Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes a single beautiful loaf of walnut studded zucchini bread. And a sizable one at that. For years I would load my zucchini bread batter with all manner of zest, spice, and whatnot. But that's not how I roll anymore. Over the years I began to prefer this pared-down and more minimalist version. Moist, just sweet enough and loaded with toasted walnuts inside and out, it has a sweet nut-crusted top, requires just one pan and is a rustic stunner. If you're looking for a go-to zucchini bread recipe, give this a shot.
Zucchini Bread Recipe

A Few Zucchini Bread Tips

Pre-grate & Freeze Excess Zucchini: When you have more zucchini than you know what to do with, grate it and divide 2 1/2 cup portions into freezer bags. Thaw and use with this recipe later in the year.

Too Much: If you've baked more zucchini bread than you can eat, slice it, divide with parchment paper, and freeze in baggies. When you're ready for it, thaw and toast (or toast in a pan with a bit of butter).

Accurate Baking Time: A cake tester is important here. This is a big loaf and you want to make sure the interior is cooked though. If cake batter is visible on your tester keep baking in 7-10 minute increments. 

Yellow Summer Squash Are OK Too! You can basically use any summer squash you like here. Classic green-skinned zucchini are most typical, but you can also use eight-ball squash, patty pan, crooked neck squash, etc. I like to leave the skins on all of them for the color-flecks they lend to the batter. One thing to keep an eye out for is any squash that has developed seeds. Just scoop those out prior too grating.
Zucchini Bread Recipe

Variations

My Special Zucchini Bread: This is the more maximalist version of zucchini bread I've featured here since 2008. To the batter add: the zest of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup poppy seeds, 1/3 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon favorite curry powder. So fragrant!

All the Zests Zucchini Bread: Add the zest of 3 limes, 2 oranges, and 3 lemons. Consider swapping almond extract for the vanilla extract.

Basil & Lemon Zucchini Bread: Add 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil and zest of two lemons to the we ingredients. You can use Italian or lemon basil.

Zucchini Oat Bread: An idea I haven't tested yet, but want to mention it in case someone wants to give it a try. Swap 1/3 cup of the flour for old-fashioned oats.

Raz el Hanout Zucchini Bread: I've baked a delicious version using a Raz el Hanout spice blend, highly recommended! Just add 1 tablespoon of Raz el Hanout to your dry ingredients.

Zucchini Bread Muffins: Yes, you can make muffins! Fill lined muffin tins 2/3 full - 3/4 if you’re living on the edge! And bake until golden and cooked through.
Zucchini Bread Recipe

More Zucchini Ideas

If you have a garden that is anything like ours, it's putting off an incredible number of zucchini right now. Take a look at these zucchini recipes. I've been trying to come up with more recipes that put a real dent in the zucchini supply. So far, this Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream is a favorite, and this Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad is perfect for summer & using up extra sourdough at the end of the week. And we love this Simple Sauteed Zucchini, especially with a little side action of this favorite pesto.
Zucchini Bread Recipe
Enjoy! And please leave notes in the comments if you have other variations you like.

 

Zucchini Bread

4.6 from 15 votes

A time-saving tip: if you have a food processor with the grating attachment, use it to shred the zucchini. It will perfectly shred the zucchini in no time. 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. Or do a 50/50 blend of whole wheat pastry and all-purpose. Lastly, I have you sprinkle some sugar across the top of your zucchini bread batter before baking, if you have a large grain sugar use that (pictured), if not granulated sugar is fine.

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped toasted walnuts, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for topping
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 2-3 medium), skins on
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle. Butter a 9x5-inch (1 lb.) loaf pan, dust with a bit of flour and set aside. Alternately, you can line the pan 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.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1 1/4 cups of the walnuts.
  3. Using a mixer (or by hand), 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. Squeeze some of the moisture out of the zucchini and then fluff it up a bit before stirring it into that batter by hand.

  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition. Stir just until you have a thick, uniform batter. Pour the batter into the pan and level it by running a spatula over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts, and 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.
  5. Bake for about 60-70 minutes keeping a close eye on things after 50 minutes. If the top of your zucchini bread is getting too dark, drape a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil over it for the remainder of the baking time. You're going to want to use a cake tester or toothpick to test for doneness. The cake should be golden and rustic looking, and a toothpick should come out clean.

  6. When done, remove from the oven and cool the zucchini bread in pan for about ten minutes. Transter onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes

Makes 1 large zucchini bread.

Serves
12
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • 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!

    est
  • 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.

    Rai
  • 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

    Anne
  • 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
  • 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
    • Hi Gail! As long as it's a tender skinned summer squash, I'm sure it's worth a try!

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

    JEP
  • 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

    Jude
  • 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 ... :-).

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

    Steve Sim
  • 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...)

    Jenna
  • 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.

    lucette
  • 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!

    Katiez
  • 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! B

    B
  • 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. -h

    Heidi
  • 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!

    Liz
  • 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!

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

    Kristina
    • Hi Kristina! Sure, it'll be different but delicious in its own right. Add 2-3 grated tablespoons to the wet ingredients.

      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
  • 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 Goodreads.com. I just love looking at the pretty pictures.

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

    Holly
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