Zucchini Cornbread with Basil Butter

I live in a cave!

I am a cave lady.  Perhaps that’s one word, I’m not sure.  All the blinds have to stay closed all the day long because by 11AM today, it was 101 degrees outside.  Right now, at 3:15PM, it’s 108 degrees.

(Well, don’t tell the Weatherman, but I open the blinds in the bedroom for a little bit everyday because my basil baby – that is, my little basil plant – needs some sunlight.)

All the lights stay off during the day too.  I don’t know if you paid attention in science class or not, but light bulbs get hot.  Unacceptable.

Showers range from lukewarm to cold.  Hot showers produce far too much steam.  I imagine cavepeople had trouble taking hot showers as well, although perhaps for different reasons, including, but not limited to, lack of modern plumbing.

I eat frozen grapes and bananas for almost every meal.  Not even playing.  So, I’m not a very grown up cave lady/cavelady, because I refuse to eat real food that doesn’t come from a freezer.

I’m really sorry that I’m apparently obsessed with the heat, but it’s kind of fascinating, in a depressing kind of way.  I’m pretty sure that 34 out of the last 35 days have been over 100 degrees.  (Not making up a random number here, on the serious.  The Weatherman can vouch for me.)

Very few things could convince me to bake in this heat…one of them being GIANT ZUCCHINI!

Yep.  I bought some crazy big zucchini at the farmers market, and I can only eat so much before it goes into a loaf of bread.  There are a couple of recipes I’ve been waiting to try…one for zucchini cornbread, and one for vegan zucchini spice bread.  Since I also had a few ears of super sweet, juicy corn left in the fridge, I went for the cornbread this time around.

This bread has identity issues.  It’s not totally sure whether it wants to be sweet or savory, so you have to kind of give it a kick in either direction.  You can do this by eating it with a certain meal.  Or you could do as I did, and choose a condiment to go with it.  I mixed up some salted butter and some chopped basil, so this could be a savory bread, at least for one slice at a time.

Such great texture in this bread too.  Super moist (I don’t say that word unless it applies to baked goods), a little crunch from the cornmeal, and little bursts of yum from the corn kernels.  Alsoooo…there’s browned butter in it, and brown butter makes everything taste better.  Super yumtown all around yo!

Zucchini Cornbread with Basil Butter

Makes one loaf, about 10 servings

1/2 cup (= 1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cornmeal (I used the kind ground for polenta and loved it, the original recipe calls for medium-grind)
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large zucchini, 10 oz), plus 6 thin slices of zucchini for garnish
1 ear of corn, kernels cut off

2 TBS salted butter (or unsalted and you can add a pinch of salt…or you can use Smart Balance, or whatever you use for butter)
1/2 TBS chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle position.  Generously butter an 8×5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat until the foam subsides, and the butter turns a light brown color.  Pour the butter into a small bowl (be sure to scrape in all the brown bits from the pan) and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Whisk in buttermilk, then eggs.
3. In a large bowl, stir together both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cornmeal.  Add the butter mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.  Fold in the zucchini and the corn kernels.  Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.  Place zucchini slices on the top of the loaf.
4. Bake bread for about 55 to 65 minutes, until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run a thin knife around the sides of the pan, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. While the bread is cooling, mix together the butter and chopped basil in a small bowl.  Serve bread with basil butter.  Bread will keep for 1 day (eat it fast!), wrapped well in plastic wrap.  It probably also freezes well, wrapped tightly, but I haven’t tested that yet.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Ok.  Back to my cave life.  Thanks for reading, happy baking!



  1. Oh HI!
    I linked over here from Can you stay from dinner.

    your blog looks very delish and i love your blog name too!!! very cute!

    it’s super hot where I live in so cal too (triple digits) so I totally get your cavelady/cave lady :)-ness

    we are beating the heat by using a solar oven at the moment (just made it) and trying to NOT cook inside and further heat said cave.

    I am so dying to give your bread a shot! can’t have enough corn/zuk bread around.
    Nice to meet you! 🙂

    1. so glad you found me, thanks for commenting! i don’t exactly know what a solar oven is, but it sounds kind of awesome. being a cavelady is hard, i’m glad there’s someone who can sympathize with me! thanks for stopping by, enjoy the bread!

      1. I don’t exactly know what I am doing with the solar oven either but basically it’s an open box, with mirrors directing the sunlight into your pan with a glass lid.

        Our first meal is almost done after spending 5 hours in there. At the moment the temp reads 198 or so. Outdoor crock pot so to speak.

        we’re having fun.

  2. Girl, we are boiling here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I laughed about your shower comment. Lukewarm just enough to get the soap off. But yet, my deflated basil plant gets a few hours outside the house but he’s still not happy. I give up on growing basil. Meanwhile the parsley has taken over a huge 10ft square gardening bed along with mint. I have mint flavored parsley.
    I HAVE to try that bread…when I get the gumption to turn on the oven again. Stay cool today!

    1. haha mint grows like wildfire at my mom’s house, I know how that goes. I’m so nice to my basil plant, but he’s just not interested in growing anymore. Thanks for reading, you stay cool as well!

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