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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.

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 (see below)
  • 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, 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
baked zucchini bread in 9x5 inch 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
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
  • 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
  • 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)

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. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips 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 the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently whisk until *just* combined; do not overmix. Batter will be semi-thick.
  3. Spread the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 – 55 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): Glass Mixing Bowls, Rainbow Whisks, Loaf Pan, Parchment Muffin Liners, and Muffin 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. 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. This recipe makes the absolute best zucchini muffins. I have been lucky to have too many zucchinis and I have not been without these handheld hugs for 3 weeks running! I started running low on AP flour and subbed in around 1/3 bread flour; ran out of vanilla extract and subbed maple extract; GOODNESS are they delicious any way you make them. Perfect out of the freezer, microwaved on ‘defrost’ setting for 50 seconds. Thank you for this, Sally! Your muffins are getting us through!

  2. I liked the ingredients and took a chance. I had lots of zucchini, so I used two cups grated. Instead of chocolate chips, I added raisins. I had no nutmeg, so I left it out, but added a 1/4 tsp ginger, just on a lark. Flour is in high demand now. Fortunately, I did have some cake flour and used that. I made this as muffins, and have to say they looked and tasted absolutely fantastic. What a winner. Definitely will make this again.

  3. I made this tonight and am so glad that I doubled the recipe! OMG is this good. Definitely do not skip on the nutmeg! I did replace a little of the flower with cocoa powder and it still turned out perfectly. My 5 yr old called it her dirt and worms cake and begged for another slice.
    100% will be using this recipe again.

  4. Just made this in the form of muffins and they are DELICIOUS ! my entire family loves them and they were very relaxing to bake. made 12 muffins exactly/ I added raisins and walnuts – soooo good. Do you know the nutrition info for these?

  5. Looks delicious and getting ready to try it! Will a single batch work for a 10″ bundt pan or should I mix up 1.5 x the recipe amounts or even double the recipe?

  6. Delicious! I happened to stumble upon this recipe. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results – very moist. Outstanding while it is still warm.

  7. These were delicious, and even pleased the “green vegetable” cynic in my family who went on to explore the benefits of zucchini. I am always looking to make things as healthy as possible. I wonder if you’ve every experimented with white whole wheat flour or any oils (coconut, olive, etc) that have health benefits of their own?

  8. Yummm! I just made this, the only modification was omitting the chocolate chips (I just feel they’re unnecessary lol). It is so freaking delicious!! I usually don’t like the crust but it’s delightful, crispy but not crunchy. It’s almost reminiscent of a blonde brownie or butterscotch square Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Wonderful zucchini bread! I added the chocolate chips and walnuts. Your recipe is a keeper!

  10. Absolutely perfect! I added 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and it was everything I wanted in a zucchini bread.

  11. Hi Sally,

    Can I use coconut oil instead of vegetable or canola oil in this recipe? I followed your carrot cake recipe with coconut oil and it was fantastic. I am not sure if coconut oil will go well with the zucchini.

      1. Hi Sally,

        Thank you so much for such a quick reply ❤️. I made the zucchini bread with coconut oil and to my surprise, it didn’t have a robust coconut flavour like the carrot cake. We couldn’t taste the zucchini at all! My 3.5 year old loved it. Thank you, for amazing and easy to follow recipes. I followed multiple recipes from your blog and they alway came out perfect.

  12. I made this recipe yesterday. I doubled it and made muffins with chocolate chips out of half and a bread loaf with walnuts out of the other half. The only thing I did was reduce the oil by half and substituted it with unsweetened applesauce. I think they both came out fabulous! I have two more large zucchini left, so, I’m thinking additional iterations are necessary for freezing and gifting to my family. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. I made this recipe both the loaf and then the muffins the second time. My family liked the muffins so much they asked for the recipe. There is no higher praise than that!

  14. This bread was so easy and delicious! I made it as 3 mini loaves with one plain, one with mini chocolate chips, and the last with mini chocolate chips and pecan pieces. They are all really good! Thank you for the recipe.

  15. I loved the simplicity of this recipe and the option for coconut oil. I made muffins. My husband did not even know they were zucchini muffins so I consider that a win. I will definitely use this recipe for my zucchini bread/muffins…always with chocolate chips. 🙂

  16. Yes yes!! Best zucchini bread recipe! 5+ stars all around and we’ve tried plenty of recipes. Great flavor. Sally, this one is a keeper.

  17. You are a baking genius. I have looked for years to find the perfect banana bread recipe, and yours was the one. That led me to explore other recipes of yours. I grow a TON of zucchini and have prepared it every way possible, except for bread. I am in love with your breads! Maybe it’s time for me to branch out and try some more.

    Suggestion: If your bread is coming out dry, consider the freshness of your zucchini. I shred mine no more than a day or two after picking, and I have to drain the measuring cup before adding to the batter. Dry zucchini = dry bread. Maybe?

  18. it was delish!! my company loved it too.
    I did have a problem keeping it from crumbling when I sliced it.
    Not a neat slice at all but flavor was great

  19. I’ve made this recipe twice now, once in a loaf pan and once with muffins. Both times turned out perfectly! The nutmeg addition definitely gives it a wonderful flavour. Thanks for making quarantine baking fun and easy Sally!!

  20. I made this yesterday and it was OUTSTANDING. My husband and I couldn’t stop eating it. I used an egg substitute in it because my son has an egg allergy & he really enjoyed it too. This will be my go to zucchini bread recipe in the future. Thank you for sharing an awesome recipe & belated Happy Birthday!

  21. Wow this turned out AMAZING! Very moist and perfectly sweet. I added 1/8 tsp of ground cloves.

  22. I baked muffins whit this recipe today and they were a success. I always try to use less sugar, so I used 50 gr of coconut sugar ( I didn’t have brown sugar) and 70 gr of granulated sugar. I used flour without gluten. Thanks Sally for this recipe!

  23. I made this yesterday and it is amazing! My first ever courgette loaf and even my son, who allegedly hates courgette, said it was delicious. I didn’t tell him what was in the cake because I knew he wouldn’t even try it. I only found your blog last week – I know! ‍♀️ – but I want to make everything you’ve ever posted and I’ve already bought the first book.

  24. I have made this twice and both times I have trouble keeping any around for a few days. My two year old granddaughter, who does not eat green anything – ate the muffin!

  25. Hello! I made this and the flavor was excellent! However, 4 stars only because my bread came out a little on the dryer side & crumbly. Only change I made was in hesitating to use the full half cup of white sugar. I was just a little shy of a full half cup – is this enough to make it dryer & crumbly? I wonder if my egg was just a little too small. Or my Zucchini not fresh enough.
    Could you help advise what I may have done wrong?
    I would love to bake this again moist and not so crumbly, like your mouth-watering photos, & 5 stars! Usually people rave about my baking even though I am a novice, & i tell them I pick good recipes. Thank You!!

    1. Hi Jennifer! So if I’m understanding– did you not use any brown sugar then? Brown sugar adds moisture and flavor, so I wouldn’t skip it. Or if you did use the brown sugar but only slightly reduced the white granulated sugar, that wouldn’t be the issue– I wonder if the bread was over-baked?

  26. I love the ease & taste of this zucchini bread recipe! My only issue was the 2 loaves both fell in the middle as they cooled. I do live at 7400 ft & often have to adjust recipes for that; but other zucchini bread recipes haven’t produced that result. Your thoughts?
    Geri
    Durango, CO

  27. Solid recipe. Made into 3 mini loafs the first time and then muffins the second time I tried the recipe. Both came out perfect. I didn’t have brown sugar when I made the muffins, but it still came out moist and packed full of flavor. This is recipe is a keeper!!

  28. The PERFECT recipe. This was my first time making zucchini bread. It was really easy, came together quicker than I thought, and I already have everything on hand. Our family LOVED this bread and I can’t wait to make another loaf.

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