The first time my mother baked a zucchini bread, we all thought it was wildly exotic. It was even crazier than banana bread, which was already pretty crazy. "I can hardly even taste the zucchini!" we said, and shook our heads in amazement. "It just tastes like cake! Like good cake, even!"
Feel free to omit the spices, although I love the flavor combination -- just don't cut back on the vanilla or the salt, which the cake really needs in its successful fight against blandness.
Yields 24 cupcakes. You can use the same amount of batter to make 12 cupcakes and one 8-inch cake.
What you'll need
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (around 2 medium zukes)
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate, to the horror of my life partner who likes his chips dark, dark, dark)
2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted at 350 for 5 minutes (optional, of course)
Powdered sugar for topping (also optional)
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