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Every summer, two things always happen: zucchini season reaches its peak and bunches of bananas ripen quickly in my warm kitchen. There’s no better way to celebrate these two flavors than with a slice of homemade Banana Zucchini Bread.
This timeless and favorite quick bread recipe is a delicious union of overripe mashed banana and freshly grated zucchini, complemented by an array of other ingredients, including optional chocolate chips, that create a perfectly sweet and moist treat.
Whether enjoyed as an afternoon snack, a delicious way to start the day, or a comforting dessert, this bread fits any occasion. See tons of step-by-step photos below on how to make this easy zucchini banana bread recipe.
Table of Contents
- Why This Recipe Works
- Ingredients Needed
- Step by Step Instructions
- Remove excess moisture from zucchini
- Combine wet ingredients
- Combine dry ingredients
- Bake the banana zucchini bread
- Recipe Modifications
- Banana Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips Recipe
Why This Recipe Works
There’s nothing worse than dried out banana bread.
The overripe bananas not only add a delightful banana flavor but also contribute to the bread’s moistness.
Grated zucchini, with its high water content, infuses the bread with an incredible amount of moisture, creating a soft and tender crumb.
The inclusion of sour cream imparts a subtle tanginess while adding a velvety texture to the bread. Lite olive oil contributes a mild richness to this easy bread, ensuring it stays moist without overpowering the flavors.
A combination of granulated sugar and golden brown sugar provides the right balance of sweetness and depth. This layering of sugars enhances the overall taste and texture of the bread.
The optional addition of chocolate chips provides bursts of sweetness and a delightful contrast to the bread’s overall texture.
Exact measurements are found in the recipe card below.
The ingredients used in this recipe are lite olive oil, granulated sugar, golden brown sugar, eggs, very ripe bananas, grated fresh zucchini, sour cream, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, and (optional) chocolate chips.
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, heavily grease the bottom and sides of the pan with butter or oil.
Remove excess moisture from zucchini
This step is optional, but if your shredded zucchini seems like it has a lot of liquid, you can remove excess moisture by squeezing it in a towel.
Combine wet ingredients
In a large bowl, stir together oil, sugars, eggs, mashed bananas, grated zucchini, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix them well by hand until well combined.
Combine dry ingredients
In a small separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add large spoonfuls of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir them just enough to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
Fold in the walnuts.
Finally, mix in the chocolate chips (if using). You can save some of the chocolate chips to place on top if you want.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. If you’re using chocolate chips, you can sprinkle some on top as well.
Bake the banana zucchini bread
Cook the loaf in the preheated oven for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
When done, immediately set the pan on a cooling rack. Once it is cool enough to handle, remove the loaf from the pan and the parchment paper (if using) to allow it to fully cool on the rack.
The beauty of Banana Zucchini Bread lies in its adaptability. Feel free to mix and match these additions and substitutions to create a bread that aligns perfectly with your dietary requirements and culinary preferences.
- More Chocolate Flavor: In addition to adding the optional chocolate chips or chunks, you can add even more than the recipe calls for or you can mix in a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder with the dry ingredients to increase the chocolate flavor.
- Dried Fruit: Add dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates for bursts of natural sweetness and chewy texture.
- Seeds and Grains: Incorporate chia seeds, flaxseeds, or rolled oats for added nutrition and a gentle crunch.
- Spice it Up: Experiment with warm spices like nutmeg, allspice, or ginger to enhance the bread’s aroma and flavor profile.
- Citrus Zest: Grate lemon or orange zest into the batter for a refreshing citrus twist that balances the sweetness.
- Flour Alternatives: If you’re looking for gluten-free options, consider using coconut flour, almond flour, or a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. For a heartier texture, experiment with whole wheat flour or oat flour.
- Oil Variations: Swap olive oil for canola oil, vegetable oil, or melted butter based on your taste preferences.
- Sweetener Changes: Substitute all or part of the sugars with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. These alternatives offer distinct flavors and a touch of depth.
- Reduced Sugar: To cut back on the overall sugar content, you can use a combination of brown sugar and increase the amount of mashed banana.
- Dairy-Free Alternatives: Replace the sour cream with dairy-free alternatives such as coconut yogurt or almond milk yogurt to accommodate lactose-intolerant or vegan diets.
- Egg-Free Options: Replace eggs with flax eggs (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water per egg) or applesauce.
- Nut options: A handful of chopped nuts such as pecans or almonds can be used in place of the walnuts. They add a delightful crunch and complement the bread’s richness. If you’re avoiding nuts, you can omit them entirely or replace them with seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Yes, you can freeze the bread. Thaw slices or entire loaf at room temperature.
Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap or store the entire loaf wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. For longer storage, you can use aluminum foil, freezer paper, or freezer bags in addition to the plastic wrap.
Older bananas that are brown or overripe are perfect for this bread as they add a deep, natural sweetness and intense banana flavor. I recommend yellow with brown spots for the best flavor.
After grating the zucchini, you can wrap it in a paper towel or cheesecloth and gently squeeze out any excess moisture before adding it to the batter.
Yes, you can. You can use coconut flour or gluten-free flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour to make a gluten-free version of the bread.
Yes, you can. Replace the eggs with a flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water per egg). You can also use a plant-based sour cream alternative.
The baking time is typically around 50-60 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the bread; it should come out clean. You can also utilize an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center and bake your banana bread until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 to 205°F, as this method guarantees optimal doneness without the risk of overcooking.
Banana Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup lite olive oil can use any kind of baking oil or melted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup golden brown sugar
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 cup very ripe mashed bananas each banana will yield 1/4 to 1/2 cup
- 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (see note below) each small zucchini will yield about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or heavily grease the bottom and sides with butter or oil.
- In a large bowl, stir together oil, sugars, eggs, mashed bananas, grated zucchini, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
- In a small separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add large spoonfuls of the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just enough to fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips (if using).
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Cook in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You can also utilize an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center and bake your banana bread until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 to 205°F, as this method guarantees optimal doneness without the risk of overcooking.
- When done, immediately set the pan on a cooling rack. Once it is cool enough to handle, remove the loaf from the pan and parchment paper (if using) to allow it to fully cool on the rack.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.