This healthier whole wheat vegan zucchini bread is made with maple syrup, applesauce and walnuts for a wholesome treat.

a stack of 5 thick slices of zucchini bread.

Holy cow, a family fave immediately! Had no idea vegan options would be so easy to find and use, especially when everyone expects the flavor of the old family recipes. Will definitely make this again! 

—Anne

About the Recipe

You’ll love this spiced whole wheat zucchini bread with crunchy bites of walnuts.

Made from grated zucchini, whole wheat flour, maple syrup, applesauce and dairy-free yogurt, the loaf is moist, flavourful and so delicious. No eggs or flax egg needed either!

This recipe is lovely anytime of day for a snack or dessert. It can be served as is, warm and slathered with your favourite spread, or topped with cream cheese icing for an extra treat!

Whip up a loaf (or two, they freeze well) and enjoy a fresh slice with a cup of coffee or tea.

When you finish this loaf, you’ll have to try these Vegan Carrot Zucchini Muffins, Healthy Oatmeal Muffins, Carrot Cake Banana Bread or Healthy Zucchini Brownies next time!

Ingredient Notes

Visual of all ingredients needed for making a zucchini loaf labelled with text overlay.
  • Zucchini: You’ll need one medium fresh zucchini or about 1 cup lightly packed before draining (why not drain some extra and make these zucchini brownies too).
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Note the different measurements and watch not to mix them up.
  • Nutmeg: Works well with cinnamon and zucchini. You can add or substitute cinnamon.
  • Coconut Oil: Use melted refined coconut oil or substituted melted butter. You could substitute a light tasting oil such as canola oil but I like the texture best with butter or coconut oil.
  • Maple Syrup: Agave syrup would be a suitable substitute.
  • Flour: The recipe calls for whole wheat flour. You should be able to substitute spelt flour or all-purpose flour.
  • Applesauce: Use unsweetened applesauce and be sure it’s at room temperature before mixing so it doesn’t solidify the coconut oil. Readers have successfully substituted mashed banana here but I have not tested it.
  • Yogurt: You can use plain or vanilla coconut yogurt, almond yogurt or oat yogurt, be sure it’s at room temperature as well.
  • Vanilla: Optional but a nice addition.
  • Walnuts: Optional but add some nice crunch and texture. Pecans also work well.

Please find the complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

Variations & Additions

  • Carrot: This also works as carrot bread or you can do half zucchini and half grated carrot. Make sure you finely grate the carrot so you don’t have tough chunks in your bread.
  • Chocolate Chips: Try adding up to 1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped dark chocolate or swapping chocolate chips for the walnuts or doing half walnuts-half chocolate chips.
  • Icing: Frost the top of the loaf with lemon glaze, cream cheese icing, a simple glaze or caramel glaze.
  • Spices: Additional spices that work well are cinnamon, ginger, allspice or cloves.
  • Chocolate: For a chocolate version, use this Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe.
  • Lemon: Add up to 1 tbsp lemon zest for lemon zucchini bread.
  • Blueberry: Fold in up to 1/2 cup fresh blueberries with the walnuts.
  • Coconut: Mix in up to 1/2 cup shredded coconut with the walnuts.

Step-by-Step Instructions

This section provides a step-by-step photo tutorial with tips. The complete written recipe is located in the recipe card further down the page.

Quick Tip: For best results and accuracy when baking, I recommend using a kitchen scale to measure ingredients. Not only does it guarantee success, but it’s also a quick and easy way to measure without using measuring cups.

Step 1. Grate the zucchini and place in a colander over a bowl or in the sink to drain for a few minutes.

Grated zucchini in a strainer sitting in a bowl.

Use your hands to squeeze it or a spatula to press against the sides of the strainer to press out the excess liquid.

Alternatively, wrap the grated zucchini in a dish towel and squeeze to remove liquid.

Hand squeezing grated zucchini over a strainer to remove excess water.

Step 2. Add all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt) to a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

Make sure no clumps remain and the baking powder and baking soda have been thoroughly incorporated.

Wooden spoon mixing flour in a glass mixing bowl.

Add the drained grated zucchini to the bowl and use a spatula to mix until the zucchini is coated in flour and distributed throughout.

Spatula mixing grated zucchini into a bowl of flour.

Step 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (coconut oil, yogurt, applesauce, vanilla and maple syrup).

Important Tip: Make sure all of the wet ingredients are at room temperature or they’ll cause the coconut oil to solidify. If you only have chilled applesauce and yogurt, warm them briefly in the microwave until they come to room temperature.

Whisking coconut oil and yogurt together in a large glass mixing bowl.

Step 4. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into the centre.

Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until all of the flour is incorporated.

Pouring a wet mixture into a well in dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Once it’s all mixed in, add the walnuts and fold a few times to distribute. If you’d like to add anything else like chocolate chips or shredded coconut, add that now as well.

Quick Tip: Take care not to over mix the batter. Mixing flour with liquids activates gluten but if overdone, the bread will turn out dense and gummy.

Fold the ingredients gently just until all of the flour has been wetted, that will do it!

Folding walnuts into raw zucchini bread batter in a large mixing bowl.

Step 6. Prepare a loaf pan with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray then scoop the batter into the pan, spreading it into an even layer with a wooden spoon or spatula.

If you like, sprinkle the top of the loaf with more walnuts, rolled oats and/or a sprinkle of brown sugar or coconut sugar.

Raw zucchini bread batter in a loaf pan.

Bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven.

Overhead view of a baked zucchini loaf in a pan.

Once cooled for at least half an hour, carefully flip to remove from the pan. Slice and enjoy!

Sliced zucchini loaf resting on parchment paper on top of a cooling rack.

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze zucchini loaf?

Yes! Let it cool then wrap in tin foil and store in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.

Do I have to peel the zucchini for zucchini bread?

No, there is no need to peel the zucchini for this recipe.

Can I make this gluten-free?

Unless you’re experienced with making gluten-free substitutions I wouldn’t recommend substituting the whole wheat flour with a gluten-free alternative.

The recipe will not work with oat flour, coconut flour or almond flour without additional adjustments.

Is zucchini bread healthy?

I suppose it depends on how you define healthy! Zucchini bread is a lovely treat to enjoy in moderation but I wouldn’t exactly consider it healthy.

The oil content has been reduced by using yogurt and applesauce and while the recipe calls for healthier alternatives like whole wheat flour, maple syrup and coconut oil, it still contains added sugar, flour and oil.

If allergies are a concern, the recipe is egg-free and dairy-free but it is made with whole wheat flour, so it does contain gluten.

How many calories are in zucchini bread?

This loaf contains just 312 calories per slice (including the walnuts), which is not bad compared to commercial varieties and makes it easy to fit into a nutrition plan.

For a lighter loaf, slice the bread into 10 portions instead of 8.

Expert Tips

  • Measuring: Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients for best results and easy measuring. By using the tare function you can add your ingredients directly to the bowl following the noted measurements.
  • Zucchini: Don’t skip removing excess water from the zucchini otherwise your loaf will be soggy.
  • Using Coconut Oil: Make sure your applesauce and yogurt at at room temperature before mixing with the coconut oil otherwise the oil will solidify. If you substitute canola, olive or avocado oil, you don’t need to worry about that.
  • Do not Over Mix: Over-mixing develops the gluten proteins and too much gluten will results in dense, gummy bread.
  • Baking: Be sure to preheat the oven so you can bake the bread right after adding to the loaf pan to take advantage of the active baking leavening agents. Once it’s baking, do not open the oven door until you’re ready to check for doneness.
Hand picking up a slice of zucchini loaf from a stack of slices sitting on a cooling rack.

Storing Instructions

  • Room Temperature or Fridge: Cool completely then store well-wrapped in foil or plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Freezing: Let it cool completely then wrap the whole loaf well in tin foil and store in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. You can also freeze individual slices if you prefer. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.
  • Serving: Serve at room temperature, chilled or lightly warmed in the microwave with spreads like chia jam, apple butter, nut butter or butter.

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Sliced zucchini loaf resting on parchment paper on top of a cooling rack.

Vegan Zucchini Bread

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

Soft, moist and fluffy vegan zucchini bread that’s perfectly spiced, lightly sweetened and lovely for a delicious treat any time of day.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded and excess liquid squeeze out (150 g, about 1 cup before draining)
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (225 g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (80 ml) 
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature (60 ml) 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain or vanilla coconut yogurt, at room temperature (115 g) 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (55 g) 

Instructions

  1. Prepare to Bake: Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly spray a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Prep Zucchini: Grate the zucchini and place in a strainer to drain. You can squeeze it with your hand or use a spatula to press it against the side of the strainer to remove excess liquid. Alternatively, wrap the grated zucchini up in a dish cloth and squeeze out excess water. 
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients: Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Make sure no clumps remain and the baking powder and baking soda have been thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Add Zucchini: Add the drained grated zucchini to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until the pieces are distributed and coated in flour.
  5. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, yogurt, applesauce, vanilla and maple syrup. Note that it is important these are all room temperature otherwise the coconut oil will solidify. If you only have chilled applesauce and yogurt, warm them briefly in the microwave until they come to room temperature. If you’re using an alternative oil or melted butter, no need to worry if the ingredients are chilled.
  6. Combine Ingredients: Making a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and gently fold together until all of the flour has been wetted, taking care not to over work the batter.
  7. Add Walnuts: Gently fold in the crushed walnuts
  8. Bake Loaf: Scoop the batter into the pan and shake or spread to even it out. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Cool and Slice: Let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes then run a knife along the sides and carefully flip out the pan. Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!

Notes

Coconut oil may be substituted with canola oil, avocado oil, melted vegan butter or olive oil.

Storing: Let cool completely then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze whole or in slices, wrapped well in tin foil and placed in a freezer bag or container for best results. That at room temperature or in the fridge before enjoying.

Loaf pan size: The bread works best in a smaller sized loaf pan, approximately 8-8.5 inch x 4 inches. If you only have a larger pan, it will be okay just note that the finished loaf will be shallower.

For best results and accuracy, use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients.

Do not skip draining the zucchini other the loaf will be soggy.

For an extra treat, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips with the walnuts.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 312
  • Sodium: 15 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Keywords: vegan zucchini bread, eggless zucchini bread