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Zucchini Blondies with Penuche Fudge Frosting

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Decadent Zucchini Blondies with caramel frosting

Zucchini Blondies with Penuche Fudge Frosting ~ these moist and tender zucchini blondies are decadent and delicious with an old time penuche fudge frosting, but watch out ~ they’re irresistible!

Moist and decadent zucchini blondies

Got zucchini?

In between all your zoodles and ratatouilles, I highly recommend whipping up a batch (or two) of these divine Zucchini Blondies with Penuche Fudge Frosting.  These can be your little secret — when your neighbors are trying to foist off their glut of backyard zucchini, you can just politely take it all in…as if you’re doing them a big favor…

dense and decadent zucchini blondies with caramel frosting

You might be tempted to think of these little squares as being almost healthy, I mean, there’s a green veggie involved… but let me set you straight….these are serious desserts.  That frosting sets up to a penuche fudge-like consistency and is quite rich.  What’s penuche? (pronounced panucci)  It’s an old-timey New England style vanilla candy, made with brown sugar and milk or cream, it’s like a blonde fudge.  Ask your grandmother.

zucchini blondies with a rich fudge-like frosting

I love all vegetables, but I have to say that zucchini isn’t one of my favorites, it’s a little bland, and watery when it’s cooked.  I think the best use of it is in cakes and breads.  I like to use the small ones for shredding because you get more color and flavor that way.

Do you peel zucchini for blondies?

  • Heck no, the peel adds nutrition and color.

Decadent Zucchini Blondies with caramel frosting

The combination of the tender blondie and the creamy melt in your mouth fudge is a winner.

Zucchini Blondies frosted with Penuche Fudge

“There are so many recipes out there, I rarely make one twice, but I’m holding on to this one for zucchini season every year.” ~ Erin

Decadent zucchini blondies with a blonde fudge frosting
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3.44 from 88 votes

Zucchini Blondies with Penuche Fudge Frosting

Zucchini Blondies with Penuche Fudge Frosting ~ these moist and tender zucchini blondies are decadent and delicious with an old time penuche fudge frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 9 blondies


  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts I used walnuts and pecans

penuche frosting

  • 1/4 cup 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cream or milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered confectioner's sugar, sifted


  • Set oven to 350F
  • Start with the blondies. Beat the butter and brown sugar sugar together for a couple of minutes until well blended and the color lightens a bit. Work out any sugar lumps.
  • Beat in the egg, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in the flour, and then the zucchini and nuts. Mix just until well blended, don't over-mix.
  • Turn the batter into a greased 9x9 square baking pan. I line mine with parchment with long ends so I can lift it out later for neater cutting, but that's optional. Smooth it out so the surface is flat.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Don't over bake these.
  • Let cool a bit on a rack while you make the frosting. I like to frost these bars when they are still a little bit warm.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sugar and cream. Bring the mixture up to a boil, whisking continuously.
  • When it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and whisk in the sugar until you have a thick frosting. It will set up quickly, so pour it over the blondies and smooth out with an offset spatula before it hardens.
  • Cut the blondies and enjoy!


Zucchini Blondies with Penuche Fudge Frosting ~ these moist and tender zucchini blondies are decadent and delicious with an old time penuche fudge frosting. #dessert #fudge #penuche #blondies #bars #zucchini #fall #easy #recipe #cake #caramel


more bars and squares…

Buttery White Peach Crumble Bars

White Peach Bars

Banana Blondies with Caramel Icing

Banana Blondies

A stack of peanut buttery shortbread filled with jam

Peanut Butter and Boysenberry Jam Bars

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Can you make this in a 9×13 if you double the recipe?

    • Reply
      August 31, 2020 at 4:46 am

      I think that should work.

  • Reply
    Kyra Mac
    August 23, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    5 stars
    Best use of zucchini…ever! These are absolutely delicious.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2020 at 7:02 am

    5 stars
    I thought these were great! The only modifications I made were to use half whole wheat flour and half white flour, and to brown the butter for the dough. There are so many recipes out there, I rarely make one twice, but I’m holding on to this one for zucchini season every year.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    I noticed that there is no leavening added to these bars. Is that correct?

    • Reply
      July 29, 2020 at 4:48 am

      That’s correct Patti.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I just made the Zucchini Blondies with Penuche Fudge Frosting after seeing the post on my FB feed. They turned out flat as a pancake. I used a 9×9 stone pan to cook them. Any suggestions why they are flat and didn’t puff up at all?

    • Reply
      July 17, 2016 at 11:41 am

      I don’t know if you can tell from the photos, Alice, but they’re quite thin and moist. I think of blondies as being sort of dense, and they don’t rise like a cake would.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    If I leave omit the chopped nuts, do I have to alter the recpie in any way?

    • Reply
      September 10, 2015 at 7:22 am

      No, you should be good to go Margaret.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

    5 stars
    You’ve done it again, Sue! My husband and I are head over heels for these bars! I made them yesterday and might have to make them again tomorrow! Love the frosting, too – I’ve never made or heard of Penuche.

  • Reply
    Diane {Created by Diane}
    August 10, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I am growing zucchini and have 1 on my plant so far, I think I know just what I’ll make with it NOW!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    August 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    5 stars
    These blondies are everything! In fact, I just shared them on my FB page :).

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    August 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    These look so good Sue! I’m having a bit of a flashback; I have not seen Penuche icing since I made it from my Betty Crocker kids cookbook as a child. I’m so intrigued….

    • Reply
      August 8, 2015 at 8:40 am

      I had that cookbook too!

  • Reply
    Trisha (Stew or a Story)
    August 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Well, I’ve found a way to use up all the extra zucchini in my parents’ garden! That frosting looks decadent and delicious. Pinned!

    • Reply
      August 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks Trish – I wish I had a garden to ‘shop’ in!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2015 at 10:13 am

    5 stars
    that frosting is such a winner!… I love this time of year when veg growers start finding exotic ways to use their courgettes! I do adore courgette cake but have never tried them in a blondie, what a great idea!

  • Reply
    Maria | Pink Patisserie
    August 7, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Oh wow, that is a seriously gorgeous dessert. Penuche has got to be one of my favorite fudges, I can only imagine how great it tastes as a frosting!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Wow, these look soo good! Such a nice change from zucchini bread

  • Reply
    August 7, 2015 at 7:05 am

    penuche is one of my favorite things in the world. these look amazing!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 7, 2015 at 3:36 am

    I’m not a straight up zucchini fan either, so this is the perfect way to get some, I think 🙂 Love the penuche frosting!!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Sue, had to look up what a penuche frosting was, sounds delicious, I love zucchini in baked goodies they are always so moist.

  • Reply
    victoria mcauliffe
    August 6, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    5 stars
    Super!!! Made these before work,the guys loved them. I’m old hand at the frosting tho. My granny made penuche all the time when we were growing up. She made an old country jam cake that was outrageous everyone of us grandkids requested it for our birthday she put the penuche frosting on it. We fought over the drippings in the center of the bundt cake and always wanted the spoon and pan from the frosting. Thank you for the beautiful memory and of course for another winner!!!!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I spied the green..I love it~

    • Reply
      August 6, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      !! It’s hard to get the green to come through! Thanks Monique 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    This must have terrific flavor and the color is beautiful! It looks wonderfully delicious! I love that you can see the little pieces of veggies so yes – this must be healthy! I tried to make penuche fudge one time and it was a total failure! You rocked this – sharing and pinning!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I just ran across your site TODAY and the bars looked so delish, that I made them. YUMMY? Thank you

    • Reply
      August 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      I’m so glad you found me Sandi — welcome in!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    These look so delicious, and elegant as well. And I think the frosting would be wonderful all by itself! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 10:05 am

    And this is how one eats a blondie and counts it as health food 🙂 Pinned to try this weekend!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    August 6, 2015 at 9:01 am

    These zucchini bars look amazingly delicious with penuche frosting!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    August 6, 2015 at 7:29 am

    You’ve done it again. Only this time you’ve got me ready to climb over the fence and steal some zucchini from the neighbor since they haven’t offered me any. These look seriously delicious! And man, I’ve lived all these years and never knew how to pronounce penuche correctly!! Till now, thanks! 🙂

    • Reply
      August 6, 2015 at 7:32 am

      Haha, thanks Chris…my husband says his grandmother was always talking about penuche!