Gluten-free Zucchini Bread

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Ok! Time to get back to that pile of zucchini in my kitchen.

What next? Figured I’d fine-tune the gluten-free zucchini bread recipe I’ve tinkering with. When I first started out on this zucchini bread adventure, I didn’t have a wheat-based recipe I loved. I only had recipes I thought were fine. But fine doesn’t cut it when I’m converting. It has to be really good. And great is better.

So I looked around. I asked friends for their favorites and checked out recipes from wheat bakers I admire. I also like to research recipes in really old cookbooks because it lets me see what they looked like in their more original form (a few of my favorite older cookbooks are from the early 1900’s). I think this allows me to better understand how a recipe has been adapted, updated, improved or ruined by modern day cooks. In most cases, “ruined” takes the form of complicating a recipe with unnecessary flourishes. Flourishes make it more difficult to convert to gluten-free because there are either too many ingredients to consider or too many complicated techniques to follow, or both. For me, less is more; flourishes can come later.

The recipes I found varied in terms of sugar and spice. Some had so much sugar they looked like they really should be called “cake”, not bread. Some were loaded with add-ins like coconut, raisins and nuts. Some had absolutely no spice and relied on just the zucchini and sugar for flavor. And some had so much cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or allspice, that they seemed more like a gingersnap or a pumpkin pie.

After looking at a couple of dozen recipes for zucchini bread, I realized that I could start with one of my own gluten-free muffin recipes as a foundation. I took a middle ground on the spice and add-ins. I made my first breads with a 1/2 cup of walnuts and only a touch of cinnamon. But every taste-tester thought they needed more spice (I wonder why there were so many zucchini bread recipes without any spice). I added more spice. And then there was the request for a touch of cinnamon sugar on top. I made a few other refinements, as well. And here they are- my little gluten-free zucchini breads. Fragrant, light textured, a bit green. Delicious. Try the recipe and let me know what you do to make it your own!


Gluten-free Zucchini Bread


Food Philosopher’s®Gluten-Free

Makes three 3 x 5 inch loaves

2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix*
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon sugar (optional, see instructions in cooks note) 

  1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Grease three 5 x 3-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
  2.  Put shredded zucchini in a small bowl and pat dry with paper towels.
  3.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Add zucchini and nuts; stir to coat evenly.
  4.  Combine milk and oil in small bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add liquids to zucchini nut mixture and stir until just blended.
  5. Fill loaf pans with batter. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake 35-40 minutes until light golden and toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 8 minutes on a rack and then remove from pan. Cool completely before serving or wrapping for storage.

*Find my Brown Rice Flour Mix in the recipe section of this blog.

Cooks Note:
Store bread covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to five days. Can be covered with plastic wrap and then with foil and stored in freezer for up to six weeks. Best when eaten within four days of baking.
To make cinnamon sugar, combine 2 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.


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18 thoughts on “Gluten-free Zucchini Bread”

  1. “What the hell is a lemon zester?!?!?!”

    You look fabulous and the recipe looks scrumptious!

    1. I can’t believe you remember the famous lemon zester story. It is a good one.
      And the zucchini bread is scrumptious! I will be eating some tomorrow with my coffee. Wish you lived near by!!

  2. The bread looks so delicious! What would happen if I used ONLY brown flour and didn’t do the mix with potato and tapioca starch? Would the bread be too dense, too grainy, or…? Thanks!

    1. hi!
      It is delicious and the recipe works well. If you only used brown rice flour with my recipe and extra finely ground brown rice flour, it wouldn’t be grainy, and you would have a lovely tasting zucchini bread brick: it wouldn’t rise as high or be as tender and delicate. But I think it would taste just fine.

      Let me know if you have more questions.

      very best,

  3. Thank you for this recipe! I made it today with a few changes. I used white rice flour instead and used one cup of zucchini and half a cup of carrot!. Everyone loved it! I was wondering if I can use rice milk instead of regular milk?

    1. hi!
      Glad you enjoyed it. And yes, you can most definitely use rice milk instead of regular milk in all my recipes.
      Let me know if you have any other questions!
      very best,

  4. First of all, I love your Gluten Free Baking Classics book. As an avid baker and sweet-eater, you are my favorite GF baking author by far…everything I make from that book tastes great! 🙂

    Second, I made this recipe today but only had a large (standard) loaf pan. I cooked it at 325* for 1 hour and it came out perfect.

    Thanks so much for yet another great recipe!

    1. hi!
      You are very welcome! I’m so glad the recipe worked well in a large pan. Hopefully, this means it’s a solid recipe that can stand up to all kinds of tweaking.

      And thank you so much for your very kind words about my work. It means a lot to hear it from the individuals who have come to know and enjoy my recipes.

      Very best,

  5. Hi There!
    Found your website today.
    I want to try to make your zucchini bread this weekend.
    Was wondering if almond milk is okay to use as a substitute for the 1/2 cup of milk?
    Love your website!

    1. Hi Evelyn,
      Yes you can use almond milk (or rice or soy or coconut milk) In fact, I’ll bet it will taste really good, although the surface of the bread might be a tiny bit less smooth. But if you are sprinkling a bit of sugar over the top, as I do, you won’t really notice. The most important thing about making this zucchini bread (or any zucchini bread, for that matter) is to be sure you pat the shredded zucchini dry with paper towels really well.

      I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      Very best to you,

  6. I avoid rice flour and can’t have any nightshades (potato flour) but have LOTS of zucchini – is there possibly an alternative to using the brown rice flour mix? Thanks!

    1. Dear Monika,

      Rice flour is a full 2/3 of my flour blend and potato starch makes up 2/3 of the remaining 1/3 of my blend, so I don’t have a clear cut path for you. But if you really want to try, if it were me, I’d try 2/3 finely ground sorghum and 1/3 tapioca starch as a first round test. Try to make only half the recipe first. You may need to reduce the liquid by a tablespoon (or more). Please let me know how you make out.

      Very best regards,

        1. Please let me know how it works out. I’d be happy to help you fine it until you get something that you really like.

          1. Hi Annalise, I had a chance today to work on the zucchini bread and it turned out GREAT! I didn’t add nuts but more zucchini, reduced some of the oil. It was VERY liquid(y) but baked beautifully. My next mission is to make it without eggs and dairy… Thank you very much!

  7. I am so grateful for you and have been ever since I discovered your first cookbook.
    This recipe worked wonderfully for me. I used soy instead of cow’s milk and brown sugar instead of white, added raisins, and baked the batter in a muffin tin. It made 16 light, flavor-filled muffins. They were delicious fresh, but also travelled well and froze well. Thank you!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Thank you for kind words. And your tweaks to the Zucchini bread recipe sound really delicious! Thank you so much for sharing them with me.
      Hope you are enjoying the autumn baking season.

      Very best,

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