I know we all have a go-to zucchini bread recipe. This one is mine. I have been making it for over 5 years since the first time I saw it in my favorite magazine, Cook’s Illustrated. It is easy to make and works every time.
How to prepare zucchini for bread
If this is your first time making a zucchini loaf, you are probably thinking, do I need to peel the zucchini to make zucchini bread? Well, the answer is no, especially if you are making it during the zucchini season.
You also do not need to take out the seeds. All you need to do is grate the zucchini using a box grater.
How much zucchini do I need for zucchini bread:
This quick bread recipe uses 1 ½ pounds of zucchini that yields about 2 ½ cups of shredded zucchini.
Shredding Zucchini for Zucchini Bread
To prepare the zucchini:
- Cut the ends of zucchini
- Shred it using the large hole section of a box grater
- Place the now-shredded zucchini in the middle of a clean kitchen towel, gather the ends of the cloth, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Set it aside.
There are two sets of ingredients, wet and dry.
For the wet ingredients; gather brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
And for the dry ones, you will need all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
How to Make Quick Zucchini Bread:
- Prep and grate the zucchini: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, then grease and line a 9 by 5 or 8 ½ by 4 ½ loaf pan with parchment paper. Use the large holes of a box grater to grate the zucchini.
- Squeeze the zucchini: Place the shredded zucchini onto the center of a clean kitchen towel, collect it from the edges and wring out as much liquid as possible over a large bowl or the kitchen sink. Set it aside.
- Prep the wet ingredients: Whisk together the brown sugar vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fold in the shredded zucchini.
- Prep the dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
- Prep the zucchini bread batter: Fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in the walnuts, if using.
- Bake: Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Using the back of a spoon, distribute the batter equally. Evenly sprinkle the granulated sugar on top of the batter. Bake for 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let it cool & serve: Let it cool completely, slice it up, and serve.
What temperature to bake zucchini bread
I like my zucchini walnut loaf baked at 325 degrees F. I find that the lower heat and a longer bake time in the oven produces an evenly baked and moist quick bread in the end.
Variations & optional add ins for zucchini bread:
- Nut Free Zucchini Bread: If you are not a fan of nuts, you can simply omit them. Walnuts are totally optional in this bread recipe.
- Chocolate Chips on top: If you want to make this bread even more delicious (and chocolate-y), you sprinkle it with two tablespoons of chocolate chips.
- Play the spices: I love ground cinnamon and nutmeg combo but sometimes I like to switch things up by swapping them with ground cardamom and ginger. I have also seen some recipes that use Chinese five-spice powder as well. Whichever spices you choose to experiment with I would recommend starting with half a teaspoon of spice and increase from there based on your taste buds.
How to keep zucchini bread fresh
I find that the best way to keep it fresh is to either wrap it tightly with stretch film or place it in an airtight container after it is fully cooled down. This simple zucchini bread recipe will keep fresh at room temperature upto 3 days but you can also place it in the fridge for upto 5-6 days.
Can I freeze?
You sure can. I recommend first slicing it and then wrapping each slice with wax or parchment paper individually. Once they are all wrapped up, place them in a plastic bag and get all the air out as much as possible (to prevent freezer burn).
To thaw: Take it out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter for 15-30 minutes and rewarm in a 300 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes.
What is the best loaf pan for zucchini loaf:
My version here is a zucchini bread recipe for 9×5 pan. However, you can also use 8 ½ X 4 ½ pan as well.
Other quick zucchini bread recipes you might also like:
There you have it friends, a super moist, easy to make zucchini bread recipe that you can make for your family.
With that being said, I know we all have different dietary restrictions so I wanted to make sure that I share the two other zucchini bread recipes I have on the blog:
- Vegan Zucchini Bread recipe: This version is made with flax eggs and whole wheat flour.
- Paleo Zucchini Bread recipe: This is my healthy zucchini bread recipe made with almond flour and sweetened with a little bit of coconut sugar.
- 1 1/2 lbs. zucchini washed and shredded
- 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed 8 (3/4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 7 1/2 ounces
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 2 3/4 ounces
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Optional Add Ins
- 3/4 cups walnuts chopped
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray a 9”by 5” loaf pan with vegetable spray.
- Place shredded zucchini in the middle of a clean kitchen towel. Gather each end of the towel and squeeze tightly to drain as much liquid as possible from the zucchinis. It should be around half a cup of liquid. Discard the liquid. Place the zucchinis in a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fold in the zucchinis.
- In a separate bowl, mix all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
- Fold in the zucchini mixture into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Fold in the walnuts, if using.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Using the back of a spoon, distribute the batter equally.
- Evenly sprinkle the granulated sugar (if using) on top of the batter.
- Bake for 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (or with a couple of crumbs).
- Allow it to cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Then remove it from the pan and let it come to room temperature completely before serving.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine’s June&July 2014 issue.
This post was originally published in July 2014. It has been updated in July 2020 with new information and no changes to the originally published recipe.