Lemon Zucchini Bread

Lemon Zucchini Bread is the perfect way to utilize fresh zucchini. Ready in less than an hour and topped with a sweet lemon icing, this quick bread is delicious for breakfast or dessert. Makes 1 loaf.

Love quick breads? You’ve got to try Fresh Cherry Bread and Lemon Blueberry Bread!

Slices of lemon zucchini bread on a wire rack

Today’s the day—it’s Freaky Friday Summer 2021! And I’m thrilled to be sharing a recipe from Kathy from Lemon Blossoms.

I had my work cut out for me because Kathy has the best variety of summertime recipes. Breakfasts, grilled goods, desserts, drinks, entrees and side dishes, she’s got all the recipes we could ever want or need for this season.

However, I ended up choosing her Lemon Zucchini Bread recipe because our zucchini plant has been producing overtime. I wanted to find a recipe to highlight one of my favorite summer veggies.

And zucchini bread… well, we all know it’s a delight when done right. And this recipe from Kathy, which adds lemon zest and juice to add a wonderful tartness, is perfection.

Why I love this recipe:

Zucchini bread is one of the best treats of summertime because it straddles the line between breakfast and dessert.

I love that the zucchini adds color to this bread and some moisture, too, without overwhelming it. Also, as I mentioned before, the lemon element paired with zucchini in this bread recipe is lovely.

Also, this recipe is naturally dairy free, in case that’s something that matters to you. 🙂

Whether you want to bake this for breakfast or serve it for dessert, you’re bound to find people who adore this. In fact, the first time I baked this bread, it was gone within the day.

More easy summer baked good recipes: Strawberry and Blueberry Hand Pies | Dairy Free Peach Cobbler | Easy Lemon Bars | No Bake Scotcheroo Cookies | Pineapple Blackberry Ice Cream Parfaits | Lemon Cooler Cookies

Does your sweet tooth need a pick-me-up? Head over to my Dessert Recipe Index for inspiration.

Two slices of zucchini bread on a plate

Let me tell you about Kathy and Lemon Blossoms

Kathy is a professionally trained chef who wants to be your chef BFF… and she’s a total foodie, too. After culinary school, she worked for The Food Network, then as a private chef in L.A. She started her site after moving away from California.

Kathy believes we can all be our own personal chefs and create restaurant-worthy meals at home. Her recipe index is truly droolworthy and has so many amazing ideas.

I waffled over what to choose to cook from Kathy’s site. Everything she shares looks and sounds ah-mazing.

Here are a few recipes I considered:

In the end, it felt right to choose this Lemon Zucchini Bread recipe since Kathy’s favorite ingredient is lemon!

So… What Is Freaky Friday?

It’s an old-fashioned blog hop. Basically, it’s a collaboration between bloggers where everyone has a post to share and you link to one another in your posts as they go live.

Our host and founder, Michaela from An Affair from the Heart, secretly assigns everyone another blogger, who we will make a recipe from. Once the recipe is made, we photograph it as if it were our own, then write a post. We add our own anecdotes to it, too.

Once everyone is ready, we share our posts on the same Friday.

We hope that this collaboration helps you discover some amazing new recipes, as well as find new bloggers to follow!

For previous Freaky Friday exchanges, I’ve made:

Check out all of our 2021 Freaky Friday Summer Recipe Exchange Recipes:

  • An Affair from the Heart – Simple Tiramisu
  • Aunt Bee’s Recipes –Roasted Tomatillo Salsa {Salsa Verde}
  • Devour Dinner – Pepperoni Bread
  • Fresh April Flours – Bananas Foster Cake
  • The Fresh Cooky – Old Fashioned Lemon Squares
  • Hostess at Heart – Kentucky Butter Cake
  • House of Nash Eats – Apple Pie Ice Cream
  • Lemon Blossoms – Strawberry Cake
  • Lemoine Family Kitchen – Grilled Peach Burrata Arugula Salad
  • Life, Love & Good Food – Bruschetta with Tomato
  • Off the Eaten Path – Fresh Garden Salsa
  • Sue Bee Homemaker – Jalapeño Popper Dip with Bacon
  • Take Two Tapas – Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
  • Ingredients for zucchini quick bread in bowls on marble

    What you’ll need to make Lemon Zucchini Bread

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    In addition to these tools, you’re going to need a few ingredients to make this lemony Zucchini Loaf:

    • All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour at our house, but the regular ‘ol kind is perfect, too! I do not suggest making a flour substitution in this recipe
    • Baking powder and baking soda—these are our leaveners! Make sure yours are fresh.
    • Salt—a medium-grain kosher salt or a sea salt is good in this recipe. I do not suggest using table salt.
    • Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar. This adds balance to the lemon juice, but it also adds sweetness to this breakfast bread.
    • Unflavored oil—I used canola oil, but you could use any type of vegetable oil or a mild avocado oil, too. You could also replace half of this with unsweetened applesauce if that’s your jam, too. (I love using applesauce in quick breads to retain moisture in the bread, like Fresh Cherry Bread.)
    • Lemons—We’re using both the juice and the zest. It’s really important to use freshly squeezed lemon juice because the shelf-stable lemon juice just doesn’t taste as good.
    • Eggs—make sure to use large eggs in this recipe!
    • Zucchini—the Italian variety is my favorite for baking, but you can use whatever zucchini you get your hands on. For this recipe, I needed about one medium-sized zucchini to get the cup of shredded zucchini.
    • Powdered sugar—also known as confectioner’s sugar We need this for the icing to balance out the lemon juice.

    Fun variations on this Zucchini Bread recipe:

    You can twist this zucchini bread recipe by adding a different type of citrus for a little different flavor! Simply swap the lemon juice and zest for the juice and zest of another citrus to transform them.

    Here are a few ideas I think would be delicious:

    • Orange Zucchini Bread
    • Lime Zucchini Bread
    Collage showing how to mix zucchini bread batter

    How do you make lemon zucchini bread from scratch?

    Make the Zucchini Bread

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray your loaf pan with nonstick baking spray, and line it with parchment paper. You can also flour the pan if you don’t have parchment. Set it aside.

    Grate the zucchini with a box grater, and set aside. If it looks wet, pat it dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel. You can also wring it out if it’s especially wet. We want the moisture from the zucchini, but we don’t want it to add extra liquid to the batter.

    Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium-sized  mixing bowl, and set ‘em aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice together. Next, pour the dry ingredients in slowly. Stir until just combined. Fold in the zucchini.

    Collage showing lemon icing ingredients and a loaf being iced

    Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan, and transfer to the preheated oven.

    Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. You may also test it with a butter knife or another instrument.

    Cool the bread for 10 minutes. Remove it from the loaf pan and set it on a wire rack to cool completely.

    Make the Glaze

    In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice, and whisk until combined.

    Drizzle on top of the completely cooled zucchini bread, then slice and enjoy!

    Collage showing lemon icing ingredients and a loaf being iced

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    This zucchini bread is an excellent choice to serve if you’re hosting an at-home brunch, a bridal or baby shower.

    Why? It packs a ton of flavor and holds its shape, so it won’t fall onto your guests clothing. (These are the little things that a hostess considers, right? Nobody wants a super messy dessert or bite to fall onto them.)

    Here are a few ideas to making this recipe for a crowd:

    • Make a double batch. Depending on how many people you’re serving, you might want to make extra. This bread is hard to stop eating once you start! I suggest making two batches instead of doubling the recipe to ensure everything ends up as it should be.
    • Make it a day ahead of time. When the bread is cool, drizzle it with the icing, and cover. Leave it at room temperature and then slice before serving.
    • Slice the bread into bite-sized pieces. Slice the bread like you normally would, then cut it into squares from those slices. You can put a fun cocktail skewer into each of them so they can easily be picked up. You could also place the bite-sized pieces of zucchini bread into colorful cupcake servers (???) and serve them that way!
    Lemon icing drips down the side of bread on a cooling rack

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you have to try zucchini before making bread?

    It depends. Some zucchini has more moisture than others. If yours looks wet once it’s shredded, you might have to pat it dry.

    Why is zucchini bread so good?

    Zucchini adds moisture to already delicious, slightly sweet bread. This recipe involves lemon, too, so it has a lovely pop of acidity from that.

    How do you keep zucchini bread from getting soggy?

    Store it properly! The bread could get soggy if you wrap it before it’s completely cooled off.

    How do you know when zucchini bread is done?

    The best way to know if your bread is done is to test it with a toothpick inserted in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is good to go. If it has batter stuck to it, you need to bake the bread for additional time.

    Slices of iced quick bread

    Quick tips and tricks to the best Lemon Zucchini Bread:

    • Juice your own lemons! This fresh lemon juice makes a huge difference in the flavor of this bread, along with the zest. Take the time to do this or splurge for the cold pressed fresh lemon juice at the grocery. It’ll be in the refrigerated section.
    • If your zucchini looks wet, dry it with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Place the shredded zucchini in the center of the towel and wrap it up. Then wring it to pull out extra moisture.
    • Use room temperature lemons. Did you know that you get more juice from a room temperature lemon? If you keep lemons in the fridge, remove them and let them come to room temperature. You can also heat them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to get their juices flowing.
    • Store the zucchini bread on the countertop for 2-3 days. I placed mine on a plate, then covered it with plastic wrap. You can place it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for about a week, too.
    • This bread freezes well—but it’s best to leave off the glaze and add that once you thaw it. Kathy suggests wrapping the whole loaf in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. Keep frozen for up to 3 months, then let thaw in the refrigerator before drizzling with the icing and enjoying.
    Slices of lemon zucchini bread on a wire rack
    Yield: 10 servings

    Lemon Zucchini Bread

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Cooling Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

    Lemon Zucchini Bread is the perfect way to utilize fresh zucchini. Ready in less than an hour and topped with a sweet lemon icing, this quick bread is delicious for breakfast or dessert. Makes 1 loaf.

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ cup canola oil (or another flavorless oil)
    • 2 large eggs
    • Zest of 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
    • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 cup grated zucchini*, unpeeled

    Lemon Glaze

    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

    Instructions

    Make the Zucchini Bread

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray your loaf pan with nonstick baking spray, and line it with a parchment paper sling. (You can also flour the pan if you don’t have parchment.)
    2. Grate the zucchini with a box grater, and set aside. If it looks wet, pat it dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
    3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
    4. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice together until well-combined.
    5. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
    6. Fold the zucchini into the batter.
    7. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan, and transfer to the preheated oven.
    8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (You may also test it with a butter knife or another instrument.)
    9. Cool the bread for 10 minutes before removing it from the loaf pan, then let it finish cooling on a wire rack.

    Make the Glaze

    1. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
    2. Whisk until combined.
    3. Drizzle on top of the completely cooled zucchini bread, then slice and enjoy!

    Notes

    This recipe first appeared on Lemon Blossoms.

    *If your zucchini appears wet, dry it with paper towels or a kitchen towel. To do this, place the shredded zucchini in the middle of the towel and wring it to pull out extra moisture.

    How to store: Store the bread on the countertop for 2-3 days. I placed mine on a plate, then covered it with plastic wrap. You can place it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for about a week, too.

    How to freeze: Wrap the whole cooled, uniced loaf in plastic wrap, then aluminum wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, then ice and slice.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    10 slices

    Serving Size:

    1 slice

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 4g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    10 Comments

    1. Thank you, thank you! I was looking for a way to use up my abundance of zucchini and this sounds wonderful!

    2. Love it. I have a similar recipe where I add Greek yogurt to the batter. So light and fresh. Thanks for sharing. I love classic zucchini bread, but I feel like the lemon takes it to another level ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. This lemon zucchini bread looks fantastic. I like the idea of cutting it into smaller squares for parties. Easy to pick up and eat.

    4. So I just cannot grow zucchini for the life of me, no great spot in our yard, but my neighbor just gave me several and this is the perfect recipe to use them with, plus I can share a loaf with my neighbor!

    5. Such a delicious quick bread! And omg that lemon glaze on top is the best. I may have licked the bowl clean after pouring it on top of the bread, lol.

    6. This sounds so fantastic! I love the brightness of the lemon. And, what a great way too enjoy all the summer squash!

    7. That close up photo of the sliced bread and glaze has me like This is one dreamy recipe and PERFECT timing, too!! I have two big zucchini on my counter as I type this! I know what I am baking today!

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