Carrot Zucchini Bread

02.18.2014

This Zucchini Carrot Bread is super moist thanks to the combination of oil, applesauce, and shredded zucchini. To make this treat extra special, top it with homemade cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts or pecans! 

sliced zucchini carrot bread on a white platter

Zucchini Carrot Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you like carrot cake or zucchini cake, you’ll definitely want to try this zucchini carrot bread recipe. I don’t post bread recipes very often, but that should change because this quick bread recipe tastes like cake!

It’s a little bit denser than a carrot cake and not quite as sweet, but it tastes just as incredible. This bread has such a soft and moist crumb thanks to all the moisture from the shredded carrots and zucchini. It also has just the right amount of sweetness and the perfect touch of cinnamon.

If you want to splurge a little, then I’d recommend going for the homemade cream cheese frosting and finishing it off with chopped pecans. After all, when you can top it with frosting, why not? (That could be a dangerous thought for me — who knows how far I could take that!)

I love the sweet, creamy, fluffiness frosting offers. It just makes it extra special, because it isn’t often you get a loaf of bread covered with a layer of cream cheese frosting.

Add this easy zucchini bread recipe to your list because it will likely find a place in your recipe box right next to your favorite banana bread recipe.

Zucchini Carrot Bread Ingredients

For the zucchini carrot bread, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Shredded carrots
  • Shredded zucchini

And for the optional cream cheese frosting, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts

zucchini carrot bread, sliced on a platter

How to Make Zucchini Carrot Bread

  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls, leaving out the shredded carrots and zucchini.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet, then carefully fold in the shredded zucchini and carrots with a spatula.
  • Divide the batter between two prepared loaf pans and bake until fully set and risen.
  • While the zucchini carrot bread loaves cool, make the cream cheese frosting, if desired.
  • Spread the frosting onto the loaves once they are completely cool. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and enjoy!

Can I Make This Recipe Into Muffins?

I haven’t tried this myself, but I’ve had readers report success when baking this recipe in a muffin pan. If you make these into muffins, you’ll likely need to shorten the bake time to around 18-20 minutes.

How to Freeze Zucchini Bread

This carrot zucchini bread can easily be frozen. If you want to freeze the entire loaf, let it cool completely to room temperature before wrapping it in two to three layers of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Freeze for up to six months.

To freeze this bread sliced, I recommend first freezing the slices on a baking tray. This way, the slices won’t get squished when stored inside a freezer bag.

two slices of zucchini carrot bread on a white plate

Tips for the Best Zucchini Carrot Bread

  • If you’d like to make this quick bread recipe a little heartier, you can use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.
  • Wait to add the cream cheese frosting until the bread is almost completely cooled.
  • For extra texture and flavor, toast the pecans or walnuts before chopping them.

More Quick Bread Recipes You’ll Love:

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Print

Zucchini Carrot Bread

5 from 1 vote

A soft and tender, perfectly spiced bread thats dotted with fresh carrots and zucchini which keep this summery bread moist. It's finished with a rich cream cheese frosting and crunchy pecans for added decadence.

Yield: 2 loaves

Servings: 16 slices
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded , peeled carrots (from about 3 medium carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini (from about 2 small zucchini)

Frosting (optional)

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter , softened
  • 5 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

For the Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour two 8 by 4-inch loaf pans and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg for 30 seconds. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended, then add canola oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds - 1 minute. Stir in shredded carrots and zucchini, then add flour mixture all at once, and using a rubber spatula, fold mixture just until combined.
  3. Divide mixture among two prepared loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes then (without removing loaves from oven) quickly tent loaves with a sheet of aluminum foil (to prevent top from excessive browning) and continue to bake 15 - 20 minutes longer, or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool in loaf pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting if desired and top with chopped pecans. Store in an airtight container.

For the Frosting:

  1. In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip together butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whip on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Recipe Notes

  • For extra texture and flavor, toast the pecans or walnuts before chopping them. 
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Course: breads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Zucchini Bread
Author: Jaclyn

36 comments

  • Terri Wallacker: Very good bread. I made two loaves in pans that were probably too big, so the loaves were small, but they were really tasty. The honey gave it a nice mild flavor of honey, which I enjoyed. Thanks! August 30, 2018 at 1:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed! Thanks for commenting Terri! September 6, 2018 at 11:04am Reply

  • Liz: This is so delicious! I substituted carrot baby food for the applesauce. January 9, 2017 at 2:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great suggestion! January 13, 2017 at 3:13pm Reply

  • Cinda Scallan: I am diabetic, I modified the recipe slightly using two cups of almond flour, one cup of oatmeal and a sugar substitute for the white and brown sugars. I did not have a zucchini in the house so I shredded two Granny Smith apples. This recipe is amazing. I plan to make it for guests for a BBQ this weekend with the zucchini and regular flour as well as regular sugar, oh, I added pecans and did not frost it. Thank you this is 5 plus stars! July 20, 2016 at 11:35pm Reply

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