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Zucchini bread with lemon

Zucchini bread with lemon is light and bright and the perfect way to use up those straggling zucchini you are getting out of your late garden.sweet lemon glaze drizzle

I know, I know, summer is over, bring out all the pumpkin shit. But I still have things coming out of my garden, like zucchini. And I have to do something with it…this zucchini bread with lemon is one of them.

I will tell you I feel kind of like a pioneer here because I have not found many recipes that include lemon and zucchini and most especially ones with yellow zucchini. Most are chocolate (like my chocolate muffins here), and some are simple spice breads with nuts (like this), my mother makes an amazing zucchini cake that someday I will get the recipe for and so does my friend, Katie Bird. Her chocolate zucchini cake is something that I serve at parties all the time…it is a hit.

Why you should make this bread

This bread is light and has a bright, but subtle citrus flavor. The flavor combo came out of something sillier than you’d think. My garden produced an over abundance of yellow zucchini quash this year and I am over eating it as a vegetable side dish. I am so sick of it that I don’t even wanna look at them on my counter anymore.

I was brainstorming other ideas, and of course my head immediately went to zucchini bread or cake. So I thought chocolate…and no…it will be weird with yellow zucchini. Then I thought a regular spice bread with some walnuts, and still thought it will be weird with the yellow zucchini as well. Yellow and yellow…LEMON! How f’ing genius (or not really) am I? And thus I started developing what I thought was the perfect recipe.Moist and delicious zucchini bread with lemon

This bread is better than others because…

  • It is not too sweet, I used half the amount of sugar I found in other recipes.
  • There is sour cream in the batter, making the bread extra mooist and a little bit richer
  • I don’t squeeze the liquid out of the yellow zucchini. A lot of recipes call for this and I think it misses the entire point of adding grated zucchini to a bread or cake in the first place. Zucchini has a huge water content. And during baking it r eleases this and makes for an incredibly moist and prefectly crumbed bread. Squeezing the water out before gave this a noticeably drier texture…meh.
  • I grate the lemon zest into the sugar and smash it together. This releases the oils in the zest and makes this bread extra fragrant

I finish this off with a simple lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze for a little extra sweetness, but you could surely leave that off or just dust with powdered sugar…but I am all about the glaze 🙂

sweet lemon glaze drizzle

Zucchini bread with lemon


For the bread

  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream or alternatively you could use plain or lemon or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups grated yellow zucchini use green ones if that is all you have or can find
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Lemon glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two bread pans with baking spray.
  2. Put sugar in bowl and grate the lemon zest into the sugar. With your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar, releasing the lemon oils.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together oil, sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest sugar. Once combined, add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use either a hand mixer or a stand mixer, bot work fine.
  4. In a another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and mix on low just until combined. Fold in the zucchini and vanilla extract with a spatula until incorporated. Divide the batter between the two bread pans.
  5. Bake for 55 minutes, maybe a little less until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove from the pan and placing on a cooling rack.
  7. To make the glaze combine the lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Whisk together until totally combined.
  8. Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar together until well combined. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bread.

Recipe Notes

This freezes well too, so if you don't want to share your second loaf or don't want to eat if right away, wrap tightly in foil and in a freezer bag and freeze.

Let me know whatcha think!