100% whole wheat zucchini chocolate chip bread: when the horn of plenty becomes the horn of too much

Paula Deen does it.

Allrecipes.com does it.

Taste of Home, cdkitchen, and food.com all do it.

Even LiveStrong does it.

But sometimes, King Arthur Flour just does it better.

Or at least with more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

And “it” is…?

Zucchini chocolate chip bread. 100% Whole Wheat Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread, to be exact.

Quick breads – you know, those batters that you just stir together, pour into a pan, and bake – are the ideal place to substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose.

This is especially true for quick breads made with fruit (or, in this case, zucchini): whole grains need more liquid than all-purpose flour. The liquid in fruit helps soften wheat’s bran, making it less likely to produce a crumbly loaf.

Unlike yeast bread, these baking powder breads don’t rise mightily; they just casually poke their heads up over the rim of the pan.

And that’s just fine; no one expects your typical banana bread, cornbread, or date-nut loaf to look like the Goodyear Blimp.

A gently curved top is just fine, thank you; no rainbows required.

And that’s one big reason whole wheat flour is perfect in these breads. With the bran in whole wheat doing its best to destroy a rising loaf’s gluten, it takes some skill to make a 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf rise to towering heights.

Not so 100% whole wheat banana bread. Or this whole wheat zucchini chocolate chip bread, both of which receive a  “quick-n-easy” tag on our new recipe site

It’s all about managing expectations, right?

When you bake this bread, expect a moist, pleasantly dense, flavorful loaf, packed with zucchini and chocolate.

You won’t be disappointed – we promise.

So long as you’re not looking for that famous blimp…

Preheat the oven to 350°F; lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses or honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat until well combined.

Add the following:

2 cups (8 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix until well combined.

Add the following:

2 cups (8 to 12 ounces) shredded, unpeeled zucchini (about 1 small/medium zucchini)*
1 cup chocolate chips (or raisins, or dried cranberries, if you don’t like the chocolate/zucchini combination)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

*Zucchini weight varies a lot, depending on how juicy it is and how tight you pack it. Anything between 8 and 12 ounces will be fine.

Stir just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the top with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired. It’s pretty, tasty, and adds lovely crunch to each slice.

Bake the bread for 55 to 60 minutes.

When done, a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean, save for perhaps a smear of chocolate.

Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack.

Cool completely before slicing; if you slice the bread warm, the chocolate chips smear and look kinda messy.

See the sugar on the crust? Moist, soft bread; crunchy sugar; dark chocolate… and 100% whole wheat. YES!

One final hint: If possible, wait a day to serve this bread. An overnight rest softens the bran further, ensuring crumble-free slices.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


    1. Bryanna Allen

      Cathy, your bread is sinking in the middle because the ingredients have been over-mixed. Make sure to use a gentle hand when mixing everything together so the gluten does not get over-developed. Bryanna@KAF

  1. Sara

    Zucchini Cobbler Taste just like Apples .I was amazed THIS IS REALLY GOOD!Filling:8 Cups Zucchini peleed, seeded & coarsely chopped2/3 Cup Lemon juice fresh1 Cup Sugarbd Cup Topping mixture (recipe below)1 tsp Cinnamonbd tsp NutmegCombine chopped zucchini & lemon juice in large pot & cook until tender, about 20 minutes.Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & 1/2 Cup of topping mixture. Cook 1 minute.Crust/Topping:4 Cups Flour2 Cups Brown sugar1 bd Cups ButterMix together flour & sugar. Cut in butter with pastry cutter until well incorporated.Preheat oven to 375b0. Grease 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Using bd of remaining mixture, press into bottom of baking pan. Bake until brown & firm, about 10 minutes.Pour filling mixture on top of crust, spreading evenly. Place remaining topping mixture on top of filling, spreading evenly, & sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until filling bubbles & top browns.Note: My version of allrecipes.com recipe.

  2. Erin

    I made this today and as I am looking at the pictures here, mine did not look as “liquid” looking as it does in these pictures. It says 2 cups (8 ounces) of the White Whole Wheat Flour, so do you mean 2- 8 ounce cups or just 1- 8 ounce cup. I did 2 cups which is 16 ounces total. Was a little confused by that.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The recipe calls for 2 cups of whole wheat flour, which is equivalent to a total of 8 ounces. Two cups of water weighs 16 ounces, but flour is much lighter. When measured using our recommended fluff and sprinkle technique, 1 cup of flour weighs about 4 ounces. We’d guess your batter turned out very dry since there was 2x as much flour added to it as necessary. If you are still in the baking stage, you can go ahead and double all the other ingredients and make a beautiful double batch of this recipe. Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

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