Zucchini Carrot Apple Bread

Zucchini Carrot Apple Bread | Will Cook For Friends

I don’t know whose idea it was to put zucchini in bread, or carrots in cake, but whoever it was, I’d like to thank them. From the bottom of my heart stomach, thank you. 

Honestly, it’s pure genius. Besides making super moist and delicious baked goods, the veggies make it easy to convince yourself that eating half a loaf all on your own is a totally appropriate breakfast option. I mean, come on… it has vegetables in it, so… it’s basically a salad, right?

Okay, so maybe it isn’t that good for you. But it is good for the soul, and I say, that counts. A few extra veggies don’t hurt, either.

Zucchini Carrot Apple Bread | Will Cook For Friends

I am a huge fan of zucchini bread, but I rarely get to make it, because in our house, turning on the oven during the summer is a big no-no. Lucky for me, these past few weeks have been mercifully cool, so when the sun goes down and the windows open up, the oven goes on and I get to baking.

This recipe actually went through a few iterations before becoming what it is. You see, I have two issues with most zucchini breads: They are either A. super greasy and heavy, or B. barely have enough zucchini in them to justify their name. This loaf has neither of those problems — it is moist and dense (without being heavy or oily in the least) and it is packed to the brim with vegetables (and fruit, because, apples).

Also, the batter looks like nature’s version of funfetti, which makes me all kinds of happy. (Now that I think of it, if you can get your hands on some rainbow carrots, that would be even better — all of the colors!)

Zucchini Carrot Apple Bread | Will Cook For Friends

If you’re wondering how the taste is with all those vegetables, let me just say this: I’ve made this recipe five times in the past week and a half. (Yes, really. And no, I didn’t eat it all myself… I wish.)

It turns out, I’m not the only one who loves a good zucchini bread, and every time I make a loaf it disappears within a day. That kind of enthusiasm is why I fell in love with cooking in the first place — because it makes people happy. If this recipe can do that, than it’s a keeper in my book!


4.8 from 18 reviews
Zucchini Carrot Apple Bread
Serves: 1 loaf (recipe can easily be doubled)
  • 1¾ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. powdered ginger (or 1 tsp. Freshly grated ginger)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup grated apple (I used red, but you can use whatever variety you like)
  • optional: 1 cup chopped nuts, minced candied ginger, dried fruit, or other add-ins
  1. Preheat oven to 325degrees F.. Grease a 8x4 inch baking dish (I used coconut oil, but you can use butter or a spray if you prefer), then line the bottom with parchment paper. Stash the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill while you make the batter.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until light and frothy. Add the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, and beat well for one minute. Grate the zucchini, carrots, and apple on the large side of a box grater, and add them to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and fold them in gently until just combined, with no dry patches. The batter will be quite thick, but that's how it should be -- a lot of the moisture is contained in the veggies and apple, and will come out during baking to keep the loaf moist. Do not over-mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpic inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  6. Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan, then let cool completely. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature. Keeps beautifully for 3-4 days.
(I haven't tried making this loaf with any other kinds of flour yet, but plan on experimenting with a gluten-free version soon. I'll update here when I do!)



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45 Responses to Zucchini Carrot Apple Bread

  1. Juju Sprinkles July 21, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    What a simple and healthy recipe this is! I was just at the farmers market this weekend and bought some zucchini. This will be perfect!!!

    Juju Sprinkles

    • Willow Arlen July 31, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      I hope you like it as much as we do! I’ve been making this bread non-stop lately, we just can’t get enough of it!

    • Megan Taul June 7, 2018 at 4:36 pm #

      Delicious! My husband said it was better then good! I made a few changes: whole wheat flour, pure cane sugar, canola oil

      • Willow Arlen June 16, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

        So glad you and your husband liked it, Megan!

  2. Helen August 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    Made this tonight. It’s just delicious. Followed the recipe almost exactly, except for a slight reduction in the sugar–used 3/4 cup demerara sugar instead–and the omission of ginger because I was out. Looking forward to making it again with fresh ginger. Very nice, indeed. Thank you for sharing.

    • Willow Arlen August 9, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

      Thanks, Helen! Glad you liked it. The demerara sugar is a great idea, I’ll have to try that next time!

  3. Letty September 29, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    Did you try to make it gluten free yet?

    • Willow Arlen September 29, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

      Hi Letty,

      I’ve done one test batch using gluten-free flour, and found that the loaf came out significantly dryer and denser. That was kind of expected, because many gluten free flours absorb more moisture than wheat flour. I’ve been meaning to try it again with a bit of water or apple juice added to make up for that (or by using less flour to begin with), but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ll be sure to update the recipe once I have a gluten-free version that works!

  4. David November 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    This bread looks and sounds fab; however, coconut oil isn’t easily found here in the UK unless bought in bulk for making popcorn (is it the same stuff?). Do you know if anything could be substituted instead?

    Also, just about to try out your eggnog recipe. Again, you can’t get carton eggnog in the UK but I do love an eggnog latte from Starbucks. I want to be able to make my own at home (and get obese in the process!).

    • Willow Arlen November 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

      Haha, thank you for your comment, David! I’ve never had an eggnog latte, but it sounds amazing (and totally worth getting obese over). As for the coconut oil, you should be able to substitute plain vegetable oil. I prefer coconut oil for being (supposedly) healthier, but regular vegetable oil should work fine. I hope you like the bread and eggnog!

  5. Karyn May 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    Made this today, with a few changes and it turned out great!

    I made several changes in the hopes of producing a slightly healthier version of bread. For starters, I DOUBLED the recipe. First, I wanted to cut back on the use of All Purpose Flour, so I used 2 cups Oat flour (that I made using old fashioned oats blended in my Ninja). I used half apple sauce and the rest coconut oil and 3/4 c. REAL Maple syrup and the rest cane sugar. The batter was on the runny side (due to the use of Maple syrup), so I had to fight the temptation to add more flour and boy, am I glad I did. I had read that Oat flour had the tendency to make breads drier, so I trusted that while baking the bread would set up and produce a moist, but fully cooked bread. I was not disappointed.

    Now I don’t have a gluten intolerance issue, but I think if you wanted to make this bread gluten free you could follow my recipe, using gluten free flour in place of All Purpose Flour and have a good result. You could also, use apple sauce in place of Coconut Oil and your bread will turn out even more moist. I have done this in other bread recipes and it’s the best, healthiest substitute for butter or oil.

    One other change, I baked my bread in MINI loaf pans filled close to 3/4 way and baked for 35 minutes, checking and rotating pans at 30 minutes.

    My mini loaves turned out so good! Now I’m going to freeze them for another day, so I’m not tempted to eat them all now. :)

    • Willow Arlen May 16, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      That’s great, Karyn! I’m so glad you liked them, and I’ll definitely have to try some of your modifications. I am ALWAYS tempted to add more flour to gluten-free batters, but the flours soak that liquid right up. I’m glad to hear it worked out, because I’ve been meaning to try out a gluten-free version of this and just haven’t really taken the time. And making them in mini loaf pans and freezing them is so smart, because it goes SO fast otherwise!

  6. Ruthie August 4, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Best I’ve ever made! Comes closest to the recipe used at the Congressional dining hall in D.C. Made and froze 16 mini loaves for winter & as gifts! Ate the other 2?!

    • Willow Arlen August 4, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

      Yay, I’m so glad you liked the recipe! Thanks for sharing! :)

  7. Stephanie August 10, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

    I just made this with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup old fashion oats, and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. Also added zest of 1 orange and reduced sugar to 1/2 cup. It was delicious! A little dense due to the wheat flour, but I was expecting that. The zucchini, carrots, and apple kept the bread from drying out. Will definitely be repeating!

    • Willow Arlen August 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback, Stephanie — I’m glad you liked it!

  8. Stephanie V August 11, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    Hello! Do you think this might taste good sliced, frozen, and then thawed? I made a double batch for my anti-produce toddler and want it to last a lot longer than 3-4 days. Thanks!

    PS — it’s in the oven now and smells SO good! I used some leftover apple pie spice instead of cinammon, which I highly recommend for a change!

    • Willow Arlen August 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      Hi Stephanie — I’m so sorry I haven’t responded sooner! I realize it’s probably too late now, but I imagine that freezing the bread would work just fine. I’ll have to try it myself the next time I make some, because it’s a great idea!

  9. Penni September 1, 2016 at 8:43 pm #

    Wow this sounds great. I am going to make it for the folks here in the senior housing building where I live. Some are like toddler’s and you have to sneak the veggies in so this would be great. My question is the baking. We are still having really hot days here in CA and I was wondering if you had any thoughts about my cooking it in my bread machine. It has a quick bread cycle.

    • Willow Arlen September 2, 2016 at 12:12 am #

      Haha, that’s great Penni, I hope they like it! I’m sorry to say I really don’t have any experience using a bread machine, so I’m not sure how this would turn out. If it has a quick bread cycle, though, I don’t see the harm in giving it a try! I’d love to hear how it goes if you do!

  10. TT February 24, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    Thanks for sharing. I really don’t like ginger so I omitted it. The texture was great but the flavor was a little bland unfortunately. I like the idea of adding more vegetables and hoped my kids would do like it since there is still quite a bit of sugar in it. Sadly that wasn’t the case. I appreciated you sharing this even if it didn’t turn out as I hoped. But also wanted to leave brevity for others.

    • Willow Arlen February 27, 2017 at 11:46 am #

      Thanks for the comment! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, but I appreciate that we all have different tastes and preferences. Thanks for trying the recipe, and leaving feedback!

  11. Karen August 10, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m stupid, but do you leave the peel on zucchini & apple when grating?

    • Willow Arlen August 10, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

      Not a stupid question at all, Karen! I do leave the peel on both. Just wash and dry ’em first and you’re good to go. Of course if there are any bad spots (rough, bruised, holes, etc.) cut those away first. Hope that helps!

  12. Ann November 6, 2017 at 9:30 pm #

    This recipe is fantastic. I used vegetable oil as I didn’t have any coconut; everything else I kept the same. My kid loves it, as do I. I’ve been making it almost every week.

    • Willow Arlen November 8, 2017 at 8:45 am #

      So glad you like it, Ann, thank you for sharing!

  13. Ann January 8, 2018 at 4:50 pm #

    I made this recipe and the result was fantastic. I didn’t have any coconut oil so used regular vegetable oil. Everything else was unchanged. My 8-year-old son, who loves quick breads (and normally he prefers things that are really sweet) said that this was his favorite, better than banana bread and pumpkin bread. It’s been a great item for school lunches; unlike most other things it actually gets eaten and the kid is not totally “hangry” when I pick him up. Thank you, Willow, for this fabulous recipe.

  14. Soumya February 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm #

    What’s a good way to reduce the sugar in this recipe ( maybe to 1/2 cup) with the same flour ? I was also planning to use squash instead of zucchini

    • Elizabeth October 8, 2018 at 3:21 pm #

      I’ve made this recipe – and loved it – without using any processed sugar. I added a ripe banana and about 1/4 c of date syrup and it was sweet enough for my 5 year old… though I’ve also made the recipe with 1/2 banana, 1/4 c apple sauce and 1/4 c brown sugar as the sweeteners and we liked it that way too. Hope that helps! :-)

  15. Linda April 13, 2018 at 7:05 am #

    Hi, do you squeeze the excess water out of the grated zucchinis, of coiurse leaving some to ensure the loaf is not too dry? Thanks

    • Willow Arlen April 24, 2018 at 11:19 am #

      Hi Linda, so sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. I do not squeeze any liquid out of the grated zucchini for this recipe. Hope that helps!

  16. Heidi August 25, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    Can you substitute apple sauce for the oil?

    • Willow Arlen September 4, 2018 at 6:50 pm #

      Hi Heidi — I haven’t tried it that way, but you can certainly give it a go! I’m sure it will still be delicious, but it may affect the texture or moisture level of the finished loaf. Only one way to find out!

  17. Jojo January 12, 2019 at 8:28 pm #

    What can I add to substitute the eggs in this recipe? I’d like to make it vegan, but maintain the same consistency.

  18. Debbie March 3, 2019 at 6:34 am #

    Hi, I just made the bread but it taste delicious but it is way too wet ;( Was I meant to squeeze out the excess liquid from the fruit and veg?

  19. Cher Smith March 9, 2019 at 8:45 am #

    Hi Willow – this is a Fantastic recipe ! Followed exactly except I used organic extra virgin olive oil instead of coconut oil – which worked perfectly. For the add-ins, I did 2/3 cup chopped walnuts & 1/3 cup chopped crystalized ginger. After cooling, drizzled a glaze over (2 Tbsp softened cream cheese, mixed with a few Tbsp each of orange juice and icing sugar). Outstanding!

  20. Sarah M May 13, 2019 at 9:31 pm #

    Such a nice recipe! I reduced the sugar and added some raisins. YUM!

  21. Emily November 11, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Loved this recipe! Didn’t have a zucchini, so I did twice the amount of apple. I did 1/4 cup raw sugar and 1/4 maple syrup and it turned out great. Delicious with some butter spread on a slice and heated up. Thanks!

  22. Melissa April 16, 2020 at 11:11 am #

    This recipe was amazing!! I followed it exactly and it turned out great! It tasted even better than second day! Im wondering if I could add a bit more zucchini if I don’t have an apple? I want to make it again!

  23. Heidi July 5, 2020 at 1:29 pm #

    Do you squeeze the juice out of the shredded apples

  24. Michelle Y September 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm #

    I have used this recipe atleast 3 times. I LOVE them. I use them for muffins. They continue to be a hit.

  25. Anna September 15, 2020 at 5:54 am #

    I made a gluten free version and it turnd out nicely. I used a store bought gluten-free flour mix and added 2 Tbs of psyllium husk. Also used erythritol/brown sugar mixture. Next time I will add a spoon or two of coconut flour, because the cake is a little bit too wet. Still, a great recipe!

  26. Colleen McMillen September 20, 2020 at 9:41 am #

    This bread was delicious and very moist. My husband and I can’t stop eating it!

  27. Colleen McMillen September 20, 2020 at 9:43 am #

    The bread was delicious, my husband and I cant stop eating it!

  28. Barbara December 18, 2020 at 1:24 am #

    Sounds delicious, and I am looking forward to trying this recipe.

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