Yes my friends, it’s that time of the year again! Neighbors are gathering – in large baskets, zucchini of all sizes, shapes and colors. People you don’t even know are stopping by and knocking on your door to unload – I mean share, the bounty of this most glorious of fall vegetables.

So here is my take on the humble zucchini loaf. This time I’m using yellow zucchini but that’s not really the twist. Although I must admit using yellow zucchini does give it a lighter color and a more cake like appearance. So of course I want to change the flavor a bit to keep in line with the color of the loaf. Let me think, bright yellow, screams fresh, makes you feel warm – of course – lemon! This really does taste like a lemon cake. On crisp autumn days, it is a bite of summer and sunshine. I could have really made this decadent by adding a lemon glaze – powdered sugar and lemon juice, but really, it doesn’t need it.

Pictured below are a few variations on the theme. One has almonds sprinkled on top, the other has diced apple rubbed in cinnamon, a pinch of ground cardamom and brown sugar. I did these in small loaf tins I found in a kitchen store on one of our travels. I wanted an almost upside down cake effect and put a layer of the spiced apples on the bottom before topping with the batter. They came out of the pan really easily – just make sure you grease the pans well (I sprayed mine).

Lemon and Zucchini loaf – a match out of the ordinary, with extraordinary taste. As always – enjoy!

1 cup vegetable oil
6 oz lemon flavored Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional – Apple Filling
1 apple – diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom

Combine all the apple filling ingredients in a small bowl and mix to coat all the pieces – set aside
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat two 9″ x 5″ loaf tins with cooking spray
In a large bowl, mix the oil, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and sugar – stir to incorporate
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition, add the vanilla extract and stir
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest – stir to mix
Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and mix just until combined
Add in zucchini and stir
If using apples (and I encourage you to try at least one of these loaves with the apples as a base) – spread a single layer (or more) of the apples to the bottom of the loaf tin and top with half the batter
Pour the other half of the batter into the other loaf tin
Note, if you manage to find these mini loaf tins – it took 20 minutes to bake in my oven. Each loaf tin had 3 heaping tablespoons of batter- about 2/3’s of the way up the side of the tin 4.25” x 2.5” x 1”. You may not find the exact size so all I’m saying is adjust how long you bake the loaves if you are not using these measurements – thanks
Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the loaves
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean
Allow the loaves to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before gently flipping over onto a cooling rack
As always – enjoy!