How to make the best zucchini bread with a lightly spiced, perfectly sweetened batter and a whole pound of grated zucchini mixed in. If anything can coax us to turn on our oven in the middle of summer, it’s this recipe. Jump to the Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe or read on to see how we make it.
The bread is very moist, tender and perfect sliced and enjoyed plain, with a little butter or, for something more substantial, topped with cream cheese or nut butter.
More Ways to Use Up Zucchini: Try our Fresh Vegetable Lasagna recipe with lots of zucchini, yellow squash and a light tomato sauce. This lasagna is so good, you won’t miss the meat. Or, use zucchini up by baking it alongside fish in parchment, grilling it, adding it to a stir fry or tossing it with pasta.
How to Make The Best Zucchini Bread
Thanks to a whole pound of zucchini, this bread is very moist. After making a few batches, we were bothered by the occasional soggy patch in the baked bread. To prevent this, we added an extra (but still simple) step.
Before preparing the batter, grate the zucchini and add it to a colander with a tablespoon of sugar. The sugar helps draw excess moisture from the zucchini and an extra squeeze just before adding to the batter helps even more. The zucchini bread is still very moist, but by getting rid of that excess liquid, we prevent it from turning soggy.
A+J’s Tip: In the photos below, we’ve used a combination of green and yellow zucchini. You can also replace one or all of the zucchini with yellow squash.
Mixing the Batter
The batter comes together really quickly and doesn’t need any fancy equipment. A whisk and spatula work perfectly fine. Since zucchini bread is a quick bread, you want to treat it just as you would muffins or pancakes. Stay away from over mixing — it will only make the bread heavy.
We love adding sliced almonds and a dash of almond extract to the batter. You can easily leave them out or, swap the almonds for another kind of nut. Chocolate chips wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.
We shared this Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe years ago, if adding chocolate to the batter got you excited, you should definitely check it out!
By the way, we use melted butter in our recipe since we love the flavor it adds. If you want to experiment on your own, try a fruity olive oil or coconut oil. We call for granulated sugar, not brown. The granulated sugar keeps the bread a little lighter than brown sugar does. That’s not to say brown sugar is a bad idea — it adds a caramel sweetness that’s quite delicious. Use our recipe as a base, there are so many variations you can try — another reason we love this recipe so much. Happy Baking!
Recipe updated, originally posted August 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe with Almonds
Use green zucchini, yellow zucchini or summer squash for this. Wringing the zucchini of excess moisture keeps the texture from being soggy. Serve slices plain, buttered or with a swipe of cream cheese or peanut butter for a more substantial breakfast or snack.
You Will Need
1 pound zucchini (2 medium zucchini)
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (145 grams) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional
2/3 cup (65 grams) sliced almonds, optional
- Prepare Zucchini
- Make Batter
- To Finish
Center a rack in the oven and heat to 375º F. Butter a 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan then dust it with a bit of flour. Alternatively, you can line a lightly buttered pan with a sheet of parchment paper. If you leave an inch or two hanging over two sides, it makes for easy removal after baking.
Trim stem ends of the zucchini then grate using the largest holes on a box grater or the largest grating disk from a food processor. Transfer the grated zucchini to a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Rest the colander over a bowl to catch excess liquid that drains from the zucchini. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Melt the butter then add to a medium bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar into the butter. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each egg. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
Squeeze the zucchini by hand to thoroughly wring out any excess moisture then fluff it up a little so it is not in big clumps. (Discard the liquid). Stir zucchini into the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition. Stir in almonds. Save a handful of almonds to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaf before baking.
Spoon batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Scatter the reserved almonds over the top then bake 50 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Keep in mind that the loaf will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. After 35 minutes in the oven, check the bread and almonds for color. If it looks like things are browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
When the bread is done, cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the loaf onto the rack to finish cooling.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Baking Tip: Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on top of two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other. This helps even baking and makes getting the loaf pan into and out of the oven easy.
- Make Banana Zucchini Bread: Add 1 very ripe banana to the wet ingredients before mixing with the dry ingredients. Heavily speckled or even black bananas are best.