Don’t let zucchini season pass you by without making this irresistible Cranberry Zucchini Bread recipe. Better yet, make a double batch of this easy quick bread and freeze a loaf for later!
But this flavorful recipe for Cranberry Zucchini Bread is totally worth a test drive – if only for the pure vanilla bean glaze. And since I know you have zucchini to spare this time of year, you can definitely afford to experiment a bit.
What makes this quick bread so noteworthy? Let’s start with the tangy dried cranberries. They are a bit of an unexpected addition to the bread, but they fit in so well with the warm cinnamon and spicy nutmeg.
The shredded zucchini gets some help from a combination of oil and butter to keep the bread moist while still giving it a nice crumb. Plus two different sugars (brown and granulated) give the loaf a deeper flavor than just granulated sugar alone.
But the proverbial “cherry on top” is definitely the pure vanilla bean glaze. It’s just the right amount of sweetness for each bite.
Do I have to use cranberries in this Cranberry Zucchini Bread recipe?
No, of course not. But I encourage you to try the sweet and tangy combination. Raisins make a good substitute for the dried cranberries, but you can also just omit any add-ins entirely and still have a flavorful loaf.
I like using a combination of fats in my baking. The butter adds richness and flavor while the oil ensures the loaf stays moist and tender – it’s the best of both worlds!
Vanilla beans are expensive! Can I just substitute vanilla extract in the glaze?
Yes, you can, but I encourage you to try the vanilla bean glaze some time. The depth of flavor it gives the simple powdered sugar glaze is amazing. You can also add a teaspoon or so of vanilla bean paste if you have that on hand instead.
P.S. I like to buy my vanilla beans in bulk because the price is far more reasonable than the grocery store. They keep well in an airtight container in the fridge.
Have an overabundance of zucchini? Check out these other tasty zucchini recipes:
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – Garnish with Lemon®
Grilled Artichoke Pesto Zucchini Bites – Fifteen Spatulas
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Bites – Garnish with Lemon®
Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles – Brown Eyed Baker
Zucchini Feta Fritters – Garnish with Lemon®
Cranberry Zucchini Bread
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 - 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds scraped out
To make the bread:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of an 8 x 4 loaf pan.
- Whisk the first eight ingredients (flour through nutmeg) together in a large bowl. Stir in the dried cranberries.
- In another bowl, whisk together the butter, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the zucchini.
- Gently fold together the wet and dry mixtures until they are just combined.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack then remove from pan to cool completely.
To make the glaze:
- Whisk the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Pour over the zucchini bread and let set for 30 minutes.
You may need to add more or less milk to get the consistency you want in the glaze. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more as needed. Recipe adapted from Food Network.