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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. Just made a loaf of this with golden raisins and iced it with cream cheese frosting. As husband said, “bomb diggity”. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Just finished eating a piece of this delicious zucchini bread. It was perfectly spiced and the texture was equally perfect. I will be making this bread again and experimenting with different add-ins. I used 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips this time but think raisins and toasted walnuts would be equally good.
    The only thing I would like to add is to skip the loaf pan and use an 8”x8” baking pan. I never have to worry about over-browning anymore, and when sliced criss-cross into eight pieces, everyone gets some of the middle!
    Thank you, Sally, for sharing this great family recipe.

  3. Hi!
    I would like to bake this in a bundt pan for a brunch. How long will it need to bake?

    1. Hi Brenda! There isn’t enough batter for a Bundt cake pan, but doubling the recipe should be enough. Bake at 350°F (177°C). I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  4. Perfect texture! I love the hint of cinnamon as well. I might reduce the chocolate chips but that is just a personal preference.

  5. My neighbor brought some zucchini over from her garden. I love zucchini bread so started looking for a recipe that had ingredients I already had in my kitchen and came across this one…it particularly stood out because of the chocolate chips ; ). I made one recipe in a six large muffin tin. I gave two to the neighbor who gave me the zucchini, and put the last four in the fridge. I had my sister-in-law visiting for that weekend and she finished all four of the remaining muffins over those couple of days and I never got to have or try one. So I’m figuring it’s a 5-star recipe for that reason and will be making this again during this garden zucchini season!

  6. Hi Sally,

    Apologies if you have already answered this question. I have half of a zucchini and half of a yellow squash that I need to use. What are your thoughts on using the yellow squash to make up for the rest of the zucchini if I don’t have enough? I’d appreciate any insight you have. Thank you!

    Jesse

    1. Hi Jesse! I see no problem with doing that- sounds delicious 🙂 Happy baking!

  7. WOW! Amazing recipe for zucchini muffins! Like others have mentioned, this will be my go-to recipe. I got 10 perfect muffins in my stoneware muffin pan. I had grated zucchini left over, so I made a 9×9 “cake” in a stoneware pan. It didn’t raise like a cake would, but it sure was delish with whipped cream on top! I also used mini baking chocolate chips and pumpkin pie spice (for nutmeg) as I only had both on hand. So glad your site/recipe popped up first on my Google search!

  8. OMG! This is by far the best zucchini bread I have ever had! I didn’t add any chocolate chips or anything and I doubled the batch and it was gone at my house in 10mins! My grandson loves it to which is a huge plus because he doesn’t like zucchini! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  9. LOVED THIS!

    I changed a few things:
    – A bit more than 1 cup of zucchini
    – Added a couple of tablespoons of applesauce
    – A little extra salt
    – Part coconut oil/part olive oil instead of vegetable or canola
    – Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
    – Sprinkled oats on top!

  10. I made several and gave one to a friend – they eat it in 1 day! We were a little slower – for us it took 2 days! LOL – Just want to our local farm stand and brought 4 large – will make a few and freeze them for future use!!

  11. Made four batches of this today – 1 loaf, 2 batches of muffins, and a Bundt cake (I only have one loaf pan and didn’t want to spend all day doing it). Turned out amazing. In one batch I subbed the 2 tsp of cinnamon for 1 tsp of cardamom (gifting to someone with a cinnamon allergy) and it tastes so freaking good! Excellent recipe, thanks!

  12. Doubled this a few weeks ago and made a loaf and muffins. Excellent recipe that I am doing again today making 24 muffins for easy lunch packing. I have not commented in the past, but I frequently rely on your site for some of my best recipes. I’ve been making your brown sugar peach crumble pie for 2 years now and use the crumble on my apple pies! Your banana cream pie and oatmeal raisin cookies are also wonderful. I’m a frequent baker and also do catering so I really appreciate truly great recipes. Thanks so much!

  13. Just made it this afternoon and it turned out great! My 3 year old willingly consumed zucchini I added a little bit of allspice with the nutmeg and cinnamon and it tastes amazing. Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  14. Hi Avra! I’ve made this zucchini bread by packing the zucchini into the measuring cup and NOT packing in the zucchini– both great results. Can’t go wrong either way.

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

  15. I just made the classic zucchini bread and I am so happy to say it was the easiest and the most moist bread i have ever made. It really was so good. Thank you for sharing it with me. I am throwing away my old recipe that i used to use.

  16. Guess what my neighbors are getting for Christmas… I’m making mini loaves, using your recipe, but adding in special ingredients depending on each one’s preferences. They’re all different, with one liking nuts and raisins, one only likes raisins. Two like chocolate. And one loves pineapple bits. Your recipe works great for the versitility needed, and as is. Thanks for sharing it!

  17. Just made this recipe as muffins and it is delicious! Made exactly as recipe given using walnuts and golden raisins instead of chocolate chips. I like making muffins because it’s easier to take from freezer exactly the quantity you need. If any make it to the freezer!

  18. First time making zucchini bread. It is divine and so moist! Will definitely be making it again! Thank for sharing.

    1. Sure can! For mini muffins keep the oven temperature at 350 the entire time (no need to start the oven at the higher temperature like we do for regular size muffins).

  19. We have a zucchini plant in our back yard and it’s been very fruitful! So naturally I turned to the legendary zucchini bread recipe.

    I made a double batch in a cake tin and it was wonderful! I didn’t have cinnamon so used a tsp of powdered ginger and nutmeg instead. Delicious! I’m having mine with butter 🙂

    Definitely something I would make again!

  20. SUPER delicious, my housemates and I devoured this loaf in two days. It’s incredibly moist and comforting on a cold day, and kinda reminds me of a pumpkin spice bread. I felt a little weird about mixing chocolate and zucchini bread, so I skipped the chocolate chips and made a simple lemon glaze to drizzle over the top – you honestly can’t go wrong, though. Highly recommend!

  21. I’ve never commented but feel I have been a Sally superfan for a long time now. Your recipes have been a taste of home for me as I’ve been an expat for over ten years now. With two small children, I can make and remake some of your recipes by memory now because they are simple and clear and quick to throw together. My three year loves helping and has become skilled at cracking eggs, whisking and pouring thanks to the baking confidence thes recipes have inspired in me.

    This bread was made three times this week, and with a one month old in my arms and a three year old helping. So delicious every time! Thank you, Sally. For all the fun packed into this website and blog.

  22. Looked delicious, but came out rather flat and fell apart when sliced. But it WAS delicious! Any suggestions on why it fell apart? Most breads like this, banana, cranberry, etc, slice fine when still slightly warm, but this was a mess. Normally I use a hand mixer and really combine the wet ingredients first. This recipe didn’t call for that. Might that be a component of the lack of volume and texture?

    1. Hi Christina, I’m so glad you enjoyed the taste! If the bread didn’t rise then I suggest checking your baking powder and baking soda to make sure they are fresh. You can certainly use a mixer to combine the wet ingredients together if you wish. I do recommend letting the bread cool completely before slicing it.

    2. I found the same thing. But I made it again – this time muffins. Seem ok. I switched out my baking powder and baking soda this time. Tastes delicious.

  23. I love this Bread !! It turned out Great! It was a little crumbly but only because I couldn’t wait and cut it early. I did alter the recipe a little, added more zucchini, use cranberries (no chocolate chips) and added roasted sunflower seeds and pecans (all I had at the time) I also sprinkled the top with raw sugar. I did use less sugar in the batter the second time I made it, to about a 1/3. YUMMY !!!

  24. I made this recipe as muffins 2x. 1st time I mostly followed recipe. 2nd time I substituted chocolate chips with raisins and chopped pecans. Both turned out really well, no problem with the rise – even though I live at 6000 ft.

  25. I had 4 extra zucchini’s and thinking of extra ways to use them. This recipe was one way. Wow! It tasted so good. I didn’t have any semi-sweet chocolate chips so I coarsely chopped a Hershey almond chocolate bar and cut down on the sugar. So good!

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