National Zucchini Day is on August 8th. For those of you with friends, family and co-workers who garden, this makes perfect sense. Home gardeners everywhere are frantically trying to find homes for their bumper crops of zucchini, lest it all go to waste. And coming up with creative uses for all of it can be tricky!
This explains why zucchini bread is such a popular summer dessert. We’ve improved a standard zucchini bread recipe by adding chocolate, frosting, and of course–BACON! Not only is the bacon in the batter, it’s in the topping, too. This recipe will produce a rich cake that combined with the frosting tastes very much like a decadent dessert.
For those of you with a LOT of zucchini, this recipe can be doubled. Extra loaves can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then in double foil, and frozen for up to 6 months.
Makes 2 loaves.
1.5 lbs. thick-cut bacon (I used Smokey’s Hickory bacon)
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups grated zucchini squash
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Grease two 9” x 5” loaf pans or line with parchment paper. Wash zucchini and then grate it. Place in a colander and drain for an hour. Or, wring zucchini out using your hands, removing the excess liquid.
2. Cook the bacon. Lay strips of bacon on several rimmed baking sheets. Place in oven and set temp to 400 F. Bake until bacon is done, about 20 min. Place cooked strips on paper towels and allow to cool. Reduce oven temp to 350 F.
3. Microwave butter for 10-15 seconds or until soft. In a large bowl, add melted butter and cocoa powder. Stir until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. If mixture is too thick, add some of the vegetable oil and stir until smooth.
4. Add the remaining oil, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Add the eggs and stir again. Then add the zucchini, stirring until incorporated.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the wet mixture and stir gently until incorporated, being careful not to over mix the batter. Add ½ of the cooked, chopped bacon and stir one last time.
6. Pour mixture into the loaf pans, dividing equally. Bake at 350 F. for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the bread comes out clean. Allow to cool.
7. In a mixer with the flat beater attachment, beat 2 sticks of softened butter. Add the powdered sugar in batches, mixing until creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Frost the cooled zucchini loaves generously, and then top with the remaining chopped bacon. Serve and enjoy!