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Two slices of zucchini bread on a round white plate with a red handle knife

Classic Zucchini Bread Recipe

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This scrumptious Classic Zucchini Bread is nut-free and spiced with cinnamon. With plenty of tips plus a video demonstration, every loaf will be perfect. 

If you have zucchini coming out of your ears, make a double batch of this delicious zucchini bread recipe and fill the freezer! It’s an easy summer quick bread that’s wonderful for breakfast, brunch, and snacks. Plus it tastes amazing!!!

Cinnamon Zucchini Bread slices on a white tray

Classic Zucchini Bread

This time of year, I’m always hoping to find a donation of zucchini dropped off at my doorstep. No such luck, but I did head down to the Bloomington, Indiana, farmers’ market with some girlfriends where there was no shortage of fresh, gorgeous produce. I returned home with green beans, cucumbers, blackberries, AND zucchini.

I now had no excuse not to make a couple of loaves of my best zucchini bread recipe. One for Katie, one for Tom. The hubby prefers his bread to be without vegetables! If you’re new to cooking with zucchini, check out this Ultimate Guide to this versatile vegetable!

Loaf of Cinnamon Spiced Zucchini Bread Recipe in a white loaf pan

Easy Zucchini Bread 

In fact, Bill snubs all quick bread and muffins (save a corn muffin with his chili. Go figure!). I had a wee bit more influence when it came to my children.

It started with their first taste of pumpkin bread; they were instantly sold. Soon after they were requesting banana and zucchini bread, too. Though I’d love to add nuts to the latter two, I haven’t convinced my offspring that a little crunch is a good thing. Feel free to add some walnuts, pecans, or even some chocolate chips to make this classic zucchini bread your own. My friend, Jenni, has written a post on The Muffin Method if you’d like to learn the science behind making quick bread. And if you’re looking for a keto version, check out these zucchini bread muffins. And if you’re looking for a Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe, scroll down to see how to tweak this recipe for a chocolate version.

What is Quick Bread?

A yeast bread uses yeast as a leavening agent whereas a quick bread uses baking powder or baking soda or both. Yeast bread requires proofing or rising time in contrast with a quick bread that can be baked as soon as the batter is mixed. Thus the “quick” moniker compared to a yeast bread which requires much time and many more steps. Quick bread is also known as soda bread due to the use of baking soda.

PRO-Tip: Before you start baking, check the expiration date on your baking powder. Baking powder is not used as frequently as baking soda and often expires well before the can is depleted. Using expired baking powder can prevent your quick bread from rising properly.

Besides the typical loaves of zucchini, banana, and pumpkin bread, muffins are also soda bread. They’re just baked in a muffin or cupcake tin instead of in a loaf pan. Pancakes, dumplings, and fritters are also considered quick bread.

Overhead view of Zucchini Bread in a white ceramic loaf pan

How To Grate Zucchini

Zucchini can be grated using a couple of methods. If you have a box grater, first trim off a small piece from each end. PRO-Tip: There is no need to peel your zucchini before grating. Grate onto a piece of parchment paper or into a bowl.

You can also use your food processor by attaching one of the manufacturer’s attachments. There is a shredding disk that sits on the bowl. Once the top is twisted over the disk, gently push the zucchini through the feed tube with the processor running. Voila, shredded zucchini!

Does Zucchini Bread Taste Like Zucchini?

Don’t worry, if you don’t enjoy the taste of roasted, sauteed or cooked zucchini, you may still love this classic zucchini bread. Most likely, you’d never guess this zucchini quick bread was made from zucchini unless you notice the green specks in your slice.

The zucchini provides moisture without imparting flavor, allowing for a soft, tender quick bread. The cinnamon will be the only delicious taste your palate will detect.

Why Did My Zucchini Bread Sink in the Middle?

There are a few reasons why a quick bread would sink in the middle. First, if it’s undercooked, the raw center will sink. Make sure you use a toothpick to check a number of spots across the middle of the bread before pulling it out of the oven. If there is any batter on the toothpick when you pull it out, bake the loaf 5 minutes longer and recheck.

Another possibility is that the batter was mixed too vigorously. This creates excess air bubbles which make for a less stable structure. Stir, don’t beat the mixture after adding the dry ingredients. Once you mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, gently mix just until combined. 

Also, as mentioned above, if your baking powder is expired, there may not be enough leavening to allow your bread to rise properly. PRO-Tip: To test your baking powder, place a spoonful in a small bowl, and add some boiling water. It should fizz and bubble if your baking powder is still potent.

The final possibility is that you overfilled your loaf pan. It should only be filled about 2/3 of the way up the sides. This allows enough space for the bread to rise without overflowing into your oven.

Tips for Making Quick Bread

A few simple rules will help you make perfect quick bread every time!

  • As with most baking, start with room temperature ingredients. Get the eggs out of the refrigerator for about a half-hour before you plan to start mixing. If you want, you can place them in a bowl of warm water to hurry along the process. Don’t use boiling water or your eggs will cook!
  • Generally, you mix all the dry ingredients first, then add the wet ingredients. Make sure you squeeze your shredded zucchini until it’s very dry. Otherwise, you’ll have too much liquid in your batter. Do not use a mixer as this will overmix the batter. Use a
  • You don’t need to peel your zucchini before shredding. Use a box grater or your food processor to do the work. If you have an extra-large zucchini, remove some of the larger seeds before grating.
  • Make sure you squeeze your shredded zucchini until it’s very dry. Otherwise, you’ll have too much liquid in your batter.
  • PRO-Tip: Do not over mix or your end result will be full of tunnels and your muffins will have peaked versus rounded tops. Do not use a mixer. A wooden spoon will work just fine.
  • I line the bottoms of my bread pans with a rectangle of parchment paper to prevent sticking. I’m also a fan of Baker’s Joy, a non-stick oil and flour spray.
  • Do not over bake. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf or a muffin. If there are wet crumbs when you pull it out, you will need to add more baking time. You want the toothpick to come out clean. Start checking about 10 minutes before the allotted time is up. All ovens bake differently.
  • After I successfully bake a loaf, I note the time on the recipe for future reference. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan to a cooling rack.
  • Quick bread freezes wonderfully. Just make sure to wrap your cooled bread well (I like wrapping first with plastic wrap, then foil) and use it within 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
  • Zucchini bread will stay fresh at room temperature for 2-3 days as long as it’s not too humid. Wrap in plastic wrap.
Zucchini Bread slices on a round white ceramic plate

How Many Zucchini Makes 3 Cups Grated?

PRO-Tip: A medium zucchini will provide about 2/3 cups grated, tamped down zucchini. To be safe purchase about 5 medium zucchini to ensure you have enough for this easy zucchini bread.

Should You Squeeze the Water Out of Zucchini for Bread?

Yes, especially if the recipe calls to do this. The water content of your zucchini will vary, and removing as much liquid as possible will ensure that your batter will not be overly wet.

Some recipes, like my Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake, do not require squeezing the liquid from the grated zucchini. Instead, it relies on that liquid to balance the dried ingredients in the recipe. So trust in the recipe you’re using and if it calls to squeeze the grated zucchini, definitely do!

How To Make Chocolate Zucchini Bread

If Chocolate Zucchini Bread is on your radar, try substituting part of the flour with cocoa powder. If you just add cocoa powder without reducing the amount of flour, the baking chemistry will be off. I recommend decreasing the amount of flour from 3 cups to 2 1/2 cups, then add 1/2 cup of regular cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.

Do not use Dutch-process cocoa powder as, again, the chemistry of the recipe will be disrupted! You can also add 1/2-3/4 cup of chocolate chips (or even nuts!). My family prefers a zucchini bread without nuts.

What Is The Best Bread Pan?

Quick bread bakes up best in a commercial grade stainless steel loaf pan or a glass loaf pan. If you purchase a nonstick pan, make sure the coating is not dark as that can lead to a dark crust.

How To Store Your Loaf

Quick bread can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, a ziptop bag or another airtight container, for 3 days. In the middle of the summer, feel free to place the bread in the refrigerator. When it’s really humid, consider placing a paper towel in with the bread to collect excess moisture.

 To freeze, wrap in plastic, then foil and store for up to 3 months. Placing a loaf in a freezer zip-top bag is another option, just remove excess air before freezing.

More Quick Bread Recipes

This classic zucchini bread can be made all year long and is an ideal way to get rid of excess garden zucchini and share the wealth with friends and neighbors. Once you get the hang of making quick bread, you’ll want to bake up a new variety every week!

This recipe was first shared in 2017. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Two slices of zucchini bread on a round white plate with a red handle knife

Classic Zucchini Bread

A moist, dense zucchini bread spiced with cinnamon! Inspired from All Recipes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups grated zucchini, drained and squeezed to release excess water

Instructions

  1. Grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. Line bottoms with parchment and grease top of the parchment. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars together in a large bowl. Mix in the salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon mixture. Then mix in zucchini with a wooden spoon or spatula till just incorporated. Stir in zucchini. Pour batter into baking pans.
  4. Bake for 50 to 60+ minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Notes

I like to place my grated zucchini in a colander to drain any excess liquid while I'm measuring and mixing the other ingredients. Squeeze it to wring out residual moisture.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 3g

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Skinny Tip

I’m offering a series of Skinny Tips. How I keep slim is one of my most frequent inquiries. I’ll feature more tips on some of my upcoming blog posts. Click on the #SkinnyTip tag at the end of this post to see all my previous tips.

Tip #36: Eat slowly. Savor every mouthful. Take sips of water between bites. This gives your stomach time to let your brain know you’re full. Eating with your family, enjoying the banter and conversation is an excellent way to prolong your meal.

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