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Have zucchini in the garden? Delicious, easy zucchini bread is a summertime must! Make two loaves to freeze one for later.
Zucchini bread has been one of my favorite things for as long as I can remember.
Even though I wasn’t a vegetable fan, I always reached for a slice of zucchini bread as soon as it was ready.
I still do, and now my own kids do as well. A loaf of zucchini bread doesn’t last long around here, but thankfully, this recipe makes two!
Gather all of your ingredients before starting.
- Applesauce (unsweetened)
- Pure vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Cardamom (optional)
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
I like to portion the shredded zucchini into the amounts I will need for my recipes. It can be frozen as well if you’re not planning to use it within a few days.
Look for medium-size zucchini to shred. The larger the zucchini, the more seeds and water content it will have. I cut the seeds out of large zucchini before shredding. You don’t need to peel zucchini.
For this recipe, you do not need to squeeze dry the zucchini.
How to make zucchini bread
To make this easy zucchini bread recipe, you’ll need two 8×4-inch loaf pans. Both ceramic and metal pans will work for this recipe.
You can also use one 9×5-inch loaf pan and muffin cups for any excess, keeping in mind the muffins will cook faster than the loaf.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare your loaf pans, either by coating with nonstick spray, or spraying and lining with parchment paper.
If using parchment, make sure to leave a small amount of overhang to remove the loaf easily from the pan.
Take a large bowl and mix together the zucchini, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, and sugar until well-blended.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom (if using), baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well using a large spoon or silicone spatula, scraping the sides as needed.
As with other quick bread recipes, you do not want to overmix the batter. Stir just until all of the flour is incorporated. Make sure to scrape from the bottom as well to ensure it is all mixed.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Place them in the oven and bake for about 60 minutes.
To test for doneness, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the middle. It should come out clean.
The zucchini bread will also be nicely browned and starting to pull away from the edges.
If you need to bake for longer, do so in 5 minute increments until done.
Once baked, let the bread cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe additions and substitutions
I like this zucchini bread just the way it is, but you can always add your favorite ingredients to make it your own.
Try adding chopped walnuts, pecans, or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Use your favorite spices, such as ground ginger or nutmeg.
For a chocolate version, swap ¾ cup of flour with cocoa powder.
To make this easy zucchini bread a little heartier, you can use whole wheat flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour. I use white whole wheat flour, which is a little lighter.
You can also use yellow squash in place of the shredded zucchini. Simply swap in the same amount of shredded yellow or crookneck squash.
If you don’t have applesauce on hand, swap in canola oil or softened butter. If using butter, make sure to cream together the butter and sugar before adding the other wet ingredients.
Can I make this zucchini bread as muffins?
Sometimes I prefer to make zucchini muffins instead of bread.
To use this recipe for muffins, divide the batter among lined or greased muffin cups.
Increase your oven temperature to 375°F. Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes, until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let your loaves cool completely before slicing or storing.
To store on the counter, wrap tightly or place in an airtight container. It will last on the counter for 2-3 days, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
For longer storage, I recommend keeping it in the refrigerator. Because zucchini bread is so moist, it can go bad quicker, so the refrigerator is the best place to store it.
You can also easily freeze zucchini bread; I always freeze my second loaf.
Make sure the loaf is completely cooled, then wrap it tightly in foil. You can either place it in the freezer directly, or put it into a freezer bag, seal, and then freeze.
To thaw, remove from the freezer and let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. For best taste, freeze for up to 3 months.
Other quick breads you’ll love
Serve slices of zucchini bread as-is, or spread with salted butter! It’s the best way to celebrate summer.
Easy Zucchini Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 2 8×4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flours, cinnamon, cardamom baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just blended.
- Pour batter into pans and bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in the pans 10 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely on a rack.
- Makes 2 loaves.
- Swap in up to half of the flour with white whole wheat flour.