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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, 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
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

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 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 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!

  2. This bread is delicious! So good that my husband, who has been eating zucchini bread for much of his 69 years, said this is the best zucchini bread he’s ever tasted! Thank you, am ready to make again today!!

  3. Great flavour! Loved by everyone in our family.
    I quadrupled the recipe since we have more zucchini than we know what to do with. Tossed chocolate chips into half of the batch. Just hoping they freeze well.

  4. Hello Sally, I made the Zucchini muffins today and they were moist and delicious. The only problem I had was the appearance when I took them out of the oven. They sunk in the middle, what did I do wrong? I filled them to the top of the muffin paper.

    1. Hi Terry, If they weren’t quite finished baking they can sink in the middle when cooled. An easy fix for next time is to leave them in the oven for an extra minute or two.

  5. I made the muffins and they are perfect! My husband said it was the best zucchini bread! Thanks!!! Very good recipe!

  6. So delicious! My family does not like zuchini but LOVES this bread. I cannot believe how good the combination of zucchini and chocolate is.

  7. My muffins are turning out flat! What can I do? Baking soda and powder are not old.

    1. Hi Carrie, try increasing the baking powder to 1 teaspoon (and keep the 1/2 teaspoon baking soda). Sometimes there’s too much moisture in the zucchini weighing the muffins down.

  8. This zucchini bread was so delicious! I followed the recipe and added some pecans and it took it to another level! I am so grateful that I found SBA! You have transformed my baking abilities! I can always count on finding a dependable recipe with you! Love SBA!

  9. Really enjoyed this bread. I added cinnamon (not chocolate) chips and thought it was yummy.

  10. I made these as jumbo muffins and I love them. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I have also tried jumbo blueberry muffins and they are also delightful.

  11. Fantastic recipe! Tried the muffins and they turned out perfect! Moist, fluffy and packed full of flavor. The only deviation I made was adding ginger. This recipe is a keeper. I made a triple batch to use up my surplus zucchini and everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Awesome recipe! I opted for no nuts or chocolate because we all enjoy the taste of this dessert bread. Warm cinnamon and nutmeg with vanilla… yum! And I used the coconut oil which compliments the flavors well.

  13. I made this as a sampler of muffins (your blueberry muffins as well) and gave them to my mom and she says the zucchini is her fave but she also loved the blueberry muffins. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes.

  14. Hi Sally,

    Love your recipes, but this one is a challenge for me. How do you get a nice round crown on the bread? Mine always dips in the middle after I toothpick it. Help!

    1. Hi Debbie, If the loaf isn’t quite finished baking, it can sink in the middle when cooled. An easy fix for next time is to leave it in the oven for an extra minute or two.

  15. I don’t normally go for the baked veggie/ fruit muffins but a friend handed one to me at a picnic and to be polite I obliged – I hadn’t even swallowed the first bite and I loved!!! Asked my friend who made it for the recipe and she led me here. #bridalbrunch SALLY HELP! I am gonna make this for my fam, but my stepdad is no sugar low carb. He can have sugar substitutes and almond flour but is pretty much Keto for life due to health. Is there anyway to make this Keto friendly? Just read every single review on here, I see you did not recommend almond flour or liquid sweeteners, and a commenter said they used Stevia for the white sugar (but what about the brown sugar??) Please let me know ASAP! I hope you see this. I want my stepdad to partake and not be left out of the joy.

  16. Tried this today. My dad was skeptical about zucchini but I told him he would love it and he did! Perfect recipe. Not too sweet. I omitted the chocolate chips. Keeper will make again. Thank you!

  17. So delicious, it’s dangerous, I ate the whole loaf within 3 days! Beware!!!

  18. Had a few extra zucchini that needed to be used, so I made this as muffins–a big hit, even with those who said they did not like zucchini bread! Not sure I’m crazy about the chocolate chips, so next time I’m thinking of adding pecans instead. Still, this is a great recipe and one I’ll definitely be making again. Thanks!

  19. Yummm..i made a loaf and muffins the next day since i still had zucchini. Thanks for the recipe! These are delicious.

  20. I made the muffins. My husband who only eats carrots or corn stole a muffin and then another was so in love with them that he wants me to make more. Thanks for a winning recipe!!!!!;

  21. This is the best recipe I have ever used to make zucchini bread! It was delicious. I made 2 loaves first as a project with my granddaughter. It was so good, we immediately made another batch to have enough to share with everyone.

  22. There are SO. GOOD. I doubled the recipe, used a little less than a cup each of white and brown sugar, and used half a cup of oil and half a cup of unsweetened applesauce. Even with those changes they are super moist and perfectly sweet. I made them as muffins, and per Sally’s suggestion, I filled the muffin cups all the way full, which produced beautifully domed muffins. The spices are lovely. I really can’t say enough good things about these.

  23. The worst recipe. I feel like I was pranked. I tried it twice, thinking I made a mistake the first time. Second time same thing happened. Very dry. Very salty. I wasted all my good ingredients.

  24. I made the recipe multiple times this summer and each time I used no more than 1/4 cup of white and brown sugars as well as no more than 1/4 cup of oil. The bread came up nicely sweet and moist neverthless. I have also made it with 1/2 cup of shredded carrots and 1/4 cup of cranberries and those are a nice addition.

  25. I am novice to baking and I always follow your recipes for baking. I have tried this recipe recently and came out super good. Kids can’t find out the zucchini in it and that’s the beauty of the recipe.
    Thank you!! Keep inspiring us with your recipes,

  26. Absolutely fantastic!! My only issue was it’s just one loaf. Doubled up for 2 loaves and we have another winner!! Ps I’m confident in all your recipes Thanks Sally!!!

  27. I just loved this bread! The spices are just right, and it is so moist and delicious. A big hit and wonderful way to use up all that garden zucchini!

  28. My go-to zucchini bread recipe! I put in 100g of walnuts in mine instead of chocolate chips.

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