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Cherry-Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Preparation 20 min. 2017-08-17T00:20:00+00:00 Cook Time 55-65 min. (plus cooling) 2017-08-17T00:00:00+00:00
Serves 1 loaf (18 servings)     adjust servings


  • cooking spray and flour for preparing loaf pan
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 1 medium, 7-ounce zucchini)
  • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped if desired
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray and lightly but thoroughly flouring the bottom. (See discussion in post for more information on using a different pan size and adjusting baking for various types of pans.)
  3. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, whisking to combine thoroughly.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, canola oil, and vanilla, stirring well to combine. Add zucchini and stir well again.
  5. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients, stirring just until moist.
  6. Stir in cherries and all but about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate chips (setting the 2 tablespoons of reserved chips aside). Mix just until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over the top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or very nearly clean. (This zucchini bread should form a lovely "crack" through the top of the bread, and that crack will be the very last part to be completely baked. Test carefully to be sure this part of the bread is done, as it is often still under-baked for a few minutes after the rest of the loaf tests as done. Your entire loaf should be uniformly done but still very dense and moist.)
  9. Cool zucchini bread in pan for about 10 minutes, and then carefully remove from pan to finish cooling completely on a wire rack. You may find it helpful to run a thin paring knife around the edge of the loaf to help it release from the pan.

Baking Muffins (will yield 18 muffins)

  1. Prepare muffin pans by lining with 18 non-stick foil muffin liners.
  2. Mix batter as directed in steps 3-6 above.
  3. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over the top (about 2-3 chips per muffin).
  4. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. (The muffins don't "crack" like the loaf does.)
  5. Cool zucchini muffins in pan for about 5 minutes or until the muffins are beginning to set and are cool enough to handle. Remove the muffins to wire racks to cool completely.


Recipe Notes

Make-Ahead and Freezing: This zucchini bread recipe freezes great, whether you make a whole loaf or individual muffins. After cooling completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer in a freezer-safe zipper bag.