The Best Zucchini Bread
Bringing this award-winning zucchini bread to life again because it’s the best zucchini bread. And because it makes totally UNREAL and awesome zucchini muffins. A two-in-one recipe that you’ll always want in the back of your pocket.
This zucchini bread is a family recipe. Kevin grew up making this zucchini bread with his family, who entered it into the Maryland State Fair. And guess what? IT WON. You know a recipe is legit if it’s winning state awards, right? It’s the only zucchini bread recipe I’ll make, comes together in less than 5 minutes, can easily be doubled or tripled, freezes beautifully and isn’t opposed to brown sugar streusel on top.
I baked and froze several loaves and batches of muffins last month so we could enjoy it all summer and fall. It’s embarrassingly scary how quick we can polish off a loaf, but I try to remind myself there’s green veggies inside soooo… no shame, ok?
I’ve been wanting to update the pictures in the original recipe, but decided to re-post it so any new readers wouldn’t miss out. I also left off the streusel so we can really focus on and savor the zucchini bread’s unbelievable flavor and texture. (We’ll talk about that in a sec!) Not only this, I revamped the mixing method so it’s easier and quicker to whip up.
Why Bake with Zucchini?
I saw this question pop up a lot after last week’s chocolate zucchini cake. There are 2 purposes to bake this vegetable into a dessert or sweet treat.
- Because you’ve got a ton of zukes lying around right now! There’s only so many zucchini side dishes you can make.
- Two words: flavorless moisture. That’s right. Pure moisture with zero vegetable flavor lingering around. Trust me, I would *not* bake with a green vegetable I could taste. You bake carrot cake, right? Well zucchini is even more moist and tender. So it breaks down inside the bread/cake/muffin as it bakes. Almost disappears.
So if you have a bounty of zucchini AND it brings an abundance of moisture with virtually no flavor… then why the heck not?!
Bottom line: zucchini is a crazy magical ingredient in baked goods.
So, if not vegetables, what does it tastes like?
Zucchini bread tastes like whatever spices you put into in. This zucchini bread, however, also tastes like vanilla and brown sugar. YOU KNOW how I feel about brown sugar, so clearly we’re using it here! Additionally, there’s a plethora of cinnamon and a little dose of nutmeg. I gave a loaf to one of my friends and she couldn’t quite put her finger on the added flavor– she said she *loved* the spice flavor. It’s the nutmeg! Adds a little something special.
And let’s not forget the chocolate chips. It’s like this cinnamon swirl chocolate chip bread but with hidden vegetables inside.
If chocolate isn’t your thing, try it with raisins or nuts (or both!) instead. That version is totally my language. Cinnamon raisin bread!!
Let’s talk tools. You don’t need many– just a couple of bowls and a whisk. You do, however, need a grater to shred that zucchini. (I own and love this box grater— works quickly!) After you shred it, you *lightly* blot it. I added this to the notes below to remind you.
I hope you love this family recipe as much as we do! If you’ve made it before, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
More recipes with zucchini:
- Crispy zucchini fritters
- Herbed ricotta and zucchini flatbread (LOVE this!)
- Healthier greek yogurt zucchini bread
- Peanut chicken zucchini noodles (just made this again on Sunday night!)
- NEW recipe for chocolate zucchini cake
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- optional: 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped nuts, raisins, etc)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) canola or vegetable oil1
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium)*
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x5 (or 8x4) inch loaf pan. See notes for muffins.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla, and zucchini together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently whisk until *just* combined; do not overmix. Batter will be semi-thick.
- Spread the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes. (I like to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent heavy browning on top.) Baking times vary so keep an eye on yours. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out *mostly* clean with zero raw batter. Remove the bread from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
- Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip: Make the bread ahead of time by freezing it. Bake it, cool it, wrap it up in aluminum foil and freeze the loaf as a whole. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before slicing and serving. Freezes well up to 3 months.
*Very lightly blot the zucchini. Do not squeeze moisture out, just give it a light blot to rid some, especially if your zucchini is extra wet.
Zucchini Bread Muffins: Grease a 12-count muffin pan or line with liners. Prepare batter in step 2. Spoon the batter evenly into each liner, filling each all the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 18-21 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
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