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Zucchini Nut Bread

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This Zucchini Nut Bread bakes up moist, delicious, and is easy to bake. The quick bread is flavored with a hint of almond extract, toasted pecans, and bursting with wonderful warm spices.

the best zucchini nut bread made from scratch image with text overlay

Sometimes I like to remake a recipe that I’ve been using for years to change up the flavors or even healthify it some. This zucchini nut bread recipe is one of those remakes. I haven’t made it in quite some time but new I wanted to tinker with the recipe.

I have no idea where I first got the recipe, but I’ve always knew how to make it without using said recipe. The original recipe used quite a lot of vegetable oil and not enough grated zucchini for my liking. Replacing most of the oil with unsweetened applesauce helps with lightening up the bread some. I changed up the sugar and used equal parts of both white and brown sugar. This gave the bread a deep warm color that combined with the cinnamon and nutmeg gave the bread an amazing taste.

sliced zucchini pecan bread on wooden cutting board

I changed up my vanilla extract and used Nielsen-Massey Vanillas’ Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and added their almond extract to the batter. Plus I toasted those pecans before adding them to the mixture. Oh My Gosh – what a difference!

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas kindly send me some samples of their vanillas and almond extracts and I have been loving them. Quality products and flavors. Definitely my new favorites for this zucchini bread and so many other recipes I will making.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Sampler Gift Box

Making a quick bread such as this zucchini nut bread there are a few tips and tricks to getting that loaf moist and delicious. I’ll be sharing some of them throughout this post.

zucchini on cutting board (1)

Do You Peel Zucchini for Bread?

You do not need to peel the zucchini to use in making quick breads. In fact, you want that green skin as it adds more flavor and color. However, you do to be sure you get most of the water from the grated zucchini out so that it doesn’t make your bread too wet as it will not bake correctly.

To do this, I find placing the grated zucchini in a colander and let it shed the extra water for about 30 minutes then pat the shreds with a paper towel to get a bit more liquid out. OR you can squeeze as much of the water out of the zucchini shreds using your hands.

Why is my Zucchini Bread Dry?

If your bread turns out a bit dry, perhaps you squeeze too much of the liquid from the zucchinis, or added too much fat (butter, oil, etc). It could even be that you added too much of your leavening agent (baking soda or baking powder).

I like to use 3/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1/4 cup vegetable oil in this recipe to help with the moisture. You can even use all applesauce and no oil.

Can you Substitute Yellow Squash for the Zucchini?

Yes, you can use yellow squash in place of the zucchini or use a mixture of both. The two vegetables are interchangeable in this and many other recipes. A yummy twist would be to use zucchini in this Pumpkin Zucchini Bread.

overhead shot of zucchini bread

Ingredients

  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • white granulated sugar
  • light brown sugar
  • vanilla extract (I love this one from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas)
  • almond extract (this one is amazing)
  • zucchini
  • toasted pecans

How to Make Zucchini Nut Bread

Step 1

Grate your zucchini.  It is really important to get as much of the excess water out of the shredded zucchini as possible. Once you grate the zucchini, place it in a colander and let it shed the extra water for about 30 minutes and then using your hands, squeeze more water out. Do not skip this step or the zucchini bread will be too watery and not bake well.

Step 2

Grease and flour two 8 x 4-inch pans; set aside.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Step 3

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, soda, nutmeg and cinnamon together; set aside.

dry ingredients for quick bread

Step 4

Using a hand mixer, beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, almond extract, and both sugars together in a large mixing bowl.

Step 5

Add flour mixture into the wet ingredients and beat well.

adding the dry ingredients in bowl with the applesauce egg mixture

Stir in grated zucchini and nuts by hand until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

zucchini nut bread batter

Step 6

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. It may take a little more than 60 minutes depending on your oven. Mine takes in the range above but I have baked it for 5-8 minutes more at times.

Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

zucchini loaf cooling on wire rack

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • Be sure to drain off some of the liquid from the grated zucchini before adding to the batter.
  • While this recipe uses oil and applesauce, you can use all oil OR all applesauce. 
  • Replace vegetable oil with canola or coconut oil, if desired.
  • Walnuts, almonds, or chocolate chips can be substituted for the pecans.
  • Toasted the pecans in a dry skillet for a few minutes intensifies the nuttiness.
  • You can substitute yellow squash for the zucchini, or use a combination of both.
  • Make muffins instead of bread from the batter.
  • The batter will be thick.
zucchini nut bread sliced on platter

Enjoy More Quick Bread Recipes

zucchini nut bread sliced on platter

Zucchini Nut Bread

This Zucchini Nut Bread bakes up moist, delicious, and is easy to bake. The quick bread is flavored with a hint of almond extract, toasted pecans, and bursting with wonderful warm spices.
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Keyword: baking, banana bread, pecans, zucchini, zucchini nut bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Draining water from grated zucchini: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Equipment

  • 2 – 8" x 4" loaf baking pans

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (see notes)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups (about 2 – 3 medium) grated zucchini, drained (see recipe instructions)
  • 1 cup toasted pecans

Instructions

  • Grate your zucchini.  It is really important to get as much of the excess water out of the shredded zucchini as possible. Once you grate the zucchini, place it in a colander and let it shed the extra water for about 30 minutes and then using your hands,squeeze more water out. Do not skip this step or the zucchini bread will be too watery and not bake well.
  • Grease and flour two 8 x 4-inch pans; set aside.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, soda,nutmeg and cinnamon together; set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer, beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla,almond extract, and both sugars together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add flour mixture into the wet ingredients and beat well.Stir in grated zucchini and nuts by hand until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. It may take a little more than 60 minutes depending on your oven. Mine takes in the range above but I have baked it for 5-8 minutes moreat times.
  • Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan,and completely cool.

Notes

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • While this recipe uses oil and applesauce, you can use all oil OR all applesauce.
  • Replace vegetable oil with canola or coconut oil, if desired.
  • Walnuts, almonds, or chocolate chips can be substituted for the pecans.
  • Toasted the pecans in a dry skillet for a few minutes intensifies the nuttiness.
  • Make muffins instead of bread from the batter.
  • The batter will be thick.

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Blogghetti” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Tried this recipe?I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this one! I hope you try it, enjoy it, comment and rate it, and share it with your friends and family!
sliced zucchini pecan bread on wooden cutting board
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