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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. Your written instructions say to use a whisk but your video shows an electric mixer. Which one should be used? It also adds the chocolate chips last in the video.

    1. Hi Kate, thanks! You can use a whisk or an electric mixer. I find a whisk is simply easier. Feel free to toss the chocolate chips with the dry ingredients or fold them in at the end. The results don’t vary either way.

  2. Thank you! Love your site. The best zucchini bread recipe EVER! Made with optional choc chips and walnuts. Very, very good.

  3. I made this twice in 3 days because I had to finish the leftover grated zucchini from the first time. The first was in a cupcake pan and the second time in a loaf pan. I omitted nutmeg because I’m just not a big fan. Either way the feedback was really good. My niece couldn’t believe she was eating zucchini ! The second time, I got a little worried as I mixed the dry with the wet, because the batter was looking doughy, really thick. Not like the picture on the site. But I worried for nothing. It was great. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Is there any difference in texture using coconut oil vs vegetable oil?

    1. Hi Cheryl, There is no difference in texture but the melted coconut oil will leave a slight coconut taste.

  5. Just whipped up a loaf of this delicious bread! It is fail-proof if you ask me, considering I forgot the baking soda and it STILL turned out delicious! Perfect texture, dense yet still springy with crisp, chewy edges. Wonderful recipe and I will be making again for sure!

  6. Hi Sally,
    My 8 year old daughter, Grace, loves to bake! She loves your show and we just made this recipe today. It is delicious!
    The only problem is that the loaf is not going to last very long…because we can’t stop eating it!
    Thanks for all of the recipes that you share!
    -Katie and Gracie

  7. My first zucchini bread but not my last! This recipe is so fast and easy I know I will make this again and again. The flavor is delicious and the moistness is just right. I’m anxious to try it with the cream cheese marbling to see if I like it better but I can’t imagine it could be any better really. Thanks for another great “Go To” recipe!

  8. This recipe is great to use my zucchini in my garden. However, it always seems to slump in the middle after about an hour. Should I use a different type of pan instead of a loaf pan? I’m also using GF flour..

    1. Hi Lauren, It’s possible that the center simply wasn’t baked long enough. An easy fix for next time is to bake a few minutes longer. Also, we haven’t tested this with gluten free flour but this is not uncommon. Gluten free flour tends to be heavier which means your batter is easier to overmix (overmixed batter= air bubbles which inflate the bread and then deflates as it cools). Next time try mixing the flour in with a lighter hand.

  9. I made the muffins with 1 c. Oat flour and 1/2 c. Unbleached white. Did not add nutmeg. Used sliced almonds for nuts. Had to bake a couple of minutes longer. The muffins were the perfect texture, moist and tasted great. I shared with a friend and she loved them! Thank you!

  10. I just made muffins with this recipe. I made a batch with raisins, and one with choc chips…fantastic…definitely goinf in my recipe book

  11. Oh my gosh, so good! I did a loaf with dried cherries and walnuts, and muffins with chocolate chips. I subbed grape seed oil and used gluten free flour. They both turned out great!

  12. This recipe was delicious thank you it was so great that it was gone in half a day

  13. I made bread & muffins with choc chips, very good both very moist, I will be sure to use this recipe again.

  14. I made this with dried chopped cherries and chocolate chips, and it turned out great! I wanted to make one a friend…and myself..so I doubled the recipe and it was perfect. I used both a stoneware pan and a Pyrex and they both were super moist with a great crust at around 50 minutes. Thank you!

  15. Hi Sally- this recipe calls for a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, while the cream cheese zucchini muffins call for a whole teaspoon of baking powder. Why the different measurements? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lyssa! The cream cheese filling weighs down the muffins, so I add extra baking powder. See #1 under Overview: How to Make Cream Cheese Zucchini Muffins in the muffins post.

  16. Thank you for this recipe…!!!
    YUM…so easy, so goood…!
    This recipe made 6 large muffins. I added choc chips, only because I didn’t have raisins. Next time I may add choc chips, raisins and nuts…!!!

    Not including the baking time of 45 minutes, it only took me less than 30 minutes for prep time. But then I used an electric shredder..

  17. Inadvertently left off the 5 star review with my comment.

  18. Very good recipe, I used Olive Oil, Pine Nuts, Walnuts, Almonds and cocoa nibs. It did not last long!

  19. I tripled the batch and it made 5 mini loaves and 6 jumbo muffins(filled almost to the top). I did the muffins using your suggestion (5 minutes at 425 degrees and then down to 350 degrees). They got nice high tops!!
    Did recipe exactly as written (with choc. chips). I have made tons of zucchini bread in my life and this is now my new all time favorite! Yum!

  20. Hello Sally, is there anyway I can add more zucchini than just one cup? Thanks!

    1. Hi Julie, I fear the batter would be too wet to bake properly. If you have more zucchini to use up you can double this recipe or see all of the different recipes that use zucchini!

  21. I made this today. The zucchini bread was delicious, I added chocolate chips after batter was in the pan to half because my little ones like the chocolate chips, me not as much. Thsnk you for sharing.
    I also made your smores mousse yesterday for my husband But didn’t add the marshmallow because he wanted it simple. It was very rich and so yummy! Thank you

  22. Definitely the best zucchini bread recipe I have ever made!
    Moist, easy to slice and my family just loved it!
    Thank you

  23. Very easy to make and was delicious! Made it with raisins as hubby loves them. Very moist. Did not last long.

  24. I made this today, followed the recipe to a tee, including the chocolate chips. It is so awfully dry, and I even took it out 8 min. before the time was up. You need to either double up on oil or add melted butter. With a zillion more zucchini bread recipes online, this is one I won’t save. Sorry.

  25. just made this evening and it is soooo good – will definitely be my go-to!

  26. We’ve made this at least 6 times! De-licious!! Have made several different ways, but the OG is our fav! New staple in our home – Thanks for sharing!!

  27. I LOVED how fluffy and moist this bread came out! It was a little sweet for my taste, but that’s unusual for me (ha!) so I’m wondering if I accidentally added too much sugar. Will definitely make it again!

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