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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.

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!

Print
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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

Description

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!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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)

Instructions

  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. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  4. 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. 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. I had previously made the older version with no issues really.

    I’m curious how this recipe would be if I added a cup of bananas. Would I omit or decrease anything?

    Thank you.

    Mara

    PS can’t wait to try this updated version.

    1. Hi Mara! If adding banana, we recommend reducing the shredded zucchini. It would be too much moisture otherwise.

  2. The old recipe was my absolute favourite and I just said to my mom that I need to save it somewhere and come to find it and it’s different! Could anyone share the original recipe?

    1. Hi Laura! I’m so glad you enjoy this bread. In the recipe notes– leave out the applesauce, use 1 egg, and 1 cup of zucchini. Everything else is the same.

  3. I just made a double batch of this zucchini bread, (one for me, one for my daughters family), I used the nonfat Greek yogurt where it called for it as well as melted coconut oil. I also grated the zucchini with the “small side” of the box grater ~ like what you would use to grate Parmesan cheese. And this bread was AMAZING! it’s definitely my favorite. Tasty, moist, and so perfect even my grandson had seconds! I added chocolate chips to the bread I gave to my daughter and kept mine without them. It definitely can be in the oven a little longer than 55 minutes, so your timeframe of 55-70 min. Was spot on. Thank you for the delicious recipe! I’ll be making this again!

  4. I’ve made your original one so can’t wait to try it. When I baked the original, I used my 3X5 small pans and got three loaves. It seems there is more batter in this one, so I am thinking 4 small loaves? Thought? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy, there is a bit more, but it may not be quite enough for a fourth small loaf. You could just divide the batter evenly among the four small pans and the bread may not be as tall. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. I really appreciate updated zucchini quick bread/cake recipes that reduce the amount of fat . I am waiting for the summer zucchini crop and will definitely make this zucchini bread. Thank you!

  6. Sally, can these be made into mini muffins? If so what would the bake time and temp be? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Nicky, For mini muffins leave your oven at 350 (no need to start with the higher temperature) and they usually take about 11-13 minutes, but you can use a toothpick to test for doneness. Or you can use this recipe for zucchini muffins instead (same bake instructions! 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes)

  7. Thank you for this recipe, I bought 2 zucchini, and I put them in stir fry, which I did not like, so I tried this recipe, now I will go but zucchini more often, yummo!

  8. Soooo going to make this!! Dumb question, but am I to measure 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil, or is it a measure 1/2 cup that I should be melting.

    1. Hi Susie! Melt coconut oil before measuring. Enjoy!

  9. Smelled so good coming from the oven!! Could taste the baking soda however, unfortunately! Otherwise a tasty tasty loaf. Thank you!

  10. Hi.. going to try this weekend… can butter be substituted for oil?
    Thanks…Jo Ann

    Love all your recipes!

    1. Hi Jo Ann, we strongly recommend sticking with oil. It makes for a supremely moist loaf of bread!

  11. I decided to try this recipe, but I removed the sugar and used 1 1/3 cup molasses instead. I used only 3 tbsp of oil (so it lowered the fat amount, but added back with Greek yogurt instead of applesauce). Extremely moist and delicious! Thought I would share the change.
    I love using your site for most of my recipe ideas!

  12. Lord have mercy, this is amazing. I always make the muffin version with chocolate chips and chopped nuts. They freeze beautifully so I can pop one or two out of the freezer whenever I need a fix. I planted zucchini this year just so I’d be sure to have supplies on hand. Love it!

  13. I’ll be making this over the weekend! Have you tried using the streusel topping from your original family favorite on this new version? Love streusel! I’m thinking maybe bake the bread for 20-25 minutes, add the streusel and bake for 35-45 additional or until done?

    1. Hi Nancy! I haven’t tried this particular batter with that topping, but it should absolutely work. Press it down a bit into the partially baked bread. The timings you listed sounds about right.

  14. Can’t wait to try this! I want to make muffins, but I am confused as to whether I should make this recipe or the other muffin recipe you have?

    1. Hi Amy! Great question. You can use either and the two recipes are quite similar. The main differences are: (1) a little more zucchini in the muffin batter; (2) slightly reduce the brown sugar in the muffin recipe; (3) a touch of milk to thin out the muffin batter. More information on the differences between the two can be found in the post. Let us know which one you decide to try!

  15. I plan to make this but wonder about adding blueberries as an alternative. I have a lot of FROZEN blueberries. Would I need to add more dry ingredients to balance that?

    1. Hi Christina, you can add in a cup of frozen blueberries — do not thaw. No other changes needed. Enjoy!

  16. My grandson has an egg allergy, could I substitute something for the eggs.

    1. Hi Toni, we haven’t tried this recipe with any egg replacements, but let us know if you give anything a try. If you’re interested, here are all of our egg-free recipes on the site.

  17. Moist and delicious cake but quite sweet. I would like it with less sugar.

  18. hi sally, sounds amazing!!! i am on the hunt for a pumpkin zucchini muffin or bread. do you have one or can you come up with one for fall?

    1. Karen, that’s a great suggestion! I would make these zucchini muffins and replace 1/2 cup of the zucchini with pumpkin puree. Add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and maybe a pinch of ground ginger too. I haven’t tested this, but it’s the first variation I’d try.

  19. Hi Sally, I have loved many of your recipes – thank you. I am wondering if you have considered testing some of your recipes with flax eggs or Just Eggs to accomodate vegan diets? Thanks for the consideration.

    1. Hi Kolina! What a great suggestion. We do have a growing vegan section on my website. I do not have adequate experience with vegan substitutes, but am certainly learning more each year. In the meantime, I recommend searching for recipes that are developed to be vegan rather than making substitutes. (Just to avoid wasting your time and ingredients on something that may not work!)

  20. What did I do wrong? My bread totally sank in the middle. I had bought all my ingredients today (except baking soda) so everything was fresh. It looked great when I opened the oven to cover it with foil but then when it was done the center deflated. Help!

    1. Hi Dottie! Usually when breads deflate they’ve been under-baked – an easy fix for next time! Also try to keep the oven opening for the foil as quick as possible as they change in air temperature could affect the rise as well. Hope these tips help for next time!

  21. Tried this recipe for the first time today. I substituted almond flour instead of the 3/4 cup all purpose flour. The remaining one cup I used all purpose flour. I used a mix of chocolate chips and walnuts.
    The results tasted great, however they stuck to the bottom of the greased non-stick loaf pan. Not sure how to prevent that.

  22. OMG! This is soooooooooo good! I added a little coconut and upon learning this, my husband spread a Coconut Toast spread on it (Seven Keys Coconut Toast Spread) and it is now our favorite thing E V E R!.

  23. So delicious!! I used a gluten free 1:1 flour and it still turned out amazing.

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