It’s peak zucchini season here and we’re, of course, on a huge zucchini kick. I originally posted this incredible bread last summer as a way to transition from summer into fall, and I had to share it again because it’s just too perfect this time of year.
My deliciously moist, fluffy spiced apple zucchini bread with luscious cream cheese glaze is just a beauty if I do say so myself.
I knew I wanted to make a twist on my famous healthy zucchini bread and with September around the corner, it’s time for us to get excited for all things fall. SO we’ve got a whole fresh zucchini in this gorgeous loaf, plus sweet chunks of apple and tons of warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Don’t forget the crunchy chopped pecans and, of course, that thick, wonderful cinnamon cream cheese glaze!
Not into glaze? Enjoy a warm slice with a pat of butter on top. OMG so good. I included plenty of options for making this healthier apple zucchini bread gluten free, nut free & dairy free, so be sure to read the full post before baking and devouring. I know you’ll love this one!
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What you’ll need to make this apple zucchini bread
Get ready to fall in LOVE with the flavor and texture of this apple zucchini bread. It’s filled with cozy spices and deliciously moist thanks to zucchini and applesauce. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:
- Zucchini: you’ll shred a whole zucchini for this loaf, which adds moisture and packs some sneaky veggies.
- Applesauce: I love adding unsweetened applesauce to baked goods for even more moisture and subtle apple flavor.
- Eggs: you’ll need 2 eggs in this bread.
- Maple syrup: we’re naturally sweetening the apple zucchini bread with pure maple syrup.
- Coconut oil: a little coconut oil ensures that the bread stays moist over time.
- Flour: we’re using good old all purpose flour in this recipe.
- Spices: get ready to ring in fall with warming flavors from cinnamon, allspice, ginger & nutmeg.
- Baking staples: don’t forget the salt, baking soda & vanilla extract!
- Mix-ins: add texture and flavor with chopped up apple pieces and pecans. YUM.
- For the glaze: the coziest, most delicious glaze made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a little milk to thin.
Easy ingredient swaps
Looking to make some changes? Here’s what I can recommend for substitutes in this apple zucchini bread:
- Make it gluten free: this bread should work with gluten free all purpose flour.
- Make it nut free: simply leave off the pecans.
- Go dairy free: use a vegan butter stick like Earth Balance, and a vegan cream cheese for the glaze.
- Try it refined sugar free: you can also try my paleo powdered sugar in the glaze if you’d like to keep the bread refined sugar free. Or skip the glaze altogether.
Can I make this bread vegan?
I haven’t tested this zucchini apple bread using egg alternatives like flax eggs, but let me know if you give it a try in the comments! Be sure to also use vegan butter and vegan cream cheese in the glaze.
Our best tips for baking with zucchini
- Use the small side of your grater so that you get perfect shreds of zucchini. No one will be able to tell there’s a veggie in the bread! Honestly, a simple cheese grater will also work well.
- Squeeze out your zucchini shreds as much as possible using a cheesecloth, clean dish towel or paper towel to get all of the excess liquid out. This is VERY important so that the bread has the right texture.
- Shred zucchini first, measure it out then squeeze off excess moisture.
- Feel free to shred a bunch of zucchini and freeze it for later! Follow my tips and tricks here.
How to store apple zucchini bread
Feel free to store this healthy apple zucchini bread in an airtight container at room temp for one day, then transfer it to the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze it for later
Bake up this gorgeous loaf and freeze it for whenever you want a sweet treat or snack!
- To freeze: let it cool completely and either cut it into slices before placing it in an airtight container or freezer-friendly bag in the fridge, or freeze the whole loaf for up to 3 months. I recommend glazing the bread before serving.
- To serve: let the zucchini apple bread thaw at room temp for a few hours. You can do the same with the individual slices, or you can reheat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Check out our favorite kitchen essentials here.
More quick breads to try
- Healthy Zucchini Bread
- Fresh Strawberry Shortcake Bread with Strawberry Glaze
- Chickpea Flour Banana Bread (gluten free!)
- Healthier Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Healthy Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Get all of our delicious bread recipes here, and even more zucchini recipes here!
I hope you love this delicious spiced apple zucchini bread! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Spiced Apple Zucchini Bread
Beautiful spiced apple zucchini bread made with fresh zucchini, bites of juicy apple and plenty of cozy spices. This fluffy, healthy apple zucchini bread recipe is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and topped with a warm, luxurious cinnamon cream cheese glaze! The perfect loaf to transition from summer to fall.
- Wet ingredients:
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini)
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled (melted butter will also work)
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour (or sub gf all purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped into ¼ inch pieces (about 1 cup chopped apple)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired
- For the cream cheese glaze:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-3 teaspoons milk of choice, to thin glaze
- To garnish:
- Extra chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8 ¼ x 4 ½ inch with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
First, measure out 1 heaping cup of shredded zucchini, then place shredded zucchini in a paper towel, clean dish towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out ALL of the moisture/water. This is very important!
Add shredded zucchini, applesauce, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract to a large bowl and mix well to combine. Next, add in the melted coconut oil and mix again until well combined.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger nutmeg and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon until well combined. Fold in pecans and chopped apples.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Mine took an hour, but this will vary based on your oven.
Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then remove bread from the pan and place on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
To make cinnamon cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk together on medium speed for a minute or until smooth. If you want a warm glaze, you can warm in the microwave in 10-20 second intervals until warm. Pour or spread over cooled bread. Sprinkle chopped pecans. Cut into 10-12 slices and enjoy!
To make gluten free: I think this bread would be okay with a gluten free all purpose flour.
To make nut free: leave out the pecans.
To make dairy free: use a vegan butter stick such as Earth Balance and a vegan cream cheese for the frosting.
See the full post for more ways to customize this bread, plus freezing instructions.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on August 23rd, 2021, and republished on August 21st, 2022.
One word to describe this recipe is “Superb”! Just by its look, everything appears gorgeously! With such best recipe description, I couldn’t wait to give it a try with my homie! I think this bread gonna taste wonderful with coffee! love it!
😍 Thank you, I’m so excited for you to try it, Alice!
This looks amazing!! I only have oat flour, coconut flour and whole wheat flour right now. Would any of them or a combo of them work by chance?
Hi, Joelle! I think a mix of the whole wheat + oat flour could work well 🙂 Haven’t tried it but I think half and half could be great in here. Let me know if you do!
Such a yummy moist bread! I love it and so does my 4 year old! Thanks!
Aw so happy to hear that!! Thanks for the review, Jillian 🙂
Followed the recipe to the T and it came out so dang good! Definitely one of my favorite bread recipes I’ve made. Making this gain for sure!
Yay!! So happy you tried and loved it, Monica!
I was wondering what kind of apple you are using for this recipe? Thank you.
Great question! You can use any kind of apples in here 🙂 My personal favorite is honeycrisp but really any will work!
I’m wanting to make these as muffins. Do you have any suggestions for baking time and temp? Your recipe sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to try it!
I actually made as muffins and it took about 30-35 mins
Thanks for sharing!
WOW!! This recipe is INCREDIBLE! So much flavor. Will definitely be making this again 🙂
Awesome!! I’m so happy you tried and loved it 🙂
This was so good! I did reduce the ginger & allspice to only half of what was called for and replaced it with cardamon bc I love it with apples, cinnamon & nutmeg. Would make this in a heartbeat again!!
Yay!! I’m so happy you loved it. GREAT idea to add cardamom.
Love this page . ❤️❤️
Thank you, Conny!
This is the perfect recipe for the summer to fall transition. We made 18 muffins instead of a loaf and subbed spelt flour for AP. Baked for 22mins and they were SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS! This won’t be the last appearance of this recipe this year!
So happy that the muffins + spelt flour worked well! Yay!
Can olive oil be substituted for the coconut oil?
I think that should work just fine! Enjoy 🙂
I’ve made this twice in the past 2 weeks it’s soooo good! First time as a loaf, second time as muffins (baked approx 30 min). It’s perfectly not too sweet and has so much flavor from the spice and apples. The glaze makes it decadent and extra delicious! LOVE this recipe!
So tasty and moist, with and without the frosting! I used half oat and half whole what flours.
Delicious! Used walnuts, since I didn’t have pecans, and skipped the glaze.
So delicious! I love that it’s only sweetened with maple syrup. Came together so easily.
I had extra apple, so I added a cinnamon sugar apple streusel on top and it’s *chef’s kiss’ perfection.
Wow this bread is so good! I followed the recipe exactly, and all of the spices pair together perfectly, and the flavor is SO good! I skipped the frosting and have been eating the bread for breakfast all week.
The bread itself looks so INTERESTINGGG!
You need to try it!!
This recipe was wonderful! The spices only get better each day. I used olive oil in lieu of coconut oil just because I had it on hand and it didn’t alter the taste for me. I didn’t add the glaze and found it to be perfectly sweet enough. I’ll definitely be making it again!
So glad to hear this, Dana! Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂
I made this bread and it is delicious! The only change I made was in the glaze, instead of using water to thin, I used maple syrup. Really kind of brings the maple from the cake through.
Ooh great idea–I need to try that! Happy you loved it 🙂
Would these freeze well and then make the cream cheese frosting fresh? Many thanks in advance
Yes another reader just let me know that it was delicious frozen! Hope you enjoy it 🙂
We had some of this deliciousness for breakfast, that I had frozen. Even better this time since the flavor of the spices had gone through it more. Yum!
Oooh such a good idea to freeze it!
So good! I made this bread with shredded zucchini, shredded carrots and shredded apples! I added a mashed banana to replace the applesauce because I didn’t have any. I also added some chopped apples and walnuts, like suggested in the recipe. This was great, super tasty and moist! I loved it!
Those are all great additions–happy it worked out well! Thanks so much for the review 🙂
So stinking GOOD. Flavorful and moist Af. My veggie hating 3yo gobbled it up. I skipped the glaze in the name of “health” lol but honestly that part sounds bomb too. This is a must make!
Oh YAY!! So happy that you guys loved it! Def recommend the glaze next time (even if only a little bit!)
AMAZING! The perfect recipe for late summer/early fall. I used homemade apple sauce, and I used the same apples for the chopped apples too. It turned out great. My husband couldn’t believe this was something homemade and not from the bakery. And the frosting is to die for! Definitely get it in the fridge after a day like the recipe recommends though! I made the mistake of leaving it out 🙁
Amazing! I’m so happy you both loved it. Isn’t that frosting incredible?! 🙂
This bread was such a hit! It’s not overly sweet but the frosting adds just the right touch (worth the extra steps). I loved the subtle apple flavor and the texture was spot-on. Will definitely be making this one again!
So happy you enjoyed it, Leanne! Can’t wait for you to make it again soon 🙂
These are ABSOLUTELY DELISH!! I made this bread into muffins and they turned out great. I also did half oat flour/half AP flour – which worked just fine. They are perfectly spiced and will put you in the fall spirit right away! I opted not to make the glaze/frosting – but almond butter is amazing as a topper! These are one of my new favorites, will definitely be making again.
Nice!! So happy they turned out perfect and that you enjoyed them 🙂
A nice, fun fall twist on zucchini bread. Texture is great. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks, Liane! I’m so happy you loved it!
First off, I love everything I have ever made by Ambitious Kitchen! I think I messed up on this recipe though. All I did was sub 1:1 GF flour and the inside stayed completely raw and doughy. I did squeeze out the zucchini so I really don’t know what happened. I even cooked it for an extra 30 min and nothing improved. What do you think I did wrong?
Thanks for your help! Xoxo
This happened to me too! I wouldn’t say it was raw, but definitely more moist than the pictures. Wonder if it’s the gluten free flour?
Hi, there! Not really sure what could have happened but it definitely could be because of the GF flour and the way it absorbed the moisture in the bread. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
Delicious! And the texture is perfect! I didn’t have applesauce on hand so I pureed a pear, which came out to about 2/3 cup, and added 1/3 cup of yogurt to make up the difference. Baked for about 65 minutes and came out great!
Made this last night and put raisins and pecans and it was mouth watering when I cut a piece fresh out of the oven – and the cream cheese icing makes it over the top. Keep coming with those recipes – I send them to all my friends, especially this one. And I love that they are vegetarian/vegan with adjustments.
I’m so happy you loved it, Susan! Thanks so much for the sweet review ❤️
Excellent! I just made a double batch and will try to freeze some.
I tried this recipe and was not impressed. I made sure my zucchini was dry and the bread was still to moist. It looked coming out of the oven but fell after 10 mins.
Sorry to hear that! I actually just made this bread again this morning and that didn’t happen to me, so I’m wondering if something went wrong. Did you test the loaf with a knife/tester to make sure it was done before taking it out of the oven? The tester will come out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
This recipe hit my email and I audibly moaned because it sounds sooooo amazing. I’m really excited to try it because I’ve been having to limit my sodium and most baked goods are a no-no. This looks relatively low sodium! Can’t wait to actually give you my usual 5 star review 😊
Haha AW thank you!! Can’t wait for you to try it!
Delicious, just like all of your baking recipes!
Aw thank you, Leah! So happy you loved it!!
I followed the recipe precisely, and it turned out perfectly! I took it to a potluck and got rave reviews. It is quite sweet for my taste, so next time I will adjust the sugar or possibly try monk fruit sugar. Thank you for such an excellent recipe!
So happy everyone loved it!
Hi, what would you recommend to replace eggs in this recipe?
What do you recommend to substitute eggs?
Flax eggs might work! Here’s how to make them 🙂
Super easy & delicious. I used flax egg and didn’t even need the glaze… super moist and yummy on its own without being too sweet. Definitely keep an eye on your oven though! Mine barely took 30 minutes vs. the 50-60. (I am guessing the oven and pan can make the time vary greatly) Great breakfast option- will definitely make again!
Happy you enjoyed it! And good to know about the baking time. What size pan did you use?
Could I sub the 1 whole zucchini with some zucchini cores? Just made the pesto chicken boats today and have the cores left to use!
Hi! You’ll still want to shred it up and measure out 1 cup, but that should work 🙂
This is amazing. So moist and delicious. Really brings all the fall vibes.
Absolutely! Perfect for fall.
Wow!! So delicious! Did not last more than 24 hours in our house. Our kiddos loved it! I didn’t do as much powder sugar bc I love the cream cheese taste with it and it was perfect.
So glad it was a hit – even with the kiddos (love those sneaky veggies!)
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?
I think regular whole wheat flour will make the bread too dense. You could use a mix of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour to keep it light and fluffy!
Made it without the frosting and LOVED it!
This looks so good, and I have all of the ingredients but only a 9×5 loaf pan. Do you think that would work? Maybe I can just reduce the bake time a little?
Hi! I haven’t tested it but I think it should be alright (if a bit squat!) if you reduce the baking time. Let me know!
Loved the flavors in this bread, I subbed Greek yogurt for apple sauce because I didn’t have any and this may have been my downfall!
The bread took 50-60 mins to cook and it’s still so moist, almost looks uncooked (but wasn’t). Maybe I should have added more flour??
Either way, it still tastes yummy and will be eaten anyways! Next time I make- I’ll ensure I’ve got all the ingredients! 🙂
Hi! Mine comes out like that, too! It’s just because of the moisture from the zucchini + apple. Glad it tasted great 🙂
Love this recipe, so good! Will definitely make it again! 🙂
I didn’t peel the apple which I think is fine, I hardly notice it. And I made only a half batch of the cream cheese glaze because I like it a little less sweet.
So glad you loved it! It should be just as delicious with unpeeled apples 🙂
ANOTHER HOME RUN!!! If I could give it 10 stars I would! Everyone loved this, it will become a regular at our dinner table. Only 1 modification made, when using GF flour, I substitute about 20% of the flour amount called for with oatmeal flour, this results in a more moist bread (read this in a baker’s website, don’t recall the name). Thank you for so many great recipes, you are my “go to” for meal planning!
AHH YAY! SO glad to hear it came out great. Appreciate your comment ❤️
Oh my goodness! Spiced yummy goodness. There goes my diet for the holidays. I love this recipe and am sharing it now to my friends.
Do you think these would make muffins instead of the loaf? If yes, what changes would you make?
You will most likely just want to adjust the baking time, keep a close eye on them because muffins will bake much quicker. Enjoy!
Could you make this as muffins and put icing on each muffin?
I made the Spiced Apple Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze today and simply loved it! I made it GF and it came out moist and just yummy. the only adjustment I made was to not put powered sugar in the icing of glaze and instead to make a cream cheese, butter and maple syrup icing. So good!
This looks amazing.
I wanted to know if I can substitute all purpose flour with Whole Wheat flour??