This Strawberry Zucchini Bread is the perfect way to use 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! Dairy-free.
Every summer, zucchini is 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 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 added too much whole wheat flour.
Finally, my third attempt was strawberry zucchini bread gold. I bumped up the liquid ingredients to account for the whole wheat flour and used freeze-dried strawberries instead of fresh ones. Perfection!
The crumb and texture of this bread are 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 You'll Love This Recipe
- 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- Provides moisture, texture, and plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The shredded zucchini melts right into the bread so even your pickiest friends won’t notice it.
- Freeze-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 strawberries from your garden.
- Whole Wheat Flour- A half cup of whole wheat flour increases the fiber content and gives the bread a slightly nutty flavor.
- All Purpose Flour- Provides the tender crumb we’re looking for in a loaf of delicious quick bread.
- Eggs- You’ll need 2 eggs to give the bread structure.
- Canola Oil- Has a neutral flavor and provides moisture.
- Brown Sugar- Many quick bread recipes use nearly a cup of sugar or more per loaf. This recipe only uses ½ cup of brown sugar, which allows the strawberries’ natural sweetness to come through.
- Milk- Adds moisture to the bread. I typically use almond milk, but you can use any type of milk you prefer.
- Lemon Juice- Provides acidity to help with leavening and balances sweetness with a hint of tart flavor.
- Spices- Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg give this bread a warm, cozy vibe and pair beautifully with the other flavors.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this strawberry zucchini bread.
Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a standard loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
Step 2: Whisk together the wet ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, canola oil, brown sugar, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a separate large bowl. Add the grated zucchini and dried strawberries to the wet ingredients to allow the strawberries to hydrate just slightly.
Step 3: Mix the batter. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until most of the flour is moistened and only a few lumps remain, taking care not to over-mix the batter.
Step 4: Bake the bread. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 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 it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Success
- Don’t over-mix the batter. Quick bread can become tough and dense with large air pockets if the batter is over-mixed. To avoid this, gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
- 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 dry bread. If you don’t have a food scale, spoon the flour into your measuring cup so it does not become compact.
- Cool completely before slicing. Allowing the bread to cool completely before slicing is essential for a good texture. 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 mushier, denser bread.
Why Is My Bread Dense and Gummy?
There could be several reasons why your zucchini bread with strawberries 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.
- Underbaked- Not baking your bread completely will leave you with an undercooked, gummy loaf. Try testing with a toothpick before removing it 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.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this strawberry zucchini bread recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Zucchini- Yellow squash, or “summer” squash, is the best substitute for zucchini in zucchini bread. Alternatively, use frozen shredded zucchini if you have it on hand.
- Freeze-Dried Strawberries- I’ve made this recipe with fresh strawberries and, in my opinion, it made the bread too wet. However, if you do want to use fresh strawberries, you may need to cook the bread a little longer.
- Whole Wheat Flour- Replace the whole wheat flour with an equal amount of all-purpose flour, if desired. If you do this, I recommend only adding ¼ cup of milk.
- All-Purpose Flour- I tried making this recipe with a larger quantity of whole wheat flour without much success. If you need a gluten-free version of this recipe, I’d opt for a 1-to-1 all-purpose gluten-free baking flour.
- Eggs- Swap the eggs for flax eggs, chia eggs, applesauce, or a vegan egg replacer.
- Canola Oil- Any neutral-flavored cooking oil will work well in this recipe. Try vegetable oil, olive oil, or avocado oil. Alternatively, use 1 cup of melted butter.
- Brown Sugar- Replace the brown sugar with granulated sugar. I have not tested this recipe with liquid sweeteners like honey or maple syrup so I’m not sure how it would turn out.
- Milk- Water, apple juice, or orange juice can be used to substitute the milk.
- Spices- Feel free to use whichever warm spices you enjoy baking with. If you love the flavor of chai, give my Chai Spice Blend a try in this recipe.
- Gluten-Free- To make this recipe 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 whole wheat and all-purpose flour with this.
- Vegan/Egg-Free- For a vegan version of this recipe, replace the two eggs with flax “eggs.” To make two flax eggs, combine 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons of water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Additionally, make sure you use plant-based milk or water.
- Chocolate Chips- For a little more sweetness, add a few chocolate chips or white chocolate chips.
- Nuts & Seeds- If you want some crunch and heart-healthy fats, mix in a few handfuls of chopped walnuts, almonds, or pistachios. Alternatively, add some pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
What to Serve With Strawberry Zucchini Bread
- Butter or Margarine
- Peanut Butter
- Cream Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Ice Cream
- Fresh Fruit
- Jellies and Jams (Try this Strawberry Apple Jam or this Blueberry Jam)
- Grilled with Butter
- Drizzled with Glaze or Icing
- Tea or Coffee
Storage and Reheating
A fresh loaf of quick bread is the perfect breakfast treat. But, sometimes I can’t eat a whole loaf before it goes bad. Luckily, strawberry zucchini bread freezes well.
How to Store
- Room Temperature- Allow the strawberry zucchini bread to cool completely before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap or placing it inside an airtight container. The bread will stay good at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Refrigerator- Refrigerating quick bread will make it stale more quickly. However, stored in an airtight container, it will last for up to 7 days.
- Freezer- Wrap individual slices or a whole loaf of strawberry zucchini bread tightly in plastic wrap. Then, place it inside a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing any bread you won’t eat within a few days and pulling it out to defrost as needed.
How to Reheat
While quick bread can be enjoyed at room temperature, sometimes you just want a warm, buttery baked good for breakfast or dessert. If your bread is frozen, allow it to come to room temperature on the counter for a few hours before warming.
- Stove- Warm a little butter or oil in a cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Grill the bread for 1-2 minutes on both sides until crispy and golden brown.
- Oven- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place slices of acorn squash bread on a baking sheet and heat for 5-10 minutes or until warmed. I recommend adding a bit of butter to the bread slices before reheating them in the oven.
- Microwave- Place a slice of bread on a microwave-safe plate and lay a damp paper towel over it. Heat on HIGH in 30-second intervals until warm and steaming.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
It depends on the zucchini. Smaller zucchini have underdeveloped seeds that grate up nicely right along with the rest of the zucchini. Larger, more mature zucchini may have bigger seeds, which can be scooped out prior to grating it.
Definitely don’t remove the liquid from the zucchini here. This recipe relies on the zucchini liquid to provide moisture and to help hydrate the whole wheat flour.
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. A simple vegetable peeler and a knife work too.
Yes! If you have frozen, shredded zucchini, you can use that in place of fresh zucchini in this recipe. Simply thaw it in the microwave or in the refrigerator overnight. Then, add the zucchini and any liquid to the batter as usual.
Be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions. You can also connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or via email at [email protected].
More Quick Bread Recipes
- Acorn Squash Bread
- Vegan Raspberry Muffins
- Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Zucchini Carrot Muffins
- Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Strawberry Zucchini Bread
- Cooking spray for the 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
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 large egg
- ¾ cup canola oil
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup almond milk or milk of choice
- 2 tablespoons (approx. 1 whole lemon) fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 medium zucchini grated
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a standard loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.Cooking spray, 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, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Whisk together the eggs, canola oil, brown sugar, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a separate large bowl. Add the grated zucchini and dried strawberries to the wet ingredients to allow the strawberries to hydrate just slightly.2 large egg, ¾ cup canola oil, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons (approx. 1 whole lemon) fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 medium zucchini, 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until most of the flour is moistened and only a few lumps remain, taking care not to overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 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 it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Quick Tip: For the best-textured bread, don't slice it until after it has cooled completely.
- Storage: Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This was so delicious. Just the right sweetness. I am looking forward to trying more of everyday nutrition and wellness recipes.
Ashley Petrie, RDN, LDN says
Delicious, moist and healthy!!
Ashley Petrie, RDN, LDN says
Dawn gave me piece, delish!!
Ashley Petrie, RDN, LDN says
This was Delicious, it had a nice texture and great taste, perfect with a little butter and my morning coffee! Thank you everyday nutrition & wellness
Ashley Petrie, RDN, LDN says