Ellen’s Most Moist Zucchini Bread

I love this recipe for zucchini bread. When my children were young, we lived in one of those neighborhoods where there were lots of children, fenceless backyards, car pools, and lots of sharing of recipes. This was one of those recipes. Lucy, our perky neighborhood teen babysitter, used to ride her bike down Sneed Road to our house; believe me, my children were as happy to see her as I was. One day, she brought a loaf of her mother, Ellen’s, zucchini bread. It was unusually moist and dotted with colorful green flecks from the zucchini peel.

The flecks give the bread texture and color that make it visually appealing.

The only change I made to Ellen’s recipe was to add more zucchini, nuts, and chocolate chips. One of my sons will not eat zucchini but loved this bread.

What to do with a baseball bat-sized zucchini?

Like for many of us, I often make zucchini bread when I find one of those baseball bat-sized zucchinis in the garden. If you do that, too, be sure to remove the large seeds before grating the flesh by quartering the zucchini into long strips and cutting out the triangular-shaped seed section. For large amounts of grating, I use the shredder blade in the food processor. Put the grated zucchini in a colander until ready to use. They will start to sweat, and you want that liquid to drain away.

Have no idea how I missed this!  7 pounds 6 ounces

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Yield: 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 2 mini-loaves



3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 pound unpeeled zucchini (a tad over 3 cups when grated)
1 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
(Optional: add ½ cup chocolate chips)

Mise en Place:



Preheat oven to 325º if glass pans, 350º for metal pans. Grease loaf pans.

Coarsely grate the unpeeled zucchini and set aside. If liquid forms at the bottom of the container while it rests, discard it.

Beat eggs in a mixing bowl for 30 seconds on medium speed.

Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla and mix for two more minutes on medium-low speed. Beating these ingredients together at this point in the recipe is one of the things that gives fruit bread “lift” by incorporating air into the batter.

Add the dry ingredients: the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Remember, when measuring flour, spoon it into a measuring cup and level with a knife as opposed to packing the flour into the measuring cup by dipping it into a package of flour. You can read more about measuring ingredients in my home ec post.

Mix on slow speed for 30 seconds. Mix gently, you don’t want to stimulate the gluten in the flour to become tough and elasticky.

Add the nuts and zucchini and mix on slow speed until just mixed, about 30 seconds max.

If you plan to add chocolate chips, stir them in now.

Pour batter into prepared pans.

Cook for about an hour, or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes and then remove from pan and allow to continue cooling on a wire rack. I usually need to use a knife to loosen the bread from the edges of the pan before turning it over to release it.

My friend, Patty, describes how she made the recipe gluten free in the Comments section. Patty also substituted 3/4 cup of honey for each cup of sugar. This makes for a darker bread that is delicious, but needs to be called Honey Zucchini Bread because the final flavor left in your mouth is honey instead of zucchini.

I never thought of adding chocolate chips to this recipe until I started making my cousin’s recipe for pumpkin bread: Marion’s Crazy Good Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate ChipsI thought her recipe was great with chocolate chips, and since zucchini and pumpkin are in the same family, I thought, “Why not?” It was delicious! Surprisingly, not too sweet.
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Related Posts
Marion’s Crazy Good Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips
Fruit and Nut Bread
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream
The Biscuit King


Follow my photos of vegetables growing, backyard chickens hanging out, and dinner preparations on Instagram at JudysChickens.

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© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.

31 thoughts on “Ellen’s Most Moist Zucchini Bread

    1. Kat, it was such a fun surprise. I had written the post and was wishing I had a photo of a large squash to show and when I went outside yesterday morning, there it was! Thanks for writing and tweeting. have a great day.

  1. Hey Judy – I have the exact same recipe with one minor variation (mine calls for 1 t. b.p.)!! Oh and I don’t put any nuts in, but pecans would be my choice if I did. Anyway my recipe came from Mrs. Larson, the mother of George’s best friend from high school in New Jersey. Ardis Larson was a fabulous cook and I have many fond memories of spending time with her both before George and I were married and afterwards. Ardis came from a big family in Starbuck, Minnesota. That was the first time I heard of Starbuck before the coffee became such a hit. It has been over 40 years now that I have been making “Mrs Larson’s Zucchini Bread” and I agree, it’s the best!!!

  2. Oh that sounds so good right about now. Don’t have a garden this year but in the past I have slapped my forehead and wondered how didn’t you see that – time for new glasses.

      1. It’s in the oven…I’ll photo mine if I don’t eat it up!! I’m bringing one to my Nutritionist tomorrow.

  3. Thanks Judy for inspiring your friend who would much rather be in the garden (or pretty much anywhere else) than in the kitchen! I decided to try substituting almond flour for all-purpose flour to make it GF. I also decided to try using honey instead of sugar. “Google” said a rule of thumb is to sub 3/4 cup honey for a cup of sugar plus an additional 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. The bread came out really well. Everyone was very complimentary, but I think it had a slight baking soda after taste. Nobody else seemed to notice or they were too polite to mention it. But next time, I’m not going to add that extra 1/4 t and see how it comes out.

    1. Patty, thanks for these tips. I have a ton of honey and I’m going to try the substitution this morning. I’m wondering what the addition of baking soda does. You may be right, it may not be needed since there is already baking soda in the recipe. Worth a Google exploration anyway just to see the science behind it! Thanks for writing, gardening friend.

      1. Patty, I tried the honey without the baking soda and the recipe worked fine. The rise of the bread was still good, but the final taste in my mouth was of honey instead of zucchini. That was a surprise. It was so good to learn how to substitute honey for sugar in future recipes. I’m so thankful for your comments and look forward to trying a GF version using your suggestions. Thanks, Patty!

  4. I’m not fond of zucchini so I don’t grow it, but I do like zucchini bread — especially if it features walnuts, and the chocolate chips seem like a good addition. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. Gloria, stop by this morning and I’ll give you 3 cups of shredded zucchini! I’m still trying to use up my stash from that humungo zucchini I found a couple of days ago. Serious.

  5. Hi Judy! I just ran across your blog while reading an email about the Hillsboro High School yard sale. I’m going to drop some stuff if there and then make your zucchini bread and meatloaf! So glad I found you!

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