July 18, 2013

Zucchini-Banana Bread

by IsaChandra

Makes one 8 x 4 loaf (10 slices)
Total time: 90 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes

Zucchini-Banana Bread

This bread answers so many questions. Like, “What am I going to do with all this zucchini?” And “What am I going to do with this overripe banana?” And before you know it, the gentle scent of cinnamon is wafting through the house and you pull this beauty from the oven.

Zucchini bread as it should be, at least in my world. A toothsome crust and tender moist crumb. Studded through and through with raisins and walnuts and laced with delicate spice. Sweet, but not too sweet, and sturdy enough to dunk into a mug of coffee if the need arises.

And don’t worry, I’m not gonna say that thing that people ALWAYS say when discussing zucchini bread. You know the thing I mean. Don’t make me say it!

Fine, I’ll say it: and there’s a vegetable in it so it’s good for you! Har har. ::the sounds of the entire internet groaning::

Anyway, I know it’s hot and you don’t want to turn on your oven. But just bake this when the sun has gone down and then you’ll have a perfect morning treat when you wake up.

Recipe Notes

~For zuke bread perfection, I like zucchini that is grated in tiny pieces, not shredded in long strands. To achieve this you can either hand grate it on a box grater, working in quick short motions. Or, you can chop it into chunks and pulse in a food processor, being careful not to puree it.

~One averaged-sized zucchini should get you a cup of grated. Your mileage may vary! But a 6 oz zucchini should just about do it.

~Many zucchini breads call for you to drain the zucchini prior to baking. I say “YEAH RIGHT NO WAY!” Instead, this recipe uses the moisture from the zucchini in the bread, instead of adding any additional liquid, saving you a very annoying step. You’re welcome!

~Obviously, you can play around with the add-ins in the recipe. Choose pecans or hazelnuts instead of walnuts, dried currants or chopped dates instead of raisins. Have a blast with the ingredients you have on hand!

~Sometimes on my quickbread recipe posts, people report that theirs came out flat. It’s ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS because they’ve used a different sized bread pan than I do. I use an 8×4 metal bread pan for all of my quickbread recipes. Many people have a 9×5. You can use that, but yes, it will be wider and flatter than mine is, and it will bake a bit faster.

~If you don’t have the correct sized pan, I would just suggest making muffins. Bake for only 22 minutes or so.

1 large very ripe banana
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8×4 metal bread pan.

In a mixing bowl, mash the banana well, until no large chunks are left. I use an avocado masher for this. Add the applesauce, canola oil, sugar, and vanilla and use a strong fork to mix well. Mix in the grated zucchini.

Sift in 1 cup of the flour, the cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. Add the walnuts, raisins and final 1/2 cup of flour, and mix just until no visible flour is left.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or knife. If it needs more time, turn heat down to 325 F and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and serve!



  • July 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm: Alli

    Perfect idea!

    Would you mind approximating the amount of mashed banana, so I can stop wondering if the bananas I have are medium or large?

    • July 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm: IsaChandra

      1/3 to half a cup.

  • July 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm: Andrea

    If I wanted to make these oil free woudl you suggest i UP the banana or Up the applesauce?

    • July 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm: IsaChandra

      Replace the oil with almond butter or half almond butter/half applesauce?

  • July 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm: Bianca- Vegan Crunk

    It’s been so long since I’ve had zucchini bread or banana bread!!!!

  • July 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm: Kate

    This sounds fantastic, and I have the ingredients on hand, yeay!

    I’m assuming it needs 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, yes? It just says 3/4, and I’m assuming it wouldn’t be 3/4 tablespoon. But it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

    • July 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm: IsaChandra

      Oops, yes, teaspoons! I will fix post haste.

  • July 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm: Emma

    Zucchini bread and banana bread rolled into one?! I love them both so I’m sure I’d love them together. I haven’t made a quick-bread in ages either….

  • July 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm: maryeb

    A friend just gave me several yellow squash. Would substituting yellow squash for the zucchini work? I thought I read this somewhere. Thanks for sharing another yummy recipe.

    • July 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm: IsaChandra

      Yep, that’ll work just fine!

  • July 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm: apunc1

    I notice there isn’t much extra liquid added here. Do you need to squeeze the heck out of the zucchini to get the water out or not worry about it? I only have about 50% good luck with making zucchini bread and i think it’s because sometimes I don’t squeeze the heck out of it. It doesn’t bake all the way through and is soggy.

  • July 18, 2013 at 11:15 pm: Natasha

    My bread pan is too big! No wonder! While I find a suitable sized pan, how long will the muffins take to bake? 25?

  • July 18, 2013 at 11:26 pm: apunc1

    well I guess I should read the notes section, in which you answered my earlier question about draining the zucchini.

    • July 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm: IsaChandra

      I try to anticipate all questions in the notes section :)

  • July 19, 2013 at 3:28 am: madeline

    very nice. I just tried it with 1/2 cup applesauce, leaving out the oil, and it turned out fantastic!

  • July 19, 2013 at 3:54 am: Luv What You Do

    I love banana bread and I love zucchini bread but never thought to combine the two. I have a zucchini in the fridge ready to be bread!

  • July 19, 2013 at 5:26 am: Pal

    Just made it – super delicious!

  • July 19, 2013 at 6:24 am: Sarojini

    You just provided me with my weekend bake- thanks :)

  • July 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm: Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Two of my favourite breads in one! A brilliant idea!

  • July 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm: brontrent

    This sounds perfect! I have all the ingredients except I used my last zucchini last night. I do have a small yellow summer squash. Do you think that would make a fine replacement?

    • July 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm: IsaChandra

      Yep!

  • July 19, 2013 at 10:59 pm: Melody

    it smells delicious while I’m baking it and the batter was quite tasty, however, the top of mine is burning while the middle is raw. :( so sad about this. I’m still going to eat it. I will slice the top off, but I’m wondering what happened. I even tried lowering the temp to 325

  • July 20, 2013 at 6:26 am: Sam

    Made this today and it is delicious!! Now, how to stop myself from eating it all…..

  • July 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm: KimS

    I made this last night for my vegan son. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it looks fantastic and tastes fantastic as well (I had the right sized pan!) I was surprised that it didn’t need the chia or flax egg substitute that is used sometime….

  • July 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm: Gee

    Would it be ok to substitute more banana for the applesauce? I make my own applesauce when I need it but it would be great to eliminate an extra step.

    I made muffins last night and they are so good! I used half white whole wheat and half all-purpose flour. The 6 oz zucchini and 1/2 cup banana measurements were spot on. The food processor tip was also very helpful. I don’t have a major sweet tooth so I’d probably reduce the sugar a bit next time as I think the raisins provide a nice sweetness and flavor.

    • July 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm: IsaChandra

      I think so!

  • July 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm: Heather

    Just made this and it’s fabulous! Subbed in a yellow squash for the zucchini and used coconut oil instead of canola. Turned out perfectly. In fact, me and my husband polished off almost half the loaf before it even had a chance to cool down.

  • July 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm: Jennifer

    Do you think pumpkin or oats would work as a banana sub for an allergy?

    • July 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm: IsaChandra

      Definitely pumpkin!

  • July 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm: Dot

    This bread is simply gorgeous. Even better than he banana, date and walnut loaf i usually bake for a brunch with friends. thx for the recipe! With the second one, I replaced the sugar with agave syrup and it tasted even better. YUMYUMYUM!

  • July 22, 2013 at 12:38 am: June

    I just made it with dried cherries instead of raisins. Looks amazing.

  • July 22, 2013 at 1:00 am: Taylor

    This was delicious. Only change–subbed vegan chocolate chips for the raisins! I will definitely be making this again and again.

  • July 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm: Rachael

    Any recommendations for a wheat flour substitute? Doesn’t have to be gluten free, just not wheat.

  • July 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm: Megan

    Perfect for this time of year! And here in Boston it’s finally cooled off from the 100 heatwave, so I’m going to be turning on the stove once again!

  • July 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm: Sara

    This was heaven sent—My in laws were over and I was in crunch time to make a dessert….I had just put zucchini in the oven to roast, and there was a bit left over that didn’t fit in the first batch. I had two overripe bananas, so I figured I would make your banana bread…and then this was right on the front page! My zucchini and bananas were already sitting together on the counter :)
    Delicious!

  • July 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm: Claudia D.

    I just made this into muffins and they were epic. I got 9 large muffins out of the recipe. I used all banana puree (out of applesauce) and whole wheat pastry flour, and added a handful of chopped dates, too (plus the raisins and nuts). Fantastic recipe, thank you, Isa!

  • July 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm: Amanda

    Looking forward to trying this! If you have a toaster oven, especially one with a convection setting, it would save a lot of heat accumulating in your kitchen. You might have to adjust the cook time, but it’s a lifesaver in the dead of summer.

  • July 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm: Anoushé

    Any suggestions for a healthy sugar replacement? I can’t wait to try this recipe, but will make it with gluten free oat flour (intolerance :( )

    • July 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm: IsaChandra

      People seem to like date or coconut sugar.

  • July 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm: Ana So

    My Husband HATES raisins with a fiery burning passion. What other dried fruits would you suggest? Possibly chopping up some dates?

  • July 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm: Halfriend Funnypie

    It’s made much better when watching metalocalypse

  • July 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm: Cate

    Made this a few days ago with chopped almonds and dates, absolutely wonderful! All my relatives and guests loved it. (: Didn’t have applesauce so I just finely grated an apple into the batter and it worked like a charm. Thank you Isa for another delicious recipe.

  • July 28, 2013 at 12:23 am: costumefaery

    I hate chunks of anything in my zuke bread, so I made a batch without nuts/raisins/etc. It was pretty good. Then I felt sorry for the lonely chocolate chips in the pantry. Amazing!!!

    I made little chunks of zucchini by chunking it and dumping it in the chute of my food processor. It was perfect!

  • July 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm: Donna

    This recipe is delicious. I grated up a small carrot & used Craisins instead of raisins. This recipe is a keeper.

  • August 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm: Shelly

    Just made these for our family road trip to the beach. Since we leave before the sun comes up and without breakfast, I like to take something nutritious for the kids (and mom and dad) when we get hungry. This is perfect! I subbed cranberries for raisins and added shredded coconut. Also, I was out of applesauce, but had apple butter so I cut the sugar back a touch. It’s going to be hard to wait for tomorrow!
    P.S. I love your book Appetite for Reduction!

  • August 6, 2013 at 12:08 am: Sarah

    Thank you Isa– these provide the perfect blissful moment (with afternoon tea) in an otherwise ridiculously tedious workday (hospital administration– need I say more??). I used the final zucchini from our garden, and made muffins since I don’t have the right size pan. They took about 30 minutes to bake completely, although this might have been because I switched up the flour (used 1 c spelt and 1/2 c barley). And since I can’t go a day without chocolate I used chocolate chips in place of the walnuts.

  • August 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm: Ava

    Great recipe! I’ve made it several times substituting maple syrup for sugar, and occasionally adding some chocolate chips. Then I make my American friends guess the recipe. Thanks!
    (I’m Canadian)

  • August 11, 2013 at 3:19 am: Al

    This is GREAT! I added a couple eggs, used apple butter (because I had some that needed to be used up, olive oil instead of Canola, and pecans instead of walnuts. Very moist, not too sweet- just perfect! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

  • August 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm: Willy

    sounds awesome, any chance you could put up your fabulous recipe’s in metric as well as imperial for those of us that live in country’s not still in the dark ages. xxx

  • August 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm: Lunadog

    I made muffins instead of bread, and they were some of the best I have ever had! Nice, crispy top and moist interior. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

  • August 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm: Trina

    I did a little experiment – for the banana, which I didn’t have, I subbed a dozen deglet noor dates blended with 1/2 cup hot water. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup due to the extra sweetness of the dates and left out the raisins. It turned out great – quite sweet still, I probably could have used only 1/3 cup sugar. Oh, and I used all applesauce in place of the oil. I ate two pieces before it was even cool enough to cut properly! Thanks for this simple and delicious way to use up zucchini.

  • August 16, 2013 at 7:57 pm: RK

    I’m new to being vegan and love your recipes…I’ve read that sugar isn’t always vegan because of the use of charred animal bones in the cleaning process. Gross. Do you use regular white sugar or a different kind? Thanks!

  • August 18, 2013 at 12:11 am: Les

    This recipe would be a lot healthier if you substitute whole wheat for the “all purpose” flour, eliminate the refined sugar (add more flour or ground flax, or add some xylitol), and use coconut oil instead of canola (which is usually GMO).

  • August 18, 2013 at 10:58 am: Jubilant

    Accidentally forgot to add the sugar. The recipe came out very good. Had I added just a little bit of water or an extra 1/4 cup shredded squash, it would have been perfect.

  • August 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm: Aericka

    Made this the other day as muffins and used more banana instead of applesauce cause I didn’t have any. I also made it with whole whet flour and flax meal and they were a huge hit!! Even with my five year old stp-son who hates everything! Thanksso much for posting this.

  • August 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm: Pam

    Made this today-WOW! So easy and delicious- as are all your recipes! Thanks for making vegan easy and tasty :)

  • August 20, 2013 at 12:08 am: Chelster

    This is so delicious and easy! I’ve made it twice this week, once with raisins and once with chocolate chips.

  • August 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm: Jessica

    We just made this; the sweet smell is wafting through the house! Super delicious and so easy! Would recommend it to anyone, except don’t make it when you’re hungry ’cause you’ll want to eat it all :p <3

  • August 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm: kels

    I made this and my husband and his friends ate the whole loaf. Well, I did get one piece. I was glad that they liked it. I used mashed beets instead of applesauce because I had some to use up. Worked great. Plan to make it again and again! Thank you for a great recipe!

  • August 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm: Susan

    Yummy! I doubled the zucchini, trippled the recipe, made them into muffins. Thank you!

  • August 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm: Erin

    Deeelicious! Just made these into muffins. I had to reduce the baking time to 25 minutes rather than 50 minutes, though. Don’t know if that’s just my oven, or if it sounds about right for a muffin pan. Either way: wonderful stuff! Thanks so much for a great recipe that uses up some of the excess zucchini from the garden. :)

  • August 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm: jr02yc

    Just tried this – I often screw around with ingredients and it’s usually not bad, but I’m not ‘good enough’ to adjust cooking times, etc. so I do sometimes screw it up. Anyways, I left this as is and HOLY CRAP, it’s perfect! Very yummy and perfectly moist. I do like to replace oil, so I will try your suggestion below for 1/2 almond butter and 1/2 applesauce and see how that turns out.
    I made a double batch and did one loaf and 12 muffins, the loaf being for a friend, so I spread this goodness :-)

  • August 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm: Carol Cox

    Would it work to use a mild tasting olive oil?

  • September 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm: Anneka Schneider

    I made these into mini loaves and they rose beautifully! I was so happy. Thank you!

  • September 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm: Stephanie

    Out of applesauce! Can I just puree apples? Any other suggestions?

    • September 8, 2013 at 5:16 am: IsaChandra

      Cook them down first. Use any well-reviewed unsweetened apple sauce recipe you find online.

  • September 8, 2013 at 8:56 pm: maarten

    I tried it, but messed it up with the cup thing and took 3/4 cups of flower instead of 3/2, buuuut, after little less than 1.5h in the oven, I suddenly had a delicious flan!
    Definetly worth trying!
    (ow, and I replaced the mysterious applesauce by a grated apple)

  • September 9, 2013 at 9:26 am: Jess

    Hi! I want to make these for my 1 year old to eat so I need to omit the raisins and nuts. Will this affect the the ratio of ingredients in the rest of the recipe?

    • September 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm: IsaChandra

      You’ll be ok, just a little less batter. No biggy.

  • September 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm: Sarah

    Okay, I’ll have you know it’s pushing 90 degrees here in the Bay Area but I went ahead and made this. I’ll tell you what, it was entirely worth heating up my kitchen!!!! I followed the directions and it is delicious!!! A definite keeper :-)

  • September 14, 2013 at 8:09 am: genny

    I made this gluten free and it turned out amazing! I added chocolate chips and cocoa powder to it as well.

  • September 19, 2013 at 3:11 am: straydaisy

    Mine turned out best as mini-muffins; 25 min in the oven. Thanks!!

  • September 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm: Andie

    Used a combo of spelt, oat and ww pastry flour instead of AP, and coconut oil instead of canola. Turned out fantastic!!! YAY!

  • October 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm: Chrige

    I’m on my 4th batch of these beauties!!!! Just perfect to whip up when I’ve got so many zucchinis staring at me from every counter top. Love it both as the fat loaf or little muff muffs. My 88 year old mother who takes medical marijuana for her arthritis loves these with her medicine baked inside. She lovingly chomps them and relaxes into vegan bliss while watching her nightly Telenovelas. Thanks Isa…we love you!!!!

  • October 2, 2013 at 5:00 am: Svetlana

    You are amazing. I am so super happy to have found this website and all the yumminess it contains! Just to clarify, is Baking Soda the same as Baking Powder? Because I also have Bicarb Soda… It shouldn’t really matter either way, should it?

  • October 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm: melissa

    can I use melted coconut oil in place of canola oil in your recipes (quick breads, cookies, apple crisp etc.)? Thanks!

  • November 6, 2013 at 5:56 am: Kristina

    I make these with coconut oil instead of canola and use buckwheat and rice flour instead of white flour to make them gluten friendly as well, They turn out awesome and they are a favourite in our family!

  • December 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm: margaret

    Do I have to change the recipe for high altitude baking?

  • December 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm: Mamachandra

    Wholly amazing. I just received a metric ton of zucchini from a friend’s CSA that she can’t use as she’s going away for the holidays. I remembered this recipe and had yet to try it. It’s perfect! I just made a loaf for myself, six mini loaves for to freeze for said friend and others upon their return, and another loaf (because it is THAT good and simple to throw together!) for the vet office who just helped us and our kitty recently. I don’t know the last time I was so excited to gift others a baked good! The only changes I made were: I have unsweetened organic applesauce cups for my daughter and one of those has just over 1/4 cup so I used 1/4 cup applesauce then filled the 1/4 cup measuring cup with the remaining apple sauce and enough unrefined organic coconut oil to make the measurement. I also nixed the nuts (I only have cashews and almonds on hand) and went with 1/3 cup cherry juice infused dried cranberries and 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips. THANK YOU for this one! It’s my new go-to. Highly recommend!

  • December 22, 2013 at 2:29 am: Sarah

    I haven’t made this yet but have been wanting a zucchini banana muffin that is not too heavy on the oil for ages. I just don’t think I knew it yet, but here it is! Post Xmas recipe here we come!

  • January 3, 2014 at 9:17 am: Ayla

    This recipe has become my gold standard for banana bread. It is moist, delicious, and so easy to make. I often take it to parties, and so far every single time I’ve made this bread/cake for a party, I get asked for the recipe. Of course, I take them straight to the source and give them the Post Punk Kitchen website. Thanks, Isa!

  • January 30, 2014 at 5:41 am: Wonder Woman

    I just made this tonight and it’s amazing. I don’t ever have applesauce so I just used two bananas instead. I think next time I might replace the canola oil with silken tofu to see how the crumb turns out. I used a glass 9 X 5 pan but baked it at 325 instead and my bread rose just fine. This is awesome!!

  • February 20, 2014 at 10:34 pm: Morgan

    this recipe looks wonderful Isa! I don’t have any zucchini on hand at the moment, but I do have 2 large ripe bananas. Could I omit the zucchini and just double the banana? Thanks