Classic Zucchini Bread With Walnuts

Zucchini Bread – moist, dense, and delicious, classic zucchini bread is loaded with tender shredded zucchini, aromatic cinnamon, molasses rich brown sugar, soft vanilla notes, and crunchy walnuts. Recipe makes two freezable loaves.

If you’re looking for more quick bread recipes, you can’t go wrong with our very Best Banana Bread Recipe, our savory Dilly Cheese Bread, my Favorite Pumpkin Bread and don’t miss our Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

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sliced loaf of classic zucchini bread on a wood board

Zucchini bread is a classic quick bread usually made with nuts, spices, and shredded zucchini. It’s a great way to serve this high-fiber, low-calorie fruit that is abundant in the late summer months. This version uses walnuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar for a classic zucchini bread flavor like mom used to make. Serve it warm with butter for breakfast or a much-deserved coffee break!

Homemade zucchini bread buttered and on a plate

Why You’ll Love This Classic Zucchini Bread Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make. This bread comes together in just a few minutes and bakes up in under an hour. It’s an easy and tasty make-ahead zucchini quick bread that stores in the freezer beautifully for up to three months.
  • A flavor-packed treat. Zucchini bread contains warm cinnamon, molasses-rich brown sugar, and toasty walnuts. 
  • Zucchini bread is a fun way to get some “green.” Zucchini is rich in vitamins and minerals, but finding ways to work it into your diet can be tricky. This bread is a delicious way to sneak some extra veggies into your day.
  • Versatile breakfast, snack, and dessert bread. You can enjoy this healthy zucchini bread as a quick breakfast on the go or slice it thick and serve it as a dessert. It’s also perfect for an afternoon snack with tea or coffee.
  • It’s the perfect balance of loaf bread and the addition of the healthy and versatile zucchini berry with walnuts. (Yes, calling a zucchini a berry is freaking me out too! -See below.)
grated zucchini

What Do You Need To Know About Zucchini?

Zucchini is a summer squash and part of the gourd family. Even though most of us think of zucchini as a vegetable, it’s a fruit, and more specifically, zucchini is a berry! Yes, that’s a fact. 

High in fiber and water content, zucchini is low in calories, and a good source of vitamins A and C, manganese, and potassium

How Does Zucchini Taste In Zucchini Bread?

Downright yummy, of course! That’s why I’m sharing my classic zucchini bread recipe with you. Zucchini has a mild, slightly sweet taste that adapts and absorbs the flavors of your ingredients, just like tofu does.

So, Is Zucchini Really A Fruit!?

Zucchini is botanically classified as a fruit but is generally used as a vegetable. So how does that happen? What does “fruit” actually mean? A fruit is the ovary of the plant that contains the seeds. (That sounds so weird to me.) And this fruit is a berry. I’ve considered zucchini a green vegetable for so long that I’m boggled!

Zucchini can be eaten raw, baked, sauteed, or stewed and is used more with savory dishes. It can be added to soups, casseroles, breads, muffins, and spiralized and used in place of pasta.

ingredients for zucchini bread with walnuts

Ingredients For Your Classic Zucchini Bread

This recipe is a classic with the delicious addition of walnuts. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh zucchini bread baking in the oven. The ingredients are simple, but man, it is mouth-wateringly good!

  • Flour – this zucchini bread recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but you could also use whole wheat or gluten-free flour for a healthier option.
  • Cinnamon –  a warm, citrusy, and woody aromatic “must-have” spice for any zucchini bread recipe.
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder – are leavening agents that give the zucchini bread lift and keep it from being a dense, tasty door stop.
  • Salt – brings out the flavors in the bread.
  • Eggs – act as your binder, add moisture, and create lift in recipes. A good rule to follow is always to use room-temperature eggs for baking.
  • Vegetable Oil – Oil helps to keep the bread moist and prevents it from drying out.
  • Granulated Sugar – does its sweetening thing and binds water for moistness but also tenderizes zucchini bread by helping to prevent gluten development. In addition, sugar assists in the browning as it bakes.
  • Brown Sugar – moist molasses-rich brown sugar adds a hint of caramel sweetness to the zucchini batter.
  • Vanilla Extract – soft, naturally aromatic vanilla essence enhances the innate sweetness of the quick bread.
  • Zucchini – the star ingredient! You’ll need about five 8” fruits, shredded, drained, and squeezed.* For the most significant nutritional value, use unpeeled organic zucchini.
  • Walnuts – these add a nutty flavor, texture, and crunch to classic zucchini bread. If you’re not a fan, leave them out or sub in your favorite nuts like pecans or almonds.
  • Optional: raisins, chocolate chips, cacao powder, shredded coconut, or other mix-ins.

Chef’s Note: Usually, Zucchini recipes are written to accommodate their water content unless otherwise specified (like this one). In fact, the nondescript water content of zucchini is one of its unique characteristics.

how to make classic zucchini bread photo collage

How To Make Classic Zucchini Bread With Walnuts

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

1. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. 

2. Beat eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla; add flour mixture and beat

until well combined (do not over mix).

3. Stir zucchini and nuts into batter just until incorporated. 

4. Pour the batter into two greased 8×4-inch loaf pans.

5. Bake for 50 minutes in an oven preheated to 350° F.

Let loaves cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes, then take out of pans and cool completely. (Or cut a slice while it’s still warm and savor that melty, buttery goodness!) 

Store leftover bread covered at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

baked loaf of classic zucchini bread

Selecting Zucchini For The Best Zucchini Bread

First, when selecting the fruit for classic zucchini bread, look for ones that are firm and have shiny skin with no bruises or marks.

You want smaller to medium-sized zucchini for baking zucchini bread. The smaller, younger berry eliminates the need to remove larger, tough seeds.

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How To Shred And Drain Zucchini For Classic Zucchini Bread

  • Cut off both ends before your grate (no need to peel). 
  • Shred the zucchini on the large side of a box grater or a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment.
  • After shredding, place the zucchini in a colander, and set it over a bowl to drain. 
  • Toss with salt and let it rest for at least 15 minutes
  • Rinse the zucchini under cold water and squeeze dry between several layers of paper towels or a clean dish towel
  • Add zucchini to the batter after the wet ingredients are combined.
sliced loaf of zucchini bread with walnuts

Quick Bread Baking Alternatives

  • Make Mini Loaves perfect for gifting. Grease four 5×3-inch mini loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. *Smaller mini loaf pans may only take 35-40 minutes.
  • Make Zucchini Bread Muffins. Grease or line a muffin tin with papers. Fill 3/4 full and bake 20-22 minutes.
  • Add Some Panache. Bake your quick bread in a fluted loaf pan! Perfect for dressing up your quick bread with no added effort.
Three slices of zucchini bread with walnuts on a cutting board

Zucchini Bread Recipe FAQs

Why did my zucchini bread sink in the middle?

There are a few possibilities at play if your quick bread sinks.

  • Underbaked. If your zucchini bread was not baked all the way, the raw center of the loaf will sink. Be sure to leave your loaf in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and easily. If you’re worried the edges are getting too done, loosely cover the loaf with aluminum foil until you get a clean toothpick when testing.
  • Over mixing. When you mix the wet and dry ingredients together, simply stir just until combined.
  • Expired baking soda and/or baking powder. If these leavening agents are not fresh your quick bread will not rise properly. Pro Tip: Test your baking powder (it loses its potency rather quickly) for freshness. Simply, pour a little baking powder into hot water — if it fizzes, it’s still good to use! Test baking soda place a few tablespoons of vinegar in a small dish and stir in about a teaspoon of baking soda. The mixture should immediately begin to fizz if the baking soda is still active; if there’s little to no reaction, it’s time to replace it.
  • Greased Pan: Only grease the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the side of the pans. This allows your zucchini bread to rise more. Also don’t overfill the pans, only fill 2/3 of the way.

Does zucchini bread taste like zucchini?

Nope! you can’t taste it.  Zucchini adds flavorless moisture– how cool is that?! A delicious way to eat your greens 😉 

How do you store Zucchini bread?

Room Temperature: Loaves can be stored in a zip-top plastic bag or covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days

Refrigerator: In an airtight container for a week.

Freezer: Like most quick bread, you can freeze zucchini bread. Be sure to cool completely first, then wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight when ready to enjoy.

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sliced loaf of zucchini bread with walnuts
sliced loaf of classic zucchini bread on a wood board

Classic Zucchini Bread

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated zuchhini, drained and squeezed (about 5 medium zuchhini)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the side of two 8x4-inch loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat until well combined (do not over-mix).
  4. Using a rubber spatula stir in zucchini and nuts just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and easily. Let loaves cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges to separate the bread from the pan. Remove from the loaf pans and let cool completely on a rack.
  6. Store leftover bread covered at room temperature, for up to 5 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  • Use a box grater or food processor to grate the zucchini. There is no need to peel the zucchini before grating, just cut each end off and shred using your preferred method.

STORAGE

Room Temperature: Loaves can be stored in a zip-top plastic bag or covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days

Refrigerator: In an airtight container for a week.

Freezer: Like most quick bread, you can freeze zucchini bread. Be sure to cool completely first, then wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight when ready to enjoy.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

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Classic zucchini bread sliced and buttered