Delicious and simple zucchini bread just like grandma used to make! With this vintage recipe and a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy a gorgeous loaf of classic zucchini bread.
My grandma was a wizard in the kitchen. When she died, her recipe cards went to the kids and grandkids. You can find the other recipe that I got on this site (fluffy german pancakes). Her recipes were time tested and so very, very good that it seems a shame to keep them to myself. This bread is no exception. It’s dense, moist, and combines sweetness with a hint of cinnamon flavor. As a kid I never guessed there was a vegetable lurking beneath all that yumminess!
The ingredients are things you probably have in your house, which makes this easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. When the zucchinis from my vegetable garden come in and I’m drowning in an abundance of zucchini, I make several of loaves of zucchini bread and give them to friends and neighbors.
Incidentally, this batter makes great zucchini muffins and mini loaves as well!
What do I need for Grandma’s zucchini bread recipe?
This recipe is made with pretty simple ingredients you can pull right from the pantry and fridge. It’s one of the best recipes I know to whip up quick to take to a party or potluck!
- Egg: The fat from the yolks adds moisture to your bread. The protein in the whites adds structure. Eggs are a baking powerhouse!
- Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar in this recipe adds a slight molasses flavor that is gorgeous.
- Granulated Sugar: White sugar locks in the moisture from other ingredients, helping create that deliciously dense crumb.
- Butter or Margarine: Grandma’s recipe was actually developed using margarine, but I know we have some butter snobs out there. I’ve tested this with both (the sacrifices I make for you!), and the bread is wonderful using either.
- Oats: Adding oatmeal to the mix makes this loaf a little more hearty.
- Shredded Zucchini: You’ll need one large zucchini or two medium zucchinis for this recipe. You can shred it in a food processor or just grate it using a box grater. You can leave the zucchini skin on. One of the secrets to this recipe is NOT to squeeze out any excess water from the grated zucchini. We want to leave a LOT of moisture in there to help create that texture. Zucchini water is your secret ingredient!
- Vanilla: While adding it’s own gorgeous flavor, vanilla also intensifies the other flavors in your best ever zucchini bread.
- Flour: Flour is the major structural ingredient here. The recipe has been tested using all-purpose flour. I’ve never tried any others, so I can’t speak to substitutions there.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Another of the secrets to creating the perfect loaf of sweet bread is this combination of baking powder and baking soda. They work together to give the bread exactly the right lift!
- Salt: Another flavor intensifier — salt brings out the best in all the flavors around it. In sweet baking, many people will choose to leave out the salt. Don’t do it! the difference between an okay flavor and a great one is often just a pinch of salt.
- Cinnamon and Cloves: These warm fall spices lend just the right combination of flavor.
How do I make Grandma’s Homemade Zucchini Bread?
Step 1 | Mix the Wet Ingredients
Combine the eggs, sugars, butter or margarine, vanilla, and zucchini in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined.
Step 2 | Add the Dry Ingredients
Add the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves to the wet mixture. Mix those until you have a lovely thick batter.
Step 3 | Bake
Either grease and flour or line a large loaf pan (you can find nice 9.25×5.25 inch loaf pans here!) with parchment paper. Pour batter into the pan and use a spatula to spread it out smoothly.
Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes. The top should be golden brown, and when you do the toothpick test, the toothpick should come out clean!
Step 4 | Enjoy!
Remove your zucchini bread from the pan and let it Let your zucchini bread cool completely before you try to cut it, otherwise, it will fall apart. Once it’s at room temperature, slice your loaf and enjoy!
For obvious reasons, I’m biased towards the original recipe; it’s one of my favorite recipes ever. However, there are a few changes you can make and still get a delicious loaf of bread!
- For the butter: You can sub margarine or butter flavored Crisco.
- For the zucchini: You read that right. You can sub yellow summer squash for zucchini. The only difference you will see in your bread is that. it will be missing the pretty little green flecks. Otherwise, a summer squash batch of zucchini bread will taste exactly like one that uses your garden zucchini.
- For the vanilla: You can use almond extract or butter flavoring in a 1:1 ratio. The flavor of your bread will change slightly, but it will still be delicious!
Your bread will keep for a week in an airtight container on the counter.
Zucchini bread freezes really well! Once the bread is completely cooled, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or place it in a freezer bag. It will keep for up to 3 months!
Glad you asked! Her name was Betz Gentry Ensign. For as long as I knew her, she was in a wheelchair from multiple sclerosis. One of my favorite things about her is that she wrote a book about a grandma in a flying wheelchair that takes her grandkids on adventures. It was illustrated with her beautiful watercolors, and I loved to read it over and over. She was a model, artist, author, and of course, a fantastic cook. You can read more about her life here.
Grandma’s Best Ever Zucchini Bread
- 1 egg
- ½ brown sugar
- ½ granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 cup zucchini grated
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together egg and sugars.
- Add zucchini and vanilla and mix well.
- Add all dry ingredients and pour into greased loaf pan.
- Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.