/Zucchini Carrot Bread is a Sweet Summer Treat!
Simply Recipes Zucchini Carrot Bread LEAD 01 136729e916204db4ad124ec355afd3a6

Zucchini Carrot Bread is a Sweet Summer Treat!

Zucchini Carrot Bread on Circular Wood Board, Surrounded by Carrots, Zucchini, and Coconut Flakes
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

There reaches a point every summer where we’re all overwhelmed by the volume of zucchini that finds its way into our kitchens and we begin the hunt for recipes to use it up. While I am a big fan of classic zucchini bread, I also like to mix things up a bit—and this bread is the perfect solution.

A cross between the classic bread and carrot cake, this loaf is seasoned with warm spices (cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom), bright orange zest, and dusted with demerara sugar to create a crunchy topping.

Feel free to leave the bread unadorned—it’s delicious on its own! —or lean into your sweet tooth and top it with a vanilla nutmeg glaze and toasted coconut.

Slices of Zucchini Carrot Bread on Round Wood Board Surrounded by a Kitchen Towel and a Small Bowl of Coconut Flakes
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Wring Out Your Zucchini 

This loaf is packed with grated carrots and zucchini, which not only adds flavor but also quite a bit of moisture. Which is great! But we don’t want too much—we want a moist bread, not a soggy loaf.

Zucchini is a watery vegetable, especially those big ones pulled out of summer gardens. It’s important to remove that excess water before adding your zucchini to the bread batter.

You can remove this water by wringing the grated zucchini out over the sink. You can do this with your hands (I recommend doing small batches that fit in the palm of your hand), by wrapping the zucchini in a clean dish towel or a nut milk bag (if you have one).

The wrung-out zucchini should feel more dry to the touch (more like the carrots). 

To Glaze or Not to Glaze? 

Sweet quick breads like this zucchini carrot loaf linger in my mind as a cross between a sweet breakfast treat and an indulgent snacking cake.

When I want to justify having a big slice for a weekday breakfast, I go glaze-free. But when I’m serving it as a dessert, or just want a little extra sweetness, I go for the toppings.

In this recipe, I suggest a simple glaze seasoned with nutmeg and vanilla, but you could swap out that extract and spice for anything you’d like. Echoing the flavors of the loaf (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, orange) would be great swaps! Want a slightly tangier glaze? Swap the whole milk for buttermilk.

Slice of Zucchini Carrot Bread with Butter on a Plate Next to Board with More Bread
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Toppings Anyone?

I also suggest topping with toasted coconut. I love the nutty flavor and crunchy texture it adds. To toast, spread the coconut flakes out on a sheet pan and bake at 325°F, stirring every few minutes, until the flakes are golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. 

Zucchini Carrot Bread Mix Ins

This bread is incredibly customizable. 

Add some mix-ins! 

  • Chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, or pistachios) 
  • Dried fruit (golden raisins, apricots, coconut flakes, or candied ginger) 

Change up the flavor

  • Don’t have or like cardamom? Leave it out! Add in some nutmeg. 
  • Swap the orange zest for lemon. 

Change the toppings

  • Experiment with the flavor of your glaze. 
  • Swap the toasted coconut for toasted nuts or seeds. 

How to Store Zucchini Bread

This bread keeps well on the counter for a few days—just store it in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Keep in mind that the coconut topping will get less crunchy over time.

It also freezes well! You can freeze the whole loaf by wrapping it in a piece of foil and then plastic wrap or freeze individual slices by wrapping the same way. I love having a few slices stashed in my freezer to pull out for a special treat.

If freezing, leave off the glaze and coconut topping. You can hold the glaze in your fridge for up to 2 weeks, and the toasted coconut in an airtight container for up to a month.

Let the whole loaf thaw on the counter, or pop frozen individual slices in the toaster or oven to quickly warm. 

Slices of Zucchini Carrot Bread on Round Wood Board Next to Small Bowl of Coconut Flakes
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Make These Quick Breads!

  • Banana Bread
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Easy Zucchini Bread
  • Chocolate Banana Bread
  • Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside.

Butter Loaf Pan for Zucchini Carrot Bread
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Grate the carrots and zucchini: 

Using a box grater, carefully grate the carrots with the large holes. You should have about 1 cup packed. Set aside. 

Next, grate the zucchini using a box grater with the large holes. Using your hands or a clean dish towel or nut milk bag, wring out the zucchini. You should have about 1 cup packed zucchini. Set aside.

Carrots Grated over a Cutting Board for Zucchini Carrot Bread Recipe
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice
Water Squeezed Out from Zucchini in Cheese Cloth for Zucchini and Carrot Bread
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Whisk the dry ingredients for batter: 

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom together.

Bowl of Dry Ingredients for Zucchini Carrot Bread
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Combine wet ingredients for batter:

In a large bowl, whisk both sugars and vegetable oil, until combined. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.

Wet Ingredients for Zucchini Carrot Bread in a Bowl with a Whisk
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Finish batter:

Add the grated carrots, grated zucchini, and the orange zest to bowl and stir to distribute. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture until just combined. There should be no visible streaks of flour once thoroughly combined.

Zucchini and Carrot Added to Wet Ingredients for Bread
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Pour batter into prepared pan:

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over top.

Zucchini Carrot Bread Batter in Loaf Pan
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Bake the bread, then cool:

Bake the bread for 55 to 60 minutes until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Zucchini Carrot Bread on Cooling Rack
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Make the glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is a smooth and pourable consistency. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and nutmeg.

Glaze Whisked in a Bowl for Zucchini Carrot Bread
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Drizzle with glaze and coconut:

Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the cooled bread. Sprinkle the toasted coconut overtop. Cut slices serve.

This bread keeps well on the counter for a few days—just store it in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Keep in mind that the coconut topping will get less crunchy over time.

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Zucchini Carrot Bread Glazed Using a Spoon over a Piece of Parchment Paper
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice
Zucchini Carrot Bread Topped with Coconut Flakes
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice
Slice of Zucchini Carrot Bread with Butter on a Plate Next to Board with More Bread
Simply Recipes / Lori Rice