Saturday, June 18, 2011

Zucchini Nut Bread

A nice tender quick bread, seasoned with cinnamon and studded with walnuts, made using some of that garden bounty of zucchini.

Zucchini Nut Bread

I suppose just about anybody that grows zucchini has a collection of recipes for their abundant bounty, including one for a sweet quick bread. On the other hand, those of us who are lucky enough to be the recipient of bags of that bounty, sometimes just don't know what all to do with them! This recipe is for the latter of us.

My savory preference from the group of summer squash is yellow crookneck, but I adore sweet bread made with shredded zucchini. If you've never tried zucchini bread before, just think along the lines of carrot cake, because it really is deliciously sweet and truly, but for the little specks of green that are scattered about in the bread, you'd never know you were eating something with zucchini in it. Back when I last worked at a law firm, the wife of my boss, a wonderful southern gentleman from Pontotoc, Mississippi, would flip over a loaf of zucchini bread. People love home baked goodies and frankly it never hurts to find favor in the wife of the boss!

This recipe makes two loaves - one to share or freeze, and another to enjoy, and it's a very simple recipe. You don't even need a mixer. Beat the eggs, add the oil and granulated sugar and beat until blended and thickened. Beat in the brown sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, breaking up any flour lumps. If you're making chocolate zucchini bread, add in 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa here and up to 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. Adding in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder really enhances the chocolate version.

Stir the walnuts in with the flour mixture. Add the grated zucchini to the brown sugar mixture and stir.

Add the vanilla to the zucchini mixture and stir. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and gently mix together. Don't beat!

Pour evenly into the prepared loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Let loaves rest in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Zucchini, like crooknecks and other summer squash, are great in casseroles of course, cut up and stir fried, cut into ribbons and skewered with shrimp or cut into long thick strips, marinated in Italian dressing and grilled, or even stuffed, but it is especially delicious in a sweet bread. Pick up some zucchini at the grocery store and give it a try!

Recipe: Zucchini Nut Bread

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: Makes 2 loaves

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup of canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 cups of unpeeled zucchini, shredded

Butter and flour or spray two small 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with Baker's Joy; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat eggs; add the oil and granulated sugar; beat until blended and thickened. Stir in the brown sugar and add the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, breaking up any flour lumps; stir in the walnuts. Add the zucchini to the brown sugar mixture and stir.

Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and gently mix together; do not beat. Pour evenly into the prepared loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 to 50 minutes (checking first at 40 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Do not overcook or the bread will be dry. Let rest for 5 minutes in the pans, then transfer loaves to a rack to cool slightly. Best served warm with honey butter. Let cool completely before storing; store leftovers in the fridge.

Cook's Notes: I use White Lily all purpose flour. One zucchini, about 12-inches in length, should give you about 2 cups shredded. Squeezing the zucchini is not necessary.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread: Add in 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder and up to 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. Adding in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder is also a nice addition.

Fig Variation: LaJeanne Hall on our Facebook page shared that she substitutes fresh figs for the zucchini for a fig bread and it is "very very good!"

Apple Bread: Substitute shredded apple for the zucchini.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on June 18, 2011

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  1. Oh yum! I can't wait til the farmers markets start around here to get good stu ff like zukes! Anne

  2. Mary, this sounds moist and delicious. This is the kind of treat that I like to have with my afternoon coffee. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  3. I've been making a zucchini bread since the late 70's and always look forward to fresh zucchini season to make batches and batches to freeze! We just love them!

  4. Great recipe i love nut bread that looks so delicious .....


  5. I adore zucchini bread! It brings back fond childhood memories for me. My mother would make zucchini bread in the summer and every child in the neighborhood would come running when it finally cooled enough to eat! Have a great weekend!

  6. I would have looked at the title and said ewwwwwwww 5 years ago. But Alexis now makes great zucchini rolls that are some of my favorite.

  7. Wanted to let you know I baked my first two loaves last week. Perfect recipe for sure so thanks for sharing. I'm making my second batch today substituting the zucchini for bananas and the nuts for dried cranberries. I believe it will be delicious too. I already have shredded zucchini in the freezer on reserve for later. A keeper recipe for me. Also sharing on Pinterest. Thanks Mary!

    1. You're welcome Debbie & thanks so much for the pin and for stopping back by to let me know that you enjoyed the recipe!

  8. My recipe is about the same, but I twist it a little by adding a bag of dried cranberries or dried mixed berries to the batter, and only sprinkling the nuts on top. Give it a try next time you make it, the berries add a nice tart zing.

  9. .....THIS is THE Zucchini Bread recipe going into my Favorites folder for future use. Made it this morning and it is fabulous!

  10. /Can we make this in a bread maker

    1. This recipe is for 2 loaves and isn't written for a bread maker, so I wouldn't know how to suggest altering it - so sorry!

  11. No worries! Thanks for replying!

  12. I just made this with some big zucchini from the garden. I just want to tell the folks this is amazing. It the brown sugar that makes it special I think. Try it you will not be disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing this one.

    1. You're so welcome & thanks to YOU for coming by and leaving such a great compliment! I really appreciate you taking the time to do that!!

  13. Good morning Mary! Hope you had a good week. I wanted to know if I could make muffins from this recipe instead of loaves? I think it would be less mess for the coworkers.

    1. Haven't done it but I believe it would work! Not sure how many you'll get for sure - maybe 1-1/2 - 2 dozen?

  14. I love zucchini bread but have had trouble with other recipes, I think it is the wringing out the zucchini. My hubby never cared for the z. bread but Loved this recipe. It also turned out perfect. My oven took 55 minutes but it is not dry. I did check it every 5 min after 40. Thank you for great recipe Reb from AL

  15. I'm looking for a really good zucchini bread and think I'm going to try this one. hope it's as good as everyone says it is. I'll check back in when I'm made it.

  16. Mary I love this recipe and so does everyone who tries it. I made This recipe last night and the center fell. I used 4 smaller loaf pans instead of 2 regular size, and not sure what happened. Do you have any idea?

    1. Hi Chanea! Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm no expert with baking by any means, but I've read that falling in the center (which has happened to me before on cakes) can be caused by a number of things - fluctuations in the oven temperature is probably the most common one, as the oven gets hot, the bread rises, but then the temperature unexpectedly drops, so the leavening collapses. Sometimes it's just an older oven that doesn't work like it used to, sometimes it's opening the oven door to check too soon. It can also be caused by overfilling the pans. As the batter rises, it runs out of room to rise and has nowhere to go so it collapses. Different pans can cause that too - glass or ceramic versus metal - so changing pans can mean a need to slightly reduce the temperature when baking a recipe you might usually use a metal pan on. Also excess water from the zucchini can make the batter too wet, overmixing and stale baking soda all can contribute to that too. Baking (at least for me) can be so temperamental!

  17. i have been looking for a southern zucchini bread recipe for a few years now since i lost mine i love this recipe thank you

  18. The best zucchini bread recipe ive tried to date thank you for sharing it with us I'm pretty sure it's the brown sugar that takes it over the top . I'm wondering if you have a zucchini brownies recipe


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