Summer is a great time to bake with zucchini, but bread is only the beginning, as these sweet zucchini recipes prove.
As a savory ingredient, zucchini tends to split people in two. Some love its juiciness and grassy flavor, others aren’t so keen on its squishy texture. But when it’s baked into something sweet, pretty much anyone can get behind the summer squash. It’s got that subtle, just barely there vegetal taste that blends right in to breads, cakes, and more. For all the fans of things sweet and green, here are 12 recipes that show zucchini’s wide-ranging dessert (and breakfast) potential.
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Zucchini bread is most bakers’ gateway into a zucchini dessert obsession, though we’d argue it’s also fit for breakfast (to tip it over into sweeter territory, you can always slather on cream cheese frosting). Get our Zucchini Bread recipe.
If you’ve graduated from zucchini bread, your next step should be zucchini muffins. They take that loveable, tender crumb and turn it into a handheld treat that’s also perfect for frosting if you want to make it a little decadent. Get our Spiced Zucchini Muffins recipe.
Zucchini bread pros need to try their hand at this double layer cake. The buttercream-yogurt frosting adds a lightly tangy touch that goes on oh-so-smoothly. Get our Zucchini Layer Cake with Tangy Buttercream Frosting recipe. (Or go for a more portable version with our Zucchini Cupcake recipe.)
These chewy, chocolate-studded oatmeal cookies are packed with shredded zucchini and coconut flakes. They also use coconut oil instead of butter, and only one egg (which you can replace for a vegan version). Get the Zucchini Oat Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
The addition of zucchini means that these chocolate muffins are healthy and suited for a well-rounded breakfast, right? Get the Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffin recipe.
These incredibly moist and tender bad boys are finished with a chocolate glaze but you could make it vanilla if you prefer; either way, sprinkles are a nice touch. Get the Chocolate Zucchini Baked Donut recipe. And if you’re craving other flavors, see this Whole Wheat Blueberry Zucchini Donut recipe, or these vegan and gluten-free Zucchini Donuts with Vanilla Espresso Glaze.
This loaf combines the powers of two quick breads in one, with the added bonus of juicy blueberries. It’s super moist and doesn’t need any icing, but a lemon drizzle never hurts. Get the Blueberry Banana Zucchini Bread recipe.
If you’d rather have your cake and eat it too, this easy snacking cake is made for summer. Featuring blueberries, zucchini, and a bright burst of lemon juice and lemon zest (plus a dreamy lemon buttercream frosting), it will help you make the most of your farmers’ market or garden harvest haul. It also happens to be gluten-free. Get the Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream recipe. (Or try this layer cake version for a summer birthday party.)
Another gluten-free and vegan stunner, these gooey zucchini blondies are packed with dark chocolate chunks and finished with flaky salt for a perfect contrast. Get the must-make, must-have, must-keep Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Blondies recipe.
Naturally, you can make zucchini brownies too; the shredded squash makes them amazingly moist (but be sure to use a smaller zuke to maximize that effect, as large ones are drier). Get the Zucchini Brownie recipe.
This might sound a little odd, but giving zucchini the crumble treatment is surprisingly delicious. The warm spices in the filling make it taste a little like fall, but the star ingredient is all summer. Get the Zucchini Walnut Crumble Bars recipe.
Cinnamon rolls are a breakfast fave, and this vegan version adds a ton of fiber along with several other healthy tweaks that mean you won’t want to go right back to sleep after you eat one. And the zucchini liquid is used to make a thin icing to drizzle on top so nothing goes to waste. Get the Healthy Vegan Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls recipe.
Miki Kawasaki wrote the original version of this story in 2015. It has been updated with additional images, links, and text.