Lemon Zucchini Loaf
This delicious Lemon Zucchini Bread with sour cream is loaded with fresh lemon zest and grated zucchini then topped with a lemon glaze. The lemon zucchini loaf is super moist and has the perfect balance of lemon flavor.
Now, if you also love packing zucchini into delicious desserts and quick breads, then you won’t want to miss my Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins! I remember growing up and we would make 3 or 4 batches of this delicious recipe on Saturdays to use up all our summer zucchini! It was delicious for sure, but now I can add a lemon zucchini bread recipe to the mix of delicious zucchini bread recipes!
Why This Recipe Works
- Packed with zucchini. Zucchini is one of those ingredients you can add to just about anything and it just works! The fact that the flavor is so mellow makes it the perfect vegetable to hide in any sweet recipe! This zucchini bread recipe uses 1 whole cup of shredded zucchini!
- Best lemon zucchini bread with lemon glaze. Everything tastes better with a glaze, right? This simple lemon glaze adds the perfect touch of sweetness and amps up the lemon flavor too!
- Incredibly moist texture. This moist zucchini bread recipe gets its moistness from a few things: vegetable oil, the zucchini, and sour cream! That’s right! Lemon zucchini bread with sour cream is a great way to add additional fat to the recipe to ensure a moist crumb. Plus, the wetness from the zucchini and the liquid oil all come together for the perfect bread!
- Granulated Sugar: In the step-by-steps you’ll see that we rub the sugar and lemon zest together with our fingers to create a combined mixture. This helps infuse the sugar with the lemon flavor and amps it up!
- Lemon Zest: You definitely want fresh lemon zest to get that fresh lemon flavor. Be sure to zest just the skin of the lemons and not the pulp beneath it.
- Vegetable Oil: Using vegetable oil ensures a very moist texture in the bake of the lemon zucchini loaf.
- Sour Cream: Lemon zucchini bread with sour cream makes a huge difference in terms of moistness. Adding the sour cream provides additional fat to get a moist lemon zucchini bread. I recommend using full fat for this reason.
- Zucchini: No need to peel the zucchini prior to shredded. In fact, I prefer not to peel. The skin softens while baking so you don’t notice it at all. Plus, the skin has the highest nutrition density, so keeping it on brings a bigger punch of good vitamins and minerals from the zucchini.
- Powdered Sugar: The powdered sugar combined with the fresh lemon juice makes the delicious lemon glazed zucchini bread!
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Since you’ll be using fresh lemons for the zest, use the fresh lemon juice! It will provide a much fresher and punchier lemon flavor.
- Shred the zucchini. Using a box grater, shred the zucchini. Then lightly dab the shredded zucchini with paper towels to remove any excess liquid.
- Rub the sugar and lemon zest together. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the two ingredients together until a uniform mixture appears.
- Add the remaining wet ingredients. Add the eggs and oil. Beat on medium speed using a hand or stand mixer until combined. Add the vanilla and mix again.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet. Stir in half of the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until partially combined. Add the sour cream and the rest of the dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Fold in the zucchini. Using a spatula, fold in the zucchini.
- Bake. Pour batter into a 9×5-inch loaf pan that has been greased and floured. Bake at 350°F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Make the glaze. While the loaf is cooling in the bread pan for 5-10 minutes, make the lemon glaze. Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice until the glaze forms. Turn the lemon zucchini bread out on a wire rack and let cool completely. Once cooled, drizzle with the glaze while the bread is still on the cooling rack. Serve!
You do not need to peel the zucchini bread shredding it. The skin softens when baked so you really can’t even tell! Plus, seeing the speckles of dark green zucchini are nice too! They reassure us that we are in fact eating a vegetable.
Don’t ring it out the zucchini. We want to keep the moisture, we just don’t want the zucchini to be sopping wet.
If the lemon glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If glaze is too thick add more lemon juice.
You want to make sure the lemon zucchini bread is cooled completely before pouring the glaze on top. Otherwise the heat of the bread will make the glaze run right off the bread.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
Store the glazed lemon zucchini bread covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days.
To freeze, it’s easier to hold off on the glaze. Make the bread and let it cool completely, then double wrap in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for 1-2 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, you can make the glaze and add it to the bread.
Yes you do! You need the fresh lemon zest for the bread and the fresh lemon juice for the glaze. Without fresh lemons, you really won’t get as strong or prominent of a lemon flavor. Lemon extract won’t provide the fresh lemon flavor.
Nope! This is a quick bread recipe, meaning it just uses baking soda for a leavening agent and not yeast.
You will see a bit of the glaze come down the sides of the bread. However, you don’t want the glaze to stream off the bread to where you lose all the glaze. If so, either your bread wasn’t cooled enough or your glaze was a bit too runny.
Yes you can! I used fresh zucchini that I shredded, but I’d made zucchini bread using shredded zucchini that was frozen and then thawed. I just had to drain and dab out a bit more liquid with the frozen than with the fresh.
Typically Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream. I haven’t made this recipe using Greek yogurt, but it should turn out fairly similar if not exact.
More Lemon Desserts
- Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Lemon Powdered Sugar Cookies
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Sour Cream
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review or scroll below the recipe card and do so there.
Lemon Zucchini Bread with Sour Cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest - about the zest of 2-3 lemons
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup sour cream - I used full fat, but you can use any kind
- 1 cup zucchini - grated
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×5” loaf pan, set aside.
- Place the shredded zucchini on a paper towel and lightly dab the zucchini so that it's not so wet. Don't ring it out; we just don't want the zucchini to be sopping wet.
- In a medium size bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the lemon zest and sugar between your fingers until the lemon zest has been evenly combined in the sugar. Add the eggs and oil to the sugar. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until slightly lighter in color.
- Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour half of the dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture. Mix until barely combined, there will be streaks of flour remaining. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream and the remaining flour mixture. Mix until just combined, do not over mix.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the zucchini.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the bread pan and cool on wire rack completely.
- Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. If glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If glaze is too thick add more lemon juice.
- Drizzle glaze over the cooled loaf.