Lemon Zucchini Bread

How is it that I’ve been doing this blog for nearly a year and haven’t posted zucchini bread yet? Shocking, I’m telling you! Next to banana bread, zucchini bread is one of my most loved, most often baked treats. With summer squash season just revving up, we all need a good zucchini bread recipe to fall back on. This is my favorite.

I love zucchini in all it’s preparations. It’s amazing grilled, sautéed with olive oil and garlic, roasted simply, or turned into ribbons and tossed raw with lemon juice and olive oil. It loves feta, it canoodles with pecorino and  parmesan, and there are shenanigans when goat cheese joins the mix. It’s one of my favorite easy side dishes with fish and it loves to be stuffed with…anything. And then there are the baked goods. Cakes with cream cheese frosting, brownies with deep chocolate chips, or just simple, perfect, easy-peasy zucchini bread.

This is my favorite zucchini bread recipe. A friend of mine introduced me to it years ago and I just haven’t bothered with any others since. Its strikingly moist and, though it does contain cinnamon, it’s subtle and not at all heavy handed. What really sets it apart from the hoards of other zucchini bread recipes out there is the addition of lemon zest. The citrus brightens the whole thing up, playing off the tiny bit of cinnamon and ensuring that it’s not at all heavy. I just love it.

I know how this goes. Right now we’re all reveling in the summer squashes and it’s all sunshine and first-love all over again. Come August, though, the love will fade and the zucchini will become an overly-abundant, annoying, smothering presence. It happens every year; it’s too much of a good thing. Everything in moderation people. But hey! It’s not here yet! I know that let-down is coming eventually, but for now I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of them. I’m going to go into zucchini overdose. It’s a plan.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

Adapted from All Recipes.com. Makes 1 regular or 2 mini loaves.

Like all good quick breads, this one requires no mixers or fancy equipment; just a big bowl and a wooden spoon. I substituted applesauce for half the oil, as I generally do when I’m baking for just me. If you decide to make 2 mini loaves, reduce the baking time to ~35-40 min.


1 1/2 c shredded zucchini
3/4 c white sugar
1 egg
1/2 c vegetable oil (or 1/4 c oil and 1/4 c applesauce)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
2 t lemon zest (about 2 small lemons)

  • Heat oven to 325ºF. Grease an 8″x4″ loaf pan
  • In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, sugar, egg, and oil
  • In another medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the cinnamon and lemon zest.
  • Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir until just blended
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake ~45 min or until a tester comes out clean
  • Cool in pan for 10 min, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely
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8 thoughts on “Lemon Zucchini Bread

  1. Made this today, for the same reason zucchini bread was originally invented- zucchini surplus. Great recipe- moist, not too sweet… I may have been a little heavy handed with the lemon, and as a result, felt it needed a little more cinnamon. Used China cassia; next time will use the same amount, but use Vietnamese.

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I used some sort of patty pan squash (they are completely out of control) and added lemon juice as well. It’s still in the oven but smells delicious!

  3. Lemon Zucchini Bread…..altered a bit to make it 2 points per slice. Doubled the recipe and divided it into 3 pans. If you cut each loaf into 14 pieces (really small!!), 2 points a slice (WW). Thanks! (1/2 applesauce, 1/2 oil).

    (also, made 3 more loaves without lemon because I didn’t have more. Used 2 bananas instead, the lemon ones are DELICIOUS. Weill see how the banana ones are)

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