The absolute BEST Zucchini Bread recipe! It has the perfect texture with a super soft and moist crumb (thanks to the abundance of fresh zucchini added) and it has a classic spiced flavor that will leave you craving more!
Easy Zucchini Bread
I think I’ve already made this six times in the last few weeks. When summer is the season at hand this is the quick bread to be making!
And it’s absolutely perfect when you cut a warm from the oven slice. Or two. Or three. It’s actually dangerously delicious! Addictive stuff I tell you.
Who knew zucchini could somehow become absolutely irresistible? Sugar has a way of transforming many things into something so tasty, doesn’t it?
I think it’s safe to say this is the number one way to use up garden fresh zucchini. Even kids will love it!
And you’ll love just how easy it is to make! No mixer is even required. Just the good old fashioned way of mixing by hand.
Zucchini Bread Ingredients and Substitutes
- All-purpose flour: I like to use unbleached all-purpose flour (it has a better flavor), but bleached can be used if that’s all you have.
- Ground cinnamon and nutmeg: If you don’t have these you could try using 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- Baking powder and baking soda: This blend helps the bread rise beautifully.
- Salt: Since there is so much zucchini in this recipe a fair amount of salt is added so it doesn’t taste flat. Don’t worry though, the bread doesn’t taste salty.
- Light brown sugar: In a pinch white sugar could be used in this recipe.
- Vegetable oil: Canola oil or even light olive oil will work fine too.
- Eggs: These bind ingredients and assist in rising. If there is an allergy you could try an egg replacer.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla bean paste will work great here too.
- Zucchini: I haven’t tried substitutes here but I wonder about using a blend of zucchini and carrots (no need to strain carrots).
How to Make Zucchini Bread
- Preheat oven, prepare loaf pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, dust lightly with flour then shake out excess.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Mix sugar and liquids: In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Strain zucchini: Wrap half the zucchini in cheesecloth, then squeeze liquid into a bowl. Repeat with second half of zucchini, you should have 6 – 7 Tbsp rendered juice, if not squeeze to remove more.
- Mix zucchini into batter: Stir zucchini into brown sugar mixture.
- Combine mixtures: Add flour mixture and fold and stir just until no streaks of flour remain.
- Pour into pan and bake: Pour evenly into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. About 50 – 60 minutes.
- Cool: Let cool in pan 10 minutes then invert onto wire rack and let cool before slicing.
- Use room temperature ingredients so loaf rises better, and bakes faster.
- If you want to bring ingredients to room temperature faster you can place zucchini in warm water for about 20 minutes, and eggs in warm water for 5 minutes. If you absolutely must you can skip the room temperature ingredients, loaf will take a little longer to bake.
- Don’t skip straining excess liquid from zucchini or it will end up too wet and won’t bake through.
- If you want to make the zucchini a little less visibly noticeable you can peel the zucchini first before shredding.
- If you find loaf is browning before center is baked through (check at about 40 minutes), then tent with foil so top doesn’t get too dark. This will vary by oven.
Of course it’s so tasty as is but here are a few ways to change things up:
- Mix 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips into batter before baking.
- Try it with 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (toasted if preferred).
- Toss in 1/2 cup raisins.
- If you like coconut you can mix in 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut.
- Add other spices such as ginger, cloves or allspice.
How long does it keep?
It should be stored in an airtight container and will keep 2 – 3 days at room temperature, or up to 1 week in the fridge.
Can it be frozen?
Yes. It can be frozen up to 3 months. Wrap in foil or parchment paper then store in an airtight container.
Can it be made into muffins?
Yes the batter can also be baked as muffins. Fill parchment paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full. They should take around 18 – 23 minutes at 350 degrees to bake.
How to Make It Healthier
If you want to make it a bit healthier then you could try:
- Substituting half the oil with unsweetened applesauce.
- Using white whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose flour.
- Cut back on the sugar by 1/3 cup or try sweetening it with maple syrup (maybe 2/3 cup).
More Delicious Zucchini Desserts to Try
- Lemon Zucchini Bread
- CarrotZucchini Bread
- Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting or Zucchini Cupcakes
- Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
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- 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached, scoop and level to measure)
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup packed (215g) light brown sugar*
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 20 oz. zucchini, at room temperature, shredded (3 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, dust lightly with flour then shake out excess.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Wrap half the zucchini in cheesecloth, then squeeze liquid into a bowl. Repeat with second half of zucchini, you should have 6 - 7 Tbsp rendered juice, if not squeeze to remove more.**
- Stir zucchini into brown sugar mixture.
- Add flour mixture and fold and stir just until no streaks of flour remain.
- Pour evenly into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. About 50 - 60 minutes.***
- Let cool in pan 10 minutes then invert onto wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.****
- *If you'd like a sweeter zucchini bread you can add an extra 1/4 cup brown sugar, if you'd like a mildly sweet loaf you can reduce by 1/4 cup.
- **If you don't have cheesecloth I have also done this by spreading zucchini evenly over 3 overlapped, long sheets of paper towels, then roll up and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Unroll onto cutting board. You should have removed about 4 oz of liquid.
- ***If needed you can tent loaf with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes of baking if loaf is browning too much on top.
- ****Zucchini bread can be stored in the fridge for 6 - 7 days to extend shelf life, bring to room temperature before serving. It can also be frozen for 3 months.
- You can also fold in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and/or 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter before baking.
- Add 1/2 cup raisins.
- If you love spices, increase nutmeg to 1/2 tsp, add 1 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.