Zucchini is one of summer's delicious gifts and while it can sometimes overwhelm you with its generosity (if you're growing some in your backyard you know what I'm talking about), it is so versatile, you don't have to look far to find great uses for it.
One of my favorite zucchini recipes -- one I look forward to each summer -- is this extra-tasty and nutritious whole wheat vegan Zucchini Bread.
If you have kids, this is a great recipe to keep them happy and fed over the summer break. I use these months to wean Jay off all the junk he inevitably consumes during the school year, whether it's from well-meaning teachers handing out bags of chips or candies as gifts, friends who share their snacks, or whatever other way he has of acquiring them, and he has plenty. When I make him delicious and healthy snacks at home, like this vegan zucchini bread, or vegan banana bread, he doesn't miss the crappy snacks at all.
Squash is also very much in season in the summer and it's usually easy to find locally grown varieties or grow it yourself -- all great reasons to consume it. Besides, it is an easy veggie to love, with its dark green skin and tender white flesh and pleasantly bland taste that can adapt to almost any dish, sweet or savory. Like other summer squash, zucchini is rich in vitamin C and beta carotene and, of course, fiber, which makes it super-healthy eats too.
Why you'll love this vegan zucchini bread
- It's delicious. Whatever zucchini bread you are used to making, and however good it is, there is no turning back from this one when it comes to flavor.
- It's all whole wheat.
- It's packed with veggies.
- It has that amazing, nutty crunch from heart-friendly walnuts.
- It's low-fat, with very little added fat.
- It's naturally sweetened. Coconut sugar is a lower glycemic sweetener than sugar and a great one to use in richly flavored breads/cakes like this one. You can also use maple syrup or just use regular vegan cane sugar.
- Whole wheat pastry flour. I have always made this recipe with whole wheat pastry flour, which makes healthy baking super easy and super fun. But if you wish, you can certainly use part regular whole wheat flour and part unbleached all purpose flour, or just all purpose flour is good too.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Cinnamon. I add cinnamon to my zucchini bread, and sometimes a mix of cinnamon and cloves. You can also add nutmeg or even ginger.
- Zucchini. You need 2 ½ cups of grated zucchini for this recipe (about 2 medium zucchini)
- Sugar. I use coconut sugar because I love its deep, rich flavor, especially in recipes like zucchini bread and banana bread. But you can use any sugar for great results, including white sugar, turbinado sugar, cane sugar or even maple syrup.
- Flaxmeal: This is the egg substitute in this recipe and it makes it even more nutritious by adding good protein and fiber.
- Applesauce. You can substitute with an equal quantity of pureed banana.
- Vegetable oil: Any kind is fine. I use avocado oil, but canola, safflower or sunflower oil are all great substitutes.
- Pure vanilla extract: For more flavor and sweetness.
- Walnuts: Nuts add a great crunch to these loaves. Both walnuts and pecans work equally well.
How to make Vegan Zucchini Bread
- This is an extremely easy recipe to make and you don't really need any special equipment like a hand mixer or stand mixer. You do need two loaf pans, but if you don't have them, you can also bake these in cake tins. Or bake them up into muffins. If you are making zucchini muffins with this recipe, cut down baking time to between 25 and 30 minutes and check with a toothpick to make sure they're done.
- Chocolate chips are a fun addition, especially if you have a young 'un who likes chocolate. You can substitute the walnuts with 1 cup chocolate chips.
- You can make this recipe in one bowl by mixing up your wet ingredients first, then tossing in your dry ingredients one by one followed by the zucchini and nuts.
- Use the large holes in your grater to grate the zucchini. When you mix up the batter it will seem a bit thick, but don't worry. The zucchini is full of water that will express itself during baking and your loaves will be moist and tender and not dry at all.
- Make sure to grease and flour your loaf pans for easy unmolding.
- Cool your loaves thoroughly on a rack before slicing and eating.
If you have always loved a classic zucchini bread and missed making one, try this recipe. It will definitely make you a fan. And then come back and tell me about it, or take a photo and tag me @holycowvegan on Instagram. I'd love to see!
- Vegan Mango Bread
- Vegan Zucchini Cake
- Vegan Squash Cake with Pineapple Frosting
- Vegan Banana Crumb Muffins
- Vegan Banana Muffins
- Vegan Dandelion Bread
Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Two loaf pans
- Grater with large holes
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or use half whole wheat flour and half all purpose or all purpose only)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon cinnamon (use cloves or ginger, or a mix, for a nice variation)
- 3 tablespoon flaxmeal
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups coconut sugar (or any sugar of your choice, or maple syrup)
- ¾ cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups zucchini (grated. About two medium zucchini)
- 1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted, then chopped. Pecans would work too)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
- Whisk the flaxmeal with 9 tablespoon water in a large bowl. Add to it the oil, sugar, applesauce and vanilla and whisk well.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix together just until everything comes together, then stir in the zucchini and the nuts.
- Grease and flour two loaf pans. Divide the batter equally between the two and smooth down the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack about 15 minutes, then slide a knife around the edges to unmold. Continue cooling on a rack.
- Stir 1 cup chocolate chips into your bread instead of walnuts for a kid-friendlier version.
Would it be okay to substitute gluten-free flour for the whole wheat flour? It looks delicious but I have to adhere to a gluten-free diet.
Thank you so much.
Blessings for the New Year!!!
Hi Jeanette, happy new year! You can use gluten-free all purpose flour instead.
This is hands-down, the best zucchini bread I have ever made. It is fluffy and moist and not too sweet. I used the pastry flour and I think this really made the difference. My husband loves it. I made two loaves yesterday and the one loaf is just about gone. Thanks for posting.
Love your vegan zucchini bread recipe! I did adjust the sugar to 1-1/2 cups for our taste, and held back a little applesauce to compensate. Plus, I grind my own cinnamon, so 2 t. has been plenty. It's a keeper! Everyone who has been gifted some loves it!
Do I have to peel the zucchini before I put it in this cake/bread
No need to peel the zucchini!
Can I substitute agave syrup for the sugar.
I used 1 and 1/2 cup splenda sugar. I also added 8 oz.can drained crushed pineapple can, 1 tsp. vinager, 2 and 3/4 tsp. Cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice, and 1 cup raisins. Next time I will add 1/4 cup brown sugar, I forgot this time. After reading reviews, I cut down from 2 cups to 1 and 1/2 cups sugar this time. Next time I will use 1 and 3/4 cups sugar. Bread turned out so delicious. Loved, healthy, tasty and eggless, too.
I made this last night for the group I game with and everyone loved it. Thnaks for the great recipe!
So happy to hear. Thanks for letting me know!
This is sooooo good! I used 2 teaspoons of cinnamon instead of three and a pinch of nutmeg I used one cup of date sugar and 1 cup of turbinado. I substituted applesauce for two mashed bananas. It came out great! Toasted on its own or with with vegan butter--- yum!!Thank you for sharing!
Sounds really yummy. So happy you tried it!
I baked mini loaves today and it is amazing!! I omitted the nuts because my hubby can't have them, but I may add some raisins and/or chocolate chips next time. Definitely a keeper, thank you! 🙂
So happy to hear, Aimee, happy you tried!
Baking as I type, smells so good! OI added just a tsp of apple cider vinegar to react with the baking soda and help with the lift (my daughter has a thing with texture) and it's rising like if there were eggs in there. Can't wait to taste it. Thank you for a great recipe!
This is my FAVORITE vegan zucchini bread. I've made this a few times and absolutely love it (and have received lots of requests for the recipe)! I actually added a banana and some vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips and it was fantastic. I love that it uses a lot of zucchini too because I have plenty! Thank you for this favorite!
Hi Maddie, so glad you tried the zucchini bread. I always make it several times over the summer for some guilt-free fun. 🙂 Nice idea to add the banana and chocolate chips.
I plan to bake one loaf and can I use 1/2 cup agave and 1/2 cup Splenda instead of sugar? Thanks for the simple recipe.
Hi vaishnawi, I don't hv flax meal with me. What best can I try otherwise.
Roopa, add in another 1/2 cup of applesauce. Should work.
Just made this! Fabulous. Moist, hearty, fairly guilt-free. I cut the sugar down by 1/2 cup and thought it was sweet enough/ Maybe next time I will try agave. Fun to see th green in it. Thanks for an excellent recipe.
Perfect loaves! I was gifted a zucchini the size of the Empire State building. Made 5 loaves and froze 4. I do not use white sugar, so I substituted agave and reduced the liquids a bit. I am baking at high altitude ( 7,000 feet) and the loaves were perfect.
Hi, I tried this out, turned out very delicious. This was my first time baking anything other than boxed brownies, may be I missed something but the bread did not rise much. I made only 1 loaf, replaced 1 cup sugar with 1/3 cup agave nectar and added 1/4 cup shredded coconut. Will try again next week, this is great snack to take to work.
Hi there! I made this yummy bread yesterday.My kids loved it.
Thank you so much.
Hi Coach Terry, Thanks for the feedback! I have not calculated the calories in this-- I am trying to do that for some posts, time permitting. Will put this on my list for my next calorie-counting project. 🙂
You can copy the recipe directly into MyFitnessPal and it will do the calculations for you. Easy peasy!
I was wondering if anyone has attemped to make this gluten-free?
I’ve been thinking this too. I wonder if it would be heavier and hold up as it’s moister.
Hi there! I made the bread yesterday and it is FABULOUS! I was wondering if you know the nutrition values (calories, carbs etc.) I used the toasted walnuts - just delish! Thanks so much! Terry
Oohh this looks so lustworthy. I'm going to link this post on my blog, if you dont mind.
Anonymous, I zap them in the microwave at high for one minute, then toss them and zap again for another minute. I don't usually toast them in the oven -- the alternative for me is to toast them in the skillet until they are just a couple of shades darker.
To roast pecans/walnuts lightly, for how much time do I need to keep in the oven and at what temperature?
also I believe, you used Zucchini with its skin on?
I have been searching for a good way to use the caveman-club-sized zucchini from my garden! This bread is moist and wonderful! I added 5 TBS of hemp powder for a little extra protein, and carob chips for deliciousness:) Thanks for the recipe!
I made this bread this afternoon and it came out delicious! It's moist and sweet, I added raisins, and it has very good flavor! I've already had 3 pieces and my husband loves it too! The kitchen smelled so good today and our bellies are very happy! Thank you!
I made the zucchini bread today! I loved it. I only cooked it about 50 minutes instead of the recommended 60-70. I used 1/2 Splenda and 1/2 sugar and it was great. Thanks for a great recipe.
This recipe is amazing! I have made it twice in the last 4 days due to popular demand! I made it into muffins and added a bit more flax than called for and also raisins for sweetness and sensation. Thank you!
Great looking zucchini bread. I've been looking for one with more zucchini, thanks!
Tim, thanks for the feedback. Nice idea to add more sugar and make these into muffins. I will try them that way next time.
I Just took this recipe and added a bit more sugar --Made the Best Muffin's I've Eva Had...Oh and I had no whole weat flower so I just used all purpose organic flower
I have a picture but sadly don't know how to upload it
the bread slices looks moist...
I absoultely love zucchini bread. Growing up, the only baked good my mom ever made for us (and this way like once a year) was zucchini muffins.
That's such a moist loaf Vaishali and healthy too. I also read somewhere that freezing shredded zucchini, thawing it again and then using it secretes even more moisture to the baked goods. Thank you so much for this awesome quickbread.
Love the touch of green in the bread! Havent tried this yet. Thanks for the recipe.
Looks very delicious, Vaishali. Very tender too.
Wow! never thought of Zucchini as a baking ingredient. Am definitely going to make and see if my 3 year old will eat. Great way to hide the vegetables from him.
Oh wow looks soft and yum.....
Healthy and delicious! love the color!
WOw the bread looks really delish and beautiful.
Zucchini bread moist and soft Vaishali...such a delicious bread! Prefectly baked!
looks so gorgeous and tempting Vaishali!! Never tried zucchini bread, though saw many bread recipes with it. Yours look perfect and delicious 🙂
The bread looks so fluffy from the inside Vaishali inspite of the zucchini which am sure will release water! Love this. 🙂
The bread slices in the second picture look so moist, love the bits of zucchini in between...great bread.
Wow zucchini bread looks soft n delicious! And with low fat content this can be had any time 🙂