The Best Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe with Raisins

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This zucchini raisin bread recipe is an adaptation of a recipe I found in a thrift store recipe book called The Practical Produce Cookbook: How to Plant, Pick, Prepare and Preserve Produce. It comes together so easily and the whole family loves it. It’s made with vanilla extract, applesauce, cinnamon, and grated zucchini. It is the best zucchini bread and the whole family loves it. It’s a great recipe and a good way to use up every garden’s most prolific vegetable!

closeup of zucchini raisin bread

I Love Thrift Store Recipe Books

I am a thrift store book nerd especially when it comes to the recipe book section. Sometimes I find some real unique gems that probably came straight from someone’s grandma’s kitchen. I found The Practical Produce Cookbook at one of my favorite thrift stores and it is now one of my favorite recipe books. It has loads of zucchini recipes and suggestions on how to use all your garden bounty.

The first time I made this zucchini bread, I noticed that the original recipe has a typo and includes the 3 cups of flour twice in the ingredients list. Luckily, I was smart enough to realize that 6 cups of flour would be too much for this recipe!

Substituting Applesauce for Oil

A few years ago, a family member had some special dietary needs and had to eat a low-fat diet. I adapted this favorite zucchini raising bread recipe by substituting applesauce for the oil. I found that the applesauce and zucchini keep the bread perfectly moist, and the applesauce adds a very subtle flavor that really makes the bread outstanding. Even though these dietary needs have changed, we still always make zucchini bread and banana bread with applesauce instead of oil because it’s so much better that way.

Shredding the Zucchini

You do not need to peel the zucchini before you shred it. The skin cooks down wonderfully and adds that pop of green color in the finished bread. Just cut the ends off each zucchini and shred it on a cheese grater. I never remove any water from fresh zucchini, I just put the freshly shredded goodness right into my mix. If the shredded zucchini is previously frozen, I do pour off some of the excess moisture before I add it to the batter.

Freezing Zucchini Bread: How long will it last in the freezer?

Freezing zucchini bread is a great way to save some for later. This recipe makes 2 loaves, so you can eat one now and put the other one in the freezer for easy fresh zucchini bread another day. For best results, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and then wrap it again with aluminum foil and place it in the freezer. This will keep in the bread from drying out in the freezer. If you wrap it this way, it will taste as good as the day you put it in the freezer. The zucchini bread will stay good in the freezer for 3-4 months. When you are ready to eat it, just take it out of the freezer, and let it sit at room temperature until it is completely thawed. You can then unwrap it and enjoy!

Tips for Making the Best Easy Zucchini Bread with Raisins

Ingredients:

Eggs: I use 3 large eggs in this recipe. The eggs really help with the rise and the moisture of this bread.

Sugar: I usually use plain old white sugar in this recipe, but you could sub out the white sugar for brown sugar if you wanted to with no ill effects.

Vanilla: Don’t underestimate the difference good quality vanilla makes in a recipe like this. Don’t skimp on your vanilla!

Applesauce: I use home-canned applesauce in this recipe, but you can use applesauce from the grocery store too. The applesauce really adds moisture and flavor to this bread.

Cinnamon: Don’t forget the cinnamon in this recipe! It mixes with the other ingredients to add a wonderful depth of flavor.

Shredded Zucchini: The star of the show! Grated, unpeeled fresh zucchini adds loads of moisture to this bread and added nutrients! You can also use previously frozen shredded zucchini, just make sure you pour off some of the excess moisture from frozen zucchini before adding to the batter.

Raisins: The raisins in this bread add sweetness and interesting color and texture. You can use black raisins or golden raisins in this recipe. The one cup raisins could also be half of each type to create variety.

Chocolate Chips (optional): For a fun twist, you can use chocolate chips in this recipe instead of raisins. My kids appreciate it when I make chocolate zucchini bread.

Flour: I use all-purpose flour in this recipe, but you could sub in 1/2 cup of freshly milled whole wheat flour to add nutrition and nutty flavor.

Baking Powder and Baking Soda: The rise of this bread comes from these leavening agents. This bread does not have any yeast or other leavening agent, so make sure you add these two important ingredients.

Salt: Salt is important, but not essential in this recipe. I have made this without any salt, and although the flavor is more subtle, it is still really good. If you need to go low salt, you can leave it out or only add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Tools:

Large Bowl

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Cheese grater

Dough whisk

Cast iron 9×5 inch loaf pans

Wire Rack

How to Make Zucchini Raisin Bread

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two loaf pans by coating them with oil and then dusting with flour.

closeup of 2 cast iron loaf pans prepared with oil and flour

First, add all the wet ingredients. Add the eggs to the large mixing bowl and lightly whisk. Place the sugar, vanilla, applesauce, and cinnamon in the bowl and mix well.

closeup of eggs, sugar, applesauce, and cinnamon in a glass mixing bowl

Shred the zucchini and add to the mixture along with the raisins and mix well. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined. Some recipes recommend making a flour mixture with the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet mixture, but why make more dishes? I never do this, and the bread always turns out wonderful.

closeup of zucchini raisin bread batter in a glass bowl

Divide the batter between the two prepared loaf pans and bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, remove from loaf pans, and let the bread cool on a wire cooling rack. Slice and enjoy! This bread is great spread with a little bit of butter.

2 cast iron loaf pans with unbaked zucchini raisin bread batter going into the oven

This zucchini raisin bread will store at room temperature for 2 or 3 days. You can also freeze the bread after it cools off by wrapping it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Previously frozen bread will stay good in the freezer for 3-4 months.

This bread makes a great gift too! Simple wrap it up in some parchment paper, tie a bow with some baker’s twine and share with those you love. Next time you are overwhelmed with garden zucchini, make it into a wonderful gift!

If you try this recipe and love it, please come back and give it 5 stars and comment below! Tag me on Instagram @eastforkgrowing

Go here to view and purchase products, supplies, and tools mentioned in this post.

closeup of sliced zucchini raisin bread

The Best Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe with Raisins

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • This zucchini raisin bread recipe yields 2 9x5-inch loaves. With cinnamon, vanilla, and applesauce, this bread is wonderfully moist and a great way to use every garden's most prolific vegetable!
  • You do not need to peel the zucchini before you shred it and include it in the batter. The skin will cook down beautifully and add those wonderful green specks to your bread.
  • You can substitute brown sugar for the white sugar to add more depth to the flavor.
  • You can substitute other summer squash in this recipe and it will turn out just as great.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 2 9x5 inch loaf pans by coating with oil and then dusting with flour.
  3. Beat the eggs and then stir in the sugar, vanilla, applesauce, vanilla and cinnamon.
  4. Mix in the zucchini and raisins.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Notes

This recipe can also be adapted to make muffins! It will yield about 24 muffins. Reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 207mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g

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