Mom’s zucchini bread has been a family favorite for generations. This moist tender loaf comes together in 10 minutes then baked. Beautifully fragrant and perfectly spiced, it boasts a lovely dome and texture. Sprinkle the top with sparkling sugar for a delightful crunch. Any bakery would be jealous.
You don’t need a mixer for this easy zucchini bread recipe. And if desired, you can make the batter using 1 bowl instead of 2. Fewer dishes to wash. While other recipes yield 2 loaves, ours produces 1 fabulous loaf. Perfect if you only have 1 loaf pan on hand. For 2 loaves, just double the recipe.
As bakers we’re always discovering new things. Like small zucchini have less moisture than larger ones. Home garden zucchini are often wetter than store-bought. For Mom’s zucchini bread with a lofty texture (air pockets), squeeze water from the grated veggies. Or skip the squeeze for a denser loaf.
This quick bread recipe is super versatile. Make it with green zucchini or yellow squash. Use brown sugar or granulated sugar. Use sour cream, Greek yogurt, or applesauce. Replace butter with canola oil or melted coconut oil. For a heavier, moister loaf, add more zucchini to the batter.
RECIPE TIP: When making quick bread it’s very important that the baking soda and baking powder are fresh. Otherwise the loaf will not have the strength to rise and dome properly in the oven. It might sink in the middle.
Although I use a medium loaf pan (9 x 5 inches, 1 1/4 lb. vol.) to make Mom’s zucchini bread recipe, if you only have a small loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 inches, 1 lb. vol.) on hand that’s fine. But you may need to bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes to ensure the middle of the loaf is cooked through.
For parties, potlucks, picnics and tailgating, make zucchini bread muffins instead of a loaf. When eaten out of the paper wrapper no napkin is needed. Change things up with mini loaves of zucchini bread. Or make tiny bites (using a brownie bite pan) for individual servings.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR LOAF: Add grated carrots. Make it nutty with walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts or shredded coconut. Add raisins, dried cranberries, or citrus zest. Fold in chocolate chips. Add a pinch of ground cloves or ground ginger. Increase the tang with a squeeze of lemon juice.
During the spring and summer months, enjoy Mom’s zucchini bread with a refreshing drink like iced vanilla latte, maple whipped coffee, or hibiscus tea. Serve slices for breakfast, brunch and mid-day snacking. Make one loaf for yourself and another for a friend or neighbor.
RECIPE SMARTS: Mom’s zucchini bread always tastes better the second day! Which makes it the perfect hostess gift. Make the loaf a day in advance to have it ready for gifting. Fill out a recipe card and include it with the bread.
- Butter: Adds richness and a buttery taste to moist zucchini bread.
- Light Brown Sugar: Perfectly sweetens the bread. If you don’t have this ingredient on hand, use dark brown sugar or granulated sugar instead.
- Whole Milk: Provides moisture so mom’s zucchini bread is not too dry.
- Plain Unsweetened Greek Yogurt: Adds creamy moisture with a touch of tang. It pairs well with the light grassy flavor of fresh zucchini.
- Large Egg: Helps bind the ingredients in the batter together.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: You can use whichever type you have on hand – either clear vanilla or amber-colored vanilla. My favorite type is Mexican vanilla extract for its buttery flavor and bakery aroma.
- All-purpose Flour: Ensures the bread batter is not too wet. It also provides structure for the loaf as it rises in the oven.
- Baking Powder: Helps give the loaf a light and airy texture.
- Baking Soda: Works in combination with baking powder to assist the bread with rising in the oven and creating a beautiful dome.
- Sea Salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Ground Cinnamon: Provides a hint of warmth, enhances the sweetness of the bread, and has a distinctive and delicious bakery scent.
- Ground Nutmeg: Adds an earthy taste that pairs well with cinnamon and heightens its flavor. It also enhances the aroma of the loaf.
- White Sparkling Sugar (Optional): Helps develop a gorgeous crust on top of the loaf while adding extra sweetness and sparkle.
RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan with nonstick baking spray or butter. To ensure easy loaf removal, see tip below.
- STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and melted butter until well combined.
- STEP 2: Add milk, yogurt, egg and vanilla. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- STEP 3: Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix just until no large lumps remain. Do not overmix or the loaf will be dense. This zucchini batter is thick – slidable into the pan, but not pourable. The consistency is thicker than a box brownie mix, but thinner than pudding.
- STEP 4: Add shredded zucchini to the bowl. Gently fold it into the batter – being mindful to not overmix.
TIP FOR EASY LOAF REMOVAL: Grease the loaf pan. Create a “sling” by lining the pan with a slightly oversized piece of parchment paper hanging over each long side. These are “handles” for lifting. Grease the parchment paper.
- STEP 5: With a spatula, push the batter from the bowl into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar.
- STEP 6: Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick or wooden skewer) inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove and transfer it to a wire rack to cool it completely before slicing.
These are the most commonly-asked questions for making the BEST zucchini bread, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.
For Mom’s zucchini bread recipe I prefer USA loaf pans. They’re the bakeware used in professional bakeries. The aluminized steel facilitates even air circulation and heat distribution. The special non-stick coating promotes easy release. For an in-depth comparison of different loaf pan materials, read this informative post by King Arthur Baking.
There’s no need to peel the veggies when making zucchini bread.
Rinse zucchini to clean. Do not peel them. Slice off and discard the ends. Grate zucchini on a box grater using the largest shredding holes (not wide horizontal slots). Wrap shredded zucchini in paper towels and shape it into a ball. Lightly squeeze to remove excess moisture.
Before baking Mom’s zucchini bread, sprinkle the top of the loaf with 1 tablespoon coarse white (sparkling) sugar or turbinado sugar. This will produce a gorgeous bakery-style loaf.
There was too much moisture in the batter so the heat of the oven could not cook it through. To avoid this moist situation, blot or squeeze the freshly-grated zucchini between paper towels to remove excess liquid.
The zucchini bread must be fully cooled before slicing. Transfer it to a wooden board. Turn the loaf on its side. Holding a serrated knife perpendicular to the board, use a back-and-forth sawing motion. For best results, start by halving the loaf down the middle.
After loaf has completely cooled, return it to the pan. Cover the top with plastic wrap. Or slip zucchini bread into a zip-top bag, or wrap the loaf in a layer of plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for several days or in the fridge up to 1 week.
To properly protect the zucchini bread, wrap the loaf in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then in a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Slip it into a zip-top bag with all the air pressed out. To prevent freezer burn, place the loaf in the back of the freezer. Freeze for up to 2 months.
more BREAD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
If you enjoy tender delicious loaves and rolls, you’ll love these easy recipes for homemade bread. Like Mom’s zucchini bread, they’re simple to make and a joy to eat. Print your favorites for later or pin them to Pinterest.
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Best Jiffy Cornbread
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- Gingerbread Loaf
- White Bread
- Banana Walnut Bread
- Peach Cobbler Pound Cake
- Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
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Mom’s zucchini bread was tested by flavor experts. It was compared to 5 other loaves. For taste, texture and doming, our loaf was rated the BEST zucchini bread recipe. It’s a plus that the batter is assembled in 10 minutes.
If you agree this bread is tender, lightly sweet with the perfect texture, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with a friend.Print
Make Mom’s zucchini bread recipe in 10 minutes then bake. It’s warm, tender and fragrant with the perfect amount of sweetness and spice. It’s perfect for breakfast, snacks, picnics and gifting.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely-shredded zucchini, lightly squeezed to remove extra moisture
- 1 tablespoon coarse white sparkling sugar (or turbinado sugar), for sprinkling
RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). *Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan (1.25 lb. vol.) with nonstick baking spray or butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and melted butter until well combined. Add milk, yogurt, egg and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix just until no large lumps remain. Do not overmix or the loaf will be dense. This zucchini batter is thick – slidable into the pan, but not pourable. The consistency is thicker than a box brownie mix, but thinner than pudding.
- Add shredded zucchini to the bowl. Gently fold it into the batter – being mindful to not overmix. With a spatula, push the batter from the bowl into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar.
- Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick or wooden skewer) inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove and transfer it to a wire rack to cool it completely before slicing.
*HOW TO PREP LOAF PAN FOR EASY LOAF REMOVAL: Grease a 9″x5″ (1.25 lb. volume) loaf pan. Create a “sling” by lining the pan with a slightly oversized piece of parchment paper hanging over each long side. These are “handles” for lifting. Grease the parchment paper.
HOW TO STORE ZUCCHINI BREAD: After loaf has completely cooled, return it to the pan. Cover the top with plastic wrap, or wrap the loaf in a layer of plastic wrap. If sliced, place zucchini bread slices into a zip-top bag with the air pressed out. Store at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the fridge up to 1 week.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 50 Minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Mom’s Zucchini Bread, Easy Zucchini Bread, Moist Zucchini Bread, Zucchini Bread Recipe, Best Zucchini Bread