Applesauce zucchini bread is a classic zucchini bread that's lightly sweetened, with a hint of cinnamon. Shredded zucchini and applesauce make this homemade bread moist and soft!
Zucchini bread is a classic recipe to make when you're looking to use up that garden zucchini. This applesauce zucchini bread is incredibly moist and tender, with the perfect amount of sweetness and a hint of cinnamon.
Finely shredded zucchini (no need to squeeze out the excess water!) and unsweetened applesauce add plenty of moisture to this simple quick bread recipe. All you need are a few pantry baking staples to get started.
Serve applesauce zucchini bread as a snack, for breakfast, or for brunch! It also makes a great less-sweet dessert option. We like to warm up leftover slices in the toaster oven and spread with butter. Yum!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need one cup of finely grated zucchini for this recipe. Do not drain or squeeze the liquid from your zucchini, this liquid adds moisture to your bread. Shredded zucchini should be lightly packed into your measuring cup. For this recipe, you'll need about 1 medium or 1.5 small zucchinis.
- Unsweetened applesauce - Can be substituted with sweetened applesauce if needed - this will make your bread a little sweeter.
- Sugars - Granulated sugar and brown sugar add sweetness and moisture to your zucchini bread. As written, this bread turns out lightly sweetened. For a sweeter bread, you can add an extra ¼ cup of granulated sugar.
- Vegetable oil - Adds moisture to your bread. Canola oil or light olive oil can work in a pinch.
- Eggs - Add moisture and structure to your bread.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your bread.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your bread. I have not tested this recipe with other types of flours, so I don't suggest making any substitutions. Baking is an exact science, and altering main ingredients can change the density and texture of your bread. Instead, search for a recipe that includes the flour you'd like to use.
- Leavening agents - This recipe uses both baking soda and baking powder. They cannot be substituted for one another - you'll need both to get the proper amount of lift.
- Spices - Cinnamon and salt add depth of flavor to your bread. Salt enhances the flavor of your bread without making it "salty". Cinnamon can be substituted with a spice blend like pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice for a fun seasonal twist.
How much zucchini do I need?
For this recipe, you need 1 cup of finely shredded zucchini. This equals about 1 medium zucchini (about 8 to 9 inches in length) or 1.5 to 2 small zucchinis (about 6 inches or smaller in length).
Do I leave the skin on zucchini for zucchini bread?
Yes, leave the skin on your zucchini. There's no need to peel your zucchini beforehand.
As long as you're using small to medium sized zucchini, the skin is soft enough that it will bake right into the bread and won't affect the texture.
Plus, the skin of the zucchini contains nutrients and fiber that you'd be missing out on by peeling it off!
How to grate zucchini for zucchini bread
I recommend shredding zucchini using the small or "fine" side of a box grater. The smaller pieces melt right into the zucchini bread as it bakes.
If you prefer, you are welcome to use the large side of a box grater - this gives your bread a more noticeable texture.
If you have a food processor with a grating disc, this is a great time saving way to shred zucchini.
Should I squeeze the liquid out of my zucchini?
No! Do not squeeze or drain the liquid from your shredded zucchini. Shred the zucchini, place it into a measuring cup, then add the zucchini (and any liquids in the measuring cup) to your batter.
This liquid adds moisture to your bread, and the recipe is written to include this liquid.
How to store zucchini bread
For detailed information on storing zucchini bread, check out my full post: How to store zucchini bread
Room temperature - Zucchini bread can be stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
Refrigerator - If your bread is extremely moist/wet, you may want to store your zucchini bread in the refrigerator instead. Zucchini bread will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week in a tightly sealed container.
Freezer - Zucchini bread can be carefully wrapped in plastic wrap/foil (either the entire loaf or single slices), then stored in a freezer safe bag or container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Set out on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours to thaw to room temperature.
Can I make this recipe into muffins?
Yes! You can find my full post on how to make this same recipe into muffins here: Applesauce zucchini muffins
Divide the batter between 12 paper lined muffins tins and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 to 19 minutes.
Applesauce Zucchini Bread
- 1 cup finely grated zucchini do not drain liquid out
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease one 9x5 loaf pan (or line with parchment paper) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add finely grated zucchini (do not drain/squeeze any liquid out!), applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, OR until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with crumbs (baking times will vary based on your oven and type of pan used).
- Allow bread to cool completely on the counter before removing from pan and slicing.
- Leftover zucchini bread will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If your bread is very moist/wet, I recommend refrigerating.
- Zucchini bread can be frozen for up to 6 months. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap/foil and store in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours.
- There's no need to peel the skin off your zucchini, and no need to drain any liquid from your shredded zucchini. The recipe is written to include this liquid.
- As written, this bread is lightly sweetened. For a sweeter bread, add an additional ¼ cup of granulated sugar, or use sweetened applesauce.