Make Ahead

My New Favorite Zucchini Bread

July 25, 2011
17 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 2 loaves
Author Notes

I think one of my favorite things when it comes to zucchini is a lot of other peoples favorite too...Zucchini bread. It's sweet, moist, and one of the few things I will happily turn my oven on for even on the hottest of days. Besides the taste, zucchini bread does another wonderful thing, it freezes well. So you get to stash a loaf in the freezer for a later date and not feel the need to hoard the one loaf being devoured on the counter. However, sometimes...I find myself wanting it to be a little different. The cinnamon version is wonderful, and I'll always make it, but I was looking at that slice on my plate a couple of weeks ago and wondering what other flavors I could put in there. Don't say chocolate. Go ahead and make a chocolate zucchini cake if you want to, but don't make chocolate zucchini bread...that's just not right. It's like zucchini trying to be something it's not. My favorite zucchini bread recipe is one I found on Smitten Kitchen. It is the moist, flavorful zucchini bread you are craving when you go to make a couple of loaves. Inspired by that recipe, I was looking out my kitchen window into my herb garden and I saw my rosemary plant. Now there's a thought. So I thought a little more and came up with this:

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Dabblings is an avid DIY-er, mother, food blogger, and "self-reformed wild child."
WHAT: A rosemary and orange-scented loaf cake that feels both indulgent and virtuous.
HOW: Shred, stir, bake, slice, enjoy.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is the kind of quick bread we love to keep around the house, to slice for breakfast, for snack, for dessert, for anything. And when we run out, it takes a mere hour to whip up another loaf! —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of zucchini; shredded
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary; finely minced
  • Zest of one orange (I used a navel orange)
  • Juice from 1/2 of the orange
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of toasted pecans; chopped ( Or pine nuts if you can swing that)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans and set them aside.
  2. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Mix in the yogurt, oil, and sugar. Then mix in the shredded zucchini, rosemary, orange zest, and orange juice. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and toasted nuts.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Once the batter is well combined divide it evenly between the two loaf pans.
  6. Bake the loaves for one hour, give or take a few minutes, until a tester inserted comes out clean. My loaves took exactly one hour and were perfect.
  7. Remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes inside the loaf pan before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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139 Reviews

asteri August 30, 2023
What a wonderful Zucchini bread! I used 1 cup of maple syrup instead of the sugar asked for. Sweet enough!
Vicki September 2, 2022
Wonderful Zucchini Bread! Light and delicious! I chose to use what I had on hand, lemon, cinnamon and sour cream and piñon nuts. Now my goto recipe, plan to try rosemary and orange soon. I start out with oven at 350 for 5 minutes then lower to 325 for 40 minutes. Perfect!
Nicole P. August 6, 2022
This is my go-to zuch bread recipe now! I spring for pine nuts, and the rosemary + orange flavors really make this something special. It also freezes fairly well, if you want to save that second loaf for later.
Yogigirl June 8, 2021
What a lovely bread...and 2 loaves. I made a few changes because I didn't want to go to the store. I used bottled OJ 4 tablespoons (I know, I know, but I had it for mimosas) and I grated a lemon instead of an orange. And I used a cup of toasted walnuts. Someone had recommended using 1 cup of sugar total and so I did! It's plenty sweet. I will definitely make this recipe again.
Nicde April 30, 2020
The loaves were certainly moist, but the orange and rosemary, which sets this zucchini bread recipe apart from others, weren’t really pronounced enough. I’d probably just make my favorite recipe and add orange and rosemary. I wasn’t impressed with the results enough to give the second loaf to friends.
katrina_yeaw April 6, 2020
I made this bread as a quarantine baking project so I made the following changes based on what I had on hand:
1. Substituted 1/2 cup of soured milk (1/2 cup of milk plus 1 Tbs of white vinegar) for yogurt
2. Zest and juice of a whole lemon for the orange juice and orange zest
3. 1 cup toasted flaked almonds for the toasted pecans.
I baked it for one hour in a bundt pan rather than 2 loaf pans. It came out perfectly: moist and delicious!
KarenM September 30, 2018
This is turned out very well! I substituted ground cardamom for the rosemary and added a bit of vanilla. The BEST zucchini bread I’ve ever made...and will continue to make....and share!
TMartin August 3, 2022
How much ground cardamom?
Emma P. September 11, 2018
Super yum! I didn’t make any changes except for using small loaf pans, which only took about 40 min to bake to perfection.
Mollie B. September 9, 2018
Absolutely amazing! I used lemon juice and zest and coconut oil and it still turned out great!
fuhsi August 20, 2018
Very pleased with translation to gluten free. A little recon to see the common difference between using my gluten free flour mix and regular flour was really all that was needed! I simply added a little less than 1.5 tsp arrowroot and followed the recipe faithfully for everything else. I split the wet mix in half and made muffins and a loaf, and both came out perfectly, using the times suggested by other commenters.
Tracy September 9, 2017
OH pooh! I don't have oranges and fresh rosemary. I have plenty of lemons, limes....any recommendations?
JR September 9, 2017
Go to the grocery store. The rosemary and oranges really make the bread!
JR August 8, 2017
The subtle flavor of the rosemary and orange zest made this bread amazing. It was beautiful. I only had 1.5 ounces of olive oil and had to also use corn oil and it tasted fine. I squeezed out a lot of moisture out of the zucchini as well. I cooked the bread for one hour and feel it could have been taken out at 55 min. Other than that, it was divine.
Umamibrain July 31, 2017
I made this as a Bundt cake. It turned out high and moist. Didn't have pecans so I used 1/2 pine nuts and 1/2 walnuts. Everybody loved it.
Natalie B. August 21, 2018
How long did you cook in the bundt pan? Same 1 hour?
Umamibrain August 21, 2018
As far as I recall, yes.
LJ G. July 18, 2017
Lovely cake but need WEIGHTS (not cups) for the non-liquid ingredients. Much more accurate and I hate all the extra dishes :)
Liaily April 10, 2017
Just made this and it is absolutely delicious! Inside is moist but top outer layer has subtle crunch that adds even more texture to this bread. I did decrease the sugar to 1 1/4 cups, added 1 full cup of chopped walnuts instead of pecans, and used 1 9x3 round pan instead of 2 8x4 loaf pans since i didn't have them readily available (took about 58-60min as well). This recipe is definitely a keeper but i might just use 1 cup of sugar next time since the orange juice also adds a bit of sweetness to the cake :) Thank you Dabblings for sharing this great recipe!
Emily M. February 11, 2017
Just made this, and it is delicious! I used just a bit less sugar, 2 cups of white whole wheat flour and used cinnamon instead of rosemary, but the base recipe is terrific and will definitely be my new go to for zucchini bread!
Kate September 4, 2016
The cake is better for dessert than breakfast bread. I cut the sugar by 1/4 and it was still a little too sweet for me. I've read some zucchini bread recipes with ginger, shredded carrot and whole wheat flour. I'll try that next time because I at least like the illusion of a healthy breakfast sweet.
Nancy H. August 21, 2016
Title couldn't have been more accurate. this IS my new favourite zucchini bread recipe - and love that makes 2 loaves. Perfect (and all gone now :) Thank you Dabblings!
Nicole C. August 9, 2016
Amazing. Came out perfectly. I didn't have orange on hand, so used a lemon (full lemon's juice, and full lemon zest). I also didn't use nuts, and it still tasted delicious. I can't wait to make more and freeze. Thanks Dabblings!
Silke July 28, 2016
Wonderful recipe. I used lemon zest and juice instead of orange, and used only 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Turned out great.