This chocolate zucchini bread is soft and moist, but the best part is that it has a creamy and delicious cheesecake layer baked into it.
Having some zucchini in my fridge, I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to cook with them. Then I got some low fat cream cheese, that I needed for another recipe, I decided that it is time to try and make another cream cheese filled bread and why not make it with zucchini.
I used my versatile zucchini bread recipe, changing it a little of course and also added some semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. I felt like adding some lemon zest to the batter and cheesecake layer will bring some fresh flavor to this bread and it really made a difference.
Zucchini bread is the very first sweet bread I ever baked (very long time ago) and it’s got a sentimental value! Some people around me do not like the idea of making sweet bread with zucchini, but I hardly ever tell them what’s inside the bread and they seem to never realize there is finely shredded zucchini in there. You really can’t taste zucchini in most baked goods. Zucchini has no flavor, but makes wonderfully moist desserts. If you’ve never baked with zucchini, I can say you’ve been missing out. You can just start with something as simple as zucchini muffins.
I’ve shared another cream cheese filled bread recipe not long ago. It was for a banana bread and a lot of people seemed to like it. I just wanted to mention, that baking cream cheese filled breads could be tricky. One of my buddies had attempted to recreate my cream cheese filled banana bread recipe, but decided not to follow my instructions. Guess what? She ended up with an under baked bread. I just don’t want this to happen to any of you.
Note that baking times could vary, depending on moisture of the ingredients, size of your loaf pan, type of oven and oven variances . The toothpick test is not very accurate, since the cheesecake layer never gets solid. Please allow some extra time for baking the bread and watch the bread not the clock. You can still check the bread part with a toothpick and it should come out clean with a few moist crumbs on it. It is important that after it is baked, you leave bread in the pan for at least 25 minutes and then you wait until it cools down completely, otherwise it might seem under baked.
Zucchini batter is usually thinner than banana bread batter, what’s why I couldn’t achieve a nicer looking cream cheese layer. It doesn’t sit exactly in the middle and might look a little weird, but it tastes really good.
I did not drain water out of shredded zucchini, since it was not a lot, but you can drain it if you’d like.
This time I made the chocolate zucchini cheesecake layer bread with canola oil, but vegetable or coconut will work just as well. I’ve made it with both coconut and vegetable oils in the past.
I know it is pumpkin and apple season and I love it! But this zucchini bread is good for any time of the year! Great to enjoy with coffee, tea or a glass of milk.
This zucchini bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to a week (cheesecake should be kept in the fridge!).
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- 8 oz (225 gr) cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup canola oil (olive or coconut oil can be substituted)
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (2 medium sized zucchini, no need to drain water)
- 2 cups all purpose flout (unbleached can be used)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F (200 C). Grease and flour a 11x5 loaf pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat eggs and sugar for 2 minutes, then add vanilla and oil and mix until combined.
- Add baking soda to greek yogurt, stir and add to egg mixture.
- Add shredded zucchini to mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder and chocolate chips.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Cheesecake layer: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and lemon zest. Add egg and beat until evenly distributed. Make sure you scrape sides of the bowl, to achieve a homogenous mixture.
- Pour ½ of zucchini bread batter into baking pan. Carefully spread cream cheese mixture over it. Top with the remaining zucchini bread batter.
- Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn off the oven, but leave bread inside for 5 more minutes. Then take out of the oven and let it sit in the pan for 25 more minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack until it cools down completely.