Zucchini Crumble Coffee Cake
Posted in Joy the Baker.
March 25, 2022

Zucchini Crumble Coffee Cake

Coffee cake recipe cut into squares on a wooden board.

Friends, hi hello!  I’m comin’ in hot with a perfect springtime brunch offering – a cinnamon coffee cake recipe with a zucchini twist.

But first let me address some of the concerns that might have popped up in the part of your brain that controls your sweet tooth.  That little bugger is saying OK BUT WWWHHHYYYY ruin my cake with vegetables!? And to be honest – fair question.  There is a small but mighty category of baked goods that insert vegetables into an otherwise sweet batter. Should we talk about this perfect Carrot Cake with all it’s sweet spice, fruit and root veggies?  Or perhaps these moist chocolate cupcakes with beets grated into the batter. Adding veggies to baked goods lends an earthy sweetness and moisture we can’t get from say… sour cream. They’re a sweet surprise and one of my baking secret weapons when I have a languishing, nearly wrinkled zucchini in the produce drawer.

Get in on this coffee cake with me! It’s sweet and spiced. We’re adding a dash of cardamom to keep the spices interesting and a toothy oat crumble baked across the top of the cake that will keep you coming back for slivers and slices.

Here’s how:

Ingredients for zucchini coffee cake recipe in small bowls.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this Zucchini Coffee Cake recipe:

•  all-purpose flour though this coffee cake also works well with a gluten-free flour blend like Cup4Cup.

•  ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground cardamom for warmth.

•  kosher salt, baking powder, and baking soda

•  unsalted butter, some melted some cubed

•  light brown sugar

•  a large egg

•  vanilla extract

•  zucchini shredded on a box grater

•  oats for the crumble topping

Optional ingredients include: pecans, walnuts, mini chocolate chips, etc.

First we’ll make the crumb topping. In a small bowl work together flour, brown sugar, spices, salt, and oats. Crumble in chunks of room temperature butter and work into a sandy mixture.

The streusel topping will coat the top of the coffee cake, creating a crunchy buttery topping. I mean… is it even coffee cake without a crumble?  Set aside (at room temeprature is just fine) until the cake batter is in the pan.

Dry ingredients for coffee cake recipe in large bowl.

The coffee cake batter will come together rather easily. While you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, a few bowls, a whisk, and a spatula will do the trick just fine (and save me from hoisting the mixer out of the prop closet).  However you decide to bring the batter together, whisk the dry ingredients together to incorporate the spices and leavening evenly.  Set the flour mixture aside.

Sugar, eggs, and oil for coffee cake recipe in medium bowl.

Now let’s get out wet ingredients going for our coffee cake recipe.  In a medium bowl stir together melted butter, brown sugar, an egg, and vanilla extract.

The mixture will whisk to thick and glossy with a few bubbles on top.

Shredded fresh zucchini in sugar and egg mixture for coffee cake recipe.

Gran a few fresh green zucchini and grate them on the coarse side of a box grater.

Add an ample amount of that shredded zucchini to the wet mixture and stir to combine.  The zucchini will add moisture to this cake – not so much a vegetable flavor but moisture and depth.

Dry ingredients added to coffee cake batter

Stir the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture.  Combine with a rubber spatula and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl until all the flour has disappeared and the batter is thick but pourable.

Baked coffee cake recipe with oat crumble topping.

Grease and line a 9×9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Greasing the pan is totally sufficient on its own, but the parchment makes the whole cake easy to lift and remove from the pan after baking.

Sprinkle the batter with crumble topping and place in the oven to bake until the kitchen smells amazing.

Close up of stacked coffee cake slices.

You’ll know the cake is done baking when a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs rather than wet batter.

See those green specks in the cake crumb? That’s all that’s left of all that shredded zucchini.  The crunch

Slice cooled cake into generous squares and serve any time of day with a hothot cup of coffee.  I store any leftover slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator and toast them in a 250 degree oven for a few minutes until just warmed through enough to split in half and top with butter.

These are the best days, friends!


Zucchini Crumble Coffee Cake

A classic coffee cake with a zucchini twist. Moist, sweet and spiced. This coffee cake recipe is perfect for any season!

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 912 servings 1x
  • Category: breakfast, brunch

For the Crumble:

  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into cubes

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup (130 grams) light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup shredded zucchini
  1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8 or 9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper as well.
  2. First make the crumble topping. In a medium bowl toss together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the room temperature cubes of butter and use your fingers to break the butter into the cry ingredients, creating a sandy mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir in the shredded zucchini. Fold in the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with crumble. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating once during baking. Bake until golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, not wet cake batter.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow two cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Cake will last up to 3 days well wrapped at room temperature. It’s really delicious toasted in the oven.

Joy the Baker – Founder March 25, 2022 at 08:23PM

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