Morning Person Zucchini Bread

July 10, 2018
21 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
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

Featured in: This Wholesome Zucchini Bread Will Inspire You to Seize the Dang Day —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Morning Person Zucchini Bread
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 1 loaf
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (143 grams), plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/3 cups white whole-wheat flour (170 grams), plus more for the pan
  • 2 1/3 cups grated zucchini (from about 11 ounces zucchini)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (67 grams)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (71 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup walnuts (75 grams)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (53 grams)
  • 1/3 cup oats (33 grams), plus more for topping
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with some oil. Add some 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. Combine the sugars, eggs, and oil in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the zucchini to the bowl and use a rubber spatula to combine. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the flour, walnuts, raisins, and oats. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle oats on top. Bake for about 1 hour until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 or so minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

39 Reviews

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!
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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.)
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.
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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?
Author Comment
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!
BerryBaby July 17, 2018
Yum! Love zucchini bread! I like to add orange zest to the batter. Gives it a nice citrus pop of flavor.
Author Comment
Emma L. July 17, 2018
Yum! I bet that would be especially good with some chocolate chunks, too :)
Alexis July 15, 2018
If I want to make this without going to the store, but I don't have white whole wheat flour, what's the best substitute? Can I just sub regular whole wheat, or a mix of white and whole wheat?
Author Comment
Emma L. July 15, 2018
Hi Alexis! Great Q. I'd recommend substituting half all-purpose flour and half standard whole-wheat flour (so, 2/3 cup each). If you give it a try, let me know how it goes.
Jacqui July 15, 2018
Is there an egg substitute you recommend? Apple sauce, bananas, flax egg, etc.?
Author Comment
Emma L. July 15, 2018
Hi Jacqui! I haven't tried this recipe with an egg substitute, but I've heard a lot of great things about flax eggs. That seems like the best bet here. If you try, do report back!
Bridgette N. July 14, 2018
Is it important to add the baking powder, baking soda and salt without stirring them into the flour first?
Author Comment
Emma L. July 15, 2018
Hi Bridgette! A lot of cookie and cake recipes separate dry and wet ingredients into two bowls—as you noted, stirring together flour and leaveners before adding the rest of the batter. I've often found this to be unnecessary, so long as you stir after each addition. And I always avoid an extra dirty dish if possible :)
Cheyann G. July 12, 2018
Author Comment
Emma L. July 12, 2018
Hi Cheyann, please see my reply below. Thanks!
[email protected] July 12, 2018
Nutrition info?
Author Comment
Emma L. July 12, 2018
Hi! We don't provide nutritional information with our recipes. If you have specific dietary requirements, we have gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan categories, and you can search our recipes for descriptions like "nut-free" or "sugar-free." Hope that helps!
ELLE July 12, 2018
Measure zucchini before squeezing out the water, or after?
Author Comment
Emma L. July 12, 2018
Hi! Measure the zucchini, then squeeze.
Hanna September 3, 2019
Hadnt realized that and was happy to add so much (very much squeezed!) zucchini into the batter, a good pound before squeezing. Still worked well in my view! - I didnt have walnuts, only almonds, and no oats, only muesli - both substitutes worked well :-)