The Best Zucchini Bread

Recipes for zucchini bread are as prolific as the little green vegetable itself. I swear for every million zucchini picked each year, there have to be at least a million recipes to make zucchini bread floating around.

But this one is the best. I promise you. It is light, not dense and glumpy. It is moist, not oily and sludgy. It is perfecty flavorful, not bland or overly spiced. Can you tell I’ve had some bad zucchini bread in my day (mostly made from my own kitchen)?

I’ve been making this recipe a few years and figure it is high time to highlight the simple, delicious bread here. It really is the most tender, most perfect zucchini bread. And, as you’ll notice from the pictures, if you want to take it completely over the top, slather a little cream cheese on a slice and I swear, you’ll think you’ve gone to zucchini bread heaven.

The Best Zucchini Bread

One Year Ago: Butter and Garlic Shrimp Penne
Two Years Ago: Apple Cider Pudding Cake

The Best Zucchini Bread

Yield: Makes one loaf of bread

The Best Zucchini Bread

Notes: the recipe calls for a 9-inch by 5-inch sized loaf pan but I’ve also made this successfully in an 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan – the loaf doesn’t dome as well as it does in the larger pan since the batter fills up the pan more, but it still bakes up deliciously. Also, if you have overly large zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise first, scoop out the seeds, and then shred. Finally, I am sometimes short a few ounces of zucchini and I throw in enough shredded carrots to make up the difference – delicious!

Also, I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results - and sometimes I get crazy and use 100% whole wheat flour (always finely ground white wheat); it is a bit more dense with 100% whole wheat flour but still nutty and hearty and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound zucchini (you’ll end up with about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of zucchini once it has been shredded and wrung through a towel to rid of excess liquid)
  • 2 cups flour (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (not fat-free)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously coat a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray (I use Baker’s Joy spray with flour for a great, easy release – you may want to grease and flour just to be safe).
  2. Chop the ends off the zucchini (just 1/4-inch off each end) and finely shred the zucchini, peel and all. Place the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel, wrap the towel, and wring the ends (like a an old-fashioned candy wrapper) to squeeze out all the excess water. You should have about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of dry zucchini. Set the zucchini aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk the sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice or sour cream, and butter until combined.
  4. Gently fold the yogurt mixture and zucchini into the flour mixture, using a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until golden brown and a thin knife or skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 45-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then turn out into wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Store well-covered for up to three days.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/the-best-zucchini-bread/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Country

98 Responses to Zucchini Bread

  1. Melanie says:

    I *just* made some zuc bread to post about (haven’t published yet)…I was unsure about my recipe but it turned out better than I thought it would. Though it is slightly greasy (but not too much). I still have some zucchini left, I just might have to try your recipe! And I never would have thought to put cream cheese on it – genius!!

  2. Detje Bea says:

    this sounds delicious and I have about 5 big zucchini I need to us.

  3. Kim in MD says:

    Zucchini bread is the perfect recipe to use up all of the late summer zucchini. I love that your recipe has yogurt in it, Mel! If you say it’s the best, then I know it will be the best!

  4. kelley says:

    Makes the perfect quick breakfast or afternoon snack. Mmm, tangy cream cheese on sweet bread is a total win!

  5. Jody says:

    Have you ever used a round zucchini? We have one and want to make bread with it but am unsure if I just shred it like I would a regular one.

    • Mel says:

      Jody – I’ve never used round zucchini. You might try googling to figure out if it can be used interchangeably with the long skinny variety.

  6. You know Mel,

    I just reliazed I haven’t made Z-Bread in a really REALLY long time. What a great idea for this weekend.
    I could make a bunch of loaves and freeze them for later.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. You know Mel,

    I just realized I haven’t made Z-Bread in a really REALLY long time. What a great idea for this weekend.
    I could make a bunch of loaves and freeze them for later.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. This will be my new recipe this year! If you say it’s the best, I believe you :)

  9. Just made 8 loaves of zucchini bread yesterday! Good thing I have plenty more zucchini so I can try this recipe!!

  10. Brenda says:

    I made a similar zucchini bread just last week but with just a slight tweak…I added an 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple. It was delicious and a nice little twist to ordinary z-bread.

    • Mel says:

      Everyone – I’ve added an update to the recipe that I forgot to mention. Usually zucchini are best picked when there are still small prickly hairs on the skin and they are smaller in size but I think we all know that sometimes we miss one or two and they grow really, really big. If that’s the case, they can still be used in this bread, just slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and then shred it.

  11. n82 says:

    This looks wonderful. I will sure be trying it out.

  12. jane says:

    I was going to make zucchini bread last night but ran out of time. I think it was meant to be because I would much rather try your recipe. Thanks!

  13. Kira says:

    I googled 1 lb. zucchini equivants and found that 1 lb. = 4 cups grated zucchini and then it said = 2 cups salted and squeezed zucchini. Since the recipe has you squeeze out the water in the towel which measurment would you say is most accurate? Thanks in advance can’t wait to try this; my husband just brought home three large zucchinis from a patient at work.

  14. Chris says:

    To Jody: I have used round zucchini, and it seemed to work the same as long zucchini.

    Thanks for the recipe, Mel! I have zucchini to use…

  15. Renay says:

    This looks delicious! I have been looking for a recipe that is moist but not oily. Do you use AP flour or whole wheat?

  16. Sara says:

    Along with Kira’s comment, can you also freeze zucchini and use the same way in this recipe? I know when you thaw zucchini, it’s easy to drain the excess water. What are your thoughts? Would you still use 4 cups frozen/drained zucchini or maybe 2?

  17. Perfect timing! I just bought a gi-normous zucchini from the farmers market and am hoping to make a bunch of baked goods w/ it for the freezer. (after eating a little fresh of course :)

  18. p.s. I am also wondering how many cups of shredded zucchini to use.

  19. melanie peterson says:

    yup…wondering the same thing,..how many cups of zucchini?

  20. Kailee says:

    What flour do you use for your best recipe? What do you think tastes best; all white, mixed white and wheat, or all wheat?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Everyone – ok, let’s address the zucchini questions:
      1) How many cups of shredded zucchini to use? I haven’t measured the cups since I use my scale to weigh the 1 pounds of zucchini but using Kira’s suggestion and thinking back to all the times I have made this (I’ll measure next time to be sure), I would say 1 1/2 to 2 cups of squeezed-dry zucchini (the stuff that comes out of the kitchen towel after all the water has been squeezed out). Also, I made the bread this morning (before reading all these comments) and was short about 6 ounces of zucchini, so I threw in a handful of baby carrots and shredded those with the zucchini. It turned out phenomenal!

      2) As for flour, I alternately make this with unbleached all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour or a combination of both. Works great any way you look at it (it is a bit more dense with the whole wheat flour but has a great hearty flavor). My guilty preference is with all white flour but like I said, it tastes great whole wheat or white.

  21. You know I love zucchini bread but I don’t have a go to recipe for it? I have always just tried different recipes here or there or used my Mom’s famous banana bread recipe and adjusted it to include zucchini. So if you are calling this recipe the best I guess it might have to try it and make it my ‘go to’ zucchini bread recipe.

  22. Vicky says:

    Mel, can you tell me why you specify not to use non-fat yogurt? It’s all I buy when I buy plain yogurt because the store doesn’t carry low-fat plain (weird). Does it really make a difference? I have used non-fat plain yogurt (and non-fat sour cream, for that matter) in many recipes calling for the regular stuff and not noticed a significant difference, especially in baked goods. It could be that my palate is not that picky. What do you think?

  23. How did you know that I had two large zucchini’s sitting on my counter screaming “make me into bread!”? AND, I just ran out of cooking oil (gasp) so I couldn’t make my regular recipe. So, I tried this cuz when you say it’s the best, it is! I used half whole wheat pastry flour (soft white wheat) and added some mini cinnamon chips. They just came out of the oven and taste delicious…but for some reason they WILL NOT come out of the pans! (I used 5 inch pans…worked great!) So, if you’re planning on adding chocolate chips or anything, you might want to grease and flour the pan… Oh well, I’m eating and enjoying it anyway :) Thanks Mel!

  24. Mel says:

    Vicky – it’s really Cook’s Country restrictions not to use nonfat yogurt – according to their test kitchens using nonfat resulted in a drier/grainier bread. I used lowfat yogurt and it worked great – apparently lowfat or full fat works best, but by all means, try what you have on hand. I can’t imagine it would ruin the recipe…the texture may be a bit different that is all.

    Aubri – I’m sorry about your stuck bread! I use the Baker’s Joy spray which has oil and flour in it but perhaps I’ll put a note on the recipe to grease and flour just to be safe!

  25. Cecilia says:

    This came at the right time, as I’m on a quest for the perfect Zucchini Bread! Can sour cream be substituted for yogurt? What about buttermilk? Thanks a million!

    • Mel says:

      Cecilia – according to the test kitchens that reviewed this recipe, sour cream made the bread much more dense and heavy than the yogurt, but if you don’t want to buy another ingredient, I think you could probably use it. I think you could definitely substitute buttermilk for the 1 tablespoon lemon juice/sour cream ingredient.

  26. Andrea says:

    I am excited to try this recipe. The current recipe I have is delicious but really oily and too fattening. Anyway, I have one suggestion for a fool proof method of getting zucchini bread out of pans. Cut out a piece of white paper to fit in the bottom of the pan. Put the paper in the bread pan, grease all around it, then add the zucchini bread mixture and bake. When it is done just scrape the sides of the pan and turn over and the bottom will come out easily. Also, the paper peals off the bread quite easily after you dump it out:) Always works for me:)

  27. Leslie says:

    Hey! I can’t wait to try this, it looks soo yummy! Also, your school lunches solutions post is not showing up on the blog. I get a little preview in Google Reader, but not on your blog. It says the link The page cannot be found. Weird…I just thought I see if it was just me, or if other people had that problem.

  28. Veronica says:

    That is such a pretty loaf, too! I will definitely be giving this one a try–thanks!

  29. Natalie says:

    I just made this yesterday and enjoyed a slice for my breakfast this morning. It was super yummy. Flavorful but not too spicy. The allspice is a bit different, but very good. Love all your recipes, keep them coming!

  30. Paula B. says:

    I am a pushover for zucchini in any form and am craving some of this bread right now, maybe during the hurricane I can bake this, the shredded carrot sounds like an addition I will put in too, double yum!

  31. Laurel says:

    I’m excited to try this recipe, thanks for posting it! I think it is interesting that you can put either lemon juice or sour cream. Have you tried it both ways? Do you notice a difference and if so, which do you think is best to put in?

  32. Mel says:

    Laurel – I think the point of the lemon juice is to add a slight (very slight) tanginess to the sweet bread. I have used lemon juice, sour cream and just this morning – buttermilk – and all seem to work just fine. Because I use it more than the others, my preference is probably sour cream, but that may be just because I have it on hand (and sometimes am out of fresh lemons).

  33. Mel says:

    Everyone – I made the bread this morning with the intent of measuring the zucchini and after shredding and squeezing dry, it comes to about 1 to 1 1/2 cups gently packed zucchini. Hope that helps!

  34. Hi Mel,
    I went to make this today an noticed you forgot to put the flour in the list of ingredients. :)

  35. Mel says:

    Lisa – yikes! Sorry about that. It was listed on the printable links documents but somehow got deleted off the main posting. It’s fixed now!

  36. Sunni says:

    I heart you Mel. Your recipes never fail.

  37. patrice says:

    Thx Mel! Have you tried this with white whole wheat flour or just whole wheat flour? Am curious. Love your recipes!!!!

  38. Kira says:

    Thanks again for taking the time to figure out the measurements. I will be baking several loaves today now! I appreciate you so much. Thank you for sharing.

  39. JoAnn says:

    Hi! I just wanted to tell you that I just came across your recipes and I’m so excited about trying some of them! I usually love cooking but sometimes I run out of new ideas and then it gets old. Thanks for sharing yours.

  40. Steph says:

    Your timing is laughably impeccable. My neighbor just brought over a monster zucchini and I figured I’d check here for a good zucchini bread recipe, since you haven’t let me down yet. (and EVERY SINGLE dinner I’ve cooked in the past month has come from recipes from this blog)

    And waddya know! A brand new post about zucchini bread. It’s like you read my mind or something.

    Can you really do that? Quick! What am I thinking right now? (hee hee)

  41. Jenn says:

    I have always been searching for “the best” zucchini bread recipe. Thank you! I will report back when I have made it and let you know how it turns out!

  42. Jessica K says:

    I love zucchini, its my favorite vegetables. A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a huge zucchini from her garden and not wanting to waste it with my two person household, I decided to make zucchini bread. I wish this would have been posted just a few weeks sooner… for sure I will be trying this. Thank you!!

  43. grace says:

    phew–as long as cinnamon is involved, at least i know you’re on the right track when you call this the best. :)

  44. Jennifer H says:

    I made this recipe yesterday and loved it so much that I made another batch (mini loaves) and gave them away to my friends. This is absolutely the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

  45. Shaura miller says:

    Delicious bread, lovely texture! But I did not have good luck baking it in an 8 1/2 ” x 4 1/2″ pan; it ran out the pan and all over the oven. I should have used my common sense when filling the pan. I knew it looked rather full! Oops! Next time I will try some mini muffin pans. Thank you for all the time you Spend sharing delicious recipes and excellent cooking tips! :)

  46. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I can’t wait to try it!

  47. Jeannine says:

    Hi do you weigh the zucchini then shred it or is it a pound after shredding? Is that a dumb question? :)

    • Mel says:

      Jeannine – no that is not a dumb question! I weigh my zucchini before shredding because it will lose weight after it is shredded and rid of excess water.

  48. Holly says:

    Perfect! A co-worker just gifted me with some lovely zucchini and now I have a new recipe to try!

  49. k says:

    i made this yesterday. i couldn’t wait for it to cool! so i didn’t, and it was awesome! i had some later when it was cooled and it was great then too. i liked it best warm with a little butter and when the edges were a little crunchy. it’s still great now after i’ve wrapped it up and the edges have softened. i’m so happy i have another zucchini on the counter and this perfect recipe for it! :D

  50. Can Greek yogurt be used in this recipe?

  51. Tobi says:

    A-Mazing! that’s what my husband declared after tasting this wonderful bread. i’m about to make my second batch this morning because the batch i made yesterday is GONE! lol! another keeper to add to the “mel file” :) thanks!!!

  52. Joyce says:

    I LOVE this recipe. It’s so moist and delicious! But, I have a request…I was wondering if you could adjust your printable version of this recipe. The printable version without a picture is missing some of the specifics, as well as some hints to the recipe (for instance, how much zucchini you should have after you’ve wrung it out). I like the printable recipe without the picture because it only prints out on 1 page instead of 2. Am I making any sense? Anyway, if it’s not complicated, that would be great… Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Joyce – thanks for the heads up. I didn’t realize there was an issue with the printable version – I’ve fixed it. Thanks for letting me know!

  53. Stephanie says:

    Tried this one this week too, along with the chocolate chip cookie recipe. It was delicious. However, mine overflowed the loaf pan too. Wish I would’ve read all the comments beforehand as I have the 8 1/2 pan too. The allspice is great in it. I’m now longing for some gingerbread cookies. I did use close to 2 cups of shredded zucchini so that’s why the pan was so full too. Next time I will make six “cupcakes” on the side.

  54. Nicole c says:

    I have made this bread about 5 times this month!! It is delicious. Thanks for sharing such an excellant recipe, the bread it moist, wonderfully spiced, and not oily. My whole family loves it. I think I will hit the farmers market one last time to stock up on zucchini for the winter!!

  55. [...] also LOVE this zucchini bread. Since Owen is allergic to oats and has had some reactions to wheat, we keep him oat- and [...]

  56. Jeannine says:

    Just made this today – love it!! I didn’t have any plain yogurt, so I used the low-fat strawberry yogurt I had and it was just fine. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!

  57. Katie says:

    pretty darn good! definitely not too oily! i was afraid i didn’t get enough water out of the zucchini. still think it may have been the case – because it was super super moist on the inside but the crust was dry. i think i might have an issue w/ the temp. in my oven though, as the top made a pretty hard crust. but remedied that by storing it in a freezer bag overnight on the counter, so the inside could soak into it :P definitely a keeper for a recipe! thanks! i’m going off to cook your best choc. chip cookies now wewhew!

  58. Lyndsay says:

    I just found this recipe to start tackling all our summer zucchini. It was super yummy! I love that it doesn’t use a cup of fattening oil. Thanks again for a yummy recipe!

  59. Heidi says:

    I’d like to make a chocolate zucchini bread. How would I adapt this recipe to make it chocolate? Thanks!

  60. Mel says:

    Heidi – I can’t give a good recommendation on adapting the recipe that way since I haven’t tried it myself. A better option might be googling or searching for a chocolate zucchini bread recipe. Good luck!

  61. Rhonda says:

    I just made this over the weekend to take to a
    cook out, it was so amazing!! Defiantly the best.
    Thanks Mel =)

  62. Amanda says:

    Hey Mel :) I found this recipe on Pinterest and saw how many repins it had, so I decided to go with it. This recipe was a huge success for me, so THANK YOU! I used O% M.F. Plain Greek Yogurt and found that it gave a gentle zing to the bread and sour cream instead of lemon juice to gauge the ‘creaminess’ of it. It really was lovely; however, my next loaf will include the lemon juice instead of the sour cream because I’m curious to see how they differ. I also sprinkled chopped walnuts on top…it was simply DELISH!!!

    Cheers!

  63. Emily says:

    I just made this and it’s delicious. I love the cinnamon and all spice (I almost always add cinnamon when it’s not included in a baking recipe). The crust on my bread turned out rather tough and overly crunchy. Is this an oven temperature thing? Or perhaps did I over mix the ingredients?

  64. Mel says:

    Emily – the crust on my bread can come out a little crunch sometimes but once it is cool, I put it in a closed plastic or ziploc bag and it softens the crust right up (after a few hours).

  65. [...] Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 45-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then turn out into wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Store well-covered for up to three days. Very slightly adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe :) [...]

  66. Kaitlin says:

    i just made this & it was delicious! do you have the nutritional content for it?

  67. Mel says:

    Kaitlin – I don’t have the nutritional info but I think there are several online calculators you can use if you google it. Glad you liked it!

  68. [...]  Here are a few of our favorites. (Click the captions for links to recipes.) Zucchini Bread via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Spicy Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters via The Merry Gourmet Roasted Veggie Tacos via Naturally Ella [...]

  69. Jordan says:

    Made this today with %0 Greek yogurt and it was delicious. Made a double batch making 3 loafs and they are gone!

  70. Anissa says:

    I also used the no fat Greek yogurt and it turned out perfect. Not too sweet and not too greasy, I loved it!

  71. Margaret says:

    Sounds like a great recipe to try. I always use half whole wheat and half white flour with good results and better fiber content. When our boys were young they named my bread “zunni” bread and it has so been called for the last 30 years. They still love it!

  72. Rebecca says:

    Just made this today. It is perfect! So amazingly delicious. I used vanilla yogurt because that’s all I had on hand and sour cream instead of lemon juice. Wonderful with cream cheese — like dessert. My toddler loved it and I think my zucchini-hating husband will love it too!

  73. H says:

    Oh! A Cook’s Country recipe. You can never go wrong with them!

  74. norniea says:

    I just made these as muffins! I added pecans, used half whole wheat pastry flour and half oat flour. I also added shredded carrots because I did not have enough zucchini. They are wonderful! My favorite recipe has cream cheese in, but this one is perfect without it. We Love them!
    Thank you so much, your site is one of my favorite!!!

  75. Melissa says:

    I’ve made 3 batches of this in the last week. My family loves it!! This bread is so yummy!

  76. Tyler H says:

    If you’re a fan of pineapple, I have an AMAZING recipe. It’s a no brainer, never fail recipe to make, and I am constantly asked for it. If you’re interested let me know.

  77. Natalie says:

    I made this today! it is very good. I was too lazy to go to store so I used sour cream, coconut oil and lime juice as substitutes. Also used half whole wheat and threw in some ground flax seed. I put it lots of things I bake. Makes me feel healthier. :) I think it is the first time my kids have eaten zuchchini they loved it. We also had you cilantro ginger tilapia for dinner. It is a regular now for me and the hubby. Still cant get the kids to eat it. But Thanks to you I can eat fish now!! I love you site!!

  78. Erinisabel says:

    Just wanted to comment and say thanks for sharing your recipe! I made a loaf this morning & it is already half gone!

  79. Katrina says:

    I love this bread, it is so good and moist. The flavor is just great, I posted this bread on my website, thanks for sharing! http://fromkatrinaskitchen.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/moist-zucchini-bread/

  80. steph says:

    I assume it is supposed to say “thin” knife or skewer? Or is it “thick”?

  81. viktoriya says:

    Would it make much difference if the yogurt was nonfat? My store doesn’t seem to have plain with fat.

    • Mel says:

      Victoriya – definitely worth the experiment. I haven’t tried it with nonfat yogurt but it might work – the bread might be a bit less moist.

  82. Jocelyn says:

    I had given up finding a good zucchini bread recipe, until I tried this one. It’s not oily or gummy at all, but perfect. Thank you!

  83. Brianna says:

    I made those bread into muffins tonight because I didn’t have a loaf pan and was desperate to use up my zucchini. I cooked them for 20 minutes and they came out excellent! They are just delicious. I use half carrots and half zucchini. I used sour cream and lemon juice. I also cut the sugar in half! I think they are the best muffins I have ever made! I can’t believe they have veggies in them!

  84. Kathy says:

    I made this today with a huge baseball bat of a zucchini. After cutting in half, scooping out the seeds and shredding it measured to about 2 2/3 cup of zucchini so I doubled the recipe. I used all white whole wheat flour and a mixture of non-fat yogurt and organic low fat sour cream. I don’t know if it matters but I had no baking powder so had to sub in baking soda and cream of tartar as per Bon Appetites directions. While it was baking I had very low hopes, it actually sunk in the middle instead of rising! But it’s just yummy with a delicious crunchy crust on the top and very moist interior. Oh and I also put in pecans and mini-chocolate chips. If I made it wrong, I don’t want to be right!!

  85. David Johnson says:

    Mel,

    Your bread recipe sounds great. I am looking for a great zucchini cupcake recipe. Will your recipe work without any adjustments?

    • Mel says:

      David – I haven’t made this as cupcakes but Brianna in the comment thread made them into cupcakes with good results. Good luck if you try it!

  86. Erin says:

    If I wanted to make mini loaves, would I adjust the baking time?

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