Mix & Match Zucchini Bread

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This classic zucchini bread recipe is the perfect base for mixing in a wide variety of combinations of nuts and dried fruits. From chocolate chip zucchini bread to lemon blueberry zucchini bread, all the zucchini bread variations start right here:

A platter of sliced zucchini bread sits next to a blue napkin.

Zucchini bread is always the first recipe to look for when that classic summertime green veggie is popping up all over farmer's market stands or even in your own backyard garden.

This popular quick bread recipe is an annual tradition because the tender grated zucchini practically melts into the spiced bread batter.

This banana zucchini bread has been one of my favorite ways to sneak in a little veggie to my kids for years and years.

But my mother-in-law's version is loaded with chocolate chips and is so tasty it could easily pass as dessert!

Start with this classic zucchini bread recipe and then take your pick from the long list of easy mix-in's including dried fruits like raisins or dried blueberries and chopped nuts.

Mix together an easy quick bread recipe for a delicious breakfast treat this week or freeze one for later!

Or if you're swimming in zucchini from your garden, don't miss my favorite 30 zucchini recipes!!

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Why This is the Best Recipe

This moist zucchini bread is the best recipe because:

  1. Quick to Make: Measure a few easy ingredients and stir them together. The hardest part is grating the zucchini and it just happens to be one of the most easily grated veggies ever!
  2. Moist but Easy to Slice: Quick breads can sometimes be a little tricky to slice neatly, but this zucchini bread cuts into beautiful slices while also being perfectly moist and delicious in every bite.
  3. Not Too Sweet: Compared to so many breakfast bread recipes out there, this recipe is just delicately sweet. This leaves plenty of room for big flavor from the mix-ins you choose.
  4. Blank Palette: With a mild vanilla flavor, the classic recipe is just a blank palette waiting for you to play. How about baking up a loaf with one of these awesome pairings:
    - pecans and dried cherries
    - chocolate chips and chopped walnuts
    - dried blueberries and candied lemon

Ingredients

All the ingredients to make homemade zucchini bread are on the counter.

The entire recipe is made with mostly pantry ingredients plus fresh zucchini! All you need to bake it is:

  • Flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Orange Juice: If you don't want to use orange juice or don't have any on hand, you can substitute milk.
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Fresh Zucchini

How to Prep the Zucchini

A box grater shows how to prepare the grated zucchini on a plate.

I love how easy it is to grate fresh zucchini. You don't even need to peel it!

Simply scrub the vegetable in cold water. Slice off one end and grate the zucchini on a box grater on the medium grate side.

I place the box grater over a clean plate to collect all the shredded zucchini and any liquids. This makes it easy to measure what I need and keep my workspace clean.

Make the Quick Bread Batter

Mix the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and the dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. This helps to ensure that the cinnamon is well blended all throughout the batter.

Step by step photos show how to mix the zucchini bread batter.

The quick bread batter is very thick before you add the shredded zucchini. The juices from the grated vegetable will help to loosen things up as you fold it in.

Baking Instructions

The zucchini bread batter has been smoothed into a quick bread pan.

Spray an 8-inch bread pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the zucchini bread batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes or until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

NOTE: This quick bread batter is very thick and dense. It can easily be baked perfectly towards the top but still be underdone at the base.

I prefer to use a long wooden skewer, like for making kabobs to grill, to check the doneness all the way through to the bottom.

Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning it out. Let cool completely before slicing.

Best Mix-In Options

This classic zucchini bread is the perfect base for mixing in a wide variety of delicious ingredients.

Mix and match just 1 or 2 from the following list:

  • ¾ cup chopped nuts: walnuts or pecans would work best
  • ¾ cup dried fruit: golden or traditional raisins, currants, dried cranberries, chopped dried cherries, dried blueberries, etc.
  • ¾ cup baking chips: chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips
  • 2 tablespoons candied fruit peel: lemon or orange zest

If you try to add more than a total of 1 1/2 cups of mix-ins, you may need a larger bread pan and you might have trouble neatly slicing pieces so I recommend just one or two of the options from the list above.

Zucchini Bread Variations

One of the reasons moist zucchini bread is so popular is that it takes on the flavors of whatever you mix into the batter!

Want to play with a new variety altogether? Try one of these fun variations:

Applesauce Zucchini Bread

To make a lighter quick bread without all the oil, you can make an applesauce zucchini bread by substituting a 1:1 ratio of applesauce for the canola oil.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

To make a double chocolate zucchini bread that has a chocolate bread crumb and chocolate chips, simply add 1/3 unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips before spreading the batter in the pan.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This is the easiest variation! To make a chocolate chip zucchini bread, simply stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips to the prepared batter.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

To make a lemon zucchini bread, simply add the zest of one lemon and 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice to the batter. You could drizzle this vanilla glaze over the top or even add more lemon zest to the glaze.

Blueberry Lemon Zucchini Bread

Fresh blueberries can be a little tricky to bake with. If you're not careful, they'll turn your whole recipe purple.

It is much easier to bake with dried blueberries. Mix 3/4 cup of dried blueberries with the zest of 1 lemon and 2 tsp of lemon juice for a delicious blueberry lemon zucchini bread.

Banana Zucchini Bread

This has been one of my favorite zucchini bread variations since my oldest was just an itty-bitty. I'm not usually a fan of banana bread, but I absolutely love this banana zucchini bread recipe:

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Want a tropical twist to this classic zucchini bread?

How about adding crushed pineapple and shredded coconut to make a pineapple zucchini bread?

Storage Tips

The baked zucchini bread will keep, covered in foil at room temperature, for several days.

You could also wrap it in foil and store in the fridge.

Slice it as you serve it, individual slices will dry out much more quickly than the covered loaf will.

Freezing Instructions

Let the zucchini bread cool completely before wrapping tightly in aluminum foil.

Label your quick bread with the date and freeze it for up to 6 months.

You can easily thaw the quick bread in the fridge overnight.

Reheating Instructions

Since the quick bread slices so neatly, it makes a great option for toasting in your toaster.

We love to gently toast a slice and then spread a little bit of butter over it. YUM.

A sliced loaf of zucchini bread is served on a white plate next to a blue napkin.

More Quick Bread Recipes

Love how easy quick breads are to bake? You won't want to miss some of my other favorite recipes:

How to Use Leftover Zucchini

If you have a little bit of leftover grated zucchini after making this quick bread, don't toss it out!

You can mix it with just 3 more ingredients and make my favorite cheesy grated zucchini gratin side dish:

📖 Recipe

A platter of sliced zucchini bread sits next to a blue napkin.

Zucchini Bread

5 from 1 vote
This classic zucchini bread recipe is the perfect base for mixing in a wide variety of combinations of dried fruit and nuts to create your own perfect breakfast bread. Sample the original recipe or mix together your own custom creation!
TOTAL TIME 1 hour 10 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 1 hour
YIELD 1 loaf

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups grated zucchini

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 1/2-inch quick bread pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to beat together the brown sugar and liquid ingredients: orange juice, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  • Use a box grater over a clean plate to grate the fresh zucchini on the medium grate.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and stir them until combined. The mixture will be very thick. Add the grated zucchini and fold it in. The liquid from the zucchini will help thin out the batter a bit, but it will still be fairly thick.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. A longer wooden skewer stick would reach the bottom of the bread and helps to ensure the zucchini bread is baked properly all the way through.

Recipe Notes

Fun Flavor Mix In's

For easy ways to change up the quick bread flavor, you could mix in 1 or 2 of the following:
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts: walnuts or pecans would work best
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit: golden or traditional raisins, currants, dried cranberries, chopped dried cherries, dried blueberries, etc.
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips
  • 2 tablespoons candied fruit peel: lemon or orange zest
See the blog post above for several additional easy flavor variations.
COURSEQuick Bread
CUISINEAmerican

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Easy zucchini bread on top with a photo of the mixing bowl on the bottom.

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