Zucchini Bread with Carrot & Candied Ginger

Call me picky but for a long time now, I've been hunting for the one go-to zucchini bread recipe to call my own. This recipe has it all: a generous measure of grated zucchini, bright color from grated carrot, spice-forward from pantry spices. Most of all, this zucchini bread stays moist and fresh for a long time. Some times? It pays to be picky.

Zucchini Bread with Carrot & Candied Ginger ♥ KitchenParade.com, my go-to recipe, plenty of zucchini, carrot for color, ginger for zing, lots of spices. Stays fresh for days!

Fresh & Seasonal, a Summer Favorite. Old-Fashioned Classic. Budget-Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Stays Fresh for Days. Rave Reviews.

  • "This is wonderful! ... I followed the recipe to the letter and it was dead on perfect." ~ Anonymous
  • "This recipe is soooo good!" ~ Jenny B

Shopping With a Picky Twenty-Something

“Just so you know,” she warned as we walked into the mall on a summer Saturday, “I’m a really picky shopper.”

"She" is Kerrin, the almost-21 chemical engineering student who visited for the weekend a couple of weeks back.

"She" is the daughter of my dear friends from way-way back, Gary and Lisa (yes, that would be Lisa of My Own Sweet Thyme).

"She" is the confident young woman who somehow remains, in voice and energy, a grown-up version of the girl I last saw, then eight years old and a wild risk-taker at the dice game farkle.

No wonder Kerrin is "picky". For work, she wears steel-toed boots and a hard hat, safety requirements at the water treatment plant where she has an internship this summer. For play, she leans toward the feminine and the comfortable.

So I happily joined the other "moms" hanging around outside the dressing rooms at Macy’s, H&M and Forever 21, wondering how such little bits of cloth can cost $15 and $30 and even $60 even while appreciating Kerrin’s well-developed sense of style.

If that’s "picky", well, picky is a good thing.

Me, I'm Picky About Zucchini Bread

After many trials over some years, I’ve finally settled on my go-to ready-for-sharing recipe for zucchini bread and this is it. I think you just might become picky about your zucchini bread too ...

  • I want it slightly rustic, that means a good measure of whole wheat flour.
  • I want it moist, no miserly portion of grated zucchini here.
  • I want it pretty, with grated carrot for whimsical color; and slightly zingy with spices, cinnamon and ginger both.

What's In My Zucchini Bread? Mostly Pantry Ingredients!

Ingredients for Zucchini Bread with Carrot & Candied Ginger ♥ KitchenParade.com, my go-to recipe, plenty of zucchini, carrot for color, ginger for zing, lots of spices. Stays fresh for days!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • All the Usual Wet Ingredients vegetable oil for moistness + buttermilk for tenderness + both white sugar and brown sugar for sweetness and structure and flavor + egg for structure + lots of vanilla for flavor
  • All the Usual Dry Ingredients regular flour + whole wheat flour + both baking soda and baking powder for leavening + the ever-important salt + plenty of spices, both cinnamon and ginger
  • Grated Zucchini My recipe uses a whole two cups of grated zucchini, that's a lot compared to other recipes. But don't just throw in a bit more to use up the last of a zucchini: too much and the zucchini bread turns gummy.
  • Grated Carrot I include grated carrot in Zucchini Bread for color and texture contrast. The zucchini sort of disappears into the bread, carrot remains distinct and colorful.
  • Candied Ginger This is the one ingredient which I wish were easier to keep on hand and admittedly, even I'd make Zucchini Bread more often if this ingredient didn't turn the bread from good into great, especially on the second day. FYI candied ginger is some times called crystalized ginger and it's quite simple to make, I once made a couple of pounds of it (the day before leaving on vacation for two weeks) just to avoid wasting some ginger I'd bought for something that ended up not happening. Awesome that! I can't put my hands on that recipe but to my memory, it was a lot like this one from Fine Cooking. Besides, knobs of ginger are inexpensive, crystalized ginger is outlandishly expensive!
Zucchini Bread with Carrot & Candied Ginger ♥ KitchenParade.com, my go-to recipe, plenty of zucchini, carrot for color, ginger for zing, lots of spices. Stays fresh for days!


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 2 loaves, each 12 slices (easily halved)
  • 1/2 cup (116g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (212g) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (use either 1 or 2 eggs for a half recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon) vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, fluffed to aerate or 125g
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 cups (200g) grated zucchini from 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup (100g) grated carrot 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger, optional but recommended (see TIPS)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray two 9x5 bread pans with baking spray such as Bakers Joy, my favorite.

WET INGREDIENTS In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the vegetable oil and buttermilk until well combined. Add the sugars and mix in until well combined. One at a time, add the eggs, beating until well combined. Mix in the vanilla.

DRY INGREDIENTS In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet mixture, mixing in until just combined.

ADD-INs With a spatula, gently stir in the zucchini, carrot and ginger.

BAKE Transfer the batter to the two baking pans, bake for about 50 – 60 minutes, turning after 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool for 20 minutes, then gently turn over to remove from the pans. Let cool completely, slice and serve.

To store, wrap well and do refrigerate – if any is left after the first day, that is!

ALANNA’s TIPS When the giant baseball-bat zucchini appear in the garden, yes, it's time to make zucchini bread. But use only the parts that aren't seedy or spongy. Day One, the candied ginger can feel superfluous. But by Day Two, its gingery bite adds welcome texture contrast. It really does move this zucchini bread from "very good" to "great" territory, do try to use it! Skipping the candied ginger? Throw in a few toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds. Quick breads always look a little plain on top, don't they? To make the top glisten and shine, sprinkle some raw sugar across the top before baking. The top will have a nice crunch to bite through, too!
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Slice (assumes 24): 176 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 27mg Cholesterol; 209mg Sodium; 29g Carb; 1g Fiber; 16g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 7 & Freestyle 7 & myWW green 7 & blue 7 & purple 7
Adapted from several recipes, including my favorite Autumn Pumpkin Bread and Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers (affiliate link), an inspiring cookbook from Sur La Table written by Janet Fletcher. DISCLOSURE A complimentary copy of this cookbook was provided by publisher Andrews McMeel but the recommendation is entirely my own. My Disclosure Promise

More Recipes for Quick Breads

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Autumn Pumpkin Bread Black Walnut Bread Shhh Banana Bread
~ more Quick Bread recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ buttermilk ~
~ zucchini ~
~ carrots ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. sti If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2010 & 2020 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This recipe looks like a keeper. I'll let you know how it turns out....perfect timing for summer squash!

  2. Our Kerrin? Picky? :)
    Her summer adventures have been inspiring. It's great that you two could get together and enjoy each other's company.
    Sounds like a great Zucchini Bread too! Now if we would just get the kind of weather where zucchini actually grows...

  3. Love your banter and anecdotes ! And this recipe REALLY looks like a keeper - zuke breads are usually so heavy on the oil- and double ginger is a kick - and extra goodness and fiber from the carrots. Still planning to get in touch - need to get away from the computer, food mags, and kitchen - or not!!


  4. I LOVE that you have given the weights! I cook a lot of British recipes and find I get better results with a set of scales than with measuring cups. Looks dee-lish and is on the schedule for this weekend.

  5. I LOVE that you've put the weights for the ingredients. I find I get better results with scales than with measuring cups.

  6. Anonymous7/31/2010

    This is wonderful! I made it last night. I followed the recipe to the letter and it was dead on perfect. Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful recipes and ideas.

  7. Alli ~ I hope you love it too!

    Lisa ~ Yes, 'your' Kerrin. She is such a lovely young woman, you are deservedly proud of her!

    David ~ Thanks! The "oil factor" is actually one of the things I don't like about typical zucchini breads, also the "sugar factor". This one has half the fat as most quick breads and about half the sugar too.

    Samantha ~ Oh good, it takes an extra step to weigh everything but I find the weights useful too. Let me know how it bakes up for you!

    Anonymous ~ Ding, ding, you get the "first to make it" prize, thanks so much for letting me know that you love it too. You MADE my day, thank you.

  8. This looks so pretty! I need to make this, soon! Do you think it would bake as muffins fine?

  9. Debbi ~ Thanks! I think these would make great muffins, although since they are sweet, I would consider them cupcakes versus muffins.

  10. My go to zucchini bread recipe comes from my mom, who learned it from her new friendly and welcoming neighbors when she first moved from Hong Kong to North Platte Nebraska. It was one of the very first American recipes she ever learned!

  11. Jaden ~ That could be the worst recipe in the world and I would STILL make it, given that sweet story. I hope you tell it some day ...

  12. Jenny B9/17/2011

    I tried this today, and I candied my own ginger to avoid paying what seemed like an awful lot for the prepackaged kind at the grocery store. This recipe is soooo good!

  13. When baking, you say turning after 30 min. Not sure what you mean by turning. I don’t bake a lot, so perhaps I am not privy to certain terms. But sure want to try this.
    What size loaf pans would you recommend?
    Much thanks.
    Sunny from Estero, FL.

    1. Sunny ~ I’m so glad you wrote! And honored that this recipe is tempting you into the kitchen to bake. :-) It’s a good choice, one that’s hard to mess up.

      “Turning” means to switch the pan’s direction halfway (usually) by turning it by 180 degrees. Why? Because ovens often have hot spots, the back may be hotter than the front, etc. -- and turning the pan evens out the baking.

      As for pan size, there are two similarly sized “standard” (ha!) loaf pans, one 8x4 that holds about 6 cups batter and 9x5 which holds about 8 cups. Either one will work here.

      Please do feel free to ask away, anytime, whenever you have a question or two. I’m happy to help, it means the world that hat you’re here. ~ Alanna

    2. Thank you Alanna for responding so quickly. That is so appreciated. I had a feeling that’s what you meant by turning, but wanted to be sure.
      I will get some loaf pans so I can try this.
      By any chance, if I should decide to make these into muffins, would you recommend the time be about 27 minutes? This is just in case I don’t get the pans right away.
      Sunny D.☀️🎾

    3. Sunny ~ Sorry, I’m taking a little time off and wasn’t close to a place where I could respond. But! If you’re going to try muffins, I’d bake them in a little hotter oven, say 375F and suggest checking them at 15 or 20 minutes. If the tops are golden and you can insert/remove a slim knife into the center a muffin without any batter, the muffins should be done. If not, go for another 2 or 3 minutes and do the knife test again in another muffin. Fingers crossed for first-time success! You can do this!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna