Best Ever Orange Zucchini Bread is simple and easy to make from scratch! This moist quick bread is made healthy with fragrant orange zest, fresh zucchini and applesauce. A cozy breakfast or snack everyone will love. Great for the lunchbox too!
Orange Zucchini Bread is perfect for baking with seasonal, fresh zucchini from the garden or market. We love to make easy quick breads with zucchini like our Best Blueberry Zucchini Bread, Goat Cheese and Bacon Zucchini Bread and Grandma’s Best Zucchini Bread recipe. This is one of our Bread recipes you’ll surely want handy in your recipe box!
Amazing Best Ever Orange Zucchini Bread
This is the BEST EVER Orange Zucchini Bread recipe you’ll ever make! I changed up the ingredients of my favorite quick bread recipe to make this delightful orange bread. Made with fresh orange zest, lots of grated zucchini and unsweetened applesauce to cut the oil (and fat) needed in half, this bakes up into a moist tender bread loaf perfect for anytime you want a real treat.
This quick bread batter only takes about 15 minutes to prep and you won’t even need to get out your mixer. Zesting the orange and shredding and wringing the liquid out of the zucchini takes a few minutes, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
Another nice thing about this bread is that it keeps fresh for days and can be frozen. Throw individually wrapped slices in the freezer for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack. Just pull out the amount you need, and heat in the microwave or oven to serve. Even better, throw a slice in the lunchbox and it will be thawed and deliciously ready to eat by noon!
What Size Bread Loaf Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe makes 2 medium bread loaves (9 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pan). Eat one now and save one for later! Alternately make 1 larger loaf (9 x 5 x 3) or 4 mini-loaves.
Ingredients for this Quick Bread Recipe
- Eggs – We always use large eggs for our recipes. If you only have medium-sized eggs, use 4 instead of 3.
- Oil – Use a light, neutral flavored oil like vegetable oil or canola oil for this recipe.
- Applesauce – we used unsweetened applesauce from a jar.
- Vanilla Extract – adds amazing flavor and aroma to baked goods.
- White and Brown Sugar – for flavor we used half white sugar and half brown sugar. You can use all white sugar or all brown sugar if you prefer.
- Zucchini – an essential ingredient for the recipe. 2 medium zucchini when grated and moisture removed measured 2 cups total.
- All purpose flour – nothing fancy here!
- Baking powder and baking soda – for leavening and rising of the bread.
- Cinnamon – for flavor and complements the orange zest and zucchini.
- Orange Zest – fragrant and full of flavor, it’s an essential ingredient for this recipe.
How to remove moisture from Zucchini
- This is a easy process and only takes a few minutes.
- Shred zucchini on a box grater using the largest hole grating size.
- Transfer zucchini to a clean kitchen towel. We love flour sack towels for this. Place zucchini in the center of the towel, spreading it out lengthwise on the towel.
- Roll zucchini up in the towel. Grasping both end of the towel, stand over the sink and using both hands, twist the towel like you are wringing it out. Let the moisture from the zucchini fall in the sink. Repeat this over and over ( 6 or 7 times) until little to no liquid comes out.
- Spread zucchini out on a dry towel until you’re ready to add it to the batter.
Chef Tips for Making the Best Orange Zucchini Bread
- Shred zucchini on a box grater, then wring out any excess moisture before adding to the batter.
- Make grating easy. Use ripe but firm zucchini. Soft zucchini is hard to grate and will end up more like mush in the grater.
- Carefully measure your flour. Don’t scoop the flour into your measuring cup! Use a spoon to fluff flour first, then spoon into your measuring cup and scrape excess off the top with a knife.
- Mix the dry ingredients together before adding to the wet ingredients. This makes a more uniform batter.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing can make the bread tough. Mix only until the ingredients are combined. It should be smooth but small lumps are okay.
- We recommend using a Microplane zester/grater for the orange zest.
- This recipe makes 1 large loaf, 2 standard loaves or 4 mini loaves. The bake time will vary depending on the individual loaf size. For this recipe, we made 2 loaves using 9 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch pans (measured across the top of the pan).
How to Store Orange Zucchini Bread
Counter or Refrigerator:
Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack. Pop the bread into a large plastic food bag or airtight container (I usually slice it first) and store on the counter for up to 3 days. You can also refrigerate this bread for up to one week.
Allow the bread to cool completely. Place the bread (sliced or whole) into a large plastic freezer bag. Remove any excess air before sealing. OR wrap the cooled loaf completely in plastic, then with a layer of foil. Will easily stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Best Ever Orange Zucchini Bread
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray loaf pan(s). Line pan with parchment paper, leaving excess over long sides of pan.
- On a flat surface, shred zucchini on a box grater using the largest hole grating size. Transfer zucchini to a clean kitchen towel. Place zucchini in the center of the towel, spreading it out lengthwise. Roll zucchini up in the towel. Grasping both ends, and using both hands, twist the towel like you are wringing it out. Repeat wringing until little to no liquid comes out. Spread zucchini out on a dry towel until you're ready to add it to the batter.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in oil, applesauce, vanilla, orange zest, white sugar and brown sugar. Fold in zucchini.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan(s).
- Bake on center rack of oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.
- Cool 15 minutes in pans. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
- Store on the counter in airtight container for up to 3 day or refrigerate for up to one week.
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The nutritional information shared is an estimate, and is automatically calculated through a program in the recipe card. If nutritional information, like the calorie count is important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever nutritional calculator you feel most comfortable with. Nutritional values like calories, fat and sugar can vary widely depending on which brands were used.