Moist and filled with warming spices, this one-bowl zucchini bread is simply the best zucchini bread that you will ever make! This recipe makes two loaves and it freezes well.
As someone who doesn't generally care for quick bread, I am very passionate about zucchini bread. This is a family recipe that my mom served often with dinner when I was growing up.
As much as I love savory recipes like zucchini fritters, zucchini bread will always be the best way to enjoy zucchini. And let me tell you: there is nothing quite like homemade zucchini bread using summer-ripened zucchini.
Why this recipe is the best
- Easy to make: This zucchini bread is made in one bowl using simple, classic quick bread ingredients.
- Sweet and warming: It is sweetened with a mix of white and brown sugar and dappled with warming spices, resulting in the coziest flavors.
- This recipe makes two loaves of zucchini bread. It keeps for 4-5 days in the fridge or can be frozen for later.
- Hidden veggies: Shredded zucchini is added directly to the batter. This makes it ultra-moist and it's an easy way to sneak in some veggies. The only way you can tell that there is zucchini in zucchini bread is by looking at it. The zucchini itself almost melts into the bread.
Zucchini bread is actually dairy-free because all of the moisture comes from oil and grated zucchini. Check out my vegan zucchini bread or vegan zucchini banana muffins recipe if you looking for an egg-free option.
- Zucchini: Use a box grater to shred the zucchini. Two large zucchini yield roughly two heaping cups of shredded/grated zucchini.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg add a touch of warmth.
- All-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder make up the main dry ingredients.
- Eggs: Use three large eggs. For an egg-free version of this recipe, check out my vegan zucchini bread.
- White sugar and light brown sugar: The original recipe from my mom uses 100% white sugar, but using half light brown sugar adds extra depth and creates a moister loaf.
- Oil: This is an oil-based loaf made without butter. I use canola oil or vegetable oil for the most neutral flavor. I don't recommend using coconut oil. Light olive oil works but may impart a slight olive oil flavor to the loaf.
How to bake zucchini bread
This is a one-bowl recipe, but I do recommend whisking the eggs separately before adding them to the batter.
- Shred the zucchini using a box grater. Set the shredded zucchini aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk or large spoon to mix together the wet ingredients until well combined: oil, whisked eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.
- Add in half of the all-purpose flour and all of the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine, then add the remaining flour. It will be a very thick batter.
- Fold in the shredded zucchini. The batter should be easier to work with at this point. It will be scoopable.
Divide the zucchini bread between two loaf pans, or bake the zucchini bread one at a time. The bread batter can be covered and refrigerated for 1-2 hours while the other loaf bakes, but I don't recommend leaving it too much longer.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes to an hour. Test the center with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let sit in the loaf pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Expert tips for the best results
Making zucchini bread is really easy, but I do have a few tips to make sure that you have the best zucchini bread every single time that you make this recipe.
- Spoon and level flour: This is my number one baking tip. Use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup until it is overflowing. Scrape excess flour off the top of the measuring cup using the back of a knife. Do not shake or press the flour down into the cup.
- Baking time: The zucchini bread is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the loaf will appear golden and should crack in the center, indicating that the loaf is ready.
- Batter consistency: This is a relatively thick batter. It may seem too thick when folding in the zucchini, but trust the process. The zucchini releases a lot of moisture that loosens up the batter.
- Pans: I use two 9x5x3 loaf pans to make zucchini bread. Lightly coat with oil for easy loaf removal. I have not tried making these with a parchment paper lining, but it should work just fine.
- The zucchini skin does not need to be peeled.
- Let the zucchini loaves cool completely before slicing. I know, it's hard to wait (and I honestly usually don't wait!). But for perfect zucchini bread slices, the bread needs to be cooled before slicing with a bread knife.
- Add-ins: Fold in up to ½ cup chocolate chips or mixed nuts like walnuts or pecans. Add these in at the same time as the shredded zucchini.
- Chocolate zucchini bread: Replace ¼ cup of all-purpose flour with ¼ cup cocoa powder for subtly chocolatey zucchini bread.
- Gluten-free option: I have not tested this recipe with a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. However, readers have had success using GF all-purpose flour in my vegan zucchini bread. It should work if you use an all-purpose blend like the kind from Bob's Red Mill.
- Zucchini muffins: One loaf makes 12 muffins. Line a 12-count muffin tin with liners or lightly grease with cooking spray. Spoon batter into the muffin tins until almost at the top. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Storage and freezing tips
- Make-ahead: I don't recommend shredding zucchini in advance because as it sits it will leak out moisture that is needed for the zucchini bread. The zucchini bread batter can be made 1-2 hours in advance and stored in the fridge.
- Storage: Zucchini bread can be stored at room temperature but I actually prefer storing it in the fridge for 4-5 days. Unlike many quick breads, I don't find that zucchini bread dries out in the fridge.
- Freezing: Let the loaf cool to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil, then place in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter when ready to use.
More favorite quick bread recipes
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The Best Zucchini Bread
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed into cup
- 1 cup canola oil or other neutral oil
- 3 large eggs whisked together
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 heaping cups grated zucchini see note 1
- 3 cups all-purpose flour spoon and level into cup, see note 2
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk or large spoon to mix together the wet ingredients until well combined: white sugar, brown sugar, oil, whisked eggs, and vanilla.
- Add in half of the all-purpose flour and all of the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Stir to combine, then add the remaining flour. It will be a very thick batter.
- Use a spatula to fold in the grated zucchini. The batter should be easier to work with at this point. It will be scoopable.
- Lightly oil two 9x5x3 loaf pans. Divide the batter between the two pans.
- Bake at 350F on the center oven rack for 45 minutes to an hour. The loaves are ready when deep brown top and when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove rom the oven and let sit in the loaf pans for 5 minutes before turning out on cooling rack.
- Let the zucchini bread cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Zucchini: One large zucchini usually yields about 1 cup grated zucchini, so for this recipe, I use two large zucchini.
- Flour: Spoon and level flour into the measuring cup for the best results. To do this, use a spoon to add flour to a measuring cup until overflowing. Wipe off excess with the back of a knife. Don't pack or pat the flour in.
- Freezing: Let the loaf cool to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil, then place in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter.