Pineapple Zucchini Loaf: Page 60, Aloha Days Hula Nights

Although zucchini is not as ubiquitous as banana in Hawaii, we still have a lot of great recipes for zucchini bread.  The Pineapple Zucchini Loaf on page 60 of Aloha Days Hula Nights is a spiced zucchini bread laced with nuts, pineapple pieces, and flowery cardamom–a surprising treat!

This is a mix-and-bake bread, easy to put together and delicious any time of day.  As usual, I made a loaf and a pan of muffins, and I keep the muffins in the freezer for a fresh-baked quick breakfast for me and my sons.

If you’ve never used cardamom, it has a lovely floral scent and a warm, sweet, spicy flavor.  It is known as the “queen of spices”, and used in African, Arab, Indian, Scandinavian, and even Far Eastern cuisine.  If you like chai tea, cardamom is typically a dominant flavor in chai tea mixes.  You’ll love the way the cardamom complements the zucchini and pineapple in this bread – it really warms up the bread and makes it smell and taste special.  The bread smelled so good when it came out that I forgot to take a photo – the picture below is actually a photo of the last slice, which my mother-in-law reminded me to snap before taking a big bite.  Enjoy your slice today!

A beautiful breakfast bread for a beautiful Hawaiian day…

Pineapple Zucchini Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 cups grated fresh zucchini, with or without peel, well drained
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour two 9 X 5-inch loaf pans.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Add sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Blend well.  Stir in zucchini, mixing thoroughly.  Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.  Stir to blend.  Add pineapple, nuts, and raisins.  Mix well.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack about 10 minutes before removing from pans.  Cool completely.  Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Note:  This bread gets better the next days as the flavors have time to develop overnight.

Makes two loaves.

Buy the cookbook at www.juniorleagueofhonolulu.org (click the eStore tab).  All proceeds go to support our charitable work in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

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