Zucchini gingerbread is perfectly spiced, moist, and tender - a must-bake recipe for the holiday season! Pair it with your morning coffee, serve as a less-sweet dessert, or gift a fresh-baked gingerbread loaf to a friend.
Gingerbread is a classic holiday baking recipe. It's filled with cozy spices and molasses for the perfect seasonal flavor. Your home will smell amazing with a loaf of gingerbread baking in the oven!
By adding zucchini, I've reduced the amount of oil slightly (when compared to my regular gingerbread recipe). Zucchini not only adds moisture to baked goods, but also adds fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium. The best part is that finely grated zucchini melts seamlessly into the batter, leaving behind only a few green flecks throughout the baked bread.
Serve zucchini gingerbread with your morning coffee, for Christmas brunch, or as a less-sweet dessert. A freshly baked loaf also makes a great gift! If you're looking for more holiday baking, try my recipes for cranberry orange zucchini bread and snickerdoodle zucchini bread next.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need 1.5 cups or 220 grams of finely grated zucchini for this recipe. Do not drain or squeeze the liquid from your zucchini - this liquid adds moisture to your bread.
- Molasses- Adds a little bit of sweetness, moisture, and that classic caramelized gingerbread flavor to your bread. Molasses can't be omitted from this recipe. I prefer Grandma's brand unsulfured molasses.
- Sugar - Brown sugar adds sweetness and moisture to your zucchini bread.
- 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 - You'll need baking soda for this recipe, not baking powder. The two are not interchangeable.
- Spices - Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt add depth of flavor to your bread. Salt enhances the flavor of your bread without making it "salty".
Tips and tricks
Shredding zucchini for bread - I recommend using the small side of a box grater to grate zucchini for baked goods. Finely grated zucchini melts seamlessly into the batter when baked, with the only sign of zucchini being the tiny green flecks. The large side of a box grater also works, but adds a noticeable texture to your baked bread.
Thin batter - Your batter will look thin - this is normal!
Gently mix batter - If the batter is overmixed, the gluten is overworked and your bread can turn out tough. Instead, use a gentle stirring motion (no need for a stand mixer or hand mixer) and only stir until ingredients are just incorporated.
Pan size - This recipe makes one 9x5 loaf of zucchini bread. These are the pans I use for all my zucchini bread recipes: Farberware Loaf Pan 9x5, Set of 2
Dust with sugar - Optionally, dust the top of your cooled gingerbread loaf with confectioner's sugar for a nice finishing touch. I recommend using a small, fine mesh sieve for even coverage and no clumps.
Frequently asked questions
No, there's no need to peel your zucchini before shredding it for zucchini bread. The skin of the zucchini contains fiber and other nutrients you'd otherwise be missing out on by peeling it off.
Once your bread is baked, the only sign of zucchini is tiny flecks of green throughout. Otherwise, the zucchini (skin included) melts right into the bread.
Some food processors come with grating blades, which work well for grating large quantities of zucchini. They'll give you the same result as a box grater would, but faster. For more detailed information, check out my post: How to shred zucchini
Zucchini bread can be stored at room temperature for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container.
If your zucchini bread turns out extremely moist, then I'd suggest storing it in the refrigerator. Zucchini bread will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week in a tightly sealed container.
Zucchini bread can also be frozen for up to 6 months in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container. To thaw a whole loaf, place on the countertop for up to 3 hours to bring to room temperature. Single slices will thaw in about 1 hour or less.
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?
- 1.5 cups (220 g) finely grated zucchini, do not drain liquid
- ½ cup (106 g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (170 g) molasses
- ¼ cup (56 g) hot water
- 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 (including any excess liquid), brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
- In a third bowl, combine molasses and hot water and whisk until fully incorporated.
- To the wet ingredients, add half of the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Add half of the molasses mixture and stir until just incorporated. Repeat once more, adding remaining dry ingredients and molasses.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 48 to 55 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. Optionally, dust the top with confectioner's sugar before slicing and serving.
- 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.