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Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread

This recipe is my favorite way to use zucchini! This tender and moist quick bread features a cinnamon swirl layer and topped with extra cinnamon and sugar on top. It is one of my most requested recipes and for good reason!
5 from 2 votes
Course Breakfast


Batter Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup peeled and grated zucchini see note below

Cinnamon Swirl Ingredients

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped pecans optional


  • Preheat oven to 350° F and prepare pans. Grease or spray either two 7-⅜ x 3-⅝ inch loaf pans, four mini loaf pans, or one 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  • Peel and grate your zucchini. Let drain in a fine mesh strainer and press gently to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until the mixture is combined and smooth. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix until combined. Gently stir all dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the grated zucchini.
  • Prepare the cinnamon swirl by mixing the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. If using pecans, do not add the pecans to this mixture. The pecans should only be added to the middle layer.
  • To assemble the loaf or loaves, add about ½ of the batter into the bottom of each loaf pan(s), depending on which size you are using. Carefully sprinkle a little over half of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the bottom batter layer of each loaf pan(s).
  • If using pecans, evenly distribute the chopped pecans over the filling of each pan.
  • Gently spoon or pour the remaining batter over the filling. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over the top.
  • Bake in preheated oven until center is firm and a tester comes out clean. For the small loaves, this may be about 25-30 minutes, 40-45 minutes for medium loaf pans, or one hour for a large loaf pan. 


I recommend peeling the zucchini prior to grating, unless the green specks are desired in the finished product. Before adding the zucchini to the bread, place it in a fine mesh strainer and press out the excess water using a paper towel. One medium zucchini will generally yield about 1 cup. If using a large zucchini, remove all seeds.