Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is one of life’s great comforts. Fortunately, it is also one of the simplest recipes in the world. Much like with it’s sibling, Banana Nut Bread, I can live off this from first cut to last crumb. It has veggies in it so that is OK, right? And nuts. Nuts are good for you.

But all kidding aside, this recipe pleases me on several counts. One, I get to make it in my Papaw Virgil’s aluminum tube pan and, two, it is made with a lot of maple syrup. Please remember that I mean real maple syrup here and not maple flavored syrup which is simply a cruel joke on humanity, not really a topping or ingredient of any sort…except in emergencies or at the IHOP. Then it is O.K. There is in fact a time and place for every foodstuff under the sun, but if you are going to invest your time in baking, get the real syrup. You will not look back.

Zucchini Bread
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups grated, unpeeled, zucchini (2 medium or 3 small zucchini)
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup safflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a tube pan (9" across) by buttering and flouring it, tapping out the excess flour. You may also use 2 medium loaf pans.
  2. Grate the zucchini and press on it with paper towels to remove the excess moisture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, vanilla, oil, and eggs and beat for 2 minutes. Add the syrup, and milk and beat until combined. Add the zucchini and mix until just combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low until it is fully incorporated. Add the pecans and mix to combine.
  5. Pour the batter (expect a very liquid batter) into the tube pan or loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Adjust the time accordingly if using loaf pans. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Using a knife loosen the bread gently from the edges of the pan. Invert the bread onto a plate. If the bread doesn't come out, gently use your fingers to pull the top away from the edges and middle (without so much force as to tear the lovely top). Invert again. You can also give it a firm tap ("thud") and it should release. Invert the bread again onto a serving plate, pretty side up. Slice and enjoy. For a real treat, eat it warm with softened butter.

How can you not love something that is really a cake, but made out of vegetables. Don’t let the veggies deceive you, though. These breads are deceptively naughty.

This looks like a lot of steps, but this is a very forgiving recipe where even a baking novice can get great results. And if you are a gardener, you will love having one more way to use up that mess of zucchini that will be coming in soon.

For a real treat, eat it warm with softened butter.

Note: In the photo, you can see that I inverted it onto a plate and then laid a cooling rack over it and carefully flipped it back over. This should be done quickly and confidently but with great care…and never with the dog in the kitchen. My dog will beat me to flying food every time.

If you need a source for pecans, consider The Pecan Shed. For maple syrup, I call on Isham Farm


  1. Kelly says

    It is gooood! But it is not overtly maple-y, much to my surprise. You will like it. Something to do with all of those monster zucchini, Or, Lori, allow me to share with you the final joke sent to me by my mother in law before her death this fall…

    “Zucchini Recipe: What you do with excess zucchini is drop a bag on a neighbor’s porch, ring the doorbell, and run.”

  2. Bebe says

    Yikes! Sounds delicious, but real maple syrup is $17.00 a quart here!

    If you are going to float a loan and use the real thing, I’ve found that the Grade B has much more maple flavor than the Grade A. The latter sounds spiffier; the former tastes better.

    Zucchini makes for a very moist bread, so yes, it is good to the last crumb. (Around here that isn’t very long!)

  3. Kelly says

    Pure maple is certainly a precious commodity. Try having it shipped from Vermont, which I do happily yearly. Even at 17, it boils down (get it) to $4.25 for that one ingredient in this recipe. I personally think it is worth it, but I understand if people don’t, too. I certainly have more budget minded desserts floating around here. But there are times where the real thing is just worth it in my opinion, like vanilla beans, for instance, or good chocolate. I try not to do too many of them, but it is a treat when I do. I hope you enjoy it if you try it.

  4. Anne Mullen says

    I’ll have to try this soon; it sounds wonderful. John loves banana bread; in fact he says having it around is as tempting as have a naked lady around, so it’s now known as “Naked Lady Bread”.

  5. Natalie says

    I have the great fortune of having Kelly as a friend. She brought me some of this just before I had to go college touring. I took it with me and had it for breakfast and dessert. Best dang zucchini bread I ever tasted. Thank you, Kelly!!!!

  6. says

    Hi Kelly,
    I wanted to thank you for the base recipe for my own zucchini bread. Instead of maple syrup and sugar, I ended up using 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of melted honey, it tasted wonderful. I also threw in 3/4 each of wheat flour and oats, just to give the bread a little more complexity. To make up for the lost sweetness, I replaced 1/2 cup of nuts with 1/2 cup of raisins. :) All in all, it turned out well. I’m sure your bread is richer in flavor than mine thanks to the maple syrup.
    Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *