Morning Person Zucchini Bread

July 28, 2022
29 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 1 loaf
Author Notes

Like its banana and pumpkin counterparts, zucchini bread is less like, well, bread, and more like cake—oily and sweet and white flour–based, all of which put it pretty low on my breakfast list. This recipe changes that. It's 100—yes, 100!—percent whole-wheat and chockfull of oats, walnuts, and raisins. Now we just need some coffee. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

You can't go wrong with a foolproof zucchini bread, whether you have a slice in the morning or as the perfect on-the-go snack. We love the fact that it's not too sweet, and the texture is comforting and hearty. In her article, Emma expanded on what to focus on when making this zucchini bread. "Zucchini is almost entirely water. This means it’s an ultra-hydrating vegetable for summer, but also a tricky ingredient for baking. While a too-dry cake is—the worst thing in the world—unideal, a too-wet cake always seems underbaked. The workaround: After grating the zucchini, collect it in a kitchen towel, then wring it out. Then keep wringing it out. By getting rid of extra moisture, we can afford to add extra zucchini. Yay!" It takes a little bit of elbow grease, but not having a soggy bread at the end of the day makes the effort well worth it.

And for the best final outcome, it's important to find a specific type of flour: "Because zucchini bread already has so much moisture, it’s just right for thirsty whole-wheat flour. The only catch is, standard whole-wheat is deep-colored and nutty-flavored, both of which steal attention from our star vegetable. The solution: white whole-wheat flour. Which is not what it sounds like! White whole-wheat is just as nutrient-dense—bran, germ, endosperm, whole shebang—but is milled from white wheat berries instead of the standard red ones. This means a lighter color and subtler flavor." Be sure to seek out white whole-wheat before making this recipe if you can! —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Morning Person Zucchini Bread
  • 2/3 cup (143 grams) olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/3 cups (170 grams) white whole-wheat flour, plus more for the pan
  • 2 1/3 cups grated zucchini (from about 11 ounces zucchini)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (71 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (75 grams) walnuts
  • 1/3 cup (53 grams) golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup (33 grams) oats, plus more for the topping
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8½- by 4½-inch loaf pan with some of the oil. Sprinkle with some of the flour and tap around to distribute evenly. Gather the zucchini in a kitchen linen or paper towel and squeeze over the sink to get rid of any excess moisture.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and ⅔ cup of the oil until smooth. Add the zucchini and use a rubber spatula to combine. Add the salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add the walnuts, raisins, 1⅓ cups of the flour, and ⅓ cup of the oats. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle more of the oats on top. Bake for about 1 hour, until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Catherine Nietzel
    Catherine Nietzel
  • Yogigirl
  • Lindsay
  • Jeff
  • Maria Hoiss
    Maria Hoiss
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

47 Reviews

Katie November 3, 2023
Loved that the loaf isn't too sweet - swapped in dried cherries for raisins and added white chocolate chips (per the hunny's request). We couldn't stop snacking on it!
It stuck a bit to the bottom of the pan, even with the oil and flour dusting, but overall excellent and will make again.
Katie November 2, 2023
This turned out lovely- swapped dried cherries for raisins and added white chocolate chips per my hunny's request. Needed an extra 5 minutes in the oven. Sadly it stuck quite a bit when turning out of the pan :( - I put a tbsp of oil in the based and dusted a tbsp of flour
Catherine N. August 7, 2023
My husband pronounces best ever. I used light brown sugar. Followed recipe exactly.
stopwiththis February 12, 2023
AMAZING. didn't use walnuts nor raisins, and used regular (dark?) whole wheat flour. tasted so strange at first, not what i've come to expect from zucchini bread, but with an open mind and continued efforts it shows all its incredible flavors
Camille September 3, 2022
So good! Perfect amount of sweetness. I used regular whole wheat flour and baked them into muffins (12 muffins, 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes was perfect) and I also added some pepitas on top for some extra crunch. Will definitely be making again.
JennyA January 18, 2022
I made it per recipe and loved it. This morning I didn’t have an hour to bake the loaf so made muffins. Most quick breads have so much sugar, I like that this doesn’t. My husband hates zucchini so was hesitant to try this but likes it a lot.
Yogigirl September 28, 2021
I made this bread this morning and it is my new favorite. I did add rosemary and lemon peel to the mix. And I did not dry the zucchini. Also used 3T of trivia sugar blend instead of white sugar (something I am playing with) This is such a beautiful loaf with those gorgeous oats on the top. Not too sweet. Nice with a cup of tea.
Elizabeth A. July 19, 2020
Made it this morning and it was so so good. My husband and I both agreed, not too sweet and heartier than other zucchini breads. Perfect thing to use up overgrown zucchinis from the garden. Used regular whole wheat instead of white whole wheat and currants instead of golden raisins. Served with cinnamon honey butter. Thanks for the recipe, Emma!
Emma L. July 20, 2020
So glad you and your husband enjoyed—and thanks for reporting back about those swaps!
Constanza C. March 29, 2020
Delicious! Subbed two banana for the sugar and it was so tasty
kimmiebeck August 13, 2019
It would be nice if the ingredients were listed in order of use. I didn't see that the oats were to be mixed in until I had already poured the mixture into the pan. Mine had to be baked about 15 minutes longer and was still mushy in the middle.
Emma L. August 13, 2019
Hi, so sorry that happened! But the ingredients are listed in order of use. (The reason the oil and flour appear first is because you use those ingredients to prepare the loaf pan in the first step.)
Kathy D. August 2, 2023
You should try it again.
Deborah D. August 1, 2019
When I made this, I thought it was absolutely delicious. But several hours after I ate it, the olive oil taste really stayed with me and was not pleasant. Next time I will try another oil, perhaps mixed with a light olive oil. The recipe should specify light olive oil.
Emma L. August 2, 2019
Hi Deborah! If you'd like a milder olive oil flavor, you can adjust to 1/3 cup olive oil + 1/3 cup canola (or another neutral-flavor) oil.
Deborah D. August 8, 2019
Lindsay May 4, 2019
Great recipe. I also used coconut oil and whole wheat flour. It turned out great and I love the mild coconut flavour.
Jeff September 24, 2018
I made a double batch yesterday, using a about 1/4 of a very mature zucchini (5+ pounds mature). The zucchini had gotten to the point of being almost as hard as a winter squash -- so hard that I had to grate it in the food processor. The great part was it was fairly dry, so I didn't need to do any extra moisture removal. At the last minute I added in a handful of fresh chopped herbs from my garden -- basil, tarragon, oregano, which gave it a nice flavor. With all that olive oil, its a very moist cake. Great flavor; not too sweet. A very hearty but moist loaf. I'll make it again.
Anna B. August 9, 2018
I made this last night and found it disappointing. Did the whole thing with extra virgin and found it too oily both in flavor as well as heavy texture. Also too salty. However I liked having a nondairy recipe, so would consider making again with less oil and milder oil. Could swap in some applesauce for some of it.
I reduced sugar to 1/4 c of each and did 1/2 c of pumpkin seeds and 1/2 c combo raisins and craisins. Liked those adjustments.
Maria H. August 9, 2018
I've made this twice - first time with chopped apricots and reduced to half a cup of sugar (which I found plenty sweet). It was delicious - but I found that the slices would just fall apart when picked up.
I made it again last night - converting to muffins, I baked them at 375 for 15 mins. I used sliced almonds this time. They have a nice (not too dense) muffin-y texture.
Betsy S. August 4, 2018
This morning, one of our regular vendors the farmer's market gave us a beautiful, just picked, but too-big-for-anything-but-zuke-bread zucchini, It was the perfect size for this recipe, so I gave it a try. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil, and I swapped in pecans and a chopped dark chocolate bar for the walnuts and raisins. It's delicious, not too sweet, and we love the texture that the oats give. I will definitely make it again.
Emma L. August 5, 2018
Mmmm! All those swaps sound so delicious. Glad you liked—and even gladder you made it your own!
Lynn D. August 4, 2018
Delicious! Made with Bob's Red Mill 1-for-1 Gluten Free flour. Left out the nuts and raisins for picky eaters. Center was very moist, appeared a little underdone but I think that was just the wet zucchini fighting back. Added a dash of vanilla extract. Will try adding some cinnamon next time around, or even citrus zest as others suggested.
Emma L. August 5, 2018
Wow! Great to know it works with a GF flour blend. Thanks for reporting back!
Lori M. July 30, 2018
Just made this and followed instructions to a T. I am not convinced that removing all the water from the zucchini was necessary. My bread seemed a bit dry and difficult to remove from the pan....nothing a pat of butter didn't remedy. The flavor is AHMAZING. I am going to try it again without cheeseclothing the zukes and using avocado oil.
Tess M. July 29, 2018
Made this today and it was delicious! Used whole wheat flour (couldn't find white whole wheat) and it turned out beautifully. Ate it still warm with coffee and a slather of butter for afternoon tea.
Emma L. July 29, 2018
Yay! Thanks for reporting back on the flour swap and so happy to hear it turned out well!
Michele I. July 26, 2018
In your preview you say 2/3 cup sugar but in the recipe it says 1/3 cup. Am I missing something?
Emma L. July 26, 2018
Hi Michele! It's 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar, so 2/3 cup total.
Michele I. July 27, 2018
Well I feel stupid! But that won't prevent me from baking this bread!