Happy Fall everyone! The leaves are falling and the temperature is slowly dropping. I have to admit even this summer lover is happy to throw on her first comfy sweater and pair of boots of the season!
This time of year, I like to venture out when it comes to baking. Pumpkin is the reason.
I love baking with pumpkin and all of those classic fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. It makes the house smell so warm and inviting! So, of course, I'm a huge fan of any variation of pumpkin bread (zucchini, banana whatever). As I was rummaging through a few recipes, I decided to combine some of my favorite ingredients into one recipe. That's how this bread was born.
The first time I made it, I used only zucchini and pumpkin as the main ingredients. But, I felt there was something missing. So, I decided to add a citrus element the next time around. The addition of a little orange zest and juice really brought out the flavor of the pumpkin and and went so well with the warm spices. After adjusting a few ingredients, I came up with a recipe yummy enough to share with all of you. It's simple and made with ingredients you can feel good about.
Because I don't like things too sweet, I don't use as much sugar (as many recipes call for). I like to serve up a warm slice with some apple or pumpkin butter or yogurt with honey, which adds an extra element of sweetness. But if you prefer, you can add more sugar in the recipe (see below). I also use a lot less butter, by substituting more pumpkin puree, which still yields a very moist and delectable texture.
To get a little fancy, I added some orange slices on top (totally optional). It doesn't really add any extra flavor, just a bit more orange aroma and of course, that special touch to make it look pretty. Make sure you pat the slices between two paper towels to remove the juice or you will get a soggy top part of the loaf.
Hope you all get to enjoy these first few crisp days of autumn. But first, some baking!
Orange Scented Pumpkin Zucchini Bread
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup zucchini shredded and all liquid drained through a paper towel or cloth
- zest of one orange
- 2 tsp fresh orange juice
- 2 eggs whisked
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup cane sugar add another ¼ cup if you like it sweeter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- option to top with fresh orange slices must be paper thin slices and juice drained by patting between 2 paper towels
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, powder, salt and spices.
- Gently whisk together.
- In another medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla.
- To the wet ingredients stir in the pumpkin puree and zucchini.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold the mixture together until all combined.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf pan.
- Sprinkle additional sugar or orange slices to top if desired.
- Bake for about 55-65 min until center is cooked through (test with a toothpick).