Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

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Growing up, summer meant two things: family gatherings and an abundance of fresh zucchini from our backyard garden. Every year, my grandmother would find creative ways to use the surplus of zucchini, from savory dishes to delightful baked treats. One of my absolute favorites was her zucchini bars. These moist and flavorful bars, topped with a rich cream cheese frosting, were always a hit at our summer picnics and barbecues.

The beauty of this zucchini bars recipe lies in its simplicity and versatility. The zucchini adds incredible moisture without overwhelming the flavor, making these bars wonderfully tender and delicious. What I love most about this recipe is how easily it can be tweaked to suit different tastes. For instance, you can add a handful of chopped nuts for a bit of crunch or sprinkle in some raisins for extra sweetness. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, try adding a dash of nutmeg or a handful of chocolate chips to the batter – trust me, it’s heavenly.

These zucchini bars are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a casual family get-together or a festive potluck. They’re easy to make, and the results are always impressive. The cream cheese frosting adds a creamy, tangy contrast to the sweet, spiced bars, making them absolutely irresistible. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak some veggies into a dessert, which is always a win in my book!

Making Zucchini Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 10.5 x 15.5-inch jelly roll pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually blend this mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  4. Fold in the shredded zucchini until evenly mixed.
  5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared jelly roll pan.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs. Do not overbake. Let the bars cool completely.
  7. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and unsalted butter together until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until smooth and creamy.
  8. Once the bars have cooled completely, spread the frosting evenly over the top. Cut into squares and serve.

Making Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

FAQs:

Can I substitute the vegetable oil with another type of oil?

Yes, you can use other neutral oils like canola or sunflower oil. If you prefer a healthier option, try substituting with the same amount of melted coconut oil or olive oil.

Do I need to peel the zucchini before grating it?

No, there’s no need to peel the zucchini before grating. The skin is thin and edible, adding extra nutrients and fiber to the bars.

Can I use old-fashioned oats instead of quick-cooking oats?

Yes, you can use old-fashioned oats, but the texture might be slightly different. To make the oats more similar to quick-cooking oats, you can pulse them a few times in a food processor before using.

What can I do if I don’t have a jelly roll pan?

If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, you can use a 9×13-inch baking dish. Keep in mind that the baking time might need to be adjusted slightly, so start checking for doneness a few minutes earlier.

How should I store the zucchini bars?

You can store the zucchini bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you want to keep them longer, you can freeze the bars (without the frosting) for up to 2 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator before frosting and serving.

Can I make the frosting ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the cream cheese frosting ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature and give it a quick stir before spreading it on the cooled bars.

Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Zucchini Bars

Make the best zucchini bars with this simple recipe. Moist, tender, and topped with a delightful cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Cake
Cuisine American
...

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease a jelly roll pan (10.5 x 15.5-inch).
  • In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually add this mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just incorporated.
  • Fold in the grated zucchini until evenly distributed.
  • Pour the batter into the greased jelly roll pan, spreading it out evenly.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs attached. Avoid overbaking. Allow the bars to cool completely.
  • For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and unsalted butter together until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until smooth and creamy.
  • Once the bars are completely cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top. Cut into squares and serve.
Keyword zucchini

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