This easy recipe for Zucchini Bread is moist with loads of home baked flavor. It tastes just like mom pulled it out of the oven!
Zucchini Bread is a breakfast classic! This version made with fresh zucchini, walnuts and honey makes two loaves so you can eat one now and freeze one for later!
I’m a huge fan of breakfast pastries. One reason is because you can make them in advance, meaning no cooking is required in the morning. I can’t tell you how important this is for me as a night owl.
The other reason is how good pastries taste with a huge mug of cinnamon coffee. No matter what season, a baked treat loaded with carbs just feels like a cozy and relaxed way to start the day.
This is especially true when it’s a hot slice of zucchini bread. But as much as I love quick breads, I’m trying to reduce my carb intake.
So I’ve been working on this recipe for quite a while to make a classic tasting zucchini bread that is more breakfast than dessert.
Lower sugar zucchini bread
It all started with this Mom’s Zucchini Bread recipe that calls for over two cups of sugar. I absolutely love this version but to me it was more like cake than bread. In fact, I used it for cupcakes for this awesome Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower and no one was the wiser.
Sugar has its place in baking. It helps to keep pastries moist, works as a preservative and makes a nice, brown, caramelized crust. So, remaking this quick bread recipe with less sugar was tricky.
After more than a year and so many test batches I lost count, here is the ultimate Zucchini Bread!
Healthier zucchini bread
I’ll be honest, it is not as low calorie or low carb as I’d like it to be, but it’s a great compromise. It is hearty, moist and has less overall grams of sugar. This is because honey has a lower glycemic index than granulated sugar plus it tastes sweeter, so you can use less.
Even with less sugar, this bread still has that amazing cake-like crumb. It’s tender with bright green flecks of zucchini and the toothiness of chopped walnuts.
It is also packed with all the flavors you want in a breakfast bread from the warmth of cinnamon and ginger to the wholesomeness of fresh zucchini.
You’ll also notice the taste of honey and vanilla. Refreshingly simple, handmade, and delicious! It is a simple zucchini bread recipe with a big flavor payoff!!!
A healthy breakfast is the recipe for a good start to your day! For a breakfast recipe full of protein, try my Crispy Breakfast Potatoes with Sunny Side Up Eggs.
How to make quick bread
Zucchini bread is easy to make. Like most quick breads, you can make it by hand using a couple bowls and a spatula. The only special equipment you’ll need is a box grater to shred the zucchini and two greased and floured loaf pans.
There’s no need to peel the zucchini, but if you making this recipe because you have an overgrown garden zucchini, I do recommend cutting it open and scooping out any large seeds. But if you bought your zucchini at the grocery store you won’t need to take this step.
Mixing the batter is similar to cake or cookies, you simply mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. The final step is to combine the wet and the dry being careful to just mix until most of the flour is incorporated. Too much mixing can lead to a tough bread that may fall after baking.
Divide the batter into your pans and bake. Oven temperatures vary so you’ll want to check your bread once it looks golden and fully risen. It takes about 45-60 minutes, so when it looks beautifully domed and brown, test for doneness with a tootpick. It’s done when it comes out cleanly.
Let your loaves rest about 10-15 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack…. and try not to dive in immediately!
Looking for an even easier grab-and-go option for busy mornings? Use the same recipe to make honey walnut zucchini muffins. Instead of loaf pans, spoon mixture into muffin tins and reduce the baking time to 20-30 minutes.
Use the middle rack and watch for muffins to be golden brown. Test with a toothpick.
Zucchini is abundant in many gardens during the summer months. Try this veggie-loaded Grilled Ratatouille Flatbread Pizza!
Ingredients and substitutions
Zucchini → Any summer squash can be used. But other vegetable substitutes are grated beets, carrots or parsnips.
All purpose flour → I prefer classic all purpose flour. But according to The Kitchn, 7/8 cup whole wheat flour per 1 cup of all purpose flour can be used. See their article for more all purpose flour substitutes.
Eggs → In general, half of a mashed banana or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce per egg can be used but the bread might be more dense due to extra water content. I would be wary of replacing all three eggs with this method but if you’re short an egg, this should work.
Vegetable oil → This can be swapped for light olive oil, canola oil or other neutral oils.
Walnuts → Use chocolate chips instead of (or in addition to) walnuts. This will make the loaf sweeter and more like dessert. Or use chopped pecans, cashews or almonds as a 1:1 replacement.
Spices → We used ground cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, but you could also use apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice, but you may want to reduce the total amount.
Sweeteners → This recipe calls for a combination of granulated sugar and honey. Honey could be substituted with agave and the granulated sugar could be replaced by raw sugar. However, the measurements cannot be swapped as honey and sugar bake differently.
Zucchini Bread Recipe
- 3 cups all purpose flour (13.5 oz)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup honey
- 1¼ cup vegetable oil (or light olive oil)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups grated zucchini
- 1¼ cups walnuts , coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease and flour 2 loaf pans and set aside.
- Combine flour, soda, salt, baking powder and spices in a bowl and whisk thoroughly.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, honey, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- With a spatula, stir in zucchini.
- Dump in flour mixture and stir until almost all the flour has been incorporated.
- Add in walnuts and stir just until nuts are dispersed (don’t over mix!)
- Divide batter between prepared pans.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Once the loaf has cooled, you can freeze it by wrapping the bread in tinfoil or plastic wrap and storing in a Ziploc bag for up to two months
- Adding or substituting chocolate chips will make the recipe more of a dessert
- Make zucchini muffins. Instead of loaf pans, spoon mixture into muffin tins and reduce the baking time to 20-30 minutes. Use the middle rack and watch for muffins to be golden brown. Test with a toothpick.
Looking for more breakfast delights? See more breakfast recipes!