…my SIL wanted me to check out your blog…raved over all the great food she ate on
    Christmas Day while visiting Janel & Bob’s house.

  12. i’ve never had zucchini bread before but decided to try to make some after going fruit/vege picking at a local farm and came across your recipe. bread is in the oven as I type.

  13. This zucchini bread wasn’t anything too too special. Before i tear it apart though, I did like it however will continue my search for an “all time recipe” I did accidently add too much buttermilk so i ended up making two loaves, omitting one egg which did not seem to effect the bread at all. To me, a person who has not tried zucchini bread before, I could have easily mistaken this for spice cake, which isn’t a bad thing however, not zucchini bread! It was worth it in the end and i am glad i tried it however I still am in search for the perfect recipe 😀

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