|The finished slices of our ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL|
I love making traditional baking items on the grill especially when wood is added for a kick of flavor that can make some normal recipes totally unique. That’s how I feel about this recipe for zucchini-coconut-lime bread/cake. It has to have two names as I’m giving you two finishes so you have something more savory like a bread and something sweet like a dessert. Don’t ignore large, fresh zucchini that you see in your garden or farmer’s market or even the local store. Pick up a beauty and come to the grill with me for this great two loaf recipe.
Two Bowls & One GrillThere’s minimal preparation that needs to be done for this bread/cake combination. One thing I love about zucchini bread/cake is there’s nothing complicated about it.
To start, head out to the grill and light the burners on only half the grill. On the lit side, place wood chunks directly on the heat shields or burner covers. This will produce that fantastic wood vapor that is going to super flavor our bread/cake. I’ve set my burners to medium which should bring them to 325°F, the perfect temperature to bring these two loaves to the finish. For the loaf pans, simply spray with non-stick cooking spray or butter generously. Now, let’s get the batter made.
Tasting Notes: If you’re leery about putting wood pieces directly on your heat shields than you can use a metal smoker box to hold the wood. Try to get one that will still fit between your grill grate and the heat shield, otherwise, you’ll have to put the box on the grill grate which will take longer to heat up and start the wood smoking.
The Double Duty BatterTo start our batter, get a large bowl to combine the dry ingredients first. Add 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut. Combine well and set aside. Next, we’ll prepare the wet ingredients.
In a medium bowl combine 2 cups of raw, unpeeled, grated zucchini, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, ¾ cup oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 beaten eggs, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 2 teaspoons lime zest. This batter will be quite thick. Here’s a trick with the zucchini: be sure once you grate the zucchini you place it between paper towels and remove the excess water. If you leave the excess moisture, the batter will become watery and affect how the bread/cake rises.
With the dry and wet ingredients made, it’s time to combine them. Place the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well by hand. Divide the batter in half and pour into the prepared loaf pans. Place the filled loaf pans on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid. This batter will take 75 minutes to cook so I check the cake about ½ way through and rotate the pans. I also make sure the wood chunks are still producing smoke. If not, I add new wood. Once cooked, I remove the pans from the grill and cool on wire racks.
Tasting Notes: Whenever you bake on the grill, it is important to use a two-zone cooking method rather than direct heat cooking. This will reduce the risk of burning the batter or producing off flavors, especially if you use a charcoal grill. This recipe can be altered to fit your taste. If you don’t like coconut but still want something sweet, feel free to swap out the cup of coconut for chocolate or butterscotch chips.
When a Bread Becomes CakeOnce cooled, I remove the loaves from the pans and place on a serving platter. I take 1/3 cup of flaked coconut and toast in the oven or on the grill until lightly browned. Time to make a glaze that will sweeten up this loaf some more, turning one loaf into a cake.
For the glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Using a fork, I drizzle the glaze over the loaf in a rapid side-to-side motion. While the glaze is still wet, I sprinkle on the toasted coconut and additional lime zest. That’s it! Now you can sample both loaves and decide which is your favorite. As a bread or a sweet cake.
Tasting Notes: If you prefer a lemon flavor you can swap out the lime juice for lemon and the lime zest for lemon zest. Orange works well too!