Forget zucchini; try making bread with yellow summer squash. This Lemon Summer Squash Bread is AMAZING!
Seriously why did I never think to make Lemon Summer Squash Bread before? I have been making zucchini bread for ages; probably ever since we had a huge garden at our first home which was at least 30 years ago. While we would occasionally have the same over abundance with yellow squash that we had with zucchini I never, not once, EVER thought to utilize it in a bread.
The original recipe I’ve used for zucchini bread for all those years comes from a VERY old church cookbook; one that belonged to my mom. It’s a standout and perfect and I’ve only revised it to include some cream cheese frosting but not once in all those years, not in any other church or community cookbook did I see a similar recipe for yellow squash. Now I lament WHY? This recipe for a lemony summer squash bread is absolutely divine; right now I would choose it in a heartbeat over zucchini bread so grab that yellow squash, get your graters on and go for it!
My inspiration to go this route was really pretty simple. My neighbors had gifted me with a big yellow summer squash. Now I know if I had cut it open that I was going to find that same fibrous interior with some big seeds that appear in zucchini when they get big; much like the inside of pumpkins. So my choices were to stuff it or. What?
That’s when I wondered myself why I had never thought to grate it and make bread (which in all honestly is more like cake with the sugar and glaze). I thought I would give it a try and originally thought savory. Maybe some herbs and roasted tomatoes? Or a yellow squash garlic bread? Those all sounded good enough but it was a simple juxtaposition that morning that sealed the deal. The squash was on the counter next to lemons and I was off and running!
This recipe is an adaptation of the aforementioned tried and true one for zucchini bread and it was perfect. I like enough lemon that there is no doubting that’s what it is in it and this had that. I didn’t go the route of frosting though; preferring to make a glaze and add some of the juice and zest of lemon to it as well. The crowning glory? Those adorable little roasted lemon slices. I made those for this salad a couple of weeks ago and they are not just a pretty face; that roasting in olive oil and sugar makes for a fun bite too!
Know what I consider a successful recipe? One that is shared with my Indian neighbors who cook only Indian dishes and who ask for the recipe afterwards. They LOVED it. That’s all the testimony I needed and hope you try it too!
Lemony Summer Squash Bread
There is no reason you couldn't substitute zucchini in this recipe; would be pretty with the green zucchini and yellow lemon zest!
- 1 cup melted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups grated summer squash
For the Glaze
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
For the Sweet Roasted Lemon Garnish (edible and optional!)
- 1 lemon, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease and flour 2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini pans.
- Mix butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until well blended.
- Add eggs one at a time and once all are incorporated beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Add squash and stir just to blend.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes for small loaf pans or 1 hour for regular size loaf pans.
- Allow the pan to cool; remove the bread and place top down on a serving plate (makes for a nice presentation for the glaze and lemons).
Make the Roasted Lemons:
- Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and pat dry.
- Gently toss lemon slices with sugar, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lemons are no longer wet and only slightly colored, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.
Make the Glaze:
- Combine the melted butter and powdered sugar and stir until smooth; add the lemon juice and lemon zest and stir to combine.
- Add water or milk if necessary to get the right consistency.
- Pour the glaze over the top; covering it completely and letting excess dribble down the sides.
- Arranged sweet, roasted lemons on top.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.