Lightly sweetened with maple syrup or brown sugar and with a hint of lemon and cinnamon, this healthier gluten free zucchini bread is packed with Homemade Oat Flour and two cups of zucchini! Use the zucchini juice too, for a moist and flavorful easy zucchini bread recipe! This recipe is vegetarian, optionally gluten full and dairy free | Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill!
Discovering Oat Flour
Last year I discovered oat flour while on a gluten free trial. Although I’m eating gluten again, I’ve come to appreciate oat flour, its texture and flavor, especially in muffins and quick breads. Not to mention it’s usually breakfast when I’m enjoying these types of breads, so why not start the day with a healthier quick bread option? Zucchini bread makes a fabulous afternoon snack too!
This zucchini bread recipe is made in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. I’m a big fan of Bob’s Red Mill pantry staples because it’s a brand I trust for high quality ingredients to fuel my family’s lifestyle. Bob’s Red Mill ingredients are accessible and offers a wide array of gluten free options too if needed.
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats and Almond Flour are a fabulous duo in gluten free baking. Together they lend a tender crumb and earthy notes in my healthier quick bread recipes. Oats are naturally gluten free, but to ensure that these oats maintain their gluten free integrity, Bob’s Red Mill handles them with care in their dedicated gluten free facility and batch tests to ensure gluten free status.
Ingredients for Healthy Zucchini Bread Recipe
This recipe calls for oat flour which you can easily DIY at home. It’s more economical too. Here’s what you’ll need for the recipe:
- Eggs – large eggs, organic and pastured if you can.
- Coconut Oil – I like unrefined, virgin coconut oil. You can use refined if desired.
- Vanilla Extract – use pure vanilla extract for best flavor.
- Lemon Zest – just a touch for interest and flavor.
- Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar – this gluten free healthy zucchini bread is lightly sweetened with either sweetener. Both produce a moist crumb. The maple sweetened loaf has an even more subtle sweetness and open crumb. I like both options, but they are slightly different.
- Gluten Free or Regular Oat Flour – I DIY my own using Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oats. It’s super easy and economical – see my how to make oat flour post for more information. Regular or gluten free rolled oats work in this recipe.
- Almond Flour – use super fine almond flour for best results.
- Tapioca Flour – adds lightness and texture to this recipe.
- Cinnamon – for a hint of cinnamon flavor.
- Baking Soda and Powder
- Zucchini – TWO cups shredded y’all, for moisture, texture and nourishing goodness!
- Walnuts – add a wonderful texture to this bread, but they are optional.
Quick Guide: How to Make Moist Healthy Zucchini Bread
This gluten free zucchini bread recipe is super simple to make and comes together in one bowl. It’s lightly sweetened with brown sugar or for the healthiest version, sub in maple syrup. Both versions are fabulous!
No need to squeeze out the zucchini juice, either. Just add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients. I prefer to use a food processor to finely shred the zucchini, but a box grater can be used as well. Start with room temperature ingredients. In summary, here’s how to make healthier zucchini bread (see recipe card for details):
- First, in a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients.
- Second, add the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no dry patches left. If using brown sugar (as pictured in the process shot above) the batter will be very thick. If using maple syrup, the batter will be thin. Set aside while the oven preheats.
- Third, preheat the oven to 350F. Place the walnuts into the oven while it’s preheating so they can toast.
- Next, shred or grate zucchini using the fine grater in a food processor or use a box grater, retaining the zucchini juice. Prepare the pan for baking.
- Last, once the oven is preheated, fold the walnuts and zucchini into the batter. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake!
Zucchini Bread FAQs
How Long Should Gluten Free Zucchini Bread Cool Before Removing it From the Pan?
Cool this moist zucchini bread for ten minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Then remove the zucchini bread from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Be sure to allow the zucchini bread to cool completely before cutting into it – a practice in patience!
How Long Can Zucchini Bread Set Out at Room Temperature?
Gluten Free Zucchini Bread can set at room temperature for three days in a covered container. I store mine under a cake dome.
Do You Need to Refrigerate Zucchini Bread?
I don’t recommend refrigerating any bread. Refrigeration dries bread out.
Can Zucchini Bread be Frozen?
Healthier Zucchini Bread freezes beautifully. Slice then place the pieces on a parchment lined sheet pan. Freeze, then stack the slices between parchment paper and store in a freezer bag or lidded container. Freeze for up to two weeks.
The Difference Between Sweetening the Loaf with Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup:
I first made this Healthier Gluten Free Zucchini Bread with brown sugar, but then I wanted to see what it tasted like with maple syrup. Since I like both versions, I decided to include both options in this recipe and see which one you prefer.
The first two images below is a loaf of brown sugar sweetened zucchini bread. The next two images are of a naturally sweetened loaf. The brown sugar loaf rises higher and has a tighter crumb than the maple syrup loaf. Although both loaves are lightly sweetened and moist, the brown sugar loaf is noticeably sweeter than the maple syrup loaf below. Also, the crumb is different. Notice a more open crumb on the maple sweetened loaf.
Which one do I prefer? For this recipe, I prefer the brown sugar sweetened, just because I love brown sugar in quick bread, but the maple sweetened is quite nice too.
Brown Sugar Sweetened Zucchini Bread
Maple Sweetened Zucchini Bread
Do You Have to Peel the Zucchini for Zucchini Bread?
There are nutrients in the skin of zucchini so I never peel. Plus their vibrant green flecks of color add texture and interest to this gluten free zucchini bread recipe.
Can you Grate Zucchini in a Food Processor?
I prefer to grate zucchini in a food processor. It’s super fast and easy to clean up. Plus I can shred the zucchini on the fine setting. However, a box grater can be used as well.
Do You Have to Strain Zucchini for this Zucchini Bread Recipe?
Many zucchini bread recipes call for squeezing out the zucchini juice prior to adding the zucchini to the batter. I’ve formulated this healthier zucchini bread recipe so that you can leave that step out! There’s no need to strain or squeeze out the zucchini juice. Simply grate/shred the zucchini and add it and its juices to the mixing bowl.
What Makes This Gluten Free Zucchini Bread Healthier?
- Less Sugar or Naturally Sweetened: there are many zucchini bread recipes out there that call for an excess of sugar, up to two cups in some recipes. I’ve paired this Healthier Zucchini Bread Recipe down to 3/4 cups of sugar and with an option of brown sugar or maple syrup. While brown sugar is not healthy, there’s much less of it in this recipe than in others.
- Wholesome Ingredients: whole grain and nutty goodness support a wholesome loaf. Gluten free organic rolled oats turned into oat flour, almond flour, walnuts, loads of zucchini and a bit of tapioca starch make up the bulk of this zucchini loaf.
How to Share Gluten Free Zucchini Bread
Like other homemade gluten free breads or bread made with oat flour in general, this zucchini bread benefits from toasting. Slather it with butter du jour, mascarpone or cream cheese. It’s absolutely fabulous!
A Few Recipe Notes
- This moist zucchini bread has TWO cups of shredded zucchini in it! I really packed it in there for texture, moisture and flavor! Oat flour can take on a lot of moisture so zucchini is a perfect partner in this gluten free quick bread. AND for this recipe, there’s no need to squeeze the zucchini juice out. Just toss it into the batter!
- Freezer Friendly? Yes Please! This zucchini bread freezes beautifully. Slice into desired pieces and lay on a parchment lined sheet pan. Freeze, then stack the slices between parchment paper and store in a freezer bag or lidded container. Freeze for up to two weeks.
- Vegan Friendly? For an egg free version, I tested this recipe using flax eggs. The result was a super moist, crumbly loaf and the center sunk. There wasn’t enough structure to hold the loaf together or up. While the loaf was edible and tasty, it didn’t look very pretty. A whole new recipe is in order for a vegan + gluten free loaf.
- In baking, weighing ingredients is important for optimal outcome. I find that especially true in gluten free baking. If you’ll be baking with GF flours regularly, I recommend investing in a good digital kitchen scale. I use one like this and have had it for about five years. Its been reliable.
For more recipes using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats and so many other fabulous ingredients head to their website.
More Healthy Oat Recipes to Try
- Gluten Free Sourdough Pancakes
- Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes
- Healthier Banana Nut Muffins
- Maple Pecan Granola
- Blueberry Oat Flax Muffins
- Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
Healthier Gluten Free Zucchini Bread Recipe
- 3 Eggs large* see note for my egg free test
- 1/3 C (70g) Coconut Oil melted, warm to the touch
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Lemons Zested from large lemons
- 3/4 C (170g) Brown Sugar packed or use 3/4 C (220g) Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 1/2 C (150g) Oat Flour gluten free if needed
- 1/2 C (60g) Almond Flour
- 1/2 C (65g) Tapioca Flour
- 1 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 3/4 C (75g) Walnuts optional – Increase to 1 C (100g) if you love walnuts!
- 2 C (300g) Zucchini loosely packed, skin left on, shredded fine in a food processor with grater attachment or on a box grater. About 2 smallish zucchini.
- Start with room temperature ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest , maple syrup or brown sugar together until an emulsion is formed. About 30 seconds.
- To the wet ingredients, add the oat flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder, and salt. Whisk until there are no dry patches left. If using brown sugar (as pictured in the process photos) the batter will be very thick. If using maple syrup, the batter will be thin. Set aside while the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (176C). Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Place the walnuts on a small baking pan and place in the oven while it's preheating so they can toast. Toast the walnuts for 16-18 minutes or until fragrant and toasty. Set aside to cool, then rough chop.
- While the oven is preheating and the walnuts are toasting, shred or grate zucchini using the fine grater in a food processor or use a box grater, retaining the zucchini juice (it will be added to the batter – no need to squeeze the zucchini juice out of the zucchini). Set aside. Grease a 9"x5" (23cm X 13cm) loaf pan and line it one way with parchment paper keeping the parchment hanging over the edges for handles. Grease the parchment paper and clip the edges.
- Once the oven is preheated, fold the walnuts and zucchini into the batter until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Scrape the batter into the pan and use a sharp knife to run a shallow cut down the center (this helps the beauty crack open up). Bake for one hour and 5-10 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking. When ready, the top will have cracked open and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
- Place pan on a wire cooling rack. After 10 minutes, remove the bread using the parchment as handles. Set on a cooling rack until completely cool. You'll notice the bread shrinks slightly as it cools. Once cooled, the bread can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to three days. Slices are best toasted and enjoyed with slathering of choice! To freeze, slice and lay on a parchment lined sheet pan. Freeze, then stack the slices between parchment paper and store in a freezer bag or lidded container. Freeze for up to two weeks.
Last summer I made this recipe on repeat! My sister who is not gluten free tried and loved it. She made it a few times herself. I pulled out this beauty last night but made mini loaves this time. The amazing aroma transported me to last summer in the most wonderful way! The mini loaves were a success as well. Easy to freeze a loaf, share a loaf and eat the other! I used 3 mini loaf pans (5.75in x 3in). Baked for 35 min at 350°. I was so excited to wake up and eat this for breakfast this morning! I love it plain, with butter or dark chocolate almond butter 💕 Thanks for an amazing recipe!
Hi Jessica! SO happy to read your note and that you and your sister are enjoying the recipe! Thank you for your mini loaves tip for baking. Dark chocolate almond butter sounds amaaaazing!
Can this zucchini bread be made without the lemon zest? Wondering if you’ve tried it that way?
Hi Kathi! You bet. Lemon brightens the zucchini bread, but you can leave the zest out if you like.
I’ve been baking a lot with the overabundance of zucchini this year and this is by far the BEST recipe!!!! My family and I can’t get over it. I’ll happily make this recipe only from now on. I did sub 1/4c cornstarch because I didn’t have tapioca flour, thanks to the comments below!! Thank you!!!
Hi Claire! Oh my gosh, a total win! SO happy to hear. Thank you for your note, tip about the cornstarch and giving the bread a go!
This is the best zucchini bread recipe ever. I have made it many times and everyone raves about it. It is wonderfully gluten free but no one ever guesses that it is! Try it – you won’t be disappointed!
Could I sub the zucchini with equal parts of zucchini, apple, and carrot?
Hi Helen! I’ve not tried it, but I don’t see why not! That would be delicious!
This is amazing! That lemon zest was the perfect addition of deliciousness! I made a bundt and it baked in 40 minutes. I can’t stop eating it! ❤️
Hi Tina! Thank you for your note and tip. SO happy to hear.. and a bundt! Love it… isn’t the lemon so nice?
Do you think that I could use honey instead of maple syrup?
Hi Natasha! I’m not sure as I’ve only tested this recipe with Maple. If you give it a go, please let us know how it works for you.
Hi there, and thank you for this recipe. Being Vegan, I wonder if we could just make it as a cake instead of a loaf. That may work..
Excellent as per usual, Traci! On my first try, I made the zucchini bread with maple syrup and in a 9×5 pan and it was gooey goodness in a loaf. On my second try, I used brown sugar and I used a flatter brownie-like pan….it’s still in the oven and it smells divine!
Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
Oh my gosh, Julia! Thank you so much for your kind words and coming back and leaving a note! I’d love to know how long you baked the bread in a brownie like pan (what is the size?). SO happy to hear you’re enjoying the recipe!
Smells delish! However, the top started to burn after 50 minutes of baking…could this be because I had the oven on convection? I know my oven runs hot by a few degrees so I had adjusted accordingly. Suggestions? Worried I’m going to cut into it and have a raw middle and burned top.
Hi Sarah! Ohhh nooo! I’m worried about the interior too :/ I’m curious if you use an external oven thermometer? I was shocked to see how much my oven (it was brand new!) was off when I started using one. So, I decided to buy another one just to be sure. Now I use two for every bake. Also, I bake on convection for everything, so I don’t think that would be the issue. If you give the recipe a go again and the top starts to darken too quick, you can tent it with aluminum foil. I hope this helps.
I don’t use an external thermometer but will have to get one for next time! I’m a newbie Baker so wasn’t sure about convection, good to know you use it all the time. Great suggestion about tenting and despite the slight burn on top it tastes amazing! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes 🙂
Hi Sarah! Thank you for your quick reply and review! Since you’ll be baking, I highly recommend an external OT! Seriously, it made me a more confident baker. Even 10 degrees off can make a difference! So happy to hear the bread turned out despite the extra crunchy top.
I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I have lots of zucchini!! Can I substitute more oat flour for the almond and tapioca flours? Will it change the texture of the bread?
Hi Deb! Thank you for your note. Using all oat flour will change the texture and structure of the bread. Tapioca helps give height and tenderness to the bread while almond flour contributes to the flavor and texture. Tapioca also helps soak up all that zucchini juice. I hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe!
Absolutely delicious, Traci! I’m enjoying a warm slice a la mode as I type. I hope you’re having a wonderful summer!
Hiii Kristin! So happy see your comment! I hope you’re well and having a beautiful summer :D But a la mode? I’m undone! Did you try maple or brown sugar?
I used brown sugar! Sometimes liquid sweetener gets tricky with high elevation (it’s hard to get the moisture out during baking) and I am also a sucker for brown sugar ;-) Summer is going well, albeit quickly—I can hardly believe September is right around the corner!
IDK that about liquid sweetener and high ele. Good to know! I’m a sucker too for brown sugar! xo
That last photo put me over the top! A big cup of coffee with a slice or two ;) of this bread – Done!!
hehe… thank you Annie! A big cup of coffee is a must (or cold brew!)!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
My zucchini plants have not done well this year – but they are producing a bit – so 2 zucchinis are doable. Looking forward to trying this – I love quick breads – especially zucchini ones. I’ve never tried maple syrup in quick bread – will definitely give that a whirl to see how it tastes!
Oh nooo! I guess 2 zucchinis are better than one! I hope you enjoy the bread, Geraldine. The maple sweetened is subtle, but it’s especially nice for those watching their sugar. LMK if you give it a go!
This looks delicious but an awful lot of sugar compared to flour, isn’t it more like a zucchini cake rather than bread? I am going to try it but will brobably put a third of a sugar amount and more salt and omit the vanilla and cinnamon and see how it tastes.
Thank you for the recipe idea!
Hi Andrea! This zucchini loaf is a quick bread. Quick breads are sweet. It sounds like you’re after a savory zucchini loaf, which this is not. Please understand that sugar plays an important function in this recipe, as it supports the moisture content and the texture of this loaf.
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
You know I’ll be whipping up a few of these for my gluten free friends Traci. I love that you’ve given the option to sweeten with maple syrup. I’ve been very fortunate to be gifted a few zucchini from my brother in law’s garden too. Can’t wait to try!
I love it Mare! I hope y’all enjoy it! You’ve a generous BIL… what a treat!
I’m intolerant to tapioca so is there another flour I could use to replace it?
Hi Yvette! Thank you for your note. Although I’ve not tried it, I’ve read that you can sub cornstarch for tapioca flour. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons tapioca flour, use just 1 tablespoon cornstarch. So in this case you’d sub 1/4 C cornstarch for the tapioca flour. Please let us know if you give it a go! I hope this helps.
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
I definitely want to try this maple syrup-sweetened version. I still have SO MUCH left from my trip to the sugar shack in March – not a bad problem to have! :-)
Ohhhh having too much maple is a good thing! I’d love to have a larder full of it. I hope you enjoy the recipe Liz!