This super moist Zucchini Bread is super soft and stays that way for days. You thought you knew Zucchini Bread and so did I! But boy was I wrong. This easy recipe is a game changer! Try it and fall in love with the amazing taste and tender texture. (And don’t miss the Bonus: 5 common mistakes to avoid!).
Not only is this as delicious as any zucchini bread you’d find at your favorite bakery, the recipe doubles and freezes amazingly well, making it great for batch prepping for quick breakfasts.
Why THIS is the Best Zucchini Bread Recipe Ever (According to Science)
I’ve tried a LOT of zucchini bread recipes and here’s the science behind what makes this zucchini bread recipe stand out.
You Can’t Double Other Recipes But You Can Double This One! Unlike other recipes that use baking soda—a leavening agent that can produce a metallic taste when doubled—this recipe relies on baking powder. This makes it simple to double the batch without affecting the bread’s rise or flavor.
It Uses the Science of Sugar: Granulated sugar lends sweetness and structure to the bread, while brown sugar brings added moisture and a complex flavor, thanks to its molasses content. The acidity of the molasses also helps create a moist, tender texture in the finished loaf (based on how it affects batter-toughening gluten proteins).
It Uses the Best Way to Test Doneness: Using a kitchen thermometer is the most accurate method for determining if your zucchini bread is cooked through. A reading of around 190°F ensures the loaf is fully baked but retains its moisture. Don’t worry, it’s very forgiving recipe and you can still use the toothpick test or press on the center to see if it’s bouncy.
Avoid Overmixing by Adding Zucchini Early: The zucchini isn’t like stirring in chocolate chips. It has to be really evenly distributed because it provides the moisture for the bread. To prevent the common mistake of overmixing, stir the zucchini into your wet ingredients directly instead of folding it into the finished batter. This lets you mix less later on, helping your bread stay soft and tender.
Gather Your Ingredients for This Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe
Before diving into the baking, here’s what each ingredient brings to the table.
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the bread, adds moisture and helps with browning.
- Baking powder: The leavening agent that makes the bread rise and become fluffy.
- Salt: Enhances the flavors and balances out the sweetness.
- Ground cinnamon: Adds warmth and a spicy note to the bread.
- Ground nutmeg: Complements the cinnamon, adding complexity and depth.
- Grated zucchini: The superstar here! Zucchini makes the bread super moist while sneaking in some veggies. It adds so much moisture that you don’t even need dairy or other liquid in this recipe. You don’t need to peel it or drain it with paper towels.
- Vegetable oil: Keeps the bread moist and tender. I like avocado or refined olive oil (not extra virgin – which is expensive has a strong flavor).
- Large eggs: Provide moisture and structure, acting as a binding agent. See my best substitutes for eggs here.
- Brown sugar: Adds moisture and a deeper, molasses-like sweetness.
- Pure vanilla extract: Gives a warm, cozy flavor that ties everything together.
Variations and Substitutions
Looking to switch things up? Here are some alternative ingredients and variations you can try.
- Gluten-Free Flour: For those with gluten sensitivities, swap all-purpose flour for a gluten-free blend.
- Coconut Sugar: For a less processed sweetener, try using coconut sugar instead of granulated.
- Add Nuts: Walnuts or pecans can add a nice crunch and extra flavor.
- Chocolate Chips: Make it a chocolate zucchini bread by adding some chocolate chips.
- Substitute Oil: Replace vegetable oil with melted coconut oil or applesauce for a healthier option.
- Spices: Play around with the spices; cardamom or allspice could offer a new twist.
How much Zucchini Makes A Cup Grated?
When it comes to zucchini, one medium zucchini usually yields about 1 to 1.5 cups of grated zucchini, depending on the size.
So, you’ll need approximately 1.5 to 2 medium zucchinis for 2 cups of grated zucchini.
In terms of weight, a medium zucchini weighs around 6 to 7 ounces. Therefore, you would need roughly 12 to 14 ounces, or approximately 0.75 to 0.88 pounds of zucchini for 2 cups grated.
Grab these Tools
Before you start, make sure you’ve got these tools handy to make the process smooth.
- 9 x 5-inch loaf pan: The ideal size for this bread recipe.
- Whisk: To thoroughly mix the dry and wet ingredients.
- Mixing bowls: At least two, one for wet and one for dry ingredients.
- Measuring cups and spoons: For accurate ingredient measurements.
- Parchment paper: To line the loaf pan, making removal and cleanup easier. (What is Parchment paper, anyway?)
- Rubber spatula: To scrape the batter into the loaf pan.
- Instant Thermometer (ideally) or Toothpick: For testing the doneness of the bread.
- Wire rack: For cooling the bread after it comes out of the oven.
How to Make the Ultimate Zucchini Bread: Easy Step-by-Step Directions
Follow these simple steps to create a moist and flavorful Zucchini Bread that you won’t be able to resist.
- Preheat and Prep: Start by preheating your oven. This ensures that your bread bakes evenly. Also, prepare your loaf pan by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper for easier removal of the bread.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together all your dry ingredients. This step is crucial for an evenly-spiced and well-risen loaf.
- Grate the Zucchini: Before mixing your wet ingredients, grate your fresh zucchini using a box grater or food processor. Make sure to pack it firmly when measuring.
- Prepare Wet Mixture: In another bowl, mix together the grated zucchini, oil, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beating these ingredients well ensures that the wet mixture is uniform, which is vital for a moist loaf.
- Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. This is where the magic happens, but don’t overmix. Overmixing can result in a denser loaf.
- Transfer to Loaf Pan: Use a spatula to scrape the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Make sure to spread it evenly.
- Bake: Place the loaf pan in the preheated oven and wait. Your kitchen will soon start to smell amazing. Baking until a toothpick inserted comes out clean ensures your loaf is fully cooked but still moist.
- Cooling Time: Once out of the oven, allow your loaf to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes. This makes it easier to remove and keeps it from falling apart.
- Final Cooling: Move the loaf to a wire rack for complete cooling. This helps the loaf firm up and makes slicing easier.
- Slice and Serve: Once the loaf is cooled, it’s time to slice it. A serrated knife works best for this. Enjoy as is, or spread some butter on a warm slice for an extra treat!
How Should I Store Zucchini Bread?
Keep the love for Zucchini Bread going with these tips on making it ahead and storing it properly.
- Freeze the Loaf: Once cooled, wrap the entire loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Room Temperature: Store any leftover slices in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Perfect for quick breakfasts or snacks!
- Don’t Refrigerate: The fridge stales baked goods faster than room temperature. Avoid refrigerating it.
Bonus: 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make with Zucchini Bread (and How to Avoid Them!)
- Overmixing the Batter: Stirring the batter too much activates the gluten in the flour, leading to a zucchini bread that’s more dense and chewy rather than light and fluffy. It’s better to have a few floury streaks in the batter than to overmix it; those will incorporate themselves as the bread bakes.
- Using Old Baking Powder: Baking powder loses its effectiveness over time. If it’s stale or expired, your bread won’t rise as it should, resulting in a loaf that’s flat and dense. Always check the expiration date and consider testing your baking powder’s effectiveness by dropping a bit into warm water; it should fizz if it’s still good.
- Guessing at Doneness: Relying solely on the toothpick test or the bounce-back method to check for doneness leaves some room for error. While these methods can work, using a kitchen thermometer is the most accurate way to ensure your zucchini bread is fully cooked yet still moist. Aim for an internal temperature of around 190°F for best results.
- Not Preheating the Oven: When you place the batter into an oven that hasn’t reached the correct temperature, it can lead to uneven baking. The edges might cook faster than the center, or the loaf might not rise properly. A fully preheated oven ensures that the zucchini bread bakes evenly from edge to center.
- Skipping the Cooling Step: It might be tempting to cut into that warm, fragrant loaf as soon as it’s out of the oven, but patience is key here. Cutting the bread while it’s still hot can cause it to crumble or fall apart, ruining its structure. Allowing the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely will result in slices that hold together well.
FAQs About Zucchini Bread
Do you leave the skin on zucchini when making bread?
- Yes, you can leave the skin on the zucchini when making bread. The skin adds color and additional nutrients to the bread. However, if the skin is particularly tough or you prefer a more uniform texture, you may choose to peel it.
Why does my zucchini bread taste bad?
- One common reason some zucchini bread tastes bad is a recipe that uses baking soda without an acidic ingredient to neutralize it, which can result in a soapy or metallic taste.
What do you eat with zucchini bread?
- Zucchini bread is versatile and pairs well with a variety of foods. You can enjoy it as-is, or spread some butter, cream cheese, or almond butter on a slice. It also goes well with a cup of tea, coffee, or milk.
Is zucchini bread high in potassium?
- Zucchini itself is a good source of potassium, but the overall potassium content in zucchini bread is not considered high compared to other sources like bananas or sweet potatoes.
- Can you store zucchini bread at room temperature?
- Yes, you can store zucchini bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days, provided it’s kept in an airtight container to maintain freshness. For longer storage, it’s better to freeze the bread.
Other Fan-Favorite Quick-Bread Recipes
Moist Pumpkin Bread: scented with aromatic spices and brimming with moisture, this pumpkin bread is the perfect fall treat. The rich, nutty flavor of pumpkin pairs beautifully with warm spices.
The Best Ever Banana Bread: Say goodbye to dry banana bread and hello to this incredibly moist, flavorful loaf. Packed with ripe bananas, it’s a shining star on the Foodess blog.
Don’t Miss These Other Zucchini Recipes
Friends, here’s a thing you didn’t even know was a thing. I LOVE this Zucchini Cookie recipe and make it on repeat all year. Love zucchini muffins? You’ve gotta try these Moist Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins, they’re another fav.
Zucchini Bread (Soft + Moist for Days!)
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups firmly-packed grated zucchini
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease or line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Combine zucchini and wet ingredients: In another bowl, beat together zucchini, oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing just until combined. The batter will be quite thick.
- Bake the bread: Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60-75 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 190 F in the center or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let it cool: Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD