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The Perfect Zucchini Bread Recipe

25 Reviews

I hated zucchini bread when I was little, searched for years for a recipe I’d love as an adult and this is The Perfect Zucchini Bread Recipe.

A close up of the best zucchini bread recipe with cinnamon sugar topping

My first zucchini bread experience wasn’t a good one. We graciously thanked them at the door with my mom and ran to the kitchen to slice off a piece. Obviously I was going to love it, it looked just like banana bread.

We hated it.

The thickest CHUNKS of zucchini all scattered throughout the bread. I wanted to gag. It was like a nightmare.

Round two years later and while it wasn’t chunks it was thick, thick shreds. That was it, zucchini bread was NOT like Banana Bread and I vowed to never eat it again.

I’ve now eaten more zucchini bread than I will ever admit to you and not only is zucchini bread totally amazing, but I’ve created the absolute most perfect recipe ever. Read on while I go eat some humble pie.

Actually, I love pie so I’m still winning. 😉

A close up of the best zucchini bread recipe with cinnamon sugar topping

The Good Ol’ Days

I’ve been thinking about my past a lot lately. Do you know the song by Macklemore, Good Ol’ Days? While I can’t relate to every word of the song I do feel this stirring inside of me.

Those were the good old days.

I do miss them. Or at least pieces of them.

I’m trying harder to recognize that right now is also going to one day be the good ol’ days as well.

“I wish somebody would have told me babe
Some day, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days”

Zucchini Flowers

When I was little we spent most of our summer outside. Running and playing, watching the clouds on our backs on that trampoline and watching the garden grow.

And by watching I mean working our pants off to keep it weeded and growing.

I remember waking up and the house was quiet. I’d go searching for Mom only to finally see her out there in the garden, bent over weeding or checking on the plants.

The zucchini flowers were a sign that the harvest was going to be a good one.

I just prayed she would let me eat the acorn squash because remember, I wasn’t interested in zucchini anymore.

All those wasted years.

 

A close up of the best zucchini bread recipe with cinnamon sugar topping

Fake it ‘Til You Make it

A few years ago someone brought zucchini bread to our house and then insisted I try it right then.

Sheer panic.

I slowly sliced into it, all smiles of course. Fake it ’til you make it.

The first thing I noticed was that there wasn’t a single strand of zucchini. What is this sorcery? I was a little more intrigued. I broke a piece off in my fingers and took a bite, talking through the whole thing just to distract them from any grimace I might make.

IT. WAS. SO. GOOD!!!!

The Perfect Zucchini Bread Recipe

After that I was all over the testing of every zucchini bread recipe I could get my hands on. I found myself going straight back to Banana Bread mode where I literally tested for years.

Literally.

And here we are.

There are a few tricks to the best zucchini bread recipe, so I highly encourage you to follow each one.

  • Finely Shred the Zucchini-

We aren’t just talking the small shreds here, I mean buy this CHEESE GRATER and use that small grate side (not the zester). This will make the zucchini so tender it will completely melt into the bread and you won’t have any random strings.

  • Use Sour Cream-

Sour cream is a thick and creamy fat that will bring a great moisture and texture to the bread. You can use any sour cream from full fat to fat free. Obviously the more fat the better the bread, but the difference isn’t enough to go buy one if you already have low fat or fat free.

  • Never Use an Electric Mixer-

It’s not often that we tell you to ditch the hand mixer or KitchenAid, but please, stick with a whisk for the liquids and wooden spoon or rubber spatula for the batter.

  • Spices are a Must-

Banana bread is a pretty pure flavor, but zucchini bread tastes even better with cinnamon and nutmeg. It screams fall and you will absolutely miss out if you don’t add them.

  • Cinnamon Sugar Topping-

This part is totally up to you, but we’ve found that a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar over the batter right before it goes in the oven is a game changer. It’s creates this yummy, crackly top that is irresistible.

A close up of the best zucchini bread recipe with cinnamon sugar topping

Tip for a Domed Zucchini Bread

Do your banana and zucchini bread recipes ever turn out flat?

You could be using the wrong sized bread pan, over or under filling it or missing one important step.

  • Take a paper towel and wipe the top inch of any cooking spray all the way around the bread pan. The bread will stop and cling right there, forcing the rest of the bread to rise up in the middle.

What are Quick Breads?

Have you noticed all of the questions popping up on our instagram any time we post about banana bread? Is this cake or bread? What are quick breads?

Quick breads are any breads leavened with leavening agents other than yeast, such as baking soda or baking powder. Sometimes both are used, sometimes just one or the other, but either way, there’s no yeast but there is a leavening agent.

These breads aren’t quite as dense as pound cake but not as chewy as American bread or Artisan Bread. Yes, I’d say it’s more like cake then bread, but then again, isn’t a muffin basically a cupcake and yet we all know they are different.

Same thing.

Also, a muffin is technically a quick bread, so just throwing that out there too.

How Long Do Quick Breads Keep?

I mean, if we are talking about my house, they don’t keep at all! Day one and the entire loaf is gone.

Maybe two days if Cade and I are trying to not have sugar until the weekend.

Maybe…

All joking aside, there is a real answer. Quick breads will keep for about 3 days.

a loaf of cinnamon sugar zucchini bread

How to Store Quick Breads

When you’re ready to store your quick bread, make sure it has been cooled completely. Any warm quick bread that is wrapped will gain too much moisture and create a soggy bread later.

Wrap the bread in plastic wrap or place in a large ziploc bag and store in a cool place.

Can You Freeze Quick Breads?

Quick Breads freeze very well. You can pop them into your freezer a month ahead of time and then deliver little loaves to friends and families over the holidays or pull one out for a quick treat any time.

How to Freeze Zucchini Bread or Other Quick Breads

Cool completely.

Wrap tightly in aluminum foil or plastic or place in sealable freezer bag and freeze.

a loaf of cinnamon sugar zucchini bread

Quick Bread RECIPES

Looking for more quick bread recipes?  We love when you can find a yummy and quick bread recipe, so make sure you try these out!  The Very Best Banana Bread Recipe, Glazed Poppy Seed Bread, Pumpkin Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Banana Breadand Orange Cranberry Glazed Poppy Seed Bread.

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The Perfect Zucchini Bread Recipe

4.2 from 25 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 loaves
I hated zucchini bread when I was little. I searched for years for a recipe I'd love as an adult and can honestly say this is The Perfect Zucchini Bread Recipe.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons or to taste, cinnamon sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray 2 9×5″ bread pans with nonstick spray.
  • Wipe down the top 1" edge all the way around the pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add in the eggs, sour cream and whisk.
  • Dump in the zucchini shreds and switch to a wooden spoon, stirring again, but be sure to not over mix.
  • Dump the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients and using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon gently fold the ingredients together just until a few streaks of flour remain.
  • Pour into a bread pan.
  • Cover the top with cinnamon sugar and bake for 50 minutes. At this point, barely open the oven and slide a piece of tinfoil over the bread, close the door and bake for the remaining 10 minutes
  • Once the bread is done, open the oven door, turn off the oven and let the bread rest for 2-3 minutes, no longer, before carefully setting it on the counter for a few more minutes.
  • At this point, slide a knife around the inside of the pan and carefully turn the bread out into your other hand or onto the cooling rack directly if you are gentle. Place it right side up and allow to cool or be like us and dig in because warm bread is the best! See note**

Notes

If you want to, you can set the bread pan on a cooling rack instead of transferring it out of the pan.
Nutrition Facts
The Perfect Zucchini Bread Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 270
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 26.9mg9%
Sodium 199.5mg9%
Carbohydrates 36.3g12%
Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugar 20.1g22%
Protein 3.5g7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A close up of the best zucchini bread recipe with cinnamon sugar topping

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

20 comments

  • Made this GF-Yum!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Did you just swap the flour?

      • Reply
  • Thank you for a delicious recipe. I had been on the hunt for a yummy zucchini bread recipe and you came through for me.

    • Reply
    • Yay! So glad you enjoyed it Joey!

      • Reply
  • Something is not right with this one! Been baking all my life and this thing came out of oven baking with 50 mins plus 10 and it was not done at all! And if ya notice the list of ingredients calls for baking powder but does not have it in the instructions! No where in the instructions does it tell you to add the baking powder! I got done and seen my baking powder was still setting there and thought I have missed it in the instructions! But nope, went through the  recipe and it definitely does not tell ya to add it! I would recommend another one! 

    • Reply
    • Hi Tina! Thank you so much for letting us know about the baking powder! I have added it to the instructions. We just made this last week and it came out perfectly. I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out for you.

      • Reply
      • I baked the loaves for the total time specified and they weren’t done in the middle. Followed the instructions correctly.

      • Hi Sherry! Every oven bakes a little differently, so it may need more time. You can cover the loaves with foil if they start to get too brown.

    • Do you squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini? I followed this perfectly (didn’t squeeze but poured off the zucchini juice after grating) and it is waaaayy moist/dense. Tasty but not cake/bread-like at all. Bread pudding maybe. 

      • Reply
      • No the moisture shouldn’t need to be squeezed out of the zucchini unless it seem like an extra wet zucchini.

  • I followed this recipe exactly as printed and I have done a lot of baking in my 50+ years of marriage.  The product of this recipe is a total disaster.  4 cups of shredded zucchini contains way too much moisture.  It didn’t rise and Required baking almost two hours to deal with all the moisture.  Also needs way more cinnamon, etc.  Compared to other recipes, this one’s ingreatient amounts are way off.  Find another recipe to use your zucchini in.

    • Reply
    • Hi Sally! We double checked this recipe over the weekend with 4 cups of zucchini and 2 cups of zucchini. The 4 cups of zucchini loaves (like the recipe calls for) came out very moist, spongy and dense…almost like cake. The flavor was very good. The 2 cups of zucchini loaves were more of a bread-like texture and not as moist. The flavor was really about the same. You could totally cut it down to two cups if you want, but four cups is right. I suppose if you had really juicy zucchini, it could be a problem, you’d need to drain it a little so it’s not too watery. Did you split the batter across two bread pans? I hope this helps! Sorry it didn’t turn out the way you were hoping, but the recipe is correct.

      • Reply
  • How far do you fill the pans when you’re using mini pans?

    • Reply
    • Hi Maureen! Fill them about 2/3 full. Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • Went to a farm here in Alaska and cut our zucchini straight off the plants and made this bread. Oh yum, and because we’re smart, we cut into it only minutes out of the oven!!  Great recipe— 
    I had to yell at my husband to finally stop eating it too. You would be amazed at the size of the zucchini that grows here with our midnight sun— lots of them were 7-10 lbs!!! 

    • Reply
    • You are SO smart slicing into that thing while it’s still warm! So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Those are some huge zucchinis!

      • Reply
  • I just made the zucchini bread recipe and it’s moist and flavorful and beautiful all at the same time. IT IS PERFECT!

    • Reply
    • Yay!! Thank you Nancy!

      • Reply
  • Can you use mini loaf pans for this recipe, and if so, how does it change the cooking time?

    • Reply
    • Yes, absolutely! Start with baking them for 30 minutes. They shouldn’t need much more time than that, but test them for doneness.

      • Reply

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