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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. Cool in pan for 1 hour before removing from pan. You can slice the bread at this point, but it will still be warm in the center and may not slice neatly. For neat slices, continue cooling bread directly on a wire rack and then slice once cooled.
  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’m currently waiting for my zucchini bread to finish baking in the oven. My whole apartment smells so good! I used zucchini freshly picked from my garden. I can’t wait to try it! ☺

  2. I had left over zucchini from another dish that was diced, not shredded. I was wondering if I chop it as fine as possible if it can be used in this recipe or does it need to be shredded?

    1. Hi Angelica, you really want shredded zucchini for this recipe.

  3. Absolute best zucchini bread I ever made! Perfect! I didn’t have applesauce so I made my own in the microwave with a small apple! Sally is my go to baking site!! I’m a retired Foods teacher and used a lot of her recipes in class. Always good.

    1. I was looking in the comments for any subs or tips for leaving applesauce and instead found your genius comment!! Thank you for this great tip!!

    1. Hi Susan, We haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flours, but some readers have reported success using 1:1 flour substitutes (like Cup4Cup). If you try it, let us know how it goes!

      1. I’m actually doing a side by side right now, with your recipe (standard adjustments for baking at high altitude, as I live at 5280 elevation) and with a gluten free flour, labeled as appropriate for quick breads. I’ll be sure to post results!

      2. This came out amazing and was so simple to make. I used cup for cup GF flour. Subbed the apple sauce for vanilla Siggi’s yogurt cause it’s what I had on hand. Cut the amount of vanilla extract a smidge since it was already in the yogurt. Perfect results and non-wheat allergy people approved! Thanks for the great recipe.

  4. Just got all the ingredients together. Can I shred the zucchini using a food processor? Thank you

    1. Hi Tru, if your food processor has a shredding attachment, absolutely!

  5. Excellent and SO easy. A food processor makes grating zucchini child’s play, so I can bake away! It is so GREAT that I didn’t even need a mixer. Two bowls, a few measuring cups, a whisk and a spatula. Now that’s easy! It was so easy I threw together a second one with the extra shredded zucchini. I opted for a handful of chopped walnuts, probably about 1/2 cup. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Moist, not overly dense, not overly sweet, it is all “just right”. Thanks, Sally, for doing all trial and error for us!

  6. I’ve been using Sally’s recipes for some time now and everything always comes out great. The zucchini bread came out amazing ! I followed the instructions step by step measured everything. Instead of cooking oil I used olive oil. I also added some walnuts. Cooked at 350* for an hour. The loaf came out moist and full of flavor .
    A must try!! And sooo easy to make

  7. Very nice recipe! I just wanted to add that I used whole wheat flour instead of AP flour and it turned out great (same measurement). The whole wheat added a nice texture to the bread when used in conjunction with the 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt. I also used chopped pecans…always a nice, sweet nutty flavor.
    This will be my go to for zucchini bread moving forward!

  8. I am making this one again today, so good, Thank you for the recipe, just a quick question, I also have a lot of apples, can I peel and shred some apples and add them to this recipe or will it make it too wet?

    1. Hi Jill! We haven’t tested it, but you could try replacing some of the shredded zucchini with shredded apple. Let us know how it turns out!

  9. Made it today did everything accordingly and didn’t over mix. How come it fell when I took it out of the oven?

    1. Hi Leia! Usually when quick breads fall, they’ve simply been under-baked. Did you use the toothpick test to check for doneness? An easy fix for next time!

  10. This bread is delicious!
    Very easy to make, I might increase the amount of zucchini next time around.

  11. It turned out just great!!! I used plain Greek yogurt and some nuts and chocolate chips. Chips settled to bottom so next time I will shake them in some flour before adding. Nevertheless, it was delicious and not a crumb was left over. Thank you for sharing a great recipe!

  12. Fabulous recipe! I needed to use up a few zucchini from the farmers market, and thought I would give this a try. Turned out perfectly! I doubled the recipe to make two loaves (one with walnuts, one with chocolate chips),, used KAF measure-for-measure gluten-free blend, and whole milk yogurt. I wouldn’t change a thing for next time!

  13. I used zucchini from my garden, (first time growing it), and it turned out perfectly! I added walnuts and doubled the recipe and baked one in a loaf pan and the other in a Bundt pan and they baked beautifully in 60 minutes. I’m sending them to work with my husband as a treat for his coworkers. I know they’ll love it, I sure did! (I couldn’t resist a slice with a schmeer of cream cheese! I’ll definitely be baking this all summer long till the zucchini runs out.

  14. Really good loaf, tasty and moist. Gonna be a nice breakfast or snack treat.

  15. Perfect! My family can’t rave enough about the bread! I probably added a bit more shredded zucchini than the recipe calls for, and also added a cup of dried cranberries instead of chocolate chip. It’s a keeper recipe, for sure, thank you!!

  16. For this recipe, can I use olive oil instead of coconut or vegetable?

  17. Hi. I am excited to make this with my 4 y/o son today after school. I am prepping all the ingredients as I type this. I was just gifted two HUGE zucchini. I was wondering if you thought I could shred it all and freeze some to make this again on another day. Have you ever used frozen zucchini for zucchini bread?

    Many thanks! I bake from your blog every week for the last 2 years. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jenna, that should work just fine. We’d recommend thawing the frozen zucchini before using in the bread, and giving it a little blot since it will release excess moisture when thawing. Hope you and your son love the bread!

  18. This was a great recipe. I made it with raisins and it was moist and delicious. I didn’t have cinnamon so I substituted allspice (about 3/4 tsp), it had a wonderful flavor.

  19. i just realized this recipe has changed. I used it last year for delicious bread, and I knew i didnt put applesauce in it!! I kept searching your site for the right one and I just seen the note about it changing. This was driving me crazy

    1. Yes, you can try the version detailed in the notes! You can reduce the zucchini and egg down and skip the applesauce if desired. I’m glad you loved it!

  20. Sally – I REALKLY want to make this in a bundt cake pan. should i double it? How long to make and at what temp? appreciate your guidance.

    1. We have not tested this recipe in a Bundt pan but you would likely need 1.5 times the batter. You can read all about the capacity of different size pans in our post Cake Pan Sizes and Conversions. Same oven temperature, we’re unsure of the bake time.

  21. I just made this bread this morning , and it is absolutely the best !!! Didn’t change or add anything was perfect just the way it says . This is my go to site for baking ! Keep up the good work Thanks again !

  22. I have a 12 by 5 pan. If I double the recipe would that be too much batter in the pan?

    1. I’m unsure without testing it or calculating it myself, but this pan size and conversions page can help. You can definitely double it and if you end up having too much batter, make a few muffins on the side.

  23. Hi Sally!
    I’m thinking about adding some banana to this recope>
    Any recommendations?

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

      1. Thank you!
        Would you recommend if I use 1 cup banana to use 1 cup less zucchini?

      2. Hi Susan, that’s what we’d recommend — reduce the zucchini by the same amount of banana you are adding. It may take a bit of trial and error. Let us know what you try!

  24. I used low fat sour cream in place of the applesauce and added chopped walnuts. I baked it for 65 minutes and covered it with foil after 28 minutes, as suggested. This bread is a WINNER! It will become a summertime zucchini favorite! Sally’s recipes have never failed me!

  25. Great recipe. Followed the recipe exactly (used applesauce and added raisins). I cooked my loaf for about 68 minutes. Perfect.

  26. I made the muffin version today and they turned out amazing! I only had peach applesauce and it only added another great layer of flavour, surprisingly!

    I reduced the white sugar to 1/4 and baked at 425 for 5 minutes, and only 11 minutes at 350 and it’s safe to say I’m in love 🙂 I’ll definitely make these again and again in the future! I can’t wait to share these with my roommate and coworkers.

  27. This recipe is great! I didn’t have applesauce so I subbed mashed banana and it worked perfectly and you couldn’t taste the banana! I also halved the sugar because I prefer things on the less sweet side, turned out great. I have also made this recipe using boxed egg replacer to make it vegan with good success. And I’ve added extra zucchini (when I shredded too much) and added in another 1/4 cup of flour to balance it out. I’ve also used half whole wheat flour. So versatile and flexible and you can’t really mess it up! Thanks Sally for another winner!

  28. I was looking for something more dessert-like to share with a crowd and I followed this exact recipe then added milk chocolate chips and WOW! So yummy! Definitely making this again!

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