Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread ~ everybody’s favorite quick bread gets an upgrade with crunchy poppy seeds and fresh lemon. It’s the perfect light and breezy summertime bake!
Lemon poppy seed zucchini bread is a delicious change of pace
A classic zucchini bread is always right, but I adore this lemon poppy seed version for when you’ve STILL got zucchini coming out of the garden, or your neighbor’s gardens, or the CSA, and you need to shake things up a bit. This moist quick bread is easy to make and combines the bright flavor of lemon with crunchy poppy seeds and plenty of zucchini. It feels so fresh and summery.
One-bowl baking ~
One bowl baking is the best, isn’t it? Less to clean up, of course, and it just makes the whole thing feels so much more doable. A surprising number of basic baking recipes can be easily converted to the one-bowl method:
- Often the only reason you need the extra bowl is to sift dry ingredients together. The solution is to add your leaveners (baking powder and/or soda and salt) to your wet ingredients before folding in flour. Adding the leaveners first allows them to get evenly distributed into the batter without having to sift them with the flour first.
- Recipes that aren’t good candidates for one bowl baking include any recipes where eggs are separated and the whites whipped on their own,
How to make a lemony quick bread glaze ~
A lemon glaze is one of my favorite secret weapons when it comes to loaf cakes and quick breads. Just a simple mix of lemon juice and powdered sugar makes an intense sweet/tart topping that also helps seal in moisture.
- For a glaze that’s thick enough to be noticed but still coats the top of your loaf cake nice and evenly, I use 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and about 2 tablespoons of liquid. If you want a lighter, translucent glaze, add a little bit more liquid.
- Sifting your sugar first helps avoid lumps, but if you do get them, let the glaze settle for a few minutes and whisk again, most lumps will dissolve on their own.
- When I’m not sure about how the consistency of my glaze is going to look on the finished cake, I’ll do a little test on the edge of the cake. You should be able to wipe off the glaze quickly and adjust to make it a little thicker or a little thinner if needed.
- You can add a little vanilla extract to your glaze, or scatter some more poppy seeds on top of the wet glaze for a nice pop of contrast and extra crunch.
The texture of this bread (or is it cake?) is just perfect in my book.
It’s moist but light and fluffy ~ not oily like some loaf cakes can be, and perfectly sweetened without being too over the top for breakfast or an afternoon snack. The cake has that lovely mellow lemon flavor from plenty of zest added to the batter, and the glaze provides the perfect sweet-tart contrast.
For the prettiest presentation with loaf cakes, I always line my pan with a long sheet of parchment paper.
Grease the pan first, so the paper will stick and not slide around. You can lift the bread out after baking to let it cool completely. You’ll be able to glaze and slice it so much easier, and this is especially nice if you want a pretty presentation.
Remember, don’t peel or squeeze your zucchini for perfect zucchini bread!
You definitely don’t want to peel your zucchini, the peel is where all the flavor, color, and texture is. I love to see those little green flecks in my bread, yum! And there’s no need to drain or squeeze the zucchini, either. I formulate the recipe to take zucchini’s natural moisture into account, and it helps make this bread deliciously moist and tender.
Lemon poppy seed everything!
- Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Lemon Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
- Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Poppy Seed Buttercream
- Lemon Tart with Poppy Seed Shortbread Crust
Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- zest of one large lemon
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, lightly packed
- 3 Tbsp poppy seeds
For the glaze
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp (approximately) lemon juice, or a mixture of lemon juice and milk or cream to thin
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan. I also line mine with parchment paper for easy removal after baking.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar until well combined.
- Whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Fold in the flour, and mix just until everything is well incorporated and there are no dry pockets of flour left.
- Gently fold in the shredded zucchini and poppy seeds.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and smooth it out a little bit so that it fills the pan evenly. Bake for about 60-65 minutes until risen, turning golden on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
- Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool fully on a baking rack.
- Once the bread is cool, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar with the lemon juice until pourable, but still relatively thick. You can use all lemon juice for a nice tart glaze, or a mixture of lemon juice and milk or cream to your taste for a slightly less tart glaze.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and use the back of a spoon or a butter knife to gently spread it over the top of the cake. Allow the glaze to harden before slicing.