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Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

This perfectly moist, gluten-free zucchini bread is a delightful Goldilocks recipe. I started with a time-tested formula from AllRecipes, but I swapped out the wheat flour, added more zucchini, and reduced the sugar a touch. The first test batch was still a little too sweet for my taste, so I lowered the sugar some more and tried a different type of oil. The second batch hit the sweet spot, but the bread didn’t quite fill out the pans. For the third batch, I increased all of the base ingredients and decided to leaven the batter solely with baking soda for mightier lift. This time, the boisterous loaves were just right.

Baking this sweet quick bread has become a family affair. My daughter Kylie (14) grates the zucchini while my daughter Abbi (10) measures the ingredients for me. And we all wait, not-so-patiently, for the finished loaves to cool. If you slice into gluten-free zucchini bread while it’s still warm, it can be crumbly. But sometimes it’s worth the risk for a straight-from-the-oven slice.

My husband enjoys this bread with his morning coffee, but you might like it as an afternoon treat. The loaves are also great for gifting, and can be sliced and sold at bake sales. For extra curb appeal, try the icing recipe mentioned in the tips below.

For the Love of Zucchini

Zucchini is an interesting vegetable because its ancestors are native to the Americas, but it was introduced to the Italians who developed and named the squash we buy today. They call it zucchino, and many other Europeans call it courgette (a term coined by the French). In North America we adopted the name as zucchini, although it’s sometimes labeled as Italian squash.

This tender summer squash is available year round, but grocers and gardens literally overflow with zucchini from July to September. My favorite way to enjoy the abundance is gluten-free zucchini bread. This recipe uses a full 4 cups (about 2 medium-to-large zucchini)! I use more zucchini in this recipe than your average version because it helps to keep the bread moist – dryness can be the downfall of gluten-free quick bread.

If you have even more zucchini to use up, you might want to whip up some of these gluten-free recipes:

Tips to Make this Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread Your Own

This is a delicious treat as is, but I certainly won’t be offended if you opt to try any of the following ideas.

Flavorful Additions

For true dessert bread, you can add about ¾ to 1 cup of dark, semi-sweet, or white chocolate chips (dairy-free, if needed). If you prefer a little crunch, and aren’t allergic to nuts, add about 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts. Stir these dry additions in with the zucchini.

Icing on the Bread

For a truly special treat, make a vanilla icing to top this gluten-free zucchini bread. Sift 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free powdered sugar into a bowl. Whisk in up to 2 tablespoons of dairy-free milk beverage to get a consistency that’s pourable but not too runny. If desired, whisk in ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Drizzle the icing over the completely cooled loaf.

Veggie Variations

If you have other fruits or veggies on hand, you can substitute them for part of the zucchini. Shredded carrots or beets go very nicely in this bread. I also like the combination of zucchini and apples, which I used in this bread recipe.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread Substitutions

Gluten-free baking is truly a science, which is why I would tread lightly with making any changes. But here are my suggestions if you are considering any major modifications.

Loaf Pan Swaps

I bake this recipe in two 4.5″ x 8.5″ bread pans for nice tall bread. You can use 9″ x 5″ pans, but they will make shorter loaves which can cook more quickly. The larger pans tend to take just 35 to 45 minutes in the oven, so you’ll want to check for doneness 5 minutes earlier than the recipe states.

Oil Options

I think olive oil produces the best results in this recipe. I use a regular olive oil that contains just a little extra-virgin olive oil. Because this gluten-free zucchini bread bakes at a relatively low temperature, you can use extra-virgin olive oil, but it has a more pronounced flavor. Extra-light olive oil is a great option if you want neutral-tasting oil.

Coconut oil also works well in this recipe but it produces a slightly thicker batter (particularly if any of your ingredients are cool) that’s also lighter in color. My preference is still for the runnier batter, darker color, and more compatible flavor from olive oil.

Sweet Subs

Most zucchini recipes use just white sugar, but I like to use part brown sugar for a little more oomph. It adds just a smidgen of moisture and imparts a deeper flavor. If you only have white cane sugar, you can substitute it for the brown sugar.

If you need a refined sugar-free option, coconut sugar might work, but the bread will be a touch drier and less sweet.

Tapioca Starch, Sorghum Flour & Brown Rice Flour

My blend has a higher ratio of flour to starch than most gluten-free flour blends, which is why I don’t recommend using a store-bought version. You might also run into issues if the store-bought blend contains any binders, since I add a specific amount of xanthan gum separately in this recipe. If needed, you can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour. But I would caution against making any other changes to the dry ingredients, unless you are baking the recipe at high altitude …

High Altitude Tips

I haven’t tested this recipe for high altitude, but if you are baking it above 3000 feet, start by reducing the baking soda to 1 1/2 teaspoons. If you are baking above 4000 feet, reduce it to 1 teaspoon. You can tell if there is still too much leavener if the loaves have a bitter or soapy taste or if they rise too much and crack or collapse. Other modifications might help to perfect the recipe, but reducing the baking soda will yield some immediate gluten-free zucchini bread success!

How to Make Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two 8.5 x 4.5” bread pans with parchment paper and generously grease.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, organic cane sugar, organic brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until well combined.
  5. Stir in the grated zucchini.
  6. Divide the batter between the two prepared bread pans. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick, when inserted into the center of the loaf, comes out mostly clean.
  7. Allow the loaves to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing and placing on wire racks. Cool completely before slicing

I hope you enjoy this gf zucchini bread as much as my family does! 
xoxo,
Mēgan

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread Recipe: 

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This tender and moist Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread is a beloved recipe by everyone! It's dairy-free and makes 2 loaves at a time.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil (or coconut oil, melted)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups grated zucchini

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two 8.5 x 4.5” bread pans with parchment paper and generously grease.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, organic cane sugar, organic brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs.
    3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
    4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until well combined.
    5. Stir in the grated zucchini.
    6. Divide the batter between the two prepared bread pans. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick, when inserted into the center of the loaf, comes out mostly clean.
    7. Allow the loaves to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing and placing on wire racks. Cool completely before slicing

Notes

Do not squeeze the liquid from your zucchini! This recipe needs the added moisture.

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Vernice Nunez

Saturday 21st of November 2020

I have try several recipes and mix GLUTEN FREE flour's but even me been a culinarian I have to play and check on others people trick's and my beautiful lady Meghan comes with this MASTERPIECE RECIPE. IT'S S SO FAR THE BEST I NEVER TRY OR BAKED. IM GLUTEN SENSITIVE AND NUT ALLERGIC I HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL WITH MY OWN FAMILY TOO. BUT THIS IS THE BEST TWO LOAF BREAD I NEVER HAVE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE THANKS SO MUCH FOR TEACH ME SOMETHING DIFFERENT ITS A SHAME I DIDN'T FIND THIS SOON ENOUGH ON PAST YEAR BUT IM GLAD I KEEP SEARCHING AND LOOKING FOR GREAT RECIPES LIKE THIS ONE. GREAT SUCCESS I DID 1/2 CUP OLIVE OIL ORGANIC AND 1/2 CUP AVOCADO OIL. PERFECTION TO THE TEETH. THANKS AGAIN. NOW TO ENJOY WITH CHAI TEA OR A HOT CUP OF COFFEE. MY RESPECTS IM A CHEF BUT THIS RECIPE ITS SO SUPERB. GOOD JOB.

Mēgan

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

Vernice, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for coming back here and leaving me this comment. Made my day. :) I'm so happy to hear you love it!

Rhiannon

Thursday 27th of August 2020

This recipe was a big hit with my family. Even got great reviews from the picky toddler. For anyone debating which pan to use: I baked it in both a metal and a ceramic pan and I found the ceramic pan had better rise and a better overall bread. Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to make another batch.

Mēgan

Thursday 24th of September 2020

That’s great information - thank you for sharing that, Rhiannon!

Pele

Saturday 4th of April 2020

Stumbled across your recipe today after doing a search for gluten-free zucchini bread. I have been 'burned' by other recipes online for such things which usually end up being a waste of flour, BUT...your recipe was FANTASTIC. I was overjoyed at how delicious it turned out. It made THIRTEEN 2" x 4" mini loaves and they were light and airy and delicious. I love that I didn't have to drain the zucchini and how you incorporated the wetness of it into your recipe. There was a point where I wondered if that was going to work or not, but after I mixed it in and it rose so beautifully in the oven, you made me a believer. I can't wait to try your other recipes. You really won over this picky baker! Stay healthy and safe <3 :)

Mēgan

Sunday 19th of April 2020

Pele, thank you for leaving me such a sweet comment! Made my day! I'm very happy you enjoyed this recipe.

Susan

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Trying this out right now! Looks delicious! One question, I have a banana that needs used, can I just add it, or would you suggest any changes?

Megan

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Hi Susan, that's a great question! This bread is moist enough... if you added a banana, I'd maybe try pulling back on the olive oil by 2 tablespoons? But that's just an educated guess. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! :)

Valerie

Thursday 1st of August 2019

It’s been a rainy day here in northern B.C. but the garden is exploding with zucchini. Perfect time to warm up the house with some baking. This turned out perfect! I substituted brown sugar with cane sugar but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. So far his is the best gluten free zucchini bread I’ve been made. Thanks

Megan

Thursday 1st of August 2019

You're very welcome, Valerie! That's a HUGE compliment! Thank you so much for coming back here and letting us know you tried it. :) Megan