This strawberry zucchini bread is the perfect way to use up your garden fresh zucchini this summer. Whether you eat it warmed with a bit of butter, smeared with some strawberry jam, or just as is – it’s sure to be your new favorite way to enjoy zucchini bread!
Every summer, zucchini seems to be the one vegetable that everyone has an overwhelming amount of in their gardens. And if you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for new ways to use it up.
While I love a traditional zucchini bread, I wanted to create something a little different this year. As I was feeding my chickens some squishy, overripe strawberries and thinking about how to reinvent the zucchini bread wheel, it clicked! I’ll add strawberries to zucchini bread!
For my first attempt, I went with fresh strawberries, but found them to be too wet. I wasn’t in love with the little mushy strawberry pockets they left behind in the final product. My second attempt was a bit too dense since I decided to add whole wheat flour without adjusting any other ingredients.
Finally, my third attempt was strawberry zucchini bread gold. I bumped up the leavening agents to account for the whole wheat flour and used freeze dried strawberries instead of fresh. Perfection!
The crumb and texture of this bread is exactly what I want in a quick bread. It’s soft and fluffy with a fine crumb and has little pieces of chewy strawberries dotted throughout. Everything a good strawberry zucchini bread should be.
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Why This Recipe Works
- Texture- The texture of this bread is exactly how I wanted it. Soft, fluffy, and with little chewy strawberry bits scattered throughout. It tastes delicious with a bit of butter and my homemade strawberry apple jam.
- Seasonal Flavors- This recipe uses two of my favorite summer crops – zucchini and strawberries. The zucchini adds moisture and texture to the bread while the strawberries add a delicious sweetness and slight chew.
- Quick + Easy- The most difficult part of this recipe is shredding the zucchini, which isn’t bad at all if you use a box grater. After that, you just mix, pour, and bake your way to a delicious strawberry zucchini bread.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Zucchini- If you’ve never tried zucchini bread, you may be thinking “a sweetened vegetable quick bread?” However, if you enjoy carrot cake, zucchini bread is very similar. The shredded zucchini melts right into the background, providing more moisture and texture than it does flavor.
- Dried Strawberries- I chose to use freeze dried strawberries in this recipe because I found fresh strawberries to be too moist when paired with the zucchini. You can either buy freeze dried strawberries or dehydrate your own from your garden.
- Whole Wheat Flour- I chose to use half a cup of whole wheat flour in this recipe to increase the fiber content and give the bread a slight nutty flavor. Luckily, since this recipe is already so moist from the zucchini, the whole wheat flour works well here.
- Sugar- Many quick bread recipes use nearly a cup of sugar or more per loaf. I chose to only use 1/2 cup of brown sugar to allow the natural sweetness from the strawberries to come through.
- Lemon Juice- It may seem strange to add lemon juice to strawberry zucchini bread, but it is necessary in this recipe. The lemon juice provides the acidity needed to allow the baking soda to act as a leavening agent.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this strawberry zucchini bread.
Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined and set aside.
Step 2: Mix Wet Ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, brown sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Add the grated zucchini and strawberries to the wet ingredients to allow the strawberries to hydrate just slightly.
Step 3: Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir gently until most of the flour is moistened and few lumps remain. Although, it’s okay if there are still a few lumps. The key here is not over-mixing or overworking the batter.
Step 4: Bake. Add the batter to your prepared loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips and Tricks
- Cool Completely- Allowing the bread to cool completely before slicing is essential to ensuring a good-textured bread. When the bread is initially removed from the oven, it is still continuing to cook for a bit. If you slice the bread too soon, it will result in a mushier, denser bread.
- Measure Flour by Weight- The most accurate way to measure flour is by weight. This ensures that you do not overpack your measuring cups with flour, resulting in a dry bread. If you don’t have a food scale, spoon the flour into your measuring cup so it does not become compact.
Substitutions and Additions
Here are some substitutions for various dietary needs and additional items to consider mixing in.
- Gluten-Free- To make gluten-free, use a 1:1 flour substitute such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. You can replace both the whole wheat and the all-purpose flour with this.
- Vegan- To make this recipe vegan, replace the two eggs with flax “eggs.” To make a single flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 2.5 tablespoons of water and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Since this recipe calls for 2 eggs, you would double that (2 tbsp flaxseed + 5 tbsp water).
- Chocolate Chips- To add a little more sweetness, try adding chocolate chips or white chocolate chips.
- Walnuts- If you want some crunch and heart-healthy fats, try mixing in some chopped walnuts.
Storage and Freezing
To Store: Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To Freeze: This strawberry zucchini bread freezes quite well. You can freeze an entire loaf or slice it up into portions to use within 3-4 months. In fact, I recommend making a double batch to keep in the freezer for a quick and easy breakfast.
To Thaw: Place a whole loaf in the refrigerator overnight or microwave individual slices on half-power for 1-2 minutes.
A single slice (1/12th loaf) of strawberry zucchini bread contains:
- Calories: 244
- Protein: 3.5 grams
- Fat: 15 grams
- Carbs: 25 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
Do I need to peel the zucchini before grating it?
Nope, no need to peel! The zucchini skin is thin enough that it grates well with the rest of the vegetable. It also blends nicely into the bread when baked so you won’t even notice it.
Do I need to remove the zucchini seeds?
It depends on the zucchini. Some smaller zucchini have underdeveloped seeds that grate up nicely right along with the rest of the zucchini. Larger, more developed zucchini have bigger seeds, which can be scooped out prior to grating.
Should I squeeze the excess liquid from the zucchini?
Definitely don’t remove the liquid from the zucchini here. This recipe relies on that liquid to provide moisture and to help hydrate the whole wheat flour.
What is the best way to grate zucchini?
I find the easiest and least messy way to grate zucchini is to use my box grater. However, if you don’t have a box grater or want something a little more hands-off, a food processor with a grater attachment works as well. If you’re lacking in the kitchen tools department, a vegetable peeler and a knife work too.
Why is my zucchini bread dense and gummy?
There could be several reasons why your strawberry zucchini bread turned out dense or gummy.
- Too wet- If your zucchini was extra juicy or you went with fresh strawberries instead of dried, your batter may have been too wet. I wouldn’t immediately jump to this though since the whole wheat flour can take a little extra moisture.
- Over-mixed- If you overworked your batter during the mixing step, it may result in a dense loaf. This is due to the gluten – the more you work the gluten, the tougher it becomes.
- Under baked- Not baking your bread completely will leave you with an undercooked, gummy loaf. Try testing with a toothpick before removing from the oven.
- Not cooled before slicing- As previously mentioned, cooling the bread completely before slicing is a must. This ensures the texture and flavor develop correctly.
Equipment I Used
Strawberry Zucchini Bread
- Box grater
- Loaf pan
- ½ cup (76 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- ½ teaspoon ginger ground
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg ground
- 2 large egg
- ¾ cup canola oil
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice approx. 1 lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 medium zucchini grated
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with canola oil or cooking spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, brown sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Stir the grated zucchini and freeze dried strawberries into the wet ingredients. This allows the strawberries to hydrate just a bit.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined (it's okay if a bit of dry flour remains). The key is not over-mixing the batter.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.