I haven’t baked with zucchini in years so I had a random desire to fix that. Sometimes zucchini goodies can come out bland, but not these bars. They are insanely delicious! In fact, I brought them to my niece’s 1st birthday party, but secretly I didn’t want to share them.
These zucchini bars are infused with traditional autumnal spices and covered with a sweet spicy frosting. Picture an amazing carrot cake, and you really aren’t far off. Yum!
Zucchini Spice Bars With Spice Frosting Recipe
(Makes 16 bars)
Ingredients for Zucchini Spice Bars:
- 1 zucchini (equivalent to approximately 1 cup)
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Ingredients for Spice Frosting:
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 6 teaspoons skim milk (You don’t have to use skim)
Directions for Zucchini Spice Bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper (leaving enough room on the sides to be able to pull it out once it’s done cooking), spray it with baking spray and set it aside.
- Using a fine shredder, shred the zucchini. Place the shredded zucchini in between paper towels and gently press down to remove some moisture.
- In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and egg.
- Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice.
- Gently fold in the shredded zucchini and pecans.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake it for about 20 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
- Let it cool for a couple of minutes in the pan and then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the bars have cooled completely, spread the frosting over the bars.
Directions for Spice Frosting:
- In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, powdered sugar, allspice, and milk until it is a frosting-like consistency. (Make sure the butter is room temperature so that the frosting comes out smooth.)
Store in an air tight container at room temperature or in a freezer friendly bag in the freezer.
Baking Tip: Use a grater so that all of the zucchini pieces are the same size. This will allow the pieces to bake consistently. I like to use a small grater because the zucchini is disbursed more evenly. Plus, I don’t like biting into big chunks of veggies in my desserts. Gently press the shredded zucchini in between two layers of paper towel to remove some of the moisture. By removing some of the moisture you will avoid bars that come out soggy.
All of the spices here work in harmony with each other. It’s the perfect autumnal spice combo. Granted it’s winter, but there’s no rule that says that I can’t bake with these spices now. If there is, then I’m ignoring it. 😉 I’m surely not waiting until next Fall to make these fantabulous bars! (That’s a technical term.)
The pecans add lovely flavor and crunch. I even added a few on top of the frosting (for presentation points).
Can we talk about this frosting? I’m obsessed with it. It’s a basic sweet frosting loaded with allspice. It’s so simple and so yummy that it is borderline ridiculous. I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures, but in person you can see the flecks of spice in the frosting.
Oddly enough, I asked my husband if I should even use the spice in the frosting because the idea initially weirded me out. He convinced me that it would complement the spice in the bars and would probably taste amazing. I’m glad I asked instead of just leaving it out because now I want to figure out how many other spices I can use to make amazing frosting. 🙂
I keep calling these “bars,” but they’re so moist and light that they’re really more like small pieces of cake.
I know what you may be thinking… “This cake must be healthy because it’s got a vegetable in it!” If that’s what you want to tell yourself, then I won’t judge you. Honestly, as far as healthy goes, you could definitely do worse. 😉
Adapted from: Betty Crocker
Here are some other awesome bar recipes.