Heidi Swanson’s Zucchini Bread

Every Heidi Swanson (aka 101 Cookbooks) recipe I’ve tried is fabulous so when I came across her only zucchini bread recipe I thought, yeeeaaaah – I’ll make this, but without the curry powder. The second time I made her zucchini bread I figured, it won’t hurt to add half a tablespoon of curry powder . . . and then her zucchini bread changed my life (I’m not being dramatic). Remember the scene in 500 Days of Summer when Joseph Gordon-Levitt is dancing to Hall & Oates You Make My Dreams:

I’m not kidding you, people go crazy over this bread they’ll come up to shake your hand, give you a pat on your back and you’ll want to twist & shout. I religiously add a tablespoon of curry powder every time I bake this bread.

My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe from 101 Cookbooks


1 1/2 c chopped walnuts

1/3 c poppy seeds (optional)

zest of two lemons (optional)

1/2 c crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)

1/2 c unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 c sugar

1/2 c fine grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed

3 lg eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 c grated zucchini (squeeze some of the moisture out before using)

3 c flour (Heidi uses whole wheat pastry flour)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp curry powder (optional but highly recommended!)


1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter two loaf pans (the 1 lb. size).

2. In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest & candied ginger. Set aside.

3. Using a mixer, cream the sugar and the butter. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients. At the lowest speed stir in the vanilla and zucchini.

4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and curry powder. Add the flour mixture a little at a time to the wet ingredients until it is all incorporated. Do not over mix the batter. Fold in the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest and candied ginger (save some to sprinkle over the top of the bread).

5. Pour the batter into the two loaf pans and sprinkle some of the remaining walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest and candied ginger over the batter. The recipe recommends baking for about 40-45 minutes but I feel like my bread takes about 50-55 minutes to finish.

6. Let the loaves cool for about 10 minutes and remove them from their pans. Place the bread on a wire rack to finish cooling.

7. Cut yourself a slice of bread and smear some butter on it before your bread gets too cool!