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I’m thinking of re-naming this The Disappearing Zucchini Bread. I cannot seem to bake them quick enough before my family polishes them off. Me included. Two large loaves will last exactly 3 days in my home. The secret? It’s all in the filling!

My sister Franca has been making an amazing Zucchini-Cream Cheese Bread for over 15 years. I thought I’d change the recipe up a little by giving it an Italian twist. Where the original recipe calls for the tanginess of cream cheese, I thought I’d give it a rich and creamy texture with mascarpone. Don’t you just love mascarpone? I’ve also replaced much of the vegetable oil with unsweetened applesauce. Sounds crazy but I have this thing about adding oil to a cake batter, especially a whole cup of it. And I’ve added lemon zest, for a fresh zesty twist as well. Besides, zucchini and lemon are  a perfect match. This recipe makes two big loaves and to one of them, I added some blackberries. Seeing as the cottage is surrounded by blackberry bushes, why not? My girls LOVE this zucchini bread and it makes the perfect snack. Or breakfast. So when life gives you zucchini, make zucchini bread!

Ingredients

for the bread:

3 eggs

2 cups of sugar

1/3 of a cup of vegetable/canola oil

2/3 of a cup of unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons of vanilla

3 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 medium zucchini, shredded and unpeeled, about 2 cups

Zest of 1 lemon

for the cheese:

250 g (8 oz) of mascarpone cheese, or cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of flour

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter or oil 2 loaf pans.

In a large bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, 2 cups of of sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Add the next 5 ingredients, flour to cinnamon, and mix well. Fold in the zucchini, lemon zest and juice.

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In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone, or cream cheese, with the egg, sugar and flour until light and fluffy.

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Pour a layer of the zucchini batter in the bottom of each loaf pan, about 1/4 of the mixture in each. Spread the cheese mixture over the batter in each pan. If using blackberries, drop those on top of the cheese mixture. Add the remainder of the zucchini batter over the cheese mixture.

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Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pans on a wire rack. Remove from pans when cool and dig in!

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