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Bright and citrusy Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread is the answer to your bounty of the prolific green vegetable that overruns gardens each summer. The delicious flavors of lemon, poppy seed, and zucchini go wonderfully well together in this loaf of quick bread that is made extra special with a sweet-tart lemon glaze on top!
If you have an excess of zucchini like we do or your neighbors keep dropping it off on your porch, be sure to check out some of our other zucchini recipes like Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Morning Glory Muffins, and Zucchini Bread with Walnuts.
Zucchini: the garden veggie that just keeps on giving
We don't have a lot of garden space in our yard, but we still plant one zucchini plant each year. It's easy to grow and there are new zucchini every couple of days or so to be picked and used in all sorts of recipes.
Sometimes we go a healthier route and make zoodles, which are actually surprisingly fantastic in place of actual spaghetti noodles. We prefer them to spaghetti squash even! But most of the time I like to bake with the profusion of zucchini that results from our gardening efforts.
Zucchini in baked goods
Zucchini is magical when it comes to baked goods. It makes them extra moist and tender and wonderful. The mild flavor of zucchini lends itself well to adapting to other ingredients like warm spices like cinnamon and cloves, rich chocolate, or the bright citrus notes of lemon and poppy seed.
Really, I just took my stand-by zucchini bread recipe and tweaked it a bit to make this lemon poppy seed version. So far I have only made it in loaf form, but like any quick bread this recipe would serve well as muffins instead.
And while you don't NEED the lemon glaze that graces the top of the moist, wonderful loaves, I highly recommend adding it. It's such a treat to have a slice of this lemon poppy seed zucchini bread in the afternoon as a snack, or for breakfast in the morning.
How to make lemon poppy seed zucchini bread
- Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. There is no need to peel the zucchini first. I actually love those little flecks of green from the zucchini skin in this quick bread recipe. There is no need to wring liquid out of the grated zucchini in this recipe either.
- Whisk the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. I have replaced half of the oil with applesauce in the past and it works well, although I prefer the extra moistness that the full amount of oil gives to the bread as written.
- Stir in the grated zucchini, lemon juice, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. If you wanted to do almond poppy seed zucchini bread, you could leave out the lemon juice and lemon zest and use 1 teaspoon of almond extract instead.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring just until combined. This is a one-bowl recipe the can be done by hand or in a stand mixer. The key is sprinkling the baking powder and baking powder over the other ingredients rather than dumping them in one big clump. I always skip whisking dry ingredients together and save myself a bowl using this approach.
- Bake! Divide the batter evenly between two greased 8x4-inch loaf pans. You could use one larger 9x5-inch pan and two smaller loaf pans instead, but you will need to adjust the bake time accordingly.
- Cool, then glaze. Once the bread is out of the oven, let it cool in the loaf pan for at least 20 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool all the way. Whisk the glaze together in a bowl adding just enough lemon juice to powdered sugar to get it to your desired thickness, then drizzle or spread it on top of the bread and let it set before slicing.
More bread recipes like this
- Passion Fruit Lemon Loaf Cake
- Best Banana Bread (this seriously is the best banana bread ever - just read some of the dozens of comments at the end of the post)
- Glazed Apple Fritter Yeast Bread
- Irish Soda Bread
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Coconut Lime Glazed Banana Bread
- Cranberry Orange Bread
- Fresh Cherry Quick Bread
- Pear Bread
- Fresh Strawberry Bread
- Lemon Blueberry Bread
Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups grated zucchini
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
- 3 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- extra lemon zest for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8x4-inch loaf pans or 4 smaller pans.
- Whisk the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
- Stir in the grated zucchini, lemon juice, lemon zest, and poppy seeds.
- Stir in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, just until combined. Divide evenly between the two loaf pans.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.
- Cool for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- Whisk the powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thin icing. Spread over the top of the loaves, then let set before slicing and serving.