With the perfect crumb and rise, my Grandma’s perfectly spiced zucchini bread recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up harvest’s plethora of zucchini.
My Grandma’s BEST Zucchini Bread
My grandma’s zucchini bread recipe is written in her familiar tilting cursive handwriting that I love so much, with a few additions noted by me on the sides. I often use her old recipe cards, but like you, I’m conditioned to searching online for the recipes I use over and over. That’s why I use this site to track them and access in minutes, and that’s why the BEST zucchini bread is definitely being added to the list.
Like my banana bread and pumpkin bread recipes, it’s not like the internet needs yet another zucchini bread recipe. But unlike others I’ve tried, my grandma’s recipe produces the perfect rise and tender crumb, is moist without becoming oily, and with both white and brown sugar, it’s just the right side of caramelized sweet with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg spice.
This recipe is everything you want in a zucchini quick bread. And as a recipe lasting 70+ years or more, I’m here for it.
What’s In Zucchini Bread
The list of ingredients in this zucchini bread creates the classic zucchini bread flavors destined for breakfast, brunch, or the perfect I-need-just-a-little-bite-of-sweetness afternoon snack.
Here’s what’s in my recipe for the best zucchini bread:
- Grated zucchini
- Canola oil
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt
Additional ingredients to add to it:
- Add 1 cup of chocolate chips, I prefer semi-sweets.
- I like my quick breads with 3/4 cup of chopped pecans. Walnuts work too.
- Make it a double chocolate zucchini bread recipe.
- Grandma has a note you can add 1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple for an even sweeter bite. Or, use all white sugar for a lighter color crust and sweeter loaf.
Do You Grate Zucchini with Skin On?
Because it adds a pretty green color and a little texture, I always leave the skin on my zucchini whether I’m making stuffed zucchini boats, grilling zucchini, or making it as a simple 5-minute zucchini side dish. The skin of overgrown garden zucchini can become tough, so choose smaller zucchini with tender skins. Zucchini is pretty mild in flavor, so I might as well get those extra health benefits from the skin because a little extra fiber never hurt anyone.
What Side of the Grater Do You Use for Zucchini Bread?
Grate the zucchini on the large grates of a box grater. Use the same grates as shredding cheddar cheese. Avoid using a food processor for this recipe. It breaks the zucchini down too much and makes it watery.
Do You Squeeze the Water Out of Zucchini for Bread?
I don’t bother squeezing the water out of the zucchini before adding it to the batter. In this recipe, the additional moisture is a benefit.
How to Make Zucchini Bread
Prepare two 8 1/2″ X 4 1/2″ baking pans with non-stick baking spray and preheat the oven to 325°F. This recipe yields two loaves of zucchini bread. I’ve found these loaf pans are the best pans for baking bread. They produce evenly baked loaves that release easily after baking. Glass pyrex also works well, but avoid using dark colored pans that tend to darken the outside of the loaves before the insides are cooked.
Grate the zucchini. Use the large grates on a box grater—I have this one. This recipe calls for 2 cups of grated zucchini, equalling about 12 ounces.
Use an electric hand mixer to beat the eggs and oil. This is my favorite hand mixer. I’ve tried several and this one is worth every penny. Beat the egg and oil together until creamy yellow and frothy.
Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla into the egg mixture. Grandma’s original recipe called for using only white sugar. I found that made this recipe too sweet, tasting more like a cake than a quick bread. Instead, I use a combination of 1 1/2 cups white sugar with 1/2 cup light brown sugar to lend a caramel note.
Avoid Over Mixing the Batter
Over mixing quick breads leads to sunken breads and a tough crumb. At this stage, it’s time to put away the electric mixer and use a heavy wooden spoon or spatula to finish mixing this recipe by hand and avoid over mixing it.
Fold the grated zucchini into the egg mixture. Mix just until the zucchini is coated.
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet and mix by hand. Sifting lightens the flour and evenly distributes the baking soda and powder. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients come together. A few flour-ish streaks are okay.
Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans. If you’re like me, lick the spoon. If you’re afraid of raw eggs, don’t.
The Best Temperature to Bake Zucchini Bread
Bake zucchini bread at 325°F for 50-60 minutes to ensure the inside of the bread is baked through without overcooking the outside.
How to Tell When Zucchini Bread is Done
The bread is done when the outside of the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. A cake tester, wooden skewer, or toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread should come out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Zucchini Bread Tricks
- The Kitchn suggests this trick to keep your zucchini bread crust crisp: Place the loaf on its side when transferred to the cooling rack.
- Try this tip for a crunchy, crackly topped quick bread: Brush a paste of sugar, water, salt and vanilla during the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking.
- This hack creates the perfect down-the-middle split for the top of your quick bread. Dip a knife in oil or melted butter, then drag it through the center of the batter. As noted, “The fat creates a weak point so as the cake (or bread) bakes it naturally splits at that point.”
Is Zucchini Bread Healthy?
Zucchini is chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants and its gorgeously dark green skin is full of fiber and carotenoids, phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. They also act as antioxidants and have cancer-fighting properties. With all those awesome benefits, zucchini bread definitely has its health benefits.
Substitutions to make this zucchini bread recipe healthier:
- Swap canola oil with coconut oil or an equal amount of applesauce.
- Switch out the 1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup.
- Substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour, or, make it a combo.
How to Freeze Zucchini Bread
- Cool the bread completely.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil, then place in a zippered freezer bag.
- The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- To eat, thaw on the counter, unwrap, and enjoy.
More Zucchini Recipes
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Easy 5-Minute Parmesan Zucchini
- Zucchini and Fresh Corn Salad
- Mediterranean Zucchini Boats
- Grilled Zucchini With Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts
- Baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make the BEST Zucchini Bread
- two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 loaf pans
- 2 cups grated zucchini , about 12 ounces
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Prepare two 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" loaf pans with non-stick baking spray and preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Grate the zucchini on the large grates of a box grater and set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the eggs and oil until creamy yellow and frothy. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, and mix well. Use a heavy wooden spoon or spatula to fold the grated zucchini into the egg mixture just until the zucchini is coated.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet, then mix by hand just until the ingredients come together. A few streaks of flour is okay. Do not over mix the batter or the center of the bread will sink and become tough.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the bread pulls away from the sides of the loaf pan and a cake tester, wooden skewer, or toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
- Cool the loaves in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Add 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped pecans or walnuts
- For a sweeter loaf, add 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple to the wet ingredients. Or, skip the brown sugar and use all white sugar instead.
More Quick Bread Recipes
- Pumpkin Bread
- How to Make Classic Banana Bread
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Blueberry Oatmeal Quick Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Cherry and Almond Quick Bread
- German Chocolate Banana Bread
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