Zucchini Bread is the best thing you can make with summer’s favorite vegetable. Our recipe is sweet and moist and so delicious; it’s a family favorite that’s been passed down for generations!
This Zucchini Bread recipe is my grandmother’s and a family favorite that we have been making for years. Tender and moist and a great way to use up your garden zucchini this season! Whether it’s zucchini season where you live or not, you’ll want to pin this recipe and try it out. I promise it will become the only zucchini bread recipe you will ever need! For more of our favorite zucchini recipes, try Lemon Zucchini Bread and Baked Parmesan Zucchini Crisps!
The Best Zucchini Bread Recipe
The women in my family have always enjoyed being in the kitchen, cooking and baking. I love making new recipes that I just discovered, but there’s something to be said for tradition, too. My grandma loved to cook and bake for her family, and she had several beloved recipes. This Zucchini Bread recipe came from an old cookbook that I wish we could still find. It was one of those beloved books that had stained and dog-eared pages from years of well-loved use.
I remember the smell of cinnamon walking into my grandma’s house and we knew that there was zucchini bread in the oven. It was all we could do to keep from cutting into the delicious loaf, hot from the oven, but grandma always made us wait until it was cool enough before digging in, other wise it would fall apart. But once we finally got a piece, slathered in butter, we savored every bite as we wolfed it down and asked for another!
Luckily this recipe makes 2 loaves, so you can eat the first loaf right away, and freeze the second one…or eat it later for dessert.
Thankfully we still have the recipe for her famous zucchini bread. Without that book, for all I know it could be an old Betty Crocker recipe, but to me, it will always be hers. It IS published in her church’s cookbook after all! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Is zucchini the same as squash?
Zucchini IS a squash! It’s a vegetable that grows on a vine, typically in the summer months. It has a high water content, which makes it perfect for making a moist delicious quick bread.
How to Make Zucchini Bread
There are some key tips to remember when making any quick bread.
- Do I have to peel the zucchini? Nope! The skin is quite soft, and softens as the bread bakes, so there is no need for peeling. Just mix in into the batter, pour into your pans, and bake! Grate the zucchini with the peel on, using a box grater if you have one. No need to peel, drain or squeeze out water either.
- Mix Carefully. You can use a stand mixer, which I do, but you can also use your muscles and mix by hand. It doesn’t take long to mix all of the ingredients together. Don’t over-mix. Just stir the ingredients together long enough to incorporate everything – this means just until the flour is not long visible. If you mix too much you can wind up with a too dense bread that isn’t as delicious.
- Loaf Pans. Pour the batter into 9-inch loaf pans – make sure they are the right size because if they are too small, your batter could overflow. Fill them about 2/3 of the way. If your pans are too small you could pour the extra batter into muffin cups; just make sure to bake them for only half the time.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. Keep in mind that ovens do vary so it could take more or less time to fully cook. Use the toothpick test – a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a baking rack to finish cooling. This will keep the bread from continuing to cook in the pan which can result in darker (and burnt/bitter tasting) edges.
Feel free to add your own touches to this recipe. It’s great with shredded coconut, lemon or orange zest, or especially with chopped walnuts – and I can say with confidence that Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread is pretty amazing, too!
You can make muffins instead by filling 24 greased muffin cups and baking for about 25 minutes. Cooking time will vary so be sure to test for doneness.
Zucchini Bread Top Tips and FAQs
- Cool completely. Quick breads can take an hour or two to cool completely. Let them! Slicing into the bread too soon can result in tearing or crumbling of that beautiful loaf. And for super easy slicing, use a serrated knife.
- Only slice what you plan to eat. Cutting into serving for storing is not only unnecessary but can result in your bread drying out more quickly.
- How many zucchini are needed for 2 cups? Three medium zucchini (approximately 2-inches around, 8-inches long) will yield about 2 cups of shredded, semi-packed zucchini. Choose zucchini that are darker in color, and don’t reach for the largest you can find. Three medium zucchini should equal about 1 pound.
Can you freeze zucchini bread?
Quick breads are perfect for freezing! Wrap cooled loaves in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place into freezer bags. Store bread in the freezer for up to 6 months and thaw in the fridge when ready to eat.
Store fresh zucchini bread in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
More Zucchini Recipes
Zucchini is without a doubt my favorite vegetable so I use it in lots of recipes. Here are some of my favorites:
- Grilled Zucchini Recipe – perfect for summer and cooks while your meat cooks!
- Goat Cheese and Marinara Stuffed Zucchini Boats – a perfect meal for meatless Monday or just a hearty and healthy side dish any day.
- Zucchini Carrot Oatmeal Muffins – a healthier alternative and super popular recipe.
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – Like zucchini bread, only much, much better!
- Zucchini Fritters – super easy to make and a great side dish for summer.
- Fried Zucchini – another one of grandma’s favorites!
More Quick Breads
For more delicious quick bread recipes, try these:
- Pumpkin Apple Bread
- Gingerbread Muffins
- Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread
- Banana Nut Bread
- Starbucks Copycat Lemon Loaf
- Beer Bread Recipe
The BEST Zucchini Bread EVER
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 9-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper if you have it, for easy removal.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla at medium speed; about 30 seconds. Stir in zucchini. (If you don't have a mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a wooden spoon).
- In a separate medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir into the wet mixture, just until combined. Stir in walnuts in desired.
- Pour into prepared loaf pans and smooth the tops evenly.
- Bake for 1 hour. Test for doneness at 50 minutes as oven temperatures can vary. Let cool 15 minutes in the pans, then cool completely on wire racks.
- Nutritional information is approximate and does not include optional ingredients. It is calculated per loaf because the serving size will depend on how thick you slice it.
- Each loaf should yield 10 slices, but that can vary depending on the thickness of each slice.
- Walnuts are optional. Pecans or chocolate chips could also be used.