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Zucchini Bread With Applesauce

Dig into a big slice (or two!) of this fluffy, moist zucchini bread made with unsweetened applesauce, whole wheat flour, and half the sugar.

Slices of whole wheat zucchini bread on a plate with a blue striped napkin.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread with Apple Sauce

I love my original recipe for zucchini bread. So, when I set out to make a lightened-up loaf, the goal was to create something a bit more wholesome, without compromising on flavor or texture. This zucchini bread uses applesauce in place of oil, trades all-purpose flour for whole wheat, and includes half the amount of sugar. Just like my original recipe, though, this zucchini bread with applesauce is super flavorful and moist, with a touch of spice.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe

  • Made with applesauce. This whole wheat zucchini bread ditches the vegetable oil and replaces it with unsweetened apple sauce and a little olive oil, for richness.
  • Less sugar. Make wholesome zucchini bread with half the sugar! Instead, you’ll add a touch of maple sugar as a natural sweetener.
  • Whole wheat flour. I swapped out the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour for this recipe, but you can use either one.
Ingredients for whole wheat zucchini bread with applesauce.

Ingredient Notes

Here’s a brief overview of the important ingredients for this zucchini bread with applesauce. Don’t forget to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full recipe and instructions.

  • Zucchini – You’ll need 1-2 fresh zucchini, enough to make 1 ¼ cups when grated.
  • Applesauce – Unsweetened applesauce makes a lighter replacement for all or some of the oil and butter in traditional quick bread recipes.
  • Olive Oil – Olive oil is a better option than vegetable oil. You can also replace the olive oil with additional applesauce if you prefer.
  • Maple Syrup – Replaces some of the sugar with natural sweetness.
  • Whole Wheat Flour – For some extra nutrition. You can also make this zucchini bread with all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Spices – Cinnamon or nutmeg both work in this recipe.

Should Zucchini Be Drained Before Baking?

One key to making the best zucchini bread that isn’t soggy or gummy is to always drain the zucchini of excess moisture. I found the best way to do this is using a few paper towels. Once the towels have absorbed most of the water from the zucchini, shake them out and repeat until there’s no more water to ring out.

How to Make Zucchini Bread With Applesauce

  • Prepare the pan. I recommend quickly greasing the pan and then lining it with parchment paper so you can easily remove the loaf and slice it.
  • Prepare the zucchini. Grate the zucchini (you can leave the skin on) using a cheese grater. Be sure to remove all the excess moisture using paper towels to squeeze the zucchini until there’s no more water left (see above).
  • Combine the wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, beat the wet ingredients together until well combined. Next, cream in the sugar.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and beat just until it starts to combine.
  • Fold in the zucchini. I do this by hand using a spatula until it’s well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake. Bake the applesauce zucchini bread at 350°F for 45-55 minutes. Afterward, let the bread cool in the pan for an hour before slicing.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Quick bread recipes like this easy zucchini bread with applesauce are super beginner-friendly! All the same, here are some tips that I picked up while recipe testing, along with some variation ideas:

  • Do I need to peel the zucchini? You can if you’d like, though it’s not necessary. Peeling the zucchini doesn’t make any difference in the taste or texture of the zucchini bread.
  • Use a box grater. This is the easiest way to shred zucchini! Otherwise, any grater will work. You can also use your food processor or a blender, just be careful that you don’t over-shred and wind up with mush.
  • Don’t overmix. Overmixing the batter can cause the finished zucchini bread to fall in the middle. Make sure to beat the ingredients together until they’re just combined.
  • Check for doneness. The easiest way to tell when zucchini bread is finished baking is to stick a toothpick into the center of the bread loaf. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done! If the toothpick comes out streaked with batter, the zucchini bread needs a little bit longer in the oven.
  • Add-ins. Jazz up this zucchini bread with applesauce and add in chocolate chips, chopped nuts (like pecans or walnuts), raisins, or fresh raspberries or blueberries.
  • Add a glaze. Make this zucchini bread more of a dessert and add a brown butter glaze, like the one I use for my pumpkin bundt cake.

A loaf of zucchini bread wrapped in a blue and white striped dishcloth.

What to Serve With Zucchini Bread

This zucchini bread with applesauce is perfect to have with breakfast or brunch. Pair it with more wholesome favorites like these banana protein pancakes, or savory dishes like quiche florentine or broccoli cheddar quiche, and crispy lemon potatoes. Slices taste delicious spread with butter, drizzled with honey, or topped with peanut butter. Don’t forget a warm cup of coffee or tea!

Overhead view of slices of zucchini bread stacked next to a basket lined with a blue and white striped dishcloth.

How to Store

  • To Store. Store any leftover applesauce zucchini bread at room temperature. It will keep for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze. I freeze loaves of whole wheat banana bread and zucchini bread all the time! It makes a great snack to toss in a lunchbox or for a mid-morning snack. Wrap slices of zucchini bread individually in plastic wrap, and then place them in a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

More Easy Quick Bread Recipes

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Slices of whole wheat zucchini bread on a plate with a blue striped napkin.

Zucchini Bread With Applesauce

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 48 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This fluffy, moist zucchini bread is made with unsweetened applesauce, whole wheat flour, and half the sugar! It’s quick to make and extra wholesome, with all the flavor of my original recipe.


  • 1 ¼  cups grated zucchini (2 small or 1 medium zucchini)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (4oz) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (95g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (3.75g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside. Line the pan with parchment paper if desired.
  2. Prepare the zucchini using a large cheese grater. Grate the zucchini with the skin on. Use a paper towel to squeeze out extra water in the zucchini and fluff with a fork.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients: eggs, apple sauce, oil, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat all the ingredients together until well combined. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated.
  4. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and beat just until it starts to combine.
  5. Fold in the zucchini using a spatula and finish mixing the batter by hand. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.



  • Add  3/4 cups chocolate chips or 1/2 cup chopped nuts.
  • Baking times will vary depending on the type of pan and true oven temperature. Mine is ready at exactly 60 minutes, but I suggest 55-65 minutes as a range.
  • To turn this into muffins, bake at  375°F for 15-20 minutes.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 158
  • Sugar: 13.9 g
  • Sodium: 196.9 mg
  • Fat: 4.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 37.3 mg

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