Today is National Zucchini Day, and to celebrate we’re sharing this wonderful vegan chocolate zucchini bread recipe. It was shared with us a few years ago by Holly Price for one of our So Delicious recipe contests. Today I’m giving this post some new life to make it easier for you to find and make! Plus I’ve added some vegan quick bread baking tips.
Simple Baking Tips for Perfect Vegan 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 to retain it’s shape under most conditions. So when they are removed, as Holly has done in this vegan chocolate zucchini bread recipe, there is a bigger margin for problems to occur. Here are some tips to help you bake the perfect loaf.
Eye the Batter. 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 is too thick, which can happen in dryer climates, add a little moisture. You can add an egg or two (if not vegan), some aquafaba, or just a little milk beverage. The latter won’t help in binding or texture.
Consider Your Altitude and Climate. Quick bread results can vary dramatically from coast to coast due to environmental factors. If you are baking at higher altitude, bread can rise too quickly and collapse. But if you are baking at sea level in a humid zone, it can struggle to rise and remain overly moist.
Check the Bread at the Halfway Mark. Take a peak in your oven (but don’t open it!) when the loaves have been baking for about 25 to 30 minutes. Do they look hardly rise or are they already becoming a bit boisterous? It’s important to check at this stage just in case your loaf comes out too dense and flat in the end.
Adjust for High Altitude or Too Much Leavener. If your loaf came out dense or concave, but it was boisterous when you checked at the halfway mark, then it probably has too much leavener for your area. Without eggs, bread is more fragile when it rises too quickly and can easily “pop.” Reduce the leavener (in this case baking soda) according to the results. If it completely collapsed into a concave, dense loaf, then reduce the leavener by half. If it wasn’t so severe, then reduce the leavener by 25%.
Check the Taste. A telltale sign of too much baking soda or not enough acid in the recipe is a bitter or soapy aftertaste. If the loaf rose perfectly but you noticed an off taste, reduce the baking soda from 1 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. This can also vary from kitchen to kitchen!
Adjust for High Humidity or Too Little Leavener. If your loaf was too dense, but it hadn’t risen much at all by the halfway mark, then it needs some lift. If you do eat eggs and like to bake with them, then you can actually add one to eggs to this recipe, which will help. You can also add a little leavener. In this case, I would start with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. I wouldn’t add more baking soda as this can set the acidity (and taste) off.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan 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 or dairy-free chocolate chips (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, and vanilla and stir until just combined. Add the dissolved cocoa powder, 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).