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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.
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.