Classic Zucchini Bread

classic zucchini bread

I love to bake with zucchini. Adding it to muffins and cakes and quicks breads makes them all the more moist — and nutritious. The flecks of veggie in my baked good give it a lovely color, a nice chew, a good density. Then there’s the whole using up the (sometimes) copious amounts of zucchini that come from the garden. But I’ve struggled to find a straight zucchini bread recipe that I was fond of. They all were a little dry or a bit too heavy or just … I don’t know … bland. But after several months of testing and tasting, I think I’ve got it down. This recipe uses more spices than many and less sugar; it chooses butter over coconut or canola oil because taste-wise the butter was better. My favorite add-ins are raisins and pecans, but chocolate chips work just fine. In any case, I hope this recipe hits all the right notes for you, too.

Makes 2 loaves


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups shredded zucchini (about one, 12 ounce zucchini)
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Optional add-ins

  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and set rack in middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix butter with sugars until combined. Add eggs, vanilla and grated zucchini. Stir until all is well-mixed.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
  4. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until just combined. Add nuts, dried fruit and/or chocolate chips. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Set pans on wire rack and let cool about 10 minutes, then turn loaves out onto rack to cool completely.

Note: Whatever combination of add-ins you use, be sure the total does not exceed 1½ cups. These can also be made into muffins. Recipe makes 20-24 muffins. Reduce baking time to 30-40 minutes.