This easy lemon zucchini bread comes together with simple baking staples and is ready in just 1 hour! It’s moist, tender, and loaded with flecks of zucchini and lemon zest so every delicious bite has a delightful balance of sweetness and citrus with plenty of grated zucchini for moisture. It’s the perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert any day of the week!
I’m always excited to try new quick bread recipes! They’re a great way to make a loaf of bread without having to work with yeast or knead any dough.
We are a lemon loving family (Julia eats lemons for snacks!) so I was excited to combine it with zucchini, which we also love.
It’s a moist loaf with a tender crumb and flecks of green and yellow can be seen throughout thanks to the shredded zucchini and fresh lemon zest.
The lemon juice adds a bright lemon flavor while the zucchini adds a ton of moisture.
The optional sweet glaze on top just takes it up a level taking it from a breakfast or snack right into a dessert!
Why you’ll love Lemon Zucchini Bread
Simple Ingredients – This sweet bread is made with basic baking staples and is a great way to use up some garden zucchini, just like a classic zucchini bread.
Easy to Make – It’s just a matter of combining the wet and dry ingredients and folding in the zucchini that results in a moist tender loaf of the best lemon zucchini bread!
An Anytime Treat – I always think of quick bread as comforting in cooler months, but the summer squash and vibrant citrus flavors bring us all the summer feels. Have it for breakfast, brunch, an afternoon snack, or dessert with or without a glaze.
But Also a Healthy Snack! – Even picky eaters won’t know there are vegetables inside. Zucchini breads are a great way to sneak in extra veggies.
Freezer-Friendly – Make 2 in the summer months and freeze one for the fall, or fill someone else’s freezer!
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- All-Purpose Flour – I use all-purpose for most of my baked goods unless I have a specific reason not to. It’s neutral tasting, it lends a tender crumb (when measured properly), and it provides structure.
- Salt – Elevates the overall taste of the loaf by enhancing individual ingredients and bringing everything together.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – We’re using both leavening agents so the bread bakes up nice and fluffy.
- Granulated White Sugar – Since neither zucchini nor lemon adds any sweetness, we need a certain amount of sugar to balance them out.
- Lemon Zest & Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice and the zest of a lemon provide the zip and zing but also the acid that reacts with the baking soda and powder.
- Oil – Use canola oil or vegetable oil to add the necessary fat and moisture. Either one is a great neutral-tasting oil.
- Large Eggs – Used for binding the ingredients together so a slice of the tender lemon zucchini bread doesn’t fall apart in your hands.
- Vanilla Extract – A great flavor addition.
- Grated Zucchini – No need to peel or squeeze out any excess water. Just shred the zucchini and add it in.
- Optional Glaze – Powdered sugar and lemon juice.
How to make Lemon Zucchini Bread
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: Whisk flour, salt, and leavening agents together until combined. Set that aside and grab a large mixing bowl.
- Step Two: To the large mixing bowl, add the sugar and zest and use your hands to massage the zest into the sugar, releasing the oils and infusing the flavor into the sugar. Pour vegetable oil into the mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
- Step Three: Add the eggs and beat for 30 seconds, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until fully incorporated.
- Step Four: Pour the dry flour mixture into the wet mixture and use a spatula to gently fold in the ingredients until just combined and no flour remains. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
- Step Five: Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in a 350°F preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Allow it to cool for 2 minutes in the pan before removing the loaf and letting it cool completely on a wire rack. Add the glaze once the bread has had a chance to cool a bit and allow it to set for 20 minutes before slicing.
What to serve with Lemon Zucchini Bread
It’s a whole treat all on its own, but there are a few ways to enjoy it depending on the time of day you’re serving it.
For breakfast, you could have it with a cup of tea or coffee. For brunch or a snack, you could wash it down with a refreshing glass of lemonade. If you need more lemon flavor, try my copycat savannah smiles cookies.
Finally, dessert calls for a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Lemon sorbet might also be nice!
If you want another zucchini combo, try this pineapple zucchini bread.
Tips & Suggestions 🍋
- Replace the oil with melted butter if you prefer a slightly denser lemon zucchini bread recipe.
- The warmth of your hand is what helps to infuse the oils from the peel into the sugar, so don’t skip this step! Also, don’t try and avoid getting your hands dirty, a spoon won’t do the trick!
- If you prefer a thinner glaze, use 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice instead. For a more subtle lemon flavor, use a combination of lemon juice and water.
- When lining the loaf pan with parchment paper, leave the sides longer so they hang over the sides. This makes it easy to lift the loaf out of the pan when you need to.
- Use your discretion with the zucchini. You don’t need to squeeze out the water, however, if for whatever reason it’s extra wet, you can squeeze out some.
- Some people actually do squeeze out their zucchini for quick breads, so feel free to try it that way and decide which you prefer.
- Use a box grater or a food processor for easy shredding.
How to reheat and store Lemon Zucchini Bread
How to store leftovers
It doesn’t need to be kept in the refrigerator which is great. Just keep it in an airtight container on the counter for easy access to a grab-n-go breakfast or snack.
Can I freeze quick bread?
Yes! That’s why I love making two loaves at the same time. I know we’re going to devour the first one, but then there’s always a second one to look forward to later on!
Make sure it’s completely cooled then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Transfer it to a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter.
How to reheat zucchini lemon bread
This loaf is usually served at room temperature, but there are times when I like to warm it up in the microwave for dessert. It’s especially good warm when served with ice cream.
That depends! If you’ve got a large zucchini from your garden, it will usually contain more water and larger seeds. In this case, you’d want to get rid of them.
The zucchini from grocery stores or farmer’s markets will not require you to remove any seeds.
You shouldn’t have to but again, it depends on the type of zucchini. Garden varieties will typically have thicker skin that can be more bitter, but I haven’t had any issues.
Zucchini from the store have thin, delicate skin that is edible and barely noticeable. The flecks of green throughout the loaf also look very nice!
Other than a glaze on top, you can toss some mix-ins into the batter. Things like white chocolate chips, poppy seeds, cranberries, or raisins would be great!
Absolutely! They can be used interchangeably in this case.
Lemon Zucchini Loaf
Need more quick bread recipes? Try these:
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