This homemade Zucchini Bread is so moist, tender and flavorful, and it’s a great recipe to use up all that fresh garden or farmer’s market zucchini that’s in season right now.
why you’ll love this zucchini bread
- Quick & easy – no mixer required, pour into a loaf pan and bake.
- Infinitely adaptable – more on that later!
- Incredibly moist thanks to the shredded zucchini. This loaf won’t dry out, even days after baking.
- Super flavorful and tender – this zucchini bread is absolutely perfect! It tastes wonderful and has the best texture.
- Versatile – can totally be served for breakfast, tea time or dessert!
- Dairy free – this zucchini bread recipe uses a combination of oil and applesauce instead of butter.
- Freezer friendly – you can make this quick bread as much as 3 months in advance. Enjoy homemade zucchini bread long after the garden zucchini is gone!
- Make muffins – to make this bread into muffins, you’ll want to check out my favorite zucchini muffins recipe!
zucchini bread ingredients and substitutions
This homemade zucchini bread is made with simple baking ingredients to give it the perfect soft, tender crumb. Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need:
- Flour. for best results, use all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour or a combination of the three.
- Baking powder & baking soda. to ensure this bread has the perfect rise and texture.
- Salt. this will help pull the flavors together.
- Flavor makers. cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla are all optional, but the combination of these ingredients give the bread a wonderful warm, cozy flavor.
- Oil. a bit of oil makes this bread super moist. I used vegetable oil, but feel free to sub olive oil, canola oil, melted butter or melted and cooled coconut oil.
- Unsweetened applesauce. to cut down on the amount of oil needed to make the bread moist, I used 1/4 cup applesauce. You can just use additional oil, if you’d like.
- Sugar. I love using a combination of brown and white sugar because brown sugar helps to make the zucchini bread soft, moist and flavorful. You can just use all white, granulated sugar, if that’s what you have available.
- Egg. you’ll need one egg to help with binding and ensure the quick bread bakes properly.
- Zucchini. the star of the show! This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini. Good news, there’s no need to peel tender-skinned zucchini. Simply wash the zucchini, big or small, doesn’t matter, and shred it with a box shredder.
- Add-ins. Feel free to add up to 1 cup of any favorite mix-in ingredients – nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit (dried or fresh).
how to make zucchini bread
Nothing complicated about this zucchini bread recipe! Grab a couple of mixing bowls and your loaf pan! Here’s a quick overview of the process, with more detail in the recipe card below.
- Start the batter by whisking together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mix the wet ingredients and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, applesauce, sugars, egg, vanilla and zucchini.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients in with wet ingredients and gently stir until mostly combined. Do NOT over mix!
- Fill loaf pan and bake. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake bread for 50 to 60 minutes at 350ºF and until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. (I recommend loosely covering the bread with foil about halfway through baking to prevent too much browning on top.)
- Cool bread and serve. Allow bread to cool in the loaf pan, on a wire rack, for about 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely (or almost completely) before slicing and enjoying. Enjoy with a smear of butter, jam or a drizzle of honey!
tips for making homemade zucchini bread
Zucchini bread is SO easy to make, but here are a few tips to make sure your bread bakes up perfect every time!
- Shredded zucchini. You don’t need to squeeze the zucchini dry before adding it to the batter. The moisture in the zucchini will keep the bread nice and moist.
- To peel or not to peel. You do not need to peel the zucchini first! The peel being on or off will make no difference to the overall taste and texture of your bread. The only reason to peel the zucchini would be if you’re trying to really hide the zucchini in the bread.
- Measure the flour correctly. Too much flour can cause your bread to be dry and crumbly. Whisk the flour first, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the top (without shaking the measuring cup).
- Do NOT over-mix batter. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together by gently stirring them together and mix just until moistened. Over-mixing the batter can produce tough quick bread.
- Do not over-bake the bread. Ovens can vary, so be sure to check the bread a few minutes before the loaf should be done. The bread is done baking when you insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
add-ins & variations
I adore this simple zucchini bread recipe as-is, but there are so many different ways to add new flavors and textures to this delicious treat! Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Nuts. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans for zucchini nut bread.
- Fruit. You can add 1/2 to 1 cup of dried cranberries, raisins, or golden raisins to the dry ingredients.
- Chocolate. Add 1/2 to 1 cup regular or miniature chocolate chips to the dry ingredients. Tossing them with dry ingredients before mixing in the wet ingredients helps to ensure they don’t sink to the bottom.
- Streusel topping. Try a delicious streusel topping for your zucchini loaf by mixing together 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the bread, then bake as directed.
This zucchini bread is so delicious when it’s still warm, straight out of the oven, but it also works to make it ahead of time because it stores really well!
Be sure to allow the bread to cool completely before storing. I recommend you move it from the loaf pan to a wire cooling rack (affiliate link) for the quickest cooling time.
- Room temperature storage. This bread will keep for 3-4 days on the counter at room temperature, if it lasts that long! 😉
- Refrigerator storage. When stored in the fridge it will keep well for up to 1 week. I store mine in a large resealable baggie.
- Freezer storage. Freezing your zucchini bread will keep it fresh for up to 3 months. I recommend wrapping it, first, in plastic wrap, then place it in a resealable bag that has been labeled with the date.
- Reheating zucchini bread. Frozen bread will need to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then let it come to room temperature before serving. Or microwave for 20-30 seconds. I love to double this recipe and make two loaves – one to enjoy right away and one to freeze for later. When mornings get busy, I have an easy breakfast ready to go.
I hope you enjoy this zucchini bread recipe! It is certainly one of my favorites. I’ve made it numerous times this summer and my family is obsessed!
more favorite quick bread recipes
If your family loves quick bread as much as mine, give these other bread recipes a try!
If you try this easy zucchini bread recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (do not scoop with measuring cup, spoon in and level with the straight edge of a butter knife)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- optional: 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped nuts
- 1/4 cup (59ml) vegetable oil (or other preferred oil)
- 1/4 cup (62.5g) unsweetened applesauce (or additional oil)
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1-2 medium to large zucchinis)*
- Grease and flour an 8x4-inch (or 9x5-inch) loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together until combined. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, stir together the oil, applesauce, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla, and zucchini until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and gently stir until just combined. Do NOT over-mix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. (I recommend loosely covering the bread with foil about halfway through baking to prevent too much browning on top.) I usually check my bread after about 50 minutes and the bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Cool bread (in pan) on wire cooling rack for about 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely (or almost completely) before slicing and enjoying.
**Leftover bread will keep fresh, covered, at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.