Ultimate One Bowl Zucchini Bread!




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stack of zucchini bread slices

The Ultimate One Bowl Zucchini Bread because life is way too short to spend time tracking down the perfect recipe ~ so don’t stress, it’s right here and I’m sharing exactly how to make the best zucchini bread of your life!

a stack of zucchini bread slices

This easy zucchini bread wins the blue ribbon! (My Death by Chocolate Zucchini Bread came in a close 2nd)

A lifetime of loving zucchini bread, plus some good old trial and error has finally produced my definitive one bowl zucchini bread ~it’s got everything you want, and nothing you don’t want… it’s easy, it’s insanely delicious, and it’s made in one bowl!  (Those 2 little words are music to my ears.)  After testing zucchini breads from the family recipe box, magazine clippings, cookbooks, church supper classics, Pinterest, etc, I’ve settled on the precise formula for the perfect quick zucchini loaf.

Zucchini bread, sliced

Zucchini bread sounds like a simple thing…I mean most of us have a recipe for it, and it’s not rocket science…or is it??  Zucchini bread can have all sorts of problems that we sometimes gloss over because we love the idea of it so much.  But loaves can be dry, soggy, oily, crusty, too bready, too cakey, overly sweet, not sweet enough…and the list goes on.

So what makes the perfect zucchini bread?

  • Lots of shredded zucchini.  I don’t skimp on this essential ingredient.  Young small to medium zucchinis make the best bread because they have the best flavor, and aren’t too seedy or watery.  Plus they add a lot of colorful peel which makes the bread pretty and healthy.
  • Chopped walnuts.  You can leave them out, but I love the crunch.
  • Vegetable oil, not butter, keeps the bread moist and super easy to throw together.  Any recipe that has you creaming butter and sugar is not in keeping with the carefree spirit of zucchini bread 😉
  • A good dose of quality vanilla extract ~ this makes zucchini bread sing.

a bowl of shredded zucchini

The best way to shred zucchini for zucchini bread (or any other recipe for that matter)

  • Hands down the best way to shred zucchini is in your food processor fitted with the shredding blade.  It makes super quick work of shredding any amount you need.  It’s one more example of how having the right tool can make all the difference in a recipe.
  • Shredding with the processor creates nice chunky shreds, see the bowl above.  That means they really show up in the finished bread.  I want to see the green in my zucchini bread!
  • The food processor creates dry shreds, whereas a box grater makes them watery.  I want that lovely moisture in my bread, not on the counter.

a loaf of zucchini bread ready for the oven

This recipe is formulated for one loaf, but can easily be doubled for two or more.

I like the ability to make a single loaf, because so many recipes force you to make more than you might need.  Simply double this recipe to make an extra loaf for a friend, or to freeze for later.

zucchini bread just out of the oven, on a cooling rack

Tried and true tips for baking zucchini bread

  • Use nonstick loaf pans if possible, and butter them well.  My preferred method is to line the pan with parchment paper which makes removing the bread a breeze.
  • Don’t peel your zucchini ~ the green peel is pretty and nutritious.
  • I like to tent my bread for the last 10 minutes or so to prevent the top from getting too brown while the middle cooks through.
  • When performing the toothpick test, don’t go straight down the crack in the center, insert it at an angle just outside the crack.  Why?  There is sometimes a little bit of sticky batter in the very top of moist quick breads, even though the loaf is cooked perfectly.
  • Allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes, then run a blunt knife around all the edges to loosen before turning out of the pan.  I highly suggest lining your pan with a parchment sling, it just makes it effortless.
  • If you like your bread super soft, wrap it in foil, warm from the oven, and refrigerate overnight.

zucchini bread wrapped in a kitchen towel

Are you on team butter or team cream cheese?

We’re all in for a big schmear of cream cheese in the Great Island kitchen. It makes a slice so satisfying it’s almost a meal!

a slice of zucchini bread with cream cheese

So many delicious ways to use up that zucchini glut…

 

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a stack of zucchini bread slices
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5 from 9 votes

Ultimate One Bowl Zucchini Bread

The Ultimate One Bowl Zucchini Bread because life is way too short to spend time tracking down the best recipe ~ so no worries, it's right here!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Yield 8 -10 servings

Equipment

  • a standard 9x5 loaf pan

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp frshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 lightly packed cups shredded zucchini (shred right before adding)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F Butter a standard 9x5 loaf pan and line with a sling of parchment paper if desired, for easy removal.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs, oil, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Whisk well to break up the eggs and get everything well incorporated.
  • Blend in the baking powder, soda, and salt, so they are mixed in thoroughly, then stir in the flour. When the flour is almost all incorporated, fold in the zucchini and nuts. Stop mixing when there is no dry flour left and the zucchini is evenly dispersed. Don't over mix this batter.
  • Turn the batter into your preapred pan and smooth out. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out without wet batter on it (moist crumbs are fine.) Let the bread cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before turning out of the pan.
  • Slice and enjoy warm with butter or cream cheese.

Zucchini bread pin

 

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16 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Tamara
    September 1, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    What would be the best way to grate zucchini for this recipe if you don’t have a food processor, since you’re not a fan of box graters….?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 1, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      Use the box grater, it will be fine, the food processor’s just a preference.

  • Reply
    Leslie
    August 31, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    5 stars
    This was delicious!

  • Reply
    Christy
    August 22, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    5 stars
    I just finished taking this from the oven after friends gifted me some great zucchinis. It turned out simply gorgeous and not all flat and gooey like most of these sweet dessert breads tend to do. Thank you for a delicious recipe that I won’t store on my computer, but will write out and put in my recipe box. This one is a recipe that future generations should have!

  • Reply
    Marion
    August 10, 2020 at 9:07 am

    I made this yesterday and it is THE BEST zucchini bread we ever tasted,,,,,,,think its because of the light brown sugar and nutmeg additions . Timing was also perfect..used a long cake tester in a few places. My grandson and I LOVE lemon, so we are looking forward to trying your lemon pound cake . Thanks so much for your great recipes, happy I found your recipe page (I am 79 years old and just learning the computer) .

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Thanks Marion, welcome in, I’m so glad you found me! I know you’ll love the lemon cake, it’s a winner 🙂

  • Reply
    David Lines
    August 2, 2020 at 7:09 am

    5 stars
    I made this and instead of a reg pan,, I used a cupcake pan, made about 21 cupcakes,, only baked for about 28 minutes, any longer and it dries out too much,, love the taste though.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 2, 2020 at 7:27 am

      Thanks David, I hadn’t thought of making this into cupcakes, cool!

  • Reply
    Rose
    July 31, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Sue, I’ve made so many zucchini breads in the past that were just…meh. Too sweet, not sweet enough; too oily, too dry, too wet; tasteless, boring. I am SO glad that I gave it one last go and made this one! I trust your recipes so much that I went ahead and doubled the recipe and it’s PERFECT! Light, just sweet enough, and just plain delish. I did find I had to bake longer than stipulated, but I used glass loaf pans so that could have something to do with it. And I SO appreciate your tip of using the processor to grate the zucchini which keeps it dry. Previously, I’d always used a box grater, but oh man, it makes a huge difference with the processor! Thanks for yet another great recipe, Sue!!

  • Reply
    Karla
    July 27, 2020 at 11:22 am

    I’ve loved every one of your recipes I’ve tried, and this is definitely on my list of Must Makes, especially since we’re getting garden zucchini right now. Only thing it’s missing is chocolate chips! Also, I don’t typically use toppings on breads like this, but it’s really good grilled.

    Also, I often sub yellow squash or use a combination of zucchini and yellow squash in recipes… but I do think the zucchini is better.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 27, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Chocolate chips are never a bad idea 😉

  • Reply
    Tammi Blair
    July 25, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t have fresh nutmeg but I do have dry nutmeg can I substitute for fresh and if so how much would I use.. Thank you so much

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 25, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Yes, for sure, use the same amount.

  • Reply
    Lesley
    July 21, 2020 at 6:01 am

    5 stars
    Ah! This is truly *the* best zucchini bread I have ever had! Thank you for this recipe, and for all tips — super helpful. This will be a staple in my recipe box!

  • Reply
    Lana
    July 7, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Can yellow squash be substituted instead of zucchini?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 7, 2020 at 3:01 pm

      Interesting question, I assume so, but I’ve never tried! I think one issue you might run into is that yellow squash tends to be more seedy than zucchini, you’d want to find young slender squash.