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This award-winning zucchini bread has plenty of brown sugar streusel, melty chocolate chips, and warm flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. It’s simple to make, extra moist, and full of flavor. I always make two loaves because 1 loaf disappears quickly!

zucchini bread with chocolate chips and streusel

This award-winning zucchini bread recipe is a family favorite. (You can also find it here: zucchini bread recipe, only without the streusel!)

When my husband was young, he entered this zucchini bread recipe into the Maryland State Fair. It won 1st place! If you make one zucchini bread recipe in your life, this has got to be it. It’s beyond simple, makes great leftovers, freezes well, and can easily be doubled or tripled to make multiple loaves. (Simply double or triple each ingredient.) Use your bounty of zucchini this summer! Try this recipe as muffins, too.

zucchini bread batter in bowls

Not to fret, you can’t taste vegetables. Rather, you taste rich, vanilla, buttery, cinnamon, chocolate chip brown sugar bread. The bread is soft, the oat streusel is aplenty, and the chocolate chips are melty. It’s a classic recipe made even better.

Try a slice warm from the oven, cold from the refrigerator, with a smear of peanut butter or Nutella, slathered with melted butter, or even without the chocolate chips. Any way you try this award-winning recipe, I know you’ll be impressed.

zucchini bread with chocolate chips and streusel
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zucchini bread with chocolate chips and streusel

Award-Winning Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 1 loaf or 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This award-winning zucchini bread has plenty of brown sugar streusel, melty chocolate chips, and warm flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. It’s simple to make, extra moist, and full of flavor!


Ingredients

Scale

Brown Sugar Oat Streusel

  • 2/3 cups (60g) old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon (10g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Zucchini Bread & Muffins

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) 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) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 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 shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5 (or 8×4) inch loaf pan. See notes for muffins.
  2. Make the streusel: Combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with two forks or a pastry cutter (preferred). Mix until the streusel resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. Make the bread batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips (or nuts) 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 into the dry ingredients. Gently whisk until *just* combined; do not overmix. Batter will be semi-thick.
  4. Spread the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle streusel on top. Using the back of a spoon, gently press the streusel down into the top of the loaf. The reason you are adding it after 20 minutes is to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the bread as it bakes. Return bread to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you notice the loaf is browning on top or on the edges too quickly, loosely tent the loaf with aluminum foil. Baking times vary so keep an eye on yours.
  5. Remove the bread from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  6. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Chocolate Chips: Chocolate chips are optional both in the streusel and in the bread. Feel free to leave out or replace with chopped pecans or walnuts or even raisins.
  3. Blot Zucchini: 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.
  4. Muffins: Grease a 12-count muffin pan or line with liners. Prepare streusel (step 2) and batter (step 3). Spoon the batter evenly into each liner, filling 3/4 full. Spoon a heaping spoonful of streusel on top of each and, using the back of a spoon, gently press down into the tops so the streusel can stick. 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.

Keywords: zucchini bread, zucchini muffins

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. If I use mini loaf pans should I add the streusel the same as for the muffins or bake awhile and then add?

    1. Hi Jo Ann, you should be able to add the streusel the same as you would for muffins. Enjoy!

  2. I really like this in a circle pan with walnuts added. The streusel makes it like a coffee cake and the pie wedges are like scones. I also use lower glycemic sugars. Monk fruit and a brown sugar blend. Yummy

  3. After I took one bite of this I said out loud to myself (alone in the kitchen) OMG IS THIS SERIOUSLY THE BEST OR IS IT JUST ME!?

  4. Just made this zucchini bread, silly question but how do I get it out of the pan? it seems stuck, maybe I did not grease the pan enough? Looks delicious, giving as a gift. Thanks!

    1. Hi Patty! Usually we loosen the edges with a butter knife and turn the bread out of the pan.

  5. Something off for me with the time for the loaf bake. Either that or maybe I had too fine a shred on the zucchini so the batter was too wet to bake on time? Was making three loaves to give as gifts, after I read the comments I scooped the other two loaves to muffins, worked much better. Usually I can just bake right from your recipes, this is the first time in a while something has not worked to plan. Is there a rule with zuc that you should dry them or shred them in a particular manner? These are my first zucchini breads so I am a bit of a novice with this veg. Thank you for all your recipes…just love your site!

    1. Hi Melissa, We’re glad the muffins worked out for you! 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. Let us know if that helps if you decide to try this recipe again!

  6. Looking forward to trying this recipe! For mini loaves, would you consider adjusting the temp like you do for muffins? Also, have you tried subbing the oil for applesauce? Yay or nay?

    1. Hi Mary Anne, You can use the same oven temperature for mini loaves but the bake time will be shorter. Replacing all of the oil would result in a a dry/rubbery texture. Best to stick to the recipe here but if you do wish to try applesauce, we recommend only replacing half of the oil. Let us know if you give it a try!

  7. Confused! In the recipe for zucchini bread it calls for 1 3/4 c flour, but when I go to the recipe for the bread with the topping it calls for 1 1/2 c flour. Why the difference?

    1. Hi Beth, That zucchini bread is a little newer and we added a bit more flour for a sturdier loaf that holds up well to add-ins like chocolate chips. Let us know if you try either one!

  8. I had to revise my review of the this recipe. I still believe that using liners for muffins would have been a very good idea. BUT the reviews that I have received after the muffins have cooled have been only 5++. These muffins are delicious. I am not sure why they didn’t rise as well – possibly I didn’t drain the zucchini as well as I could have. I will definitely make these again with a few tweaks.

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