Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting –  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting -  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!

Apple Zucchini Bread with Boiled Brown Sugar Frosting

Recently after making The Best Zucchini Bread and being sad after we demolished the loaf in a day, I knew I had to make another version and used that recipe base as my jumping off point for this scrumptious apple zucchini bread.

If you know someone who doesn’t like zucchini, they’ll still love this bread. I think the green apple flavor shines through and you really can’t even taste the zucchini, especially because the brown sugar frosting is so scrumptious. That is really for me what dominates the total flavor profile.

The zucchini does help the bread stay so incredibly moist, tender, and it just melts in your mouth.

Between the oil, sour cream, and natural moisture from the zucchini and green apple, it’s impossible to have a dry loaf.

This bread could easily be called frosted apple zucchini cake. It’s that good.

Ingredients In Frosted Zucchini Apple Bread 

This is such a simple recipe and you’ll likely have everything in your pantry and fridge to make this recipe right now!

For the bread you’ll need:

  • Egg
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Granny Smith apple
  • Zucchini

For the frosting:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Milk or cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Confectioners’ Sugar

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting -  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!

How To Make One Bowl, No Mixer Apple Zucchini Bread

To a large bowl, simply add the egg, sugars, sour cream, vanilla, sugars, and whisk to combine them.

Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and powder, salt, and stir to combine. 

Add the grated apples, zucchini, stir to combine, and turn the mixture out into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.

The batter is fairly thick and dense, which is a good thing, so that when the apples and zucchini release their own juices as the bread bakes, the dough started out sufficiently thick and can handle absorbing that extra liquid volume.

Don’t Skip The Brown Sugar Frosting 

The rich brown sugar frosting is such a star player and I urge you not to skip it. It only takes about two minutes to make.

It’s a boiled frosting that’s made by melting butter, adding brown sugar, a splash of milk or cream, and allowing the mixture to boil for a minute before adding vanilla extract and whisking in powdered sugar.

The combination of the brown sugar with the Granny Smith apple is absolutely perfect. 

Although the bread is just fine on it’s own, the frosting takes it to the next level

You could probably skip the frosting and do chocolate chips in the batter like I did in The Best Zucchini Bread instead. However, I didn’t want the chocolate to fight with the apples and for me the boiled frosting is the best way to go.

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting -  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!

Grating, Wringing Out, and Measuring The Apples and Zucchini 

I use a box grater to grate the apple and zucchini by hand in literally two minutes Use the coarsest blade, and grate away. One large Granny Smith apple and one regular-sized zucchini should be sufficient.

You could use a food processor but honestly that is just lots of pieces, parts, and extra dishes later on, for a job that is about two minutes.

Put the grater on a cutting board and you’ll be done faster than you could even drag out your food processor.

Place the grated apples and zucchini in doubled up paper towels, separate them, and wring it out. You don’t have to wring like you are trying to wring out a wet swimsuit, but you want to blot up some of the moisture, if I were guessing, I’d say wring out 50% of the moisture.

Then measure out 3/4 cup of each, packed fairly firmly. Don’t hard-pack it into the measuring cup, but use more pressure than if you were just laying it in the cup.

You want 3/4 cup of both the grated, blotted, semi-packed apples and zucchini, for a total of 1 1/2 cups combined.

Baking Times

Anytime one is baking with apples, zucchini, bananas, berries, or any fruit or vegetable, the natural juices from the vegetable or fruit seep out during the baking process.

It is very important to bake your bread though, and approximately 50 minutes should do the trick, but that is not written in stone so you need to watch your bread and not the clock when evaluating doneness. Do not be afraid to bake your bread for 70 minutes if that’s what it needs in order to get it cooked through.

Because of the moisture content of your particular apple or zucchini, exactly how much water you blotted out, your oven, you climate, the brand of flour used, and so forth, will all effect baking times. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out free from any wet batter.

I recommend draping a sheet of foil, i.e. tenting your pan, at the 25 to 30-minute mark to avoid excessive browning on the top and sides of your loaf.

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting -  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!

Using This Batter To Make Apple Zucchini Muffins or Cake

It is perfectly fine to use the batter to make muffins or cake.

Muffins will probably take about 20 to 25 minutes baked at 350F. Again, keep an eye on them and they’re done when they’re cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean from batter.

The batter would be fine for an 8×8-inch cake or a small Bundt cake. It will depend on what you choose to bake it in, but I estimate it taking about 35 minutes for either.

I haven’t tested any of these options personally so watch your baking times.

Adding Nuts

If you want to and/or incorporate walnuts or another favorite nut, that is just fine. I would do 1/2 cup and see how the batter looks from there.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Apple Bread

I haven’t make this recipe gluten-free but if you want to attempt it, I’d use a gluten-free flour specifically intended for baking.

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting -  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting -  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!
Yield: 10

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Apple Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Frosting -  Super soft, moist, and topped with the BEST frosting ever!!  One bowl, no mixer, EASY recipe for the best apple zucchini bread that everyone LOVES!!

Ingredients

Bread

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used full fat sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Granny Smith apple, peeled first, blotted, and fairly firmly packed in measuring cup (see Notes)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated zucchini, blotted, and fairly firmly packed in measuring cup (see Notes)

Frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (if your sugar is particularly lumpy, sift before using it)

Instructions

    1. Bread - Preheat oven to 350F, and spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
    2. To a large mixing bowl, add the egg, oil, sour cream, vanilla, sugars, and whisk to combine.
    3. Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and stir to combine; don't overmix.
    4. Add the grated apples and zucchini and fold to combine, don't overmix.
    5. Turn batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula, and bake the bread for about 50 minutes (start checking earlier) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean from any raw batter. I highly recommend draping a sheet of foil, i.e. tenting the pan, at the 25 to 30-minute mark while baking to reduce excessive browning on the top and sides of your loaf. See Notes for baking tips.
    6. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, or until it's cool enough to remove.
    7. Frosting - To a high-sided small saucepan, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt, whisking constantly until it melts.
    8. Add the brown sugar, milk or cream, and whisk to incorporate. The mixture should be bubbling around the perimeter of the saucepan. Allow the mixture to come to a boil so that in the center of the saucepan it's boiling. This will only take another 30-60 seconds.
    9. Once it comes to a boil in the center of the saucepan, turn off the heat, add the vanilla, salt, 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, and whisk vigorously to incorporate the confectioners' sugar. If you want a slightly thicker frosting, add the additional 1/4 confectioners' sugar after you check and see how it looks after the initial 1 1/2 cups.
    10. Immediately pour the frosting over the bread, noting you may not need quite all of it. I discarded about 10-15%. The frosting sets up very quickly so make sure after you whisk in the confectioners' sugar you move quickly and get it poured over the bread. Allow the frosting to set up fully before slicing into the bread.
    11. Bread will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days, in the fridge for up to 8 days, and in the freezer for up to 4 months noting that if you are planning to freeze this bread, I would frost the bread upon thawing and not before freezing it because the frosting could change textures with the freezing/thawing.


    Bread adapted from The Best Zucchini Bread

Notes

1. Grating, Wringing Out, and Measuring The Apples and Zucchini  - Place the grated apples and grated zucchini (separately) in doubled up paper towels and wring it out. You don’t have to wring like you are trying to wring out a wet swimsuit, but you want to blot up some of the moisture, if I were guessing, I’d say wring out 50% of the moisture.

Then place measure out 3/4 cup of each, measuring cup fairly firmly. Don’t hard-pack it into the cup, but use more pressure than if you were just laying it in the cup.

You want 1 1/2 cups total of grated, blotted, semi-packed apples and zucchini combined.

2. Baking Tips - It is very important to bake your bread though, and approximately 50 minutes should do the trick, but that is not written in stone so you need to watch your bread and not the clock when evaluating doneness. Do not be afraid to bake your bread for 70 minutes if that’s what it needs in order to get it cooked through.

Because of the moisture content of your particular zucchini, exactly how much water you blotted out, your oven, you climate, the brand of flour used, and so forth, will all effect baking times. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out free from any wet batter.

I recommend draping a sheet of foil, i.e. tenting your pan, at the 25 to 30-minute mark to avoid excessive browning on the top and sides of your loaf.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 1gSugar: 58gProtein: 5g

It's not likely you will use all of the frosting and so the stats are a bit artificially elevated because they take into account using all of it.

More Zucchini Recipes:

My Entire Zucchini Recipe Collection — From sweet to savory, sides to main dishes, this collection of amazing zucchini recipes has you covered!

The Best Zucchini Bread – Super moist, tender, loaded with chocolate chips, and so EASY to make!! One bowl, no mixer, and THE BEST zucchini bread you’ll ever try!!

The Best Zucchini Bread - Super moist, tender, loaded with chocolate chips, and so EASY to make!! One bowl, no mixer, and THE BEST zucchini bread you'll ever try!!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache – The best zucchini cake ever!! Soft, moist, and you can’t even taste the zucchini! Tastes like a yellow bakery cake drenched in chocolate!!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache - The best zucchini cake ever!! Soft, moist, and you can't even taste the zucchini! Tastes like a yellow bakery cake drenched in chocolate!!

Zucchini Banana Bread — This zucchini banana bread is so soft, tender, uber-moist, dense enough to be satisfying, but still light! It’s just sweet enough to taste like a dessert and not like you’re eating vegetables. It really is the BEST zucchini bread recipe!!

This Zucchini Banana Bread is so soft, tender, uber-moist, dense enough to be satisfying, but still light! It’s just sweet enough to taste like a dessert and not like you’re eating vegetables. It really is the BEST zucchini bread recipe!!

Carrot Zucchini Bread — Fast, easy, one bowl, no mixer!! Super soft, moist, and tastes so good you’ll forget it’s on the healthier side!

Carrot Zucchini Bread - Fast, easy, one bowl, no mixer!! Super soft, moist, and tastes so good you'll forget it's on the healthier side!!
Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (vegan) – You’ll never complain about eating your vegetables again! Soft, healthy, so good!

Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins (vegan) - You'll never complain about eating your vegetables again! Soft, healthy, so good!

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffins — NO dairy or butter and only 1/4 cup oil in the entire batch!! Promise you CANNOT taste the zucchini but it keeps the muffins so soft and moist! Love sneaking in extra veggies with lots of CHOCOLATE!!

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffins 

Blueberry Banana Zucchini Bread — Banana bread just got BETTER with juicy BLUEBERRIES in every bite!! The zucchini (you can’t taste it) keeps it moist and HEALTHY! Easy and DELICIOUS!!

Blueberry Banana Zucchini Bread 

Blueberry Zucchini Bread — Juicy BLUEBERRIES in every bite of this soft, easy, no mixer bread!! If you have picky eaters who don’t like zucchini, don’t worry because you can’t taste it! It keeps the bread tender and HEALTHIER!!

Apple Carrot Bread — This apple carrot bread tastes like carrot cake that’s been infused with apples. It’s a no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes! 

sliced loaf of Apple Carrot Bread 

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