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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. These muffins were so amazing! I added a bit of crystallized sugar on top of the muffin batter after I put the batter in the pan. This allowed the top of the muffins of the to become a little crunchier and added an aesthetic feel. Love all your recipes Sally, they have encouraged me to bake for a while now! I definitely recommend this recipe for anyone willing to try it out!

  2. Hi Sally,

    I love the recipe and many other recipes of yours. I would like to make the zucchini bead in small loaves(5 3/4″ x 3″) so I can share with my neighbors. How should I adjust the oven temperature?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sam, Small loaves are perfect for sharing! Use the same oven temperature, but I’m unsure of the exact bake time needed, 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.

  3. Hi Sally,
    I’ve made this recipe a few times and absolutely love it! I was wondering if it’s possible to switch the oil for melted butter instead?

    1. Hi Julissa! You can, yes, but the bread won’t be as moist.

  4. Sally, I’ve made this recipe multiple times now, and it is fantastic! Your recipes are always so easy to follow, and are delicious!! You are always my go-to for any kind of recipe, not just baking!
    I’ve made the jumbo muffins (makes 5 full, or 6 3/4 full muffins). I’ve also made the cupcake size, 12 muffins, and they always turn out perfect!
    My one comment would be that they seem to turn out almost overdone, when I start with the 425degrees for 5 min, and then reduce to 350. They turned out great at 350, with same amount of time for muffins (13-18 min).
    Thanks again Sally!

  5. This bread is so so good! A great way to use up extra zucchini I had in the fridge. Added the optional semi sweet chocolate chips, didn’t blot the zucchini since mine was not particularly wet and it was delicious and moist.

  6. Absolutely love this recipe!! I cut the brown sugar by a 1/4 and it was plenty sweet for my family. We initially tried it with recommended sugar, but was too sweet for us. I gave it to a friend and she loved it! I find that it bakes perfectly in my oven at 325 for 35 mins without me having to cover it with foil to prevent burning. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Top notch zucchini bread! It’s so damn delicious! The coconut oil really adds a lovely texture. I switched to oat flour for my gluten free daughter and it’s fantastic. Thanks so much!

  8. I love this recipe better than any other zucchini bread recipes out there. I think the nutmeg elevates the flavor and the brown sugar makes it! My 3-year-old grandson can’t get enough of it. I turn to Sally;s Baking Addiction for a lot of recipes. They always turn out, and most of the time, even better than expected.

  9. This is the weirdest bread I’ve ever made. I kept thinking I missed a step where it said to add milk. I ended up with a loaf that tastes okay but is so dense and sugary it’s literally a cookie loaf. I intended to feed it to my kid but it feels more like a dessert than a snack.

  10. Crazy good! I made muffins and had a bit leftover for 1 mini loaf. They are so good, I literally want to eat them all! I omitted the nutmeg (because my kids are picky) and they turned out so perfect. I always go to Sally’s Baking Addiction first for recipes and this is a 10/10.

  11. Omg I made these for my kids and ended up eating 3 myself within like 15 min. Ridiculously amazing. Everything I make from Sally’s recipes are unbelievably delicious. Thank you Sally!!! Btw I never ever leave reviews. But these recipes are so good I felt compelled to do so.

  12. I just made this, it is delicious! I’ll be making this again..and again. Lol

  13. This recipe is fantastic! I have made it many times, but recently I added orange extract to the batter. Wow! My family loves it! Thank you for spread this recipe around. 🙂

  14. I just wanted a basic zucchini bread recipe that didn’t require applesauce, so I used this one and left out the chocolate chips. WAY too much cinnamon for my taste. When I saw how much it called for I should have cut it in half. I don’t eat zucchini bread so I can sneak in veggies, I eat it because I like the flavor and texture. This was also a very wet bread that cannot be picked up, even though I baked it until the toothpick came out clean and the top felt firm but springy. Despite the recipe’s instructions to lightly blot the zucchini, I actually wrung mine out in a paper towel (getting more water out) and still, the bread failed to get a proper structure. Oh well.

    1. I am pretty sure it still would have had too much cinnamon for my taste even if I had included the chocolate chips. And chocolate chips do not absorb moisture so the bread still would have been too wet. Cool your jets.

  15. Hi Sally
    I have made several recipes from your site and they all turn out delicious! Especially like your tips. Recipes are very easy to follow.
    Zucchini bread in the oven as I write this.
    Pumpkin cookies next.

  16. Absolutely delicious!!!! So fun and easy to make!! Will make some ahead of time and freeze for guest in late March 🙂 Thank you Sally!

  17. Loved this! I made it with walnuts and without the chocolate chips because that’s all I had. It was delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  18. I’m not a big lover of zucchini bread because it doesn’t usually have much flavor. But I had one HUGE zucchini so I grated two cups of it and made a double batch using this recipe. I wasn’t sure about the amount of cinnamon, it sure seemed like a lot. But I made it as instructed with mini chocolate chip and it was delicious! The amount of cinnamon with the chocolate was very reminiscent of a Mexican chocolate. Perfect!

  19. Hi Sally,
    I love your recipes. I regularly make your Quick and Easy Banana Muffins and made your Pumpkin Pie a few times during the holiday season. You are my absolute go-to for delicious baked goods.

    I have a loaf pan that is 10″ x 5 3/4″, will that be an issue baking this recipe?

    1. Hi Emily, we’re so glad you enjoy those recipes! The bread will be thinner in your larger pan and take less time to bake so keep an eye on it in the oven.

  20. I was so excited to make this! My first Zucchini bread attempt. It was way too sweet for me. It seemed like a lot of sugar and brown sugar when I was dumping into the bowl. Next time I’ll decrease the sugar by half. Other than that, it was good.

  21. Hi Sally

    I’m currently in the middle of baking these as muffins, I had the oven set to the 425 and put them in for 5 minutes left and lowered the temperature to 350 for the 18 minutes and they are still not baked all the way through. I don’t have any problems baking my banana muffins or my bran muffins so no clue.

    1. Hi JT! Sounds like they just need a bit more time in the oven. Bake until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs when inserted into one of the muffins.

  22. LOVE!! Perfect mix of spices and the chocolate chips just bring it to a piece of pure bliss. Planning on making again soon!

  23. very good! First time out of the gate on Zuke muffins and it’s a home run. One question, can you reduce the amount of sugar without affecting the overall recipe? Obviously it will taste less sweet, my concern would be the texture and the rising.

  24. Wow!! Another wonderful, successful recipe of yours that the family loved… Or should I say gobbled up so fast! A dozen muffins didn’t last 24 hours in the house! I included nuts and added a tablespoon of orange zest… just so delicious!! This ones a keeper!

  25. Just ok. I followed recipe exactly. Too much cinnamon in this recipe and I LOVE cinnamin. These make 12 small muffins. There were also way too many chocolate chips. I would suggest halfing the cinnamon and chocolate. If I made it again I would do half cup chopped walnuts and half the cinnamon. It was way too sweet with the chocolate. The cinnamon and chocolate together overpower everything.

  26. First time I ever made zucchini bread and LOVE it. Gave some away and one person even told me she thought it was better than her recipe. Loved the texture of the bread too.

  27. I did this with coconut oil, doubled the nutmeg, added some cloves, and mixed in blueberries and orange zest. An absolute do-over, these were delicious and feel relatively healthy!

  28. Easily made this vegan by replacing the egg with a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 1tbsp water and allow to rest for 5 min). Only difference is it cooked a bit faster, 40-45 minutes. Would make again!

  29. This recipe honestly made the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had! I didn’t have enough vanilla extract so I used a little almond extract and added chopped walnuts as well. Every time I had a slice I could not get over how good it was, I really had a difficult time staying away from it! I just saw your recipe for a yummy looking blueberry lemon tart….my next recipe to try 🙂

  30. Such a beautiful recipe. Tried this out today. My hus and kid finished up the entire loaf in one hour. Thank you for such a great recipe. Actually I have tried out your strawberry cake and some others too. Everything s easy to follow,well written and so delicious

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