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This is a family favorite recipe for homemade zucchini bread. One slice and you’ll taste why! It’s made with brown sugar, pure vanilla extract, cozy cinnamon spice, and summer’s favorite vegetable. See my recipe note for turning this batter into zucchini muffins or try this similar zucchini muffins recipe.

sliced loaf of zucchini bread on wooden cutting board

Comes from An Award-Winning Zucchini Bread Recipe

This zucchini bread recipe is very slightly adapted from an award-winning family recipe. My husband 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 good if it’s winning state awards, right?

Now slightly scaled up to yield a taller 9×5 inch loaf (more zucchini, 1 extra egg, and a touch of applesauce for moisture), the quick bread is better than ever and ready to place 1st in your own kitchens too!

Here’s Why You’ll Love It:

  • Batter comes together in less than 5 minutes
  • Extra moist and flavorful
  • Sneaks in veggies
  • Can easily be doubled
  • Welcomes add-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or blueberries
  • Makes great muffins (or try these zucchini muffins which are heartier and slightly less sweet)
  • Freezes beautifully

A beginner baker can easily master this quick bread and it’s a wonderful recipe if you have eager young bakers ready to help!

3 zucchini bread slices on blue floral plate

Why Bake with Zucchini?

Zucchini is one of my favorite ingredients for baking and I have a lot of published recipes using this summer vegetable. We use an entire zucchini in my healthier greek yogurt zucchini bread and you’ll find a whopping 3 cups of it in my chocolate zucchini cake (you can’t taste it!).

It sounds odd to bake with a vegetable, but here’s why you should use it in your baking:

  1. There are only so many zucchini side dishes to make (looking at you, zucchini fritters). Zucchini is abundant in the summer months, and it’s fun to incorporate this vegetable when baking, too.
  2. Zucchini adds flavorless moisture. We’re talking pure moisture with zero savory vegetable flavor. I don’t think I would bake a cake with a green vegetable if I could taste it. You bake carrot cake, right? It’s delicious, right? Well zucchini is even better! It’s truly a magical ingredient in your baked goods and this includes zucchini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, too!

Grab These Ingredients

One new addition is the applesauce. This, along with the oil, keeps the bread moist. You can use sour cream, Greek yogurt, or mashed banana in its place if needed. All you’re doing is whisking the dry and wet ingredients together separately, and then combining everything. Honestly, it’s as easy as pumpkin bread and uses a few of the same ingredients.

image showing ingredients including bowl of flour, baking powder, and baking soda plus eggs, oil, and zucchini

Success Tip: Shredding Zucchini

Today’s zucchini bread comes together in just 5 minutes with simple kitchen tools including a couple bowls, a whisk, and a 9×5 inch loaf pan. You also need a grater to shred the zucchini. If you’re looking for recommendations, I own and love this box grater because it’s easy to use, grates quickly, and has held up well with regular use.

  • How much zucchini do I need? Zucchini can vary in size, but 2 medium zucchinis are plenty for this recipe. You need 1 and 1/2 cups shredded, which is about 165g.
  • Do I need to peel the zucchini first? You can if you’d like, but I never do. There’s no taste or texture variance either way, but you’ll definitely have more flecks of green throughout the loaf if you keep the peel on. Pretty!

You do not need to blot the zucchini dry before using in the batter. (You want that moisture!)

shredded zucchini with box grater

Expect a thick batter:

zucchini bread batter in glass bowl and in loaf pan
zucchini bread in metal loaf pan

What Does This Zucchini Bread Taste Like?

Zucchini is like a chameleon and takes on the flavor of whatever’s nearby. Have you ever tried this peanut chicken zucchini noodles dish? The zucchini is basically a vehicle for the delectable savory peanut sauce.

Today’s zucchini bread includes cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar so expect a lot of cozy, comforting, sweet flavors. In terms of texture, it’s not quite as dense as banana bread but not as light as white cake either. It’s soft and moist and actually reminds me of apple cinnamon bread, which is a favorite during the fall months.

And let’s not forget optional add-ins like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, or even blueberries. Some readers have turned it into dessert with vanilla icing or cream cheese frosting (I’d halve the cream cheese frosting recipe). Honestly, this quick bread welcomes a bounty of tasty extras!

sliced loaf of chocolate chip zucchini bread

Can I Reduce the Sugar or Oil in Zucchini Bread?

You can absolutely slightly reduce either or both, but understand that sugar and oil help produce a moist, tender loaf; altering the ingredients may have disappointing results. Or for an option without refined sugar, you may enjoy this Greek yogurt zucchini bread instead!

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sliced loaf of zucchini bread on wooden cutting board

Zucchini Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This zucchini bread recipe yields 1 9×5 inch loaf. With brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and a little applesauce for added moisture, the quick bread is flavorful, moist, and a great way to use summer’s favorite vegetable!


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 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
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsweetened applesauce (or sour cream or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (about 165g) shredded zucchini (no need to blot)
  • optional: 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped nuts, raisins, etc)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. See notes for muffins.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined. Whisk in the zucchini. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently stir or whisk until *just* combined; do not overmix. Fold in any optional add-ins like chocolate chips or nuts. Batter is slightly thick.
  3. Spread the batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55-70 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. Cool in pan for 1 hour before removing from pan. You can slice the bread at this point, but it will still be warm in the center and may not slice neatly. For neat slices, continue cooling bread directly on a wire rack and then slice once cooled.
  4. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  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. Special Tools (affiliate links): Box Grater, Glass Mixing Bowls, Loaf Pan
  3. Update in 2022: Based on reader feedback and a few disappointing loaves in my own kitchen recently, I revised 2 ingredients in May 2022 (egg & zucchini) so the batter yields more for a taller loaf and there’s more moisture. I also added 1/4 cup of applesauce for added moisture, as you can see in the recipe. Rave reviews from taste testers. The original recipe used 1 egg and 1 cup of zucchini with no applesauce.
  4. Can I reduce the sugar or oil? You can absolutely slightly reduce either or both, but understand that sugar and oil help produce a moist, tender loaf and the results may be disappointing. For the oil, feel free to swap *some* for more applesauce. Or for a healthier option without any refined sugar, you may enjoy this Greek yogurt zucchini bread instead.
  5. 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. Yields 1 dozen.

Keywords: zucchini bread

slices of zucchini bread on a teal plate

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. So much zucchini in the garden!! I’ve been trying many recipes to use up all the veggies and this is a keeper. Not too sweet but enough to satisfy that craving. Easy to make and makes the house smell yummy too. Thank you! Made it just as written. Only thing I found was that it didn’t take as long to bake.

    1. Sally, thank you for this recipe it is fantastic, it is moist, tasty and it came out looking like yours in the picture.

      1. How would I adjust recipe to accommodate 8×4 in loaf pans?

      2. Hi Tammy, rather than scaling the recipe down slightly, you can make it as is, fill your pan about 2/3 full, and use the leftover batter for a few muffins on the side.

    2. Sally, So so Delicious, Always enjoy using your recipes, know they will always come out yummy. Keep up the great job! Thank you!

  2. Quick, easy, and yummy. Only thing I questioned was keeping the bread in the pan for an hour. I removed it after 10 minutes, like I do with other quick breads and it worked fine.

  3. I absolutely LOVE this recipe. It’s been a lovely year in Ohio for fresh produce – so I have several bags of grated zucchini in the freezer for more winter time baking. A question on the ingredient mixing order. I’ve made this recipe maybe 4-5 times, and a few times instead of adding the zucchini into the wet ingredients, I added it into the dry, then lightly tossed it in the flour mixture to combine. I added the nuts into the dry mixture, also. Then, I poured my wet ingredients into the dry/zucchini/nut mixture. I think this process prevents overmixing. The outcome was great. What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Anne, We are thrilled you enjoy this recipe so much! It sounds like you found a method that works for you, so there is nothing wrong with mixing it in that order.

  4. This is the best recipe for zucchini bread I’ve ever made. I used Greek yogurt as suggested and it was perfect. Definitely not sweet, which I also love. I will be making this again !

  5. I love this recipe and make it all the time. Definitely the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had. Usually I make the recipe as written but I’ve experimented with removing up to half the sugar and switching half the flour to whole wheat and it’s turned out fine. Not as good as the original but still tasty 🙂 Overall really versatile and flexible recipe.

  6. would like a prominent scent and taste fof nutmeg: could I simply add more or switch the amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg?

    1. Hi Michelle, feel free to add more nutmeg if you’d like more nutmeg flavor to come through.

  7. Easy to follow recipe and tastes delicious. Finally used the last of my garden zucchini.

    1. Turned out perfect! I used whole milk Greek yogurt like the recipe suggested and followed the recipe as is. I added some crushed pecans and cocao nibs. Baking done at 55 min. We couldn’t wait 1 hr before taking it out of the pan and it was fine. Nice and crunchy on the outside, soft, moist and chewy on the inside. Kids and hubby loved it! I might try only using brown sugar next time since the granulated sugar makes my teeth hurt.

      1. I made this recipe yesterday it turned out just great. I reduced the flour by 1/2 a cub & added 1/2 a cup of cocoa powder. I also added 1 cup chopped chocolate half of the bread is already off the table…..

  8. I want to add seeds for some crunch but my family is allergic to tree nuts, do you think sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would taste ok in this recipe ? Any other suggestions welcome as well . Thank you !

    1. Hi Susan, You could use either in this recipe for some added texture. We hope your family enjoys it!

  9. Great recipe! I also had great success with your oatmeal cookie recipe. Do you know the nutritional info on this zucchini bread?

    1. Hi Nancy, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful:

  10. It tastes great, and was super easy to make. However, I baked it for said time(and a few extra minutes), and the middle was completely raw

    1. Hi Mary! There are many variables that go into the exact baking time of a recipe, especially a thick quick bread like this one. Always check for doneness with a toothpick!

  11. This is the first time I’ve ever made zucchini bread. I had some zucchini in the fridge and didn’t feel like eating it as a veg, but didn’t want it to go to waste. I always love your recipes so I checked to see how you make it and … it was absolutely amazing! I added raisins because I love them. I used convection bake and it took about an hour and 15 minutes in my oven. Next time I will use regular bake, but I won’t change a thing about the recipe! Thanks for another amazing and simple recipe!
    Ps- I couldn’t wait an hour to try it so I cut a piece after 30 minutes and it was excellent. Then I cut another piece LOL!

    1. I made this recipe before, rave reviews at work. Made 3 dozen muffins and 3 loaves this time quadrupled the recipe…So tasty…people keep giving me zucchini

  12. Yummy ! This turned out amazing! I opted to use greek yogurt in place of applesauce. The bread was great the first night, but jumped off the hook the next day!!!!!! In LOVE . Making second batch now! Thanks so much.

  13. I made this bread twice and each time it came out perfect! I did omit the applesauce and substituted it for greek yogurt, and I used chopped walnuts in lieu of chocolate chips. The bread baked perfect at 50 minutes. Very moist. Definitely a keeper!

  14. I love this recipe. Freezes great
    But, what are the nutritional facts.

    1. Hi Hailey! We’re so glad you love this zucchini bread. We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful:

  15. I loved this zucchini bread recipe so much I substituted the applesauce for sour cream and I put pecans and chocolate chips in it so good

  16. I followed the recipe exactly, using the recommended substitute of plain greek yogurt instead of apple sauce. The bread is just okay. It’s a little dense for my liking and there’s nothing noteworthy about it.

  17. This recipe is wonderful. My dad requested 2 loaves in his stocking. I recently baked it for a conference and have received requests for the recipe! Delicious! I added more cinnamon as we like it so much. Also added acup of soaked cranberries and a cup of walnuts for crunch.

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