Award-Winning Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel

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 with chocolate chips and streusel

zucchini bread batter in bowls

zucchini bread muffins with chocolate chips and streusel

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.

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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
  • 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

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 (16g) 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 (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) 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

Simple Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins are my go-to in the summer!
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread-- this is my all-time favorite and it won 1st place!

107 Comments

  1. Thank you for this delicious bread recipe!!!!!
    I too had a hard time getting it out of the pan so I just cut it in the pan, problem solved.
    As for checking doneness, I gently moved a little of the strusel and checked with a toothpick then moved it back. It doesn’t harden till its out of oven cooling. I cooked for 5 minutes longer and was fine.
    I loved it!!! Also I ‘m thinking of making a batch of the strusel for snacking with craisins not chocolate chips and maybe adding sliced almonds!!

  2. I have made this muffin/ breadrecipe multiple tomes. After years of trying various recipes, once I found this recipe and made it I have never bothered to look again.
    When I bought into work people always raved about them

    1. YAY! I’m thrilled you found this recipe and enjoy it, Maureen!

  3. Michelle Kreissig says:

    Amazing bread! I only put mini chocolate chips in the streusel since I wanted to cut sugar. Rave reviews from everyone who tries it. Thank you!

  4. Have you had anyone ask about this bread falling in the center while cooling? I was pretty sure I followed the recipe very closely but the center of my loaf looked like a crater :I

    1. Hi Lindsay! Sounds like the loaf was under baked, which is an easy fix for next time. All ovens are different and quick breads have a super varied bake time because they take so long to bake through. So just bake a few minutes longer if you decide to try it again.

      1. I most definitely will! The flavor was AMAZING – just didn’t look as pretty as I had hoped. Pretty or not, the loaf was gone in about an hour 🙂

        Thanks for your reply!

  5. This was really good! I made a few substitutes of using half yogurt with the oil. And half the amount of honey for white sugar.

    1. I’m glad you were able to make it work for you, Stephanie!

  6. I tried making this bread yesterday and even though my cake tester came out clean, it was totally under baked. I wish I had read the comments before baking because it smelled so good! I’m not going to give up though, I’ll try this recipe again and bake it longer.

  7. They tasted amazing!

    I made them with my two year old who loves baking, she loved eating them too.
    I recommend changing the wording on step 5.

    “If making muffins, fill 11-12 muffin cups all the way to the top. ”

    I didn’t fill them all the way to the top because I worried they’d overflow and they did anyway haha, luckily they still looked ok. Next time I’ll give them even more space and have an extra muffin.

    Will be making again for sure.

    Just don’t fill them all the way to the top!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed them, Matthew! Did you bake them with the first 5 minutes at the higher temperature? This should cause them to rise straight up without overflowing.

  8. I am really in the mood to make some muffins but don’t have zucchini on hand. Can I substitute carrots for the zucchini???

    1. Absolutely. Same amount.

  9. I tried this recipe yesterday and the bread is already gone today:) my entire family enjoyed it. I loved the crunchy oat streusel on top… It’s definitely a recipe I would make again.
    Sally, your recipes have really given me a baking addiction;) Thank you!

  10. Very yummy! I am dairy free and was able to use vegan butter and allergy free chocolate chips and it still came out perfect! I did have to bake for maybe ten minutes longer than suggested, but that’s probably due to an old oven. I’ll definitely be saving this recipe!

  11. I made this recipe and the double chocolate zucchini bread on the same day. My husband does not enjoy zucchini but he will eat zucchini bread so we did a zucchini bread challenge. He absolutely LOVED this one with the streusel topping! Everyone who tried this zucchini bread raved about it. This will replace my normal zucchini bread recipe from now on. Fantastic!

  12. I have made four batches of these today with GREAT results. One of these batches was made gluten free and dairy free [Substituted all purpose Gluten free flour for regular all purpose flour and used Nutiva butter flavored coconut oil in place of butter] and still had GREAT results. The whole family loves these and I am thrilled to have such a delicious treat to help me use up the zucchini!

  13. This is my go-to zucchini bread recipe! Have been using it for years and love it. I usually don’t end up using all of the streusel topping because it makes more than I need for one loaf, but sometimes I keep the extra to top oatmeal with. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Super awesome. Now my fav zucchini bread
    Can’t wait to try the chocolate version
    For freezing this one, do you bake with the streusel and freeze?
    Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can definitely freeze this baked and cooled bread with the streusel on top– the streusel freezes just fine!

  15. How long would you bake these if using 4 mini loaf pans? Thank you.

    1. Hi Janie! It depends on the size of the mini loaf pans. Keep your eye on them and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  16. LOVE THESE MUFFINS! I could eat this streusel plain all day!

  17. This is delicious! I used chopped pecans and soaked and drained raisins (so they were plumper and moister, can’t stand hard raisins!) Shared with friends and neighbors and they LOVED it…thanks for the recipe. maybe next time I’ll try it with the struesel topping.

  18. Made this weekend, sooo delicious! I’m out of zucchini now, but still have lots of apples. Could I sub shredded apple?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jamie, We are so happy you enjoyed this recipe! We haven’t tested it with apples but it should work. You may also enjoy this Apple Blueberry Bread (with or without the blueberries).

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