Our dairy-free chocolate zucchini bread recipe has become quite popular. But we also have a dairy-free egg-free chocolate zucchini bread option for those of you who are vegan, allergic to eggs, or just plain out of eggs! This delicious recipe is also nut-free and soy-free, and was submitted by Holly Price for one of our recipe contests.
Baking Perfect Dairy-Free Egg-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Free-from baking can be tricky business. Eggs not only bind, but they also add lift and moisture, and help quick bread retain it’s shape under most conditions. Holly has done a great job in creating a dairy-free egg-free chocolate zucchini bread recipe that’s cohesive yet moist and tender. Nevertheless, we have answers and troubleshooting tips for your potential questions.
Should the Batter be Thick?
Vegan batter will almost always be thicker than quick bread batter with eggs. It needs the extra density to help bind. But a thicker batter can also result in a denser loaf. If the batter for your dairy-free egg-free chocolate zucchini bread seems way too thick, which can happen in dryer climates, add a little moisture. You can add some aquafaba, or just a little milk beverage. The latter won’t help in binding or texture.
What is Natural Cocoa Powder?
Natural or unsweetened cocoa powder hasn’t been treated with alkali (like Dutch processed cocoa powder), so it’s more acidic and more bitter. That acidity reacts with baking soda in your batter, giving it lift and a fluffier texture. It also neutralizes both the bitterness in the cocoa and the acrid flavor of the baking soda. Look for natural cocoa powder brands like Hershey’s, Scharffen Berger, Ghirardelli Unsweetened, and Anthony’s.
Can I Substitute Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder?
I don’t recommend using Dutch-Processed since it hasn’t been tested. The sugar in this recipe also reacts with the baking soda, so it might work. But if the sugar isn’t enough, your loaf might come out dense and/or there might be a notable baking soda taste.
I’m at High Altitude, How Should I Adjust the Recipe?
We haven’t tested this recipe at high altitude, so I’m making this suggestion from my high altitude baking experience. I would reduce the baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon if baking over 3000 feet, and to 1/2 teaspoon if baking over 6000 feet.
My Bread Didn’t Rise! What Happened?
First, it’s important to assess if your bread didn’t rise or if it rose too quickly and collapsed. If it’s concave at all and dense with a coarse crumb, it rose too quickly and collapsed. This can happen at higher altitude and/or in very dry climates. If it’s flat or slightly concave, reduce the baking soda to 3/4 teaspoon. If it’s quite concave, reduce it to 1/2 teaspoon. But if the bread just didn’t rise, your baking soda might be inactive. To test, put some of your baking soda in a bowl, and add a little lemon juice or vinegar. If it doesn’t fizz immediately and with vigor, then your baking soda might be fizzled out.
Can I Substitute Shredded Carrot for the Zucchini
You can, but this might affect the moisture level. After adding the carrot, if it seems too dry or way too thick, add a little liquid. Remember that egg-free bread batter should be a little thicker than quick bread batter made with eggs.
Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Zucchini Bread
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, optionally nut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- ¼ cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
- 3 tablespoons boiling water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup oil (your favorite type for baking)
- ¾ cup plain or unsweetened milk beverage
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3½ cups grated zucchini (about 3 zucchini)
- 1 cup blueberries, dairy-free chocolate chips, or dried cranberries (optional)
- 1 cup walnut pieces (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and grease two 8x4-inch loaf pans. You can optionally flour them or line them with a sheet of parchment paper for easier release.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cocoa powder in the boiling water.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the oil, milk beverage, vanilla, dissolved cocoa powder, and zucchini and stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries or chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
- Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans and even it out.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean (although it might have some chocolate or blueberry on it if you used those additions).