My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe

My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe Recipe

I knew I was onto something delicious as I folded the last few ingredients into my zucchini bread batter this afternoon. Sometimes you just know. The thick and creamy batter was flecked with hundreds of green-lined strands of shredded zucchini nestled alongside the occasional flare of yellow lemon zest. The poppy seeds quickly spread themselves into an impossible network of connect-the dots, and at the same time, one of my favorite curry powders was sending notes of coriander, cumin, and clove up from the mixing bowl to tease my nose. There are many zucchini bread recipes out there, plenty of them tried and true, but this time around I wanted to bring my own take to this seasonal classic.

In many places zucchini season has arrived. It's flooding out of your gardens, gobbling up real estate at farmers markets, and taking center stage at grocery stores. Zucchini bread is one of the most popular vehicles for this prolific summer crop because it is delicious, portable, easy to share, it involves baking, and most importantly - it gets rid of zucchini. You'll no doubt notice that most zucchini bread recipes you come across yield two loaves. Why? Because if you were to only make one, you wouldn't put a respectable dent in the zucchini supply. For example, if I were to cut my zucchini recipe in half, I would only get rid of 1 1/2 cups of grated zucchini - the equivalent of one large zucchini? No good.

Zucchini Bread Recipe

What else should you know about today's recipe? I thought about doing a more Thai-inspired version, using coconut oil in place of the butter, beating in a small dollop of Thai-curry paste at the beginning (omitting the curry powder later on), using chopped toasted peanuts, adding some grated coconut, etc. There are infinite versions you can try here using different nut and spice combinations. Or, you can strip out all the noted optional ingredients, and you have yourself more of a classic, traditional zucchini bread. Feel free to throw out your ideas in the comments, I love to hear them.

My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe

A time-saving tip: if you have a food processor with the grating attachment, use it to shred the zucchini. It will perfectly shred three zucchini in about five seconds. On the flour front, this recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, it lends a nice, tender crumb to the zucchini bread - feel free to swap in unbleached all-purpose flour if it is more convenient or happens to be your flour of choice. Also, this recipe calls for curry powder, I also did a delicious version with a Raz el Hanout spice blend from one of my favorite local spice blend producers, highly recommended! Just swap in 1 tablespoon of the Raz el Hanout in place of the curry powder.

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, plus a few to sprinkle on top
1/3 cup poppy seeds (optional)
zest of two lemons (optional)
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped (optional)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium), skins on, squeeze some of the moisture out and then fluff it up again before using

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)

Special equipment: two 1 pound loaf pans (5 x 9 inches)

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the two loaf pans, dust them with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pans with a sheet of parchment. If you leave a couple inches hanging over the pan, it makes for easy removal after baking. Just grab the parchment "handles" and lift the zucchini bread right out.

In a small bowl combine the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and ginger. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and then the zucchini (low speed if you are using a mixer).

In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and curry powder. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition.

By hand, fold in the walnut, poppy seed, lemon zest, and crystalized ginger mixture. Save a bit of this to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaves before baking for a bit of texture. Avoid over mixing the batter, it should be thick and moist, not unlike a butter cream frosting.

Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans. Make sure it is level in the pans, by running a spatula over the top of each loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes on a middle oven rack. I like to under bake my zucchini bread ever so slightly to ensure it stays moist. Keep in mind it will continue to cook even after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. Remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling - if you leave them in their pans, they will get sweaty and moist (not in a good way) as they cool.

Makes 2 loaves.


I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi
Heidi Swanson


Oh my gosh! What a great idea! I love sweet and curry flavors combined, and in a warm, nutty bread it just makes sense. I also am interested in the 'squeeze and fluff' step, and whether that's why my zucchini bread batters have always been a bit 'gluey.' Thanks!

Gado-Gado Misha

I made this without tthe curry and my neighbor made it with. We both like it better without the curry. It was delicious.


I love zucchini bread and love the idea of adding curry to it. I made some zucchini cupcakes and used turbinado sugar rather than brown sugar as I think it gives it a nice sort of caramel flavor in the background, which i might do with this since I just got some fresh zucchini from a friend's garden! Thanks a ton!


Just wondering if I can make this with regular flour? Or, say, a mix of regular and wheat? I can't find wheat pastry flour anywhere (I'm in Buenos Aires, Argentina!) Heidi, I love your website AND your book! It's under my "bookporn" shelf in I just love looking at the pretty pictures.

Evie Abat

Heidi, this looks fabulous, and it really couldn't have come at a better time for me.. I'm about to go away for a month and need to use up a real mish-mash of ingredients... coincidentally, many of the ones you've used here! So, thank you for the idea!

Quick question about the ras-el-hanout version... did you just swap it in for the curry powder, or were there different accompaniments as well?


Hi Heidi!
I want to try this recipe and want to replace crystalized ginger by the fresh one. Will it work? Thanks a lot.


I have a huge amount of zucchini in my garden and a friend suggested I made zucchini bread. Being Scottish I'd never heard of it and assumed it was savoury. Not having a sweet-tooth I ended up making (and blogging about) a savoury version but am still interested in trying out a sweet bread. Imagine the spice in yours would take the edge off the sweetness. Thanks!


Zucchini in baking is one of my favourite ways to use zucchini - however, my favourite (and forgive that this has somehow become a reference to another blog) is zucchini chocoate cake. Its delicious... although a savoury zucchini bread is inspiring whole new flavour combinations for me!



Yes, 'tis the season! I have learned to call it 'Courgette Cake' here, and still have a bit of a challenge convinceing people to try it...
I actually called it Spice Cake, once, until after it had been tasted LOL
The French, for all the weird stuff they eat, can be remarkably reluctant to try new stuff!

On the other hand, that just means more for me... and it freezes well. Thanks for a new 'version' - looks delicious!


This looks good--and I have zucchini in my fridge, local even.
I just read a review of Supernatural Cooking on Culinate, just in case you didn't know about it.


As a new resident to the Cayman Islands I thought that I would have to wait for my next trip to the U.S. to buy your book. I was delighted to find Super Natural sitting on the shelf facing forward - just waiting for me! I am excited to try the Zucchini Bread recipe - your creativity in the kitchen never ceases to amaze me!


Hi all, hope you are enjoying a nice summer weekend! Thanks for all the nice comments.

Evie, yes you can use all-purpose flour (apf) if you like.

Megan, yes I just did a straight swap - used 1 tablespoon raz el hanout in place of the curry powder.

Kristina, you could certainly do that - I'd start by swapping in a couple tablespoons of freshly grated ginger for starters, see where that gets you and adjust the next time you make it if you want the ginger to be more prominent.



Interesting recipe. My wife had started small cookies business last couple moths. Your recipes might be helping for more varieties :)


Wow, popy seeds and curry poder, very interesting. I love the idea of a Thai inspired one, maybe with coconut milk and peanuts. I made a zucchini-beet bread once, which had grated beets and orange zest incorporated.

P.S. Did you know if you go to the Wikipedia entry for ice cream, they have your photo of cherry ice cream? It doesn't have any credit to you, so thought you might want a heads up that they snagged it.


Nice pics! :) I've never had courgette bread before...

Maninas: Food Matters

it was your blog entry from 2 years ago that i eye spyed...
chocolate zucchini muffins. now i'm the last of the big time bakers. not really my thing. but they just came out of the oven and i ate one with an espresso. damn fine. damn fine. i used the coconut oil as per your suggestion. actually i made 6 muffins and one loaf. but reallyand truly - this recipe is excellent. tomorrow i am doing the current zucchini bread recipe but i haven't decided if i'm adding the curry or not... or if i might do that thai version. or.... hmmmmm.... i'll have to sleep on it.


Which curry powder did you use? I have yet to find one I truly like, I'd like to try the one you used for this recipe.This sounds fantastic. I just made one with maple syrup, pecans, and brandy soaked raisins, yummy, but I still have plenty more zucchini left!


By the way, I had the food processor out for some other reason, so I used it to grate the zucchini for the Chocolate and Zucchini cake (from and that didn't work out great. I think it was too coarse and and not enough cells get broken open, so it ended up feeling kind of unpleasantly textured. I imagine the same thing would happen here, so unless someone can confirm otherwise I'd use the box grater.

Michael Natkin
The Vegetarian Foodie

Michael Natkin

Wow. I didn't know zucchini can be used as an ingredient in making bread. The bread look delicious. Yummy~

Steve Sim

My family and I moved to Ethiopia a couple years ago, and I don't think I've seen zucchini here. But I know they have a general brighter green looking squash. Do you think the zucchini can be substituted for a general squash?

Gail Amare

Droooool. I'm not sure about the curry powder--I like a sweeter bread--but I'll file this under "try ASAP." Do you mind if I add your recipe to Recipe4Living?


In Eastern Europe, where zucchini season absolutely drowns them in zucchini, they make fabulous zucchini pancakes.
Think potato pancakes, but with zucchini.
I prefer the original Eastern European method of using ground zucchini instead of shredded - it gives the pancakes a much smoother, softer texture. (Use either a meat grinder - ideal - or a food processor, although, admittedly, with somewhat runnier results. If you do choose to use the food processor, squeeze out a little bit of the water before using. But shredding does work, too - just comes out much coarser and more similar to hash browns.)
Just add a little bit of flour (you can use extremely little, if you like softer, thinner pancakes, or more if you want them more chewy and bready), and a couple of eggs (the more the better, really, but it again depends on how eggy you like your pancakes), and fry. Takes no more than a few minutes, and is absolutely delicious!
(Traditionally eaten with sour cream... I'm partial to raspberry preserves, personally...)


the other reason to make zucchini bread, cupcakes, etc, in addition to using up the [over]supply, is that it's a great way to sneak healthy green stuff into kids who otherwise wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole ... :-).


Love this recipe - would be amazing with a good chutney - you mentioned Mcquades chutneys in a post before - I'm going to make some tonight and try it out with their fig and ginger


Love the poppy seed addition; will leave out the curry when I make this.


Great recipe. Heidi, have you considered using weights instead of cups/spoons for your baking recipes? It's more accurate and you don't need to worry about a cup that's tightly packed versus lightly packed.

Look forward to more wonderful posts...


just came out of the oven and cooling. hey i referenced this in my blog already when i did your chocolate zucchini muffins and i hope that's ok. i'm about to post about this one too. i hope i stay within the lines of what is cool and acceptable behavior. if not PLEASE let me know, ok? i'm new at alla this!


i loved it. it is a perfect recipe. just great. it is different - but you nailed it. every ingredient works together. i hope you like my post... i hope i did it justice!



I made your Peach and Plum Crisp the other day and it was absolutely unbelievable! Certainly a new favorite and one to add to my regular repertoire.

This looks amazing as well (your inspiration always astounds me) and, though I've never tried making a zucchini bread, I think this recipe may be just the thing to get me started!

Love your site and your recipes!



I'm looking forward to trying this! In reference to a post by "Jenna," though, I have to comment on the zucchini pancakes (like potato pancakes). I made some awesome ones last week using half shredded zucchini and half (thawed of course) frozen spinach leaves. For health, I added ground flax seed. Great w/ a spicy mayonaise concoction.

a fellow Heidi

I'm so excited! Next time hubby snags some gorgeous zukes from work, I'ma make this -- with some ground flax seed too! Oh boy oh boy


When I went out into my small garden and found two large zucchini, I knew that today, with it's slightly cold and rainy feel, was the day to make this wonderful bread. I loved the warm flavours, and the touch of curry was amazing in it. I used 3 cups garbanzo bean flower and 1 1/5 teaspoons of xanthan gum to make it gluten free, and found that it was a very moist and tender bread. I did cook it for longer, however, as I wasn't zealos in the sqeezing the water out bit and I also added a brown banana, so my bread was too loose for my liking after 45 minutes.


I've been reading you blog for a while and this is the first recipe I made : the result was really fab! I made this bread yesterday night, brought one at the office today, people were a bit dubious at first (being French, they all thought it was going to be savoury bread) but absolutely loved it, and shared the other with friends tonight at a picnic on the banks of the Seine in Paris. Both loaves turned out really great, nice and moist texture and a very interesting blend of tastes. I omitted the curry and the ginger. I am now wondering whether I could use carrots instead of zucchini. Thanks for the recipe!


... Nice weblog... Cool ideas... I just have to pay attention trying the recipe... My english is quite bad. I'm just... french.

I'll be back !


I just wanted to comment on how beautiful your pictures are. As an enthusiastic baking hobbyist, I'm excited to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Heidi - Botanical PaperWorks

thanks for the recipe! i made it yesterday for a picnic and it went over very well.

blinded by hubris, i put all the dough into one pan (bc it fit) and even though it took longer to cook through, it came out very well. i will def try this again with less stinginess with the indian spices


I made this last night and I haven't stopped dreaming about it. It's amazing. With the raz-el-hanout, it is quite possibly the best thing to happen to a loaf since sliced bread.


Your zucchini bread looks fabulous. I haven't make this for a long long time. Maybe I should make one soon. I like your version with curry. Sounds very interesting.

The Cooking Ninja

I was just referred to your website by a friend of yours, Ben Y. as I am working at the same residential camp as him. I run a daily cooking (really baking) program for children 7-16 years old. WOW! WOW! WOW!
I have been reading your comments and everyone else's and staring , no drooling over your photos of your recipes (absolutely stunning) and can't wait to look at more and then finally make them. I have a feeling I won't be sleeping tonight and will be printing out many of them.
I have a particular affinity to chocolate and peanut/nut-free baked goods.
Keep up the great work!


did you try dried figs and apricots in a zucchini bread? it's fabulous!


I just tried this - delicious. I altered it slightly because I'm not a huge fan of sweets with curry, so I left out the curry powder and ginger, but added 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, which supplemented the cinnamon nicely. Also, because I only have one loaf pan, I made the other half in an 8x8 inch pan and baked it for 30 minutes - turned out fine!


I toured the factory of a new fair-trade, organic chocolate making company in Seattle called Theo, and at the sampling table I became quite enamored with their coconut-curry chocolate bar. It would taste fabulous chunked up in your zucchini bread!

I think you can buy it online.


I always like to wrap my zuk bread in a bread towel after it's cooled a bit. it really blends the flavors together and makes it "cakey" really good for coffee and tea. my friends and family love it and i'm convinced that it's how i got my husband to fall in love with me.


We (my 2 yo and I) made this Tuesday with the garden's zealous productivity. I toasted black mustard seeds (no poppy in the house) and used pistachio and almond (no walnuts in the house) as substitutions and honey (ok, maybe I need to go to the store....) and it was DIVINE. This is my new go-to recipe for zuke bread. We call it sex bread at our house, because it was as good as making love. Thank you for inspiring us. It was actually so successful I pulled your cookbook out of my pile and am ready to give it a go. I admit that when it arrived a few months ago I felt overwhelmed by it, it felt fussy for this harried mom. As I leafed through it last night I realized it is pretty prep and pantry friendly and oh-the-photos. So we'll be going for it. Keep you posted on our success...Nori rice bowls this weekend.


I've made a couple of your recipes now, and they've been totally delicious! This is the third or forth I've seen that that you've put in zest of 2 lemons. Question for you Heidi -- what do you typically use the leftover lemons for? :) I have a few sitting in the fridge, and the only think I can think of is making lemon sherbet, which isn't my fave.


This looks delicious. Thanks for your wonderful blog! Just looking at your gorgeous photographs makes me hungry! :)


I made this with a few variations: lime zest for lemon, 1 cup hazelnuts for the walnuts, ground ginger added in, and chopped crystallized ginger sprinkled over the top; I had to bake it for about 55-60 minutes, though I suspect my oven temperature was off.

The lime worked really worked well with the Thai curry powder taste. And I'm definitely a big ginger person, so the ginger was perfect.

I might add more curry powder next time, and perhaps explore some of the Thai flavors you talked about in your post.


Of course we all agree that your recipes are creative, stimulating and delicious. Your photography is wholesome, enticing and sophisticated - just like your food (I love the natural lighting, by the way). But unless I've missed it, I've not yet seen anyone post a comment about your writing. I love the way your words capture your passion for the entire process of cooking. From browsing the local markets for fresh produce, the joy of experimentation, the pleasure of the cooking process, to the ultimate gratification of the final dish, and - most importantly - sharing that pleasure with others, your text alone elicits a Pavlovian response in me that has me salivating all the way to the market. Superb on all accounts - and thank you so much for this tremendous resource!


My boyfriend and I have made this twice, first omitting some of the optional ingredients and then including everything. Either way, it is the most delicious zucchini bread we've ever had. Great with scrambled eggs and pepperjack cheese, too. Thanks Heidi!

Principle Investigator

Thanks Heidi, My son had an accident and was in the ICU for the weekend. Fortunately he is alright now and back home. This rather exotic version of an old favorite in our house is enough incentive to break my rule of not buying produce out of season. It will make a wonderful part of a mother's "care" package.


I made this recipe the first time you posted. Loved it and this reminder was all I needed to make it again. Thanks


Hi, Really nice zucchini bread, I made a really good vegetable lasagna for my blog. I have a new site that I just created.

ms recipe

Great bread, Also love putting grated zucchini in bran muffins (with golden raisons and walnuts)....much moister with the zucchini.

Re what to do with all those lemons....vinaigrette, lemon bars, lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze, lemon pound cake topped with fresh stawberries, hollandaise...etc etc etc.


OK, I feel a little silly for asking this, but I have a ton of yellow summer squash from my CSA share and I am very new to baking with vegetables. Can I use them instead of the green zucchini to make this? I am dying to use them up and I am craving something sweet!!!.

HS: Go for it Katie, the yellow squash will work just as well.


good recipe......nice n strong taste


Ohh this sounds good. But I just wanted to say that I just found this blog when I did a search for a baked donut recipe - I found yours here and decided to try it. They were yuuuummmyy! I bookmarked this site and will definitely be visiting (and trying recipes) again.


ooohhhh! i made this last night with fresh zucchini from the farmer's market. i was a bit skittish about using the curry, but i really really like it in the bread! i just inhaled a piece with my coffee. delicious! i'm afraid i've found a new zuke bread recipe to replace paula deen's!


I also felt really strange putting so much curry and ginger in but was pleasantly surprised by the fantastic flavor that came out. Although I think I would add a bit more sugar next time.
Thanks again, I am never disappointed by your recipes (and my co-workers love your recipes too). I will continue to try them, thanks!


Looks amazing, I LOVE the napkin/placemat, just beautiful!


This was my first attempt at making anything on your site and it came out great. I used Pumpkin Pie spice and ground cardamom instead of the curry and forgot the baking powder!!! My friends and roommates still went back for seconds so it must have tasted yummy. I felt like it needed more zucchini though, I barely noticed it with all the other exciting ingredients. Thanks for a fun baking adventure.


Heidi, this might be an obvious one to many, but I'm still wondering--which type of curry powder did you use (other than the raz el hanout)? Since curry powders come in in an infinite number of combinations and go by as many names, I thought I'd ask.



Love this recipe. Thought it was crazy with the curry but then I start to think and I was smelling my slightly sweet curry and thought this will be different. The Ginger is another great addition to this traditional bread. I am now doing my second try and doubled the recipe for friends and family. The second batch I also grated some fresh nutmeg and see what that taste like. Love your site, I have now turned my oldest son on to some of your recipes since he has now cut meat from his diet. It has helped him broaden his diet for a new veggie eater!


I'm glad you re-posted this recipe! I had forgotten about it although I made this several times last summer. I made it with regular curry powder (I think Trader Joe's, I can't remember, raz-el-hanout, and probably other variations. The one I remember the most was with coconut oil and Thai red curry was strange, but a big success.
I currently have my first batch of the mesquite-chocolate-chip cookies baking...on the dashboard of my car (totally not kidding.)
Thanks for your great recipes!


To Wendy: if you were surprised at hearing about zucchini bread, then get this. In Slovenia (where I live) it's quite standard to bake zucchini strudel!!!! It can be just as sweet as the traditional 'apfel' version, and as Heidi pointed out, it gets rid of a lot of zucchini! :-) In this country almost everybody has their own patch of land, and they grow everything themselves (if you want free home-grown lettuce, just ask anybody!)

Too bad I don't get "whole pastry flour" here, but I think spelt flour would do the trick most of the time, hm?


i make my zucchini bread differnt then the way you make yours. my family loves it

sally wallace

i make my zucchini bread differnt then the way you make yours. my family loves it

sally wallace

I didn't have any walnuts on hand, and while that would have given it a meatier texture, it was COMPLETELY made up for with the spices. The lemon and ginger really stand out, and curry just finishes the former off. I hadn't the faintest of where to get WW pastry flour, but I did a mix of all-purpose self-rising and whole wheat, and it came out fine, perhaps a little on the flat side. Thank you for helping me expand my baking horizons AND helping me clean out Zucc's!


just came out of the oven! i am trying this recipe for a breakfast for someone special.

i had a tiny bit of batter left over to make a mini test loaf...and it is delicious!

i only had 1 zucchini so i cut the recipe in half. i used all your optional ingredients and it is delicious! i think the baking time extends to about 1 hour.

thanks for the great recipe!

m a a

I found this site by accident and have fallen in love with it. My mom and I are addicted to zucchini bread and are always looking for new recipes. I'm going away tomorrow but wish I could stay home and whip up a batch of breads to snack on! Can't wait to try this one!


Hi! I also cut the recipe in half. What is half of three eggs, I wondered? I used one and a half, somehow, and my loaf came out delicious but crumbly. So: if you want to cut the recipe in half, I recommend using 2.


I am a BIG fan of your recipes & website - FINALLY a great place to find yummy healthy recipes that seem really easy to whip up! I love to cook and always try to eat a healthy diet. It's not easy finding recipes that incorporate whole grains, so I am very excited to start trying your recipes!!! So far I made this zucchini bread & LOVED it!!! Thanks so much, Heidi!!!!!!

marcy o.

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