5 from 2 reviews

Zucchini Banana Bread

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Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this Zucchini Banana Bread is sure to become a staple in your repertoire.

It’s easy to make and ultra moist just like my Classic Banana Bread with over ninety 5 star reviews, my Cinnamon Banana Bread, and my Pumpkin Banana Bread.

This loaf marries the sweetness of over ripe bananas with the subtle earthiness of zucchini, resulting in a moist, tender loaf that’s perfect for any time of the day.

What makes this loaf extra special is the brown butter frosting. The banana bread is really delicious on it’s own but the rich, nutty notes of brown butter perfectly complement the bread and adds a layer of indulgence.

zucchini banana bread sliced on parchment paper with frosting on top of the bread.

How to squeeze water from zucchini

  • My favorite method: I love to use this fine mesh bag, it makes squeezing the excess water out so seamless! It is so much easier than using cheesecloth or paper towels, which can be so messy.
  • Although I haven’t personally tested, I have seen people use their French Press to squeeze the water out as well: place the shredded zucchini at the bottom of the French press, place the top over and press down! Drain the excess water.  
  • You could also try using just a clean kitchen towel or even a potato ricer.

Why this recipe works

  • Wringing out the excess water from the zucchini before mixing into the batter prevents the loaf from becoming soggy and improves the overall texture and flavor of the zucchini banana bread.
  • The addition of cinnamon adds depth of flavor and warmth to the bread. You could add in some nutmeg or cardamom too for even more earthy notes.
  • I chose to use all granulated sugar for a neutral sweetness that wouldn’t over power the bananas or zucchini so the banana and zucchini flavors could shine. It also helps create a fine crumb and moist texture, with a traditional banana bread taste.
  • Adding sour cream creates a moist bread, giving it a pleasant melt-in-the-mouth quality.
ingredients to make zucchini banana bread in small glass bowls.

Ingredients

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and measurements.

  • Zucchini: Use fresh zucchini for the best flavor and texture. Make sure to grate the zucchini finely using the smaller holes on the box grater and remove excess moisture before folding into the batter.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour what I recipe tested with. However, you can experiment with whole wheat flour or a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flour for added nuttiness and fiber. Be mindful not to over mix the batter once the flour is added to avoid developing too much gluten, which can result in a dense loaf.
  • Bananas: be sure to use ripe or slightly over ripe bananas. They should have brown spots or streaks on them. These ones are perfect for banana bread because 1. They mash effortlessly and the texture of the mashed bananas is smoother, ensuring a more consistent distribution throughout the batter. 2. You’ll get a richer and more intense banana flavor from ripe to overripe bananas, enhancing the overall taste of your bread. Extremely over ripe and mushy bananas or underripe bananas that are still green are not suitable for banana bread.
  • Sugar: Sugar sweetens the bread and complements the natural sweetness of the bananas. It also contributes to the bread’s tenderness and moisture.
  • Oil: opt for neutral-flavored oils like canola or vegetable oil. The oil adds moisture to the bread and a soft, tender texture.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream can help create a more delicate and tender crumb in the banana bread. This should be room temperature.
  • Eggs: these should also be at room temperature, this helps with even mixing, proper emulsification and even baking.
  • Other ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, powdered sugar.
grated zucchini tossed into banana bread batter.
banana bread batter poured into a loaf pan.
brown butter frosting spread on top of zucchini banana bread with a white spatula.

Step by Step Directions

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe instructions.

  1. Grate the zucchini and squeeze out excess water.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk together the mashed bananas and wet ingredients.
  4. Fold banana mixture into the dry ingredients a few times.
  5. Then add the zucchini and stir until incorporated, careful not to over mix.
  6. Bake, cool, then add frosting.
a freshly baked loaf of zucchini banana bread in a loaf pan.
zucchini banana bread sliced on parchment paper with frosting on top of the bread.

Expert Tips

  • Mash Bananas Thoroughly: Mash the bananas well to ensure a smooth and consistent banana flavor throughout the bread. A few small lumps are okay. I usually like to use my hand mixer to get them perfectly mashed.
  • Don’t add too much banana: I always measure out 1 1/4 cup mashed banana for my recipe, which is usually 4 small or 3 medium bananas. Using too much mashed banana can lead to texture issues and the bread may not cook or rise properly.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a tough and dense texture.
  • Ripening Bananas Quickly: If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, you can ripen them quickly by placing them in a paper bag for a day or two. The ethylene gas they produce will speed up the ripening process.
  • Resting Time: Allow your banana bread to rest for a few hours or even overnight before slicing. This resting time allows the flavors to meld and results in a moister and more flavorful loaf.
  • Loaf pan: Light-colored pans reflect more heat and can yield a lighter crust, compared to dark pans. I have not tested this recipe in a glass or ceramic loaf pan, those pans will require an adjustment to the baking times.

Variations

  1. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread: Fold in chocolate chips into the batter for a chocolatey twist.
  2. Nutty Zucchini Banana Bread: Add chopped nuts such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds to the batter for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor. Toast the nuts beforehand to enhance their flavor even further.
  3. Coconut Zucchini Banana Bread: Mix in shredded coconut to the batter for a tropical flair. Toasted coconut adds extra depth of flavor and crunch.
  4. Streusel-Topped Zucchini Banana Bread: Skip the frosting and add a buttery streusel topping made with flour, sugar, and butter over the batter before baking for an irresistible crunchy topping.
  5. Zucchini Banana Muffins: Instead of baking a loaf, portion the batter into muffin tins. They should bake for ~16 minutes.
a bite taken out of a slice of zucchini bread thats on a white plate.

Storage

  • Room temperature: Zucchini banana bread will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap and place the wrapped banana bread in an airtight container, such as a plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid or a resealable plastic bag. If you’re stacking multiple slices or pieces, separate them with sheets of parchment paper or wax paper to prevent sticking.
  • Refrigerator: wrap and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Freezer: I wouldn’t freeze the loaf with the frosting on. I would keep it on the side until ready to enjoy. After it bakes, cool the bread completely, wrap in plastic wrap or foil, and then store in an air tight freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw over night in the refrigerator or pop a slice in the microwave, and before serving top the bread with the brown butter frosting.

Chocolate chips in banana bread, yay or nay?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

5 from 2 reviews

Zucchini Banana Bread

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
My zucchini banana bread makes the most perfect tender, moist, flavorful loaf every single time! You will love the how the warm flavors of the bread contrast beautifully with the sweet richness of the frosting. Each slice is truly irresistible and the velvety smooth brown butter frosting on top really sets this loaf apart from the rest! Get ready to put your zucchini to use by making this banana bread on repeat!

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 cups, all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 over ripe bananas (~1 cup mashed)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 heaping cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans or chocolate chips (optional)

Brown butter frosting

  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp. pieces
  • 3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 2 Tbsp. milk or heavy cream
  • pinch of salt

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Instructions 

For the banana bread:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease/flour a 9×5 inch a light colored aluminum loaf pan or line with parchment.
  • Grate the zucchini on small holes on a box grater. (No need to peel the zucchini), squeeze out the excess water, and then set aside. You should have ~1 cup zucchini once water has been squeezed out.
    1 large zucchini
  • Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    2 cups, all purpose flour, spooned and leveled, 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt
  • In another medium sized bowl, mash the banana. Then whisk in the sugar, oil, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. 
    2 over ripe bananas (~1 cup mashed), 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/4 heaping cup sour cream, room temperature, 2 large eggs, room temperature, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Add the wet into the dry ingredients and fold to combine a few times.
  • Then add the zucchini, being sure to break apart any clumps so there is no chunks of zucchini in the bread. (Add any other mix-ins here in this step too).
    1/2 cup pecans or chocolate chips (optional)
  • Stir just until combined, careful not to over mix.
  • Pour into prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake for ~60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in a loaf pan for ~20 minutes then invert on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting

  • Brown the butter: In a stainless steel skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirl the pan occasionally to help the butter melt evenly. The butter will begin to foam, and then the foam will begin to subside and you’ll start to see tiny specks at the bottom of the pan, stir with a heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon and constantly stir and scrape so milk solids that are browning don’t stick. (These are what give brown butter it’s yummy flavor.) As soon as the butter turns chestnut brown and omits a nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and scrape the brown butter and all of the delish brown bits into a heat proof bowl. It’s important to remove to a bowl immediately so the residual heat from the pan doesn’t burn the butter.
    5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbsp. pieces
  • Cool for ~10 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, milk or cream, and salt, whisking to combine. Taste and adjust frosting as needed, adding more powdered sugar if you feel it's too thin, more heavy cream (or milk) if too thick.
    3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste, 2 Tbsp. milk or heavy cream, pinch of salt
  • Spread over cooled bread, slice and enjoyyyyy!

Notes

  • Storage: a few days at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze for up to 2-3 months (leave frosting off if freezing).
  • Like most banana breads, I love the flavor even more on days 2 & 3; once the banana bread has time to sit and the flavors meld together, it creates an even more delicious slice!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 366kcal (18%), Carbohydrates: 57g (19%), Protein: 7g (14%), Fat: 19g (29%), Saturated Fat: 5g (31%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 53mg (18%), Sodium: 277mg (12%), Potassium: 161mg (5%), Fiber: 2g (8%), Sugar: 30g (33%), Vitamin A: 310IU (6%), Vitamin C: 6mg (7%), Calcium: 46mg (5%), Iron: 3mg (17%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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