Gluten-free zucchini bread is a moist and tender zucchini bread made with shredded zucchini, applesauce, and a hint of cinnamon. A classic zucchini bread recipe that happens to be gluten-free and dairy-free!
Looking for a gluten-free alternative to my classic applesauce zucchini bread? You've come to the right place. This gluten-free zucchini bread turns out moist, tender, and lightly sweetened - the perfect way to use up that summer garden zucchini.
Grated zucchini and applesauce add plenty of moisture to this simple quick bread recipe. All you need are a few pantry baking staples and some 1:1 gluten-free flour to get started.
Serve zucchini bread as a snack, for breakfast, or for brunch! It also makes a great less-sweet dessert option. I like to warm up a slice in the toaster oven to go with my morning coffee.
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, add an extra ¼ cup of granulated sugar.
- Vegetable oil - Adds moisture to your bread. Canola oil, melted coconut 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.
- 1:1 gluten-free flour - Adds structure to your bread. I used King Arthur gluten-free measure for measure flour. I recommend using a blend labeled as 'measure for measure' or '1:1' that includes xanthan gum, which helps achieve a texture similar to using all-purpose flour.
- 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 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.
Can I use other gluten-free flours?
I only recommend using a measure for measure or 1:1 gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour) in this recipe. Here are a few brands that I recommend:
- King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour
- Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- Bob's Red Mill 1 To 1 Baking Flour
Some gluten-free flours, like almond flour and coconut flour, don't work as a 1 to 1 substitute for all-purpose flour and need additional ingredients or adjusted quantities to work properly. If you'd like to make bread using almond flour or coconut flour, I highly recommend searching for a recipe that's been developed using that specific ingredient.
Frequently asked questions
- Do I need to squeeze the liquid from my zucchini? No. For this recipe, you should not squeeze the liquid from your zucchini. We're using that liquid to add moisture and thin the batter to achieve the proper rise in the oven.
- Do I need to peel my zucchini? No, there's no need to peel zucchini for zucchini bread. The skin and flesh melt seamlessly into the bread as it bakes, leaving green flecks throughout.
- Can I use cucumber instead of zucchini? No, zucchini has a mild flavor that makes it ideal for baking. Cucumber has a fresh "melon" flavor that's much more pronounced and not ideal for hiding in baked goods. For more information: Zucchini vs Cucumber - What's the Difference?
- How do I grate zucchini for 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. A larger grate also works but adds a more noticeable texture. Here's the box grater I use: Amazon: OXO Good Grips Box Grater
- What size pan do I need? This recipe makes one 9x5 loaf of zucchini bread. These are the pans I use for all my zucchini bread: Farberware Loaf Pan 9x5, Set of 2
Feel free to add up to 1 cup of mix-ins to your zucchini bread for a little crunch or sweetness.
- Chopped walnuts
- Chocolate chips
- Shredded coconut
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.
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.
Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
- 1 cup (135 g) finely grated zucchini, do not drain liquid out
- ½ cup (128 g) unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (106 g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups (217 g) 1:1 gluten-free baking 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 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 48 to 54 minutes, OR until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean/with dry crumbs, or bread reaches 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit in the center (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.