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Lemon Zucchini Bread is a perfect way to use up zucchini. Buttermilk makes this bread so moist and cake-like and it’s loaded with zucchini, fresh lemon juice, and lemon zest. Bakes up perfectly each and every time!
Be sure and also try my chocolate chip zucchini muffins too.
LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD RECIPE
This lemon zucchini bread is one of those recipes that I wish everyone would make. I kind of want to make a bunch and send them to you all because it is so yummy.
I love quick breads but they can be tricky. Some don’t bake properly, rise properly, the texture is off, and lots just end up sinking down in the middle after you pull it out of the oven.
This one will not do that. It literally bakes up perfectly each and every time. The fresh lemon flavor is so bright not only in the lemon zucchini bread but also in that simple lemon glaze. The addition of the buttermilk in the recipe makes the bread so soft and gives this quick bread an almost cake-like texture.
If you love that fresh vibrant lemon flavor then I know you will love this no bake lemon pudding pie, lemon yogurt fruit salad, or this lemon lovers layered cake.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
This lemon zucchini bread is made with staple baking ingredients like flour, sugar, and oil, and then of course loaded with fresh shredded zucchini and fresh lemon zest and juice.
- All-Purpose Flour – I prefer to use unbleached flour but any all-purpose flour will work in this. I would suggest not using any whole wheat flour as that can make quick breads pretty dense.
- Baking Powder & Salt – Table salt works just fine here.
- Eggs – You will need large eggs for this recipe.
- Granulated Sugar
- Oil – Use canola or vegetable oil.
- Buttermilk – Feel free to use a buttermilk substitute. I prefer to just use buttermilk from the carton as I think it tastes better rather than making my own.
- Fresh Lemon Zest & Lemon Juice – Use fresh lemon juice. Not bottled lemon juice. Be sure you are only zesting the very most outer layer of the lemon skin. Any further down into the white part and it becomes really bitter.
- Shredded Zucchini – I use the fine side of a cheese grater to shred zucchini. I like to peel the zucchini but you don’t have to. If the shredded zucchini seems really watery, take a few paper towels and dab it before adding it into the batter.
- Powdered Sugar & Lemon Juice – This makes the simple glaze for over top.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD
Making lemon zucchini bread at home is actually quite simple. You will need either four mini loaf pans or one larger 9×5 loaf pan for this recipe.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients : Combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Stir together with a whisk which will help break up any clumps from the flour. It acts as a sifter but it’s way easier to do it this way.
- Beat Eggs : In a seperate, larger mixing bowl, beat the eggs for at least 30 seconds.
- Add Sugar & Oil : Add the sugar and oil and beat until lighter in color and until it looks fluffy.
- Add Fresh Lemon and Buttermilk : Add buttermilk, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice. Combine.
- Zucchini & Dry Ingredients : Add in the shredded zucchini and then dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Loaf Pans : Pour the batter into the mini loaf pans or into the larger 9×5 loaf pan if that is what you’re using.
- Baking and Cooling : Bake according to the directions. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for about 15 minutes and then invert it onto a cooling rack.
- Glaze : Let the bread cool completely before gazing it. If you try to glaze the bread while it’s still warm the glaze will just fall right off.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
There are a few easy to follow tips that will hopefully help you make this recipe.
Use Fresh Lemons
- Using fresh squeezed lemon juice makes such a difference. You can’t get that bright & fresh lemon flavor from bottled lemon juice. With that said, I have had a few readers tell me that they liked bottled lemon juice in the recipe, so if it’s something you want to try then go for it. The recipe will still work with bottled lemon juice. But for best results and taste please use fresh lemons. You will need about 2 large lemons for this recipe.
Only Zest the Top Layer of the Lemon Skin
- When you zest the lemon be sure to only zest the very top layer of the lemon. If you zest too deeply into the skin it gets very bitter. Use a citrus zester or the fine side of a cheese grater to do this.
- Do not substitute the buttermilk with regular milk. If you don’t have buttermilk try using vinegar + milk to make buttermilk. For 1/2 cup buttermilk you will need 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar + 1/2 cup milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes to sour.
- If you want less lemon flavor use heavy cream or milk for the glaze in place of the lemon juice.
- If you pour the glaze on top of the loaf while it’s still warm, the glaze will just fall right off. If you want the glaze to actually sit on top of the loaf then be sure and let it cool before glazing.
What Size Pan Do I Use?
- This recipe can be made in mini loaf pans OR a large 9×5 loaf pan. I prefer the cute mini loafs so that’s what I usually end up doing.
How To Drizzle the Lemon Glaze
- The easiest way is to just dip a fork into the glaze and drizzle it over the bread. You can also put the glaze into a Ziploc bag and snip a very small corner off of the bottom and then glaze it. Doing it this way will produce more even lines.
HOW TO STORE LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD
Leftovers keep well out at room temperature for several days. Be sure that the bread is covered or wrapped tightly.
If you prefer it cold it can also easily be stored in the fridge as well.
CAN I FREEZE LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD?
Yes you can! Do not add the glaze over top if you are planning on freezing this bread.
Once the bread has cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap/Saran Wrap, and then wrap it again in tin foil. I also like to put the wrapped loaf inside a gallon-sized freezer Ziploc bag.
Freeze for up to 1-2 months.
Lemon Zucchini Bread
Lemon Zucchini Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 4 mini loaf pans (6"x3 1/2") well with cooking spray. You can also use a 9x5 loaf pan.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to break up any clumps. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand blender, or a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and oil and beat together until well combined. About 1 minute until it looks "fluffy" and pale in color.
- Add buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend together until mixed in.
- Add the shredded zucchini and the bowl of dry ingredients into the wet mixture, and stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
- Evenly divide the batter between the 4 mini loaf pans (or 9x5). Cook the mini loaf pans for 30-34 minutes and the 9x5 loaf pan for 40-45 minutes. The bread will look done and when gently pressed with a finger will spring back, a toothpick inserted in the middle will also come out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan and then remove the bread to a cooling rack to cool complete.
- Mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice with a fork until combined and it's the consistency you want. Add more lemon juice (or milk) if it's too thick and if it gets too runny, add a little bit of powdered sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the bread with a fork or put the glaze into a Ziploc bag and cut the corner.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Did you love this recipe?
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Wow, Jessica, this bread looks amazing! I can see why it doesn’t last long, and such a pity at that because it looks so pretty! I haven’t done really any cooking with buttermilk, but it sounds like it would be really good. Definitely pinning this to make! Thanks!
Hope you made it back from the airport okay! 🙂
Thanks Aspen! We survived. Only got lost twice along the way (for real). Thanks so much for pinning and commenting 🙂
Oh yum! These look amazing, can’t wait to try them out. I’m not going to even attempt to give any away. 🙂 Pinning!
I know! Next time I make it, I will just plan on keeping it all to ourselves! I had good intentions with it 😉 Thanks so much for visiting. Hope your weekend is wonderful!
It looks fabulous! thanks for making it a printable
Hi Mary! You’re welcome for the printable. I always like to print out the recipes I find. This bread is by far one of my favorites 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. Have a great day.
This looks like a fabulous breakfast treat! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!
Double yum! This looks so delish. It would go great with coffee at breakfast. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday.
Thanks Sherry! 🙂
My husband has made this recipe a couple of times now, always intending to share with neighbors, but it never makes it out the front door!! Too luscious and delicious and refreshing! Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you Deonn! Your comment made my day 🙂 I have the same problem when I make this bread too! I always make it intending to share but it never lasts that long. I am so glad you guys enjoy this. Thank you for coming back to comment.
Absolutely delicious! Have to make everything gluten free for my daughter, this recipe is so great you couldn’t even tell. Only thing I did was add lemon zest to the frosting also. I LOVE lemons! 🙂
Thank you! Will definitely make again.
So happy to hear this! I love lemons too so I definitely add a little extra when I make this. Thanks for your comment.
Absolutely the best lemon bread I have ever eaten. I love zucchini which makes this bread ever better. Many people don’t “like” zucchini bread if they know it is in the bread. It is impossible to tell there is zucchini in this recipe!
Thank you so much Linda! It’s very easily one of my favorite things to make. I agree about the zucchini, it hides well in this bread and if you grate it on the really fine side of the grater then it hides even better 🙂 Thanks so much for leaving your comment and review. I appreciate it so much.
Hi! I want to make this recipe: Lemon Zucchini. My question is: should I remove the mini breads from the foil pans to let cool completely and then put them back in the pans? I will be sending these to my sister in Chicago. And I’d like to send them in the tins. If I let them cool completely in the tins (foil), will they overcook?
Thanks so much!
I always let mine cool in the bread pan and I’ve never had a problem with it being overcooked. I think you’ll be just fine leaving it in the foil pan. If you’re worried about overcooking, let them cool in the foil pan for like 15 minutes after baking and then just take them out to let them cool completely on a cooling rack. Then place them back in the foil pan. I don’t think it would matter either way.
Do you squeeze the liquid out of the zucchini before adding? Other zucchini breads that I’ve made in the past required this step, so I wanted to be sure! Thanks!
If the zucchini is giving off a ton of water then go ahead and do that. I’ve never had this issue (i use the fine side of the grater and then just pick up the zucchini from the plate, leaving the liquid on the plate). You don’t want it dripping water as you put it into the bowl but it also done not need to be dry. Hope that helps a little.
Are those nutritional facts per serving or is that for the whole shebang ?
It’s for 1 slice. Each mini loaf makes 4 slices and each slice is fairly large so you could easily get more slices per mini loaf for less calories per slice.
I made muffin with the recipe and was totally delighted with the results. Everyone enjoyed them. I love anything lemon and this delivered.
Thank you so much for letting me know and I am so glad everyone enjoyed this!
I have made this recipe twice now, left the skin on as it is pretty with the pale cake and the flecks of green then the brightness of the lemon, It is such a surprise of a recipe, what a lovely lovely combination. Than you so much for this scrumptious recipe, I will enjoy making this and gifting this over and over again.
I didn’t have a 5×9 pan so I used my 4×8, it took almost 75 minutes before I could insert my tester and have it come out clean.Hop it’s still as good as it looks.
Yea, it does take longer to cook when you use a smaller pan. I hope it still turned out for you. I know this reply is so late, so hopefully you loved it.
I would like to make this, but I would like to substitute the oil for butter. Would that be OK to do?
I think that would be fine. I have only ever made it as written so I can’t say for sure.
The bread came out great! I added a little on sweetened coconut. Delicious.
I love the idea of adding coconut! Thanks for sharing!