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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. Have made this a couple of times and it’s a great recipe! I did use almost half the sugar the original recipe called for, did a combination of whole-wheat flour and APF, added chopped walnuts for some crunch, also the batter seemed just a tad dry so I added a couple of tablespoons of milk, and the zucchini bread came out fabulous! Thank you for a wonderfully easy recipe.

  2. I’m sure I measured correctly and all I am tasting is baking powder! Not sure why this turned out so salty. It even smells like baking powder. Only used 1/2 tsp as instructed. Does it really need baking powder and baking soda both?

    1. Hi Christina! Usually when we can taste the baking powder in a recipe it could mean it is close to expiration. Or try aluminum-free baking powder to completely eliminate the taste and smell of metal. Hope this helps!

  3. I think it is tasty. It was nicely moist with a slightly crunchy exterior, which I like. The only reason I gave it 4 out of 5 stars is because I thought it contained a tinge too much spice. I would, personally, reduce the cinnamon/nutmeg quantity a little bit. That overshadowed the usual nice unique fresh summery zucchini bread flavor. That was a little disappointing. That is if one likes zucchini. If one doesn’t, then the spice amounts mask it well. This same issue is why I dislike chocolate zucchini bread. In that, the chocolate dominates a bit too much.

  4. Love this recipe! Can’t keep the finished product around!

    I was wondering if there’s a best way to incorporate banana s into this recipe? Would I need to increase the amount of flour at all?

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

  5. Made muffins today with some surplus zucchini from a nearby produce stand. Why do I think two of us will eat 10 zucchini in a few days?! Absolutely delicious! Moist and flavorful. I used espresso chips, which kept the sweetness level down; definitely a little coffee flavor. Most of the batch safely frozen for a week at the beach, starting Saturday. Also made the zucchini crumb cake, but we haven’t tried that one yet. I’m sure it’s equally wonderful. I STILL have a couple zucchini– might bake something else tomorrow.

  6. I definitely give the flavor of this bread 5 stars. It tasted delicious. Sadly it was not cooked in the middle. I baked it 50 min and inserted a cake tester which came out clean. The exterior looked completely baked and browned. As it cooled the top sank in and I knew it was under baked. I used coconut oil and my zucchini didn’t seem wet. Not sure what happened. We did eat all the edges though because it was too yummy not to.

    1. Hi Susan! We haven’t tested this zucchini bread with gluten free and vegan substitutes, but let us know if you do!

  7. Hi Sally! I was wondering how to incorporate some pineapple juice into this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Hallie! We haven’t tried incorporating just pineapple juice into this recipe — it would take a bit of testing, as this is already a very moist bread. However, what about adding 1/2 cup pineapple chunks and 1/2 cup shredded zucchini?

  8. Sally, you are one of my favorites! But, this was a big fail for me. The batter was SO thick, it barely even spread in the pan. The loaf baked up flat, if not concave. I followed the recipe exactly. Strange, and most unusual for me not to get great results with a recipe of yours! Strange…

    1. Hi Kristen, Thank you for trying this recipe. We’ve never experienced that before! Any chance you made any ingredient substations or perhaps mis-measured an ingredient? Be sure that you are spooning and leveling (or weighing) the flour and not scooping it.

      1. Over mixing can cause it to go flat. Mix just until moistened, not worrying about seeing white of the flour. It’ll bake up nicely.

  9. I accidentally forgot the egg and these muffins still turned out great! A little smaller than I was expecting, but still moist and held together well. FYI for anyone looking for a vegan option.

  10. This zucchini bread is so good. We like it as written or it’s also really good with whole wheat flour, raisins and walnuts. My husband, who is from Italy, can’t figure out why they never bake it there… ‍♀️ If we start a new trend, I’ll be sure to give you the credit!!

  11. My neighbor gave me some fresh zucchini from her garden, so I made this bread recipe. The cake tester came out clean but upon cooling the bread sunk in the middle and was not cooked; what a bummer, it was for a 4th of July party. I peeled my zucchini and it was pretty juicy; sure wish I knew what I did wrong. I have enough zucchini to try again but I can’t chance another failure.

    1. Hi Nora, it sounds like the zucchini cake could use another minute or two in the oven. It can fall after cooling when it hasn’t been quite baked through. Also be sure to blot out the extra moisture from your zucchini, especially if it’s extra juicy. Hopefully these tips help for next time, and thank you so much for giving this recipe a try!

  12. This bread came out perfect! Flavor was so good and this recipe was easy to make! This will definitely be my recipe for zucchini bread from now on!

  13. Hi Sally, your Zucchini Bread looks good. Just thought I’d check to see whether you’ve ever tried this recipe with gluten-free flour. I’m wondering if oat flour might work. Thanks

    1. Hi Minu! We haven’t tested it but a 1:1 substitution of gluten free flour should work. We don’t suggest oat flour.

  14. Delicious recipe but the bake times were – even after increasing back to 450, took almost an hour for the muffins to cook through. I think I might a) do 450 all the way through next time or b) sub in some whole wheat flour to soak up some of the zucchini moisture.

    1. Hi Winnie, we recommend allowing the bread to cool almost completely in the pan, then inverting onto the wire rack. Make sure it is completely cool before slicing. Enjoy!

  15. This recipe is absolutely divine. We love it warm with a pat of butter…but better than that its great with a little cream cheese spread.
    Thanks for all your recipes. NEVER had a bad one!

  16. The best zucchini bread I’ve ever had. I used walnuts and raisins, no chocolate. I have a bumper crop of zucchini so I will be making this again. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. I love your recipes and they never disappoint. I’m currently baking the zucchini muffins which only yielded eight muffins “filled to the top” as opposed to twelve that were mentioned above. I followed every step carefully, so I’m hoping everything will turn out okay. Stay tuned…

  18. The muffins are absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Initially, I was concerned that I wasn’t able to produce a dozen, but that was because I filled the batter a bit too high. My family loves the texture and taste. I’ll make them again for sure.

    1. Make this today!! Seriously. I was always thinking zucchini bread was the banana bread wanna-be until this. I tripled the recipe bc my zucchini was that big, and made a couple of subs for health reasons (1/3 WW flour, 1/3 coconut sugar for the brown sugar, 2/3 stevia in the raw for the granulated sugar, and one more egg to compensate for these subs jic), and it turned out perfect!! Don’t skip the chocolate chips, you’ll regret it…I added them to a small portion and well, they should have been in the whole works. Also, I usually think nutmeg ruins many recipes–not this one! I’m glad I trusted my favorite recipe author and added it! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!! ♡

  19. My son who wouldn’t touch zucchini even down this! I am making more tomorrow because first loaf almost done. I did press my zucchini a lot (it’s the round variety and ton of water), but still worked great. Curious to try it without pressing it as much. Also made it gluten free (just substitute Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 gluten free flour, that easy). Ps every birthday every cake in our family is your classic vanilla cake (also with gluten free flour). It’s an absolute favorite, but for me, this zucchini bread is just as good if not better 😉

  20. Having a huge zucchini, a quadruple the recipe. Divided the batter among three pans. Baked them for 55 minutes. Eating one and froze two. They turned out great. Only changes I made were, squeezed out the zucchini and added nutmeg. I have an other overgrown zucchini, only change I am going to make this time is to stage and photograph my step so I can post it on Instagram. 😉

  21. Oh my goodness. All of your recipes are fabulous, and these are no exception. I made half in a loaf pan and half in a standard muffin pan. Drooooooling over the smell and now the taste. Thank you for this great recipe!

  22. This is perfect.. As you state.. do not over mix.. I did it all by hand and it was a snap.. just the right amount of everything ..Delish

  23. Can these be made into mini-muffins, if so how long do you bake them?

    1. Hi Janet, For mini muffins leave your oven at 350 (no need to start with the higher temperature) and they usually take about 11-13 minutes, but you can use a toothpick to test for doneness.

      1. Thank you for the mini muffin times I wish more recipes had them!

  24. This recipe was ok but there is waaaay too much cinnamon in it! When I ate these muffins the only thing I tasted was cinnamon. One teaspoon is more than enough for such a small recipe.

    1. You can just leave it out if you don’t like it. It’s not something super essential.

  25. Best Zucchini Bread in the world. I substituted White Gold gluten free flour 1 for 1. I also substituted with Truvia Dark Brown sugar and Truvia white granulated sugar. I added 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup raisins. My husband is an ultra picky eater, pre diabetic and wheat allergic so these substitutions were completely successful. This recipe also works great for me because I am allergic to dairy. You have made our food life happier and easier.

  26. I’ve made a number of your recipes over the years and I’ve never been disappointed. I’ve made this zucchini bread about five times this summer, and used some of the ingredients I had left over from your spectacular morning glory muffins. Added shredded coconut and raisins to every batch of bread — absolutely wonderful. Thanks so much for your wonderful creations. Keep up the good work!

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