Classic zucchini bread gets a gluten-free makeover. This easy recipe is tender, loaded with zucchini, and pleasantly sweet. Add your favorite mix of chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit. The recipe makes one loaf and doubles easily.
If you have a lot of zucchini to use, try this recipe for gluten-free chocolate zucchini bread.
Baking a loaf of gluten-free zucchini bread is a fun summer ritual. This easy recipe makes a classic bread that’s pleasantly sweet with a little spice. It’s also really easy to make. If you’ve got a lot of zucchini in the garden, I’m sure you’ll use this recipe again and again. For the best flavor and texture, make this gluten-free bread in the summer when zucchini is fresh and abundant.
Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread Ingredients and Substitutions.
Here’s what you’ll need to make gluten-free zucchini bread. Along with substitutions you can use.
- Zucchini. Two cups of shredded zucchini are the star of the show. Use zucchini that looks moist when you cut it, not dry. If you’re using overgrown zucchini from the garden, remove the seeds before grating.
- Gluten-Free Flour. A gluten-free flour blend gives the bread a tender cake-like texture. For the best results, use a blend that contains xanthan gum or whisk a half teaspoon into your favorite blend before using it. If you don’t want to use a premade gluten-free flour blend, whisk together 1 cup white rice flour, ¼ cup sweet rice flour, and ¼ cup cornstarch with ½ teaspoon xanthan gum.
- Brown Sugar. This bread has a nice sweetness. Brown sugar, either light or dark, gives the bread a light molasses flavor. If you don’t keep brown sugar in the house, replace it with an equal amount of granulated sugar.
- Cinnamon or Other Spices. Zucchini is rather bland. Adding cinnamon adds a lovely spice note. You can also use pie spice, pumpkin spice, or a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Use whatever baking spices you enjoy.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder. Works with the eggs to help the loaf rise.
- Salt. Without salt, gluten-free zucchini bread tastes bland. Use table (fine) salt. It blends easily into the batter.
- Eggs. Two large eggs provide structure and holds the batter together.
- Vegetable oil or Melted Butter. Oil or butter brings richness to the loaf and makes it wonderfully tender. Use either vegetable oil or melted and slightly cooled butter. Melted and cooled coconut oil does work but it makes the loaf a little heavy.
- Vanilla extract. A teaspoon of vanilla extract works with the cinnamon to bring a subtle flavor to the bread. If you like a lemony flavor in your zucchini bread add a teaspoon of lemon extract.
How to Make Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread. Step-by-Step.
This one-bowl bread is really easy to make. The most important step is letting the batter rest for five minutes. During this time, the gluten-free batter transforms from thick to silky smooth.
Prepare the Zucchini.
The key to making great gluten-free zucchini bread is draining moisture from the zucchini before using it. Doing this keeps the loaf light and tender. Instead of dense and gummy.
- Trim the Ends. There’s no need to peel zucchini for zucchini bread. Simply trim and discard the ends. If your zucchini is small, it’s ready to grate. If you’re using a large zucchini, cut it in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds before grating.
- Shred the Zucchini. Grate the zucchini using the large holes of a box grater or the large grating disk on a food processor. Do not use a small-holed grater. If the zucchini is shredded into very fine pieces, it makes the loaf watery and heavy.
- Remove Excess Moisture. It’s important to remove moisture from the shredded zucchini before adding it to the batter. This prevents the finished loaf from being gummy and heavy.
There are two ways to do this. You can put the shredded zucchini into a colander and press it with the back of a wooden spoon. Or place it into a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel into a bundle. Squeeze the towel firmly to remove the liquid.
Make the Batter.
This batter is easy to make. All you need is a mixing bowl and a mixer. Since this batter starts out thick, an electric mixer is best. If you’d rather mix it by hand, use a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon.
- Whisk the dry ingredients. Put the gluten-free flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk it together. Doing this mixes the spices and leaveners evenly throughout the flour.
- Make the batter. Add the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix until a smooth batter forms. The batter looks very thick at this point—almost like cookie dough.
- Add the zucchini. Stir in the shredded zucchini and, if you’re using mix-ins like chocolate chips or chopped nuts, add them now.
Let the Batter Rest.
Magic happens when this batter rests. The zucchini releases liquid, making the batter smooth. It goes from a thick batter to a cake batter-like consistency. Let the batter rest (sit on the counter) for about five minutes before filling the pan.
Fill the Pan.
Gluten-free zucchini bread will stick to the pan if you don’t grease it well. Prepare your pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. (Or grease it with solid vegetable shortening and then dust the pan with gluten-free flour.) If you want to ensure the bread doesn’t stick line the pan with a piece of parchment paper after you grease it. The parchment paper should hang over the long sides of the pan by about an inch or two. After the bread bakes, use the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the pan.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the batter with the back of a spoon or small spatula. Right before you put the pan in the oven, tap it on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
Bake Until Brown and Check for Doneness.
Gluten-free zucchini bread takes about an hour to bake. The real trouble spot is the top of the loaf. Since nothing is more disappointing than finding a raw spot in a baked loaf of bread, here’s how to make sure it’s baked all the way through.
First, check the loaf for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread. You can the toothpick to come out clean or with one or two crumbs attached. If the toothpick is coated in batter, keep baking.
If the toothpick comes out clean, insert the toothpick into the very top of the bread. Stop about a half-inch in. Check it. The toothpick should come out clean.
There’s another way to check for doneness: use an instant-read thermometer. The center and top of the loaf should reach 205°F.
Baker’s Tip: Sometimes the top of the loaf browns before the center is baked. Simply cover the pan with a piece of foil and return it to the oven to finish baking.
The bread is really delicate when it comes out of the oven. If you take it out of the pan too quickly, it can break apart. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, and this is important, remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool. Doing this allows steam to escape from the bread and keeps your gluten-free loaf from getting gummy.
Adding Nuts, Chocolate Chips, or Dried Fruits.
Add up to one cup of “add-ins”, like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit, to this recipe. Stir them in along with the shredded zucchini. Use one or a mix of your favorites.
- Chocolate chips: milk, dark, or white.
- Chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Dried cranberries, raisins, golden raisins, or dried cranberries.
Storing and Freezing Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread.
This bread keeps for about four days after baking. Store it on the counter, wrapped in plastic, or in a storage bag or bread box
Gluten-free zucchini bread freezes beautifully. You can either freeze the whole loaf or slice it and enjoy it one piece at a time.
- Let the loaf cool completely. This is important. If you freeze a warm loaf of gluten-free zucchini bread, it can get soggy.
- Slice it.(optional) Use a serrated knife and cut into slices.
- Wrap well. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or place it into a freezer container. If you’re freezing slices, place a piece of parchment between each slice.
- Freeze for up to six months. Baked zucchini bread can be frozen for up to 6 months.
- Thaw and enjoy. Remove the loaf from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature. Or remove one slice and thaw either on the counter or using a low defrost setting on a microwave.
Easy Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
Easy gluten-free zucchini bread recipe. The bread is tender, moist, and loaded with zucchini. Add your favorite mix of chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit. The recipe makes one 9×5-inch loaf and doubles easily.
- 1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces; 226 grams)
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour, see note (7 ½ ounces; 212 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs (about 4 ounces; 113 grams out of shell)
- ½ cup light or dark brown sugar (4 ounces; 113 grams)
- ½ cup vegetable oil, such as canola oil, or melted and cooled butter (2 ⅓ ounces; 65 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional Mix-Ins. Use one cup total.
- 1 cup chocolate chips (6 ounces; 170 grams)
- 1 cup chopped nuts (4 ounces; 113 grams)
- 1 cup dried fruit (4 ounces; 113 grams)
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350°F.
Grease a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. Or grease with solid shortening and coat with gluten-free flour. Optional: after greasing, line the pan with a 7- by 13-inch sheet of parchment paper.
Grate the zucchini using the large holes of a box grater. Drain the excess liquid by placing the shredded zucchini into a clean towel and squeezing. Or place the shredded zucchini into a coleander and press out the liquid using the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside.
Whisk together the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add the brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Batter will look dry.
Stir in the shredded zucchini. Allow the batter to rest for five minutes. It will loosen during this time. After five minutes, spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean or to an internal temperature of 205°F.
Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Once cool to the touch, turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Gluten-free zucchini bread keeps up to 3 days at room temperature. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or foil or place in a storage bag or bread box.
To freeze; wrap the cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap and again in foil. Freeze up to six months. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature. To freeze slices, place a piece of parchment paper between each slice.
Gluten-free flour: use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum or add a ½ teaspoon to your blend before using. To make your own blend: whisk together 1 cup white rice flour, ¼ cup sweet rice flour, ¼ cup cornstarch and a ½ teaspoon xanthan gum.
Brown Sugar: substitute with granulated sugar. Coconut sugar may be used. Gluten-free zucchini bread made with coconut sugar has a slightly drier texture.
Mix ins: Use one cup total. For example, you could use one cup of chocolate chips OR ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup chopped nuts.