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!

95 Comments

  1. Just made this bread and did it without any chocolate chips or the strudel topping and I think it holds up as yummy zucchini bread just on its own. My comment about sweetness — I reduced the sugar to 3/4 c and thought it was still plenty sweet (and that’s without the strudel and chips mind you). So if you happen to like your bread on the not so sweet side like me… I’d say you can safely reduce the sugar by at least 1/4 cup… next time I will probably make it with just 1/2 c sugar. Thanks for the great recipe! 

  2. YUM! I went with muffins because I’m also making your banana bread with cream cheese icing tonight. I used mini chocolate chips which I prefer in muffins. That streusel is amazing. So dang good! 

  3. This kind of counts as a comment on the double chocolate zucchini bread too, but anyway, just want to reiterate how awesome this zucchini bread is. We have a garden again for the first time in years, and squash-pocalypse began a week or so ago. and finding ourselves with a pile of 20 zucchini and counting in the fridge, the time had come for zucchini bread. XD So far I’ve made 8 loaves total–half of this and half of the chocolate. Today is zucchini bread Day 2! lol (After 2 days of pickling…)
    Thanks for the fantastic recipes! Everybody lurved the award-winner just by itself (obviously), but the chocolate zucchini bread is magical with vanilla caramel and salted caramel sauce. XD

    1. EDIT:: vanilla icecream. Yay typoes.

    2. So glad you love both recipes Julia! Thank you so much for reporting back about both.

  4. Thanks for the recipe!  I’m gluten intolerant so I subsituted the flour with a prepackaged gluten-free flour mix (using corresponding weight measurements) and they turned out great.  I was told by those who can eat flour that it was some of the best zuchinni bread they ever had.  

    1. Wonderful to hear that Janet!

  5. The best and the most moist bread I ever made! I didn’t have chocolate chips so I substituted it with raisins, liked it a lot. I’m going to make one this week with dried cranberries.
    Thank you Sally!!!  

  6. Rachel Page says:

    I’m on a huge muffin kick these days and also wondering what to do with all this zucchini!! Man, you really saved the day.

  7. As always, your recipe is fabulous. To be honest, for some reason I always mess up with streusel toppings – not sure if I cut the butter too much or too little, but I always melt the butter instead. Not sure how the topping is supposed to come out, but with the butter melted it came out so good! Nice and crunchy and a big hit — and the bread is fantastic. Love, love it! I can see why it’s award winning.

  8. This is my all time favorite recipe!! I substituted some of the flour with almond meal and coconut flour and cut back the choc chips and didn’t add the topping to try to make them a little healthier. I have made these like 4 times in the past few months. Thank you!!

  9. Just made this recipe with the abundance of Zucchini I had from my garden this season. I made the muffins for my family and I and it was The best we’ve ever had! The struesel definitely makes a huge difference. So delicious! 

  10. Made muffins and loaf today.  The taste is phenomenal.  However, I followed recipe exactly and I could not get muffins to release! I fully cooled, greased my new non-stick muffin pan.
    Haven’t tried to remove the loaf yet.
    Anyone else have hard time getting muffins out? Did you try muffin liners instead?
    Thanks!
    Ali

  11. Made these muffins tonight! simply amazing!lol First taking them out of oven they were good size,topping all browned up nice.every bite you could taste a light crunch of topping ,inside was very moist and light.best muffins I have had in along time.have a ton of zucchini from garden im gonna freeze to make these again when the weather cools down.thank you for this great recipe.

  12. just made the loaf. i’ve been making choc chip zucc bread for years but thought i’d change things up with this recipe.

    the one thing i had to adjust was the butter in the topping, i only had my organic olive oil spread. i made sure everything was chilled and it seemed to blend fine. i also used some fancy apricot steel cut oats from williams sonoma as i didn’t have regular oats.

    unfortunately, i couldn’t get the loaf out of the pan., i greased it, i let it cool about 30 minutes, slid a knife around the bread, but couldn’t neatly remove it. oh well, i saved all the tricky bits in a sandwich baggie and will use on yogurt. i cut it down the middle and removed each piece square by square. i thought maybe i didn’t cook it long enough but the sides were crunchy and i turned it in the oven.

    thank you for the recipe : )

  13. Sounds like a great recipe! I am the lucky recipient of several of those gargantuan zucchinis that people seem to love to grow, as though they are competing at the state fair. I have read they taste better when cooked to death, as opposed to, say, in a salad. Any experience with using these in a bread recipe like this? I can’t imagine it makes too big of a difference, but I thought I should ask since baking needs to be precise. Thanks! 

    1. Yep, I use gigantic zucchini all the time. No difference as long as you use 1 cup.

      1. Thank you! I made a double batch of the zucchini muffins today and they are so delicious! I added a couple of teaspoons of grated lemon zest (1.5 smallish lemons) and it is wonderful!! The strussel topping makes this one amazing, 

  14. I’m going to use flax eggs with this as we have an egg allergy. It works in my other muffins and breads so I will let you know. 

    1. I just pulled mine out of the oven using flaxseed egg. And it is perfect. I used a bundt pan and doubled it but I’m sure it would work in a loaf pan also.  1 tbsp ground flax and 3 tbsp water = 1 egg. 

  15. Lisa Montesano says:

    I was looking for a simple but yummy zucchini recipe, and I came across this one.  It was a hit in our house, the topping adds a nice touch.  I made a second batch and since I had pears also, I added grated pears and oats in the mix, as opposed to the top, it came out great too!  Thanks for sharing:)

  16. Naomi @Carrot Cake Kitchen says:

    I love this recipe! SO MUCH STREUSEL 

  17. Hi Sally
    I just made a double batch into muffins for my daughter to take to work this evening. I used a combo of walnuts & choc chips in both the streusel & muffin batter. I just had to taste test one & oh my goodness!! Super yum!! Just perfect. I’m so glad I doubled it. There may have been a riot with just a single batch to share

    1. So happy you love it. It’s a family favorite and I always have to make more than 1 loaf!

  18. Hi Sally! I just made this zucchini bread and it ended up being in the oven for 65 minutes at 350 and the center is still underbaked. I’ve actually had this problem the last 5 years with most quick breads (not your grapefruit one though!) in 3 different ovens. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t have a problem with muffins either. I have fresh baking soda and baking powder. I measure flour correctly and don’t over stir. I’m wondering if I could try the same trick with your muffins and start at a higher temperature and then lower it? I’m not sure what to try… thanks for any tips! 

    1. That is the strangest thing! Usually I would say the oven should be calibrated, but you’ve baked in several! I suggest lowering the oven rack to the lowest position. The bread will take longer to bake at this level. I always place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely on top of the bread. This prevents the top from getting too brown while the center keeps cooking.

  19. I always use crisco or a type of shortening and flour to grease as well!

  20. I loved this recipe! I made the muffins with one of the zucchinis from my garden. I put about a tablespoon less of butter for the streusal because it already got crumbly before adding it all. Because I don’t own measuring spoons, I overestimated the baking powder. The muffins spilled out over the cups, got wide and crispy on the top, and the streusal collapsed into the middle. It was a fabulous mistake!

  21. I make this loaf all the time, 2 loaves are in the oven right now. I love this recipe and tell others about it when I share my zucchinis with them. Every time I make it, I can’t help but wonder where your husband got the recipe. His Mom or Grandma? Or did a boy actually come up with this delicious recipe on his own? Having a husband and son myself, I can’t imagine them doing such a thing! No offence to the baking males out there:)
    5/5 Stars

  22. Made a double batch of this as muffins last night………..my they are divine! Was a little worried when the batter seemed thin. The only difference I made to the recipe was to use pampered chef cinnamon plus instead of the separate cinnamon and nutmeg in the muffin batter. Was a little tough to check doneness thru the struesel and chocolate chips, so they were in at least the 14 minutes if not a minute longer. I worried they’d be dry then, but they are great. 5 positive comments so far at work. A keeper for sure. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  23. This recipe was amaaaazing. People at work and loved ones alike loved it. Followed the recipe to a tee except I used half the oil and replaced with two nice and soft/brown bananas. Worked like a charm, made it a smidge healthier and didn’t change the texture in any noticeable way! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Love the addition of bananas!

  24. Hey Sally, just wanted to thank you for this awesome recipe. My son, from an early age, has had feeding issues. Our therapist suggested trying zucchini bread, so I came straight here and found this!

    I would estimate, over the last year or so since I started making it for him, I’ve made 40+ loaves. Any time I ask him what he wants to eat, he yells “bread!”

    1. LOVE THAT! Thanks for sharing with me 🙂

  25. Nicole Skipper says:

    I’ve made these twice now as muffins. They taste awesome! But I have a problem with them not puffing up. Suggestions? I don’t have the same problem with the banana nut muffins I make from your site, and I made sure to pat dry the zucchini (1st time didn’t, this time I did). Made the banana muffins with agave instead of sugar from your site right before without any issue – high temp to puff then lower temp to finish. Just don’t get the puff with this recipe, and they sink and spill over the sides of pan. Thanks for all your great recipes and help!

  26. Hi Sally. I made this cake for my family in England and it was a major hit. You might get fans from this part of the world 🙂

  27. Judy Chavez says:

    How do I adapt the recipe for jumbo muffins?

    1. Hi Judy! Same bake time as the jumbo blueberry muffins (and the initial high temperature trick!) They’re so good extra large. It makes about 5 of them.

  28. Gale Wilson says:

    I just ate my second pieco of this DELICIOUS zucchini bread. You are so right, you can leave out the chocolate chips but do NOT leave out the streusal topping . Yesterday I ate it at room temp and enjoyed it . Today I put a slice in the microwave for 10 seconds, put a small bit of butter on , and LOVED it!!! Thanks for sharing Mr. Sally’s secrets!

  29. Caitlin Foisy says:

    Found this recipe after you posted your zucchini crumb cake recipe today- made it today and it’s AH-MAZING! You were right, the streusel totally makes it. Thanks for sharing!!

  30. This was the best zucchini bread I’ve ever made! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! I will definitely be making it again soon and a double batch next time.

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