Spiced Zucchini Bread with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries
A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a serious zucchini bread fail, which was a major disappointment. I had high hopes for the bread, so it didn’t take me long to give it another shot, and luckily the second time was a charm. The calendar has turned to September and cooler weather is right around the corner, but the grocery store is still brimming with locally-grown zucchini, so I’m guessing that your grocery store or garden is still overrun with an abundance of fresh zucchini. If that’s the case, then take advantage of the last of summer’s bounty and give your traditional zucchini bread a fresh spin. This is a large, substantial loaf that is packed with spices, as well as dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. The flavors are the perfect bridge between summer and fall seasons.
My Chief Culinary Consultant and my mom both said that this was the best zucchini bread that they have ever had. Thanks to all of the zucchini that’s packed in there, it’s supremely moist and loaded with flavor. The spices are reminiscent of pumpkin desserts, which also pair incredibly well with zucchini. To top it all off, I added some dried cranberries and walnuts. I wasn’t sure how the cranberries would work, but they were fantastic. All of the components complemented each other wonderfully; my only regret is not making two loaves!
If you still have garden-fresh zucchini at your disposal, you must make this bread! You won’t regret it, I promise.
One year ago: Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Two years ago: Buckeye Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Three years ago: Traditional Pavlova and Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies
Four years ago: Pan-Fried Onion Dip and Gingered Carrot Cake Cookies
Five years ago: Potato Salad with Herbed Balsamic Vinaigrette
Seven years ago: The Chocolate Chip Cookie
Spiced Zucchini Bread with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries
- 1½ pounds (680.39 g) zucchini, shredded (about 2 large zucchini)
- 1¼ cups (275 g) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (54.5 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (60 g) whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup (87.75 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (90.91 g) dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x5;-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment, so that excess parchment hangs over each side.
- Place the zucchini in a clean dish towel, gather together and twist and squeeze to drain out as much liquid as possible.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the drained zucchini.
- In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Add the zucchini mixture and fold together until just a few streaks of flour remain. Add the walnuts and cranberries to the batter and gently fold to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the top.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 65 to 75 minutes. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Leftover bread should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Overall, this is a tasty zucchini bread — the spices were perfect and we liked the addition of the walnuts and dried cranberries. The bread did not turn out as moist as expected so I think it needs additional oil. I also think the amount of walnuts and dried cranberries are off — I used a heaping 1/4 cup of each and it was plenty. I would probably leave off the sprinkling of sugar on top as it changed the texture on the top of the bread and it was too sweet for our tastes.
Hi Michelle, Have you tried this without the whole wheat flour? Would the AP flour substitute be the same volume? Is there another recipe for zucchini bread you like better than this one? This is my first year with a bumper crop of the veg!
You couldn’t definitely do all AP, enjoy!
I tried the zucchini walnut and cranberry recipe .
Turned out very good
I also added ginger powder
And shredded coconut
It turned out awesome
This was so good! Who knew cranberries would be so tasty in this! Now that I have a bag of whole wheat flour in the pantry, I need more recipes using it please!
I just made an awesome zucchini bread too. I will have to try cranberries in it next time.
I made this this weekend and it was wonderful! I used dried blueberries which were delicious, too :)
So Imade this bread yesterday! it´s absolutely amazing… it even tastes better the day after! I didn´t have any walnuts at hand, so I used almonds…it came out perfect! All my friends loved it!. thanks so much for sharing this one
I guess I should check spelling before submitting. Thank you for the great recipes. The girls I work with now know if I bring something in to work to eat that I found the recipe on your page.
I just wanted to thank you for posting the recipe for the spicy zucchini bread this week. I entered a loaf at our local town fair and won a blur ribbon. I love your recipes. I have been pushed by your posts to try new recipes, things that I would not normally bake or cook. So thank you.
I made this for a school function for this morning. It was delicious and I received many compliments (“Did you actually make this?” “Why, yes!”, etc.)! The sugar amount was perfect — I wouldn’t add more or less — and the cinnamon and nutmeg together created a lovely complimentary complexity to the zucchini, craisins, and walnuts. It’s a perfect late summer-almost fall recipe, too. It does make a big loaf and a pretty presentation. My only change was to use turbinado sugar instead of white sugar to sprinkle on top because I love the taste of darker sugars. Thank you for a dynamite recipe!
I can’t wait to try this!
Can you make this bread without vanilla if you don’t have any?, how much different would it taste?
Sure, you can. I think with all of the other things in the bread you would fine without it.
Thank you for this recipe! I have some zucchini from my garden in my fridge that I have to use up.
This looks amazing. I love the addition of dried cranberries, I’ve never put those in zucchini bread before, but I’m going to have to try it now. It sounds like a great idea!
Oh, how I love zucchini bread! Loving that you added nutmeg and cinnamon, I can only imagine how tasty this is!
This looks so good! Do you think I could do it as muffins, instead of a loaf? Then I could freeze some and have them for longer! ;)
Hi Emily, I think you could do that! I’m not sure how many it would make or what the exact baking time would be, but it could definitely be done. I would only fill the cups about ⅔ full.
Wow what a coincidence! I just made the cook’s illusrated zucchini bread yesterday. It is a fabulous recipe and it is the best zucchini bread I have made too. I like your idea of adding the cranberries.
I put currants in my zucchini bread – very yummy. Sometimes I throw in some crushed pineapple or coconut. Or even shredded carrots!
I would have never thought to combine zucchini and cranberries. I love it!
Just wondering if you could give me the zucchini in cups vs. pounds?
Hi Mary, This is a total estimation on my part (I didn’t measure it), but based on some Googling that I did for the weight I used, I’d say around 2.5 cups.
Love the flavors in this zucchini bread! Perfect use for all of the abundant zucchini!
Zucchini and cranberries together? Sounds amazing!
This looks and sounds amazing! Love the colors and flavors all sprinkled in there too. :) Zucchini bread for the win!
I love the addition of dried cranberries…it’s such a cool way to bridge the time between summer produce and fall!
This looks delish! I’ve never actually tried zucchini bread before, but this might just be the recipe to give it a go with!
hey!! this really looks great!! do you think it could work if i used less sugar (3/4 cup)?
Hi Demi, Unfortunately, I couldn’t say how that might change the taste or texture since I haven’t tried to reduce the sugar.
As much as those failures really suck, they bring about even better results the second time! So I guess it’s a valuable learning experience. And this zucchini bread does look unparalleled, so yay!
Looks incredibly delicious…. second time… lucky :)
This looks yumm. I recently went to the farmer’s market and brought loads of marrow and something called rolet which is like courgette. I might try your recipe with them veggies. Thanks for sharing.
Our mouths are watering! This looks so savory and sweet – we can’t wait to try it out this fall season!