Lemon zucchini bread is light and moist with a citrusy flavor that goes with coffee, tea, or even a glass of lemonade!
Adding shredded zucchini is the baker’s secret ingredient for super moist quick breads, and it makes them just a little bit healthier, too. Serve lemon zucchini bread for breakfast, dessert or a midday snack. Be prepared for this recipe to become a family favorite and be asked for often! Change it up with different mix-ins for a new and interesting loaf each time it’s made. It’s so delicious with sliced almonds, walnuts, blueberries, or orange zest!
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The Best Lemon Zucchini Bread!
- The sweet-tart flavor of lemon zucchini bread means it can be served as a breakfast bread or even as a dessert with a scoop of ice cream or lemon pudding!
- Add this tasty recipe to your arsenal when it’s peak zucchini season and none of it will ever go to waste!
- Because it’s a quick bread and not a cake, lemon zucchini bread is so easy to make! And this recipe is easy to double, so why not make an extra loaf for the freezer? Or bake mini loaves in 5×3” disposable loaf pans.
Ingredients and Variations
BATTER: White flour always bakes best, but for those following a gluten free protocol, use your favorite blend and follow the conversion chart on the package. Oil can be used in place of butter but be sure it’s ‘light’, so it doesn’t impart a flavor to the bread. For those following a keto diet, experiment by subbing in all or some almond flour for the wheat flour.
ZUCCHINI: No need to peel the zucchini before using. Simply shred and add!
LEMON ZEST: Be sure to use just the peel of lemon for zesting, as the white section (pith) is bitter. Use lemon juice to make an optional glaze (see recipe below).
EXTRAS: Add cranberries, blueberries, or chopped walnuts or almonds to the batter, if desired.
How to Make Lemon Zucchini Bread
Quick and easy does it, with these simple steps!
- Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, and butter, sugar and eggs together in another (as per recipe below).
- Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, alternating with sour cream.
- Fold in the zucchini, lemon zest, and poppyseeds.
- Pour into a prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
OPTIONAL GLAZE: Whisk together 2 tablespoons of softened butter, 2 ounces of cream cheese, 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of milk until smooth. Drizzle over the bread while still warm but not hot.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Quick Bread
- Set eggs out to warm up to 30 minutes before using so they blend easier.
- It’s a good idea to check the expiration date on the baking soda and replace it, even if it’s within a month of expiring.
- Blend the batter in stages and avoid over-mixing so it doesn’t get too dense.
- If using mix-ins like blueberries, coat them in flour first so they don’t sink to the bottom of the bread while it’s baking.
- Ovens and pans can vary slightly. Check your bread at least 10 minutes early to ensure it’s not over-baked.
Storing Lemon Zucchini Bread
- Keep lemon zucchini bread at room temperature in a covered container for up to 4 days with a slice of bread in it to absorb excess moisture.
- Freeze whole loaves once cooled by wrapping in plastic wrap and then place into a zippered bag for up to 3 months.
- Slices can be frozen between sheets of parchment paper and then thawed in the microwave for about 3 minutes.
Other Easy Loaf Recipes!
- Pumpkin Loaf – perfect for fall
- Lemon Blueberry Loaf – so light and delicious
- Cake Mix Banana Bread – just 4 ingredients!
- Zucchini Banana Bread – another delish zucchini recipe
- Pumpkin Zucchini Bread – pumpkin is perfect
Lemon Zucchini Bread
- 1 9x5 loaf pan or 3 - 5x3 inch loaf pans**
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest about 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy, about one minute. Add one egg at a time, beating until just blended after each one, then stop the mixer.
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Turn mixer on low, and to butter mixture, alternating between the flour mixture and sour cream*. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
- Using a spatula, fold in zucchini, lemon zest, and poppy seeds (if using).
- Add batter to loaf pan and bake about 75-90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from the pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
- *To alternate flour and sour cream: Add ⅓ flour mixture, then ½ of the sour cream, another ⅓ flour mixture, the remainder of the sour cream, and finally the remaining ⅓ flour mixture.
- **For three 5x3 inch disposable foil loaf pans, fill with about 1⅓ cups batter per greased and floured pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool as directed.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.