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Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

In this blog post, I’ll share one of my family’s favorite recipes: Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. It’s a great way to use my garden’s fresh lemons, zucchini, eggs, and apples. I love how the smell fills my kitchen when baking; the taste is amazing. Using homegrown ingredients makes it even better.

Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.

I really enjoy recipes that use ingredients from my garden, and this one is no different. Thanks to freeze-drying, we can now enjoy the delicious taste of this bread made with fresh-garden produce all year round. I freeze dry lemon peels for a tasty lemon powder that adds fresh lemon flavor. When there is an abundance of zucchini or other squash, I grate or chop them and then freeze-dry them for later use. Learn more about how to freeze-dry in this post.

Freeze-dried lemon peel and freeze-dried zucchini
Freeze-dried lemon peel and freeze-dried zucchini

This recipe is easy to make and worth trying, especially if you’ve got a surplus of zucchini in your garden. The lemon adds a refreshing taste, and the poppy seeds give the bread a nice crunch.

So, let’s get started. I hope you’ll enjoy baking (and eating) this Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread as much as we do. Happy baking!

Jump to printable recipe.

Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup oil or applesauce (see note)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (fresh or freeze-dried)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (fresh or freeze-dried, see note if using freeze-dried)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Powdered sugar for dusting or lemon glaze (see note)


  1. Start by preheating your oven to 325°F and greasing two loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together 8 oz. of softened cream cheese, 1 ½ cups of sugar, and 2/3 cup of oil or applesauce.
  3. Once the mixture is creamy, add 3 eggs, ½ teaspoon of lemon extract, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Next, fold in 2 cups of grated zucchini until well incorporated into the mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of soda, and ¼ teaspoon of baking powder.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until everything is blended.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Once baked, if desired, dust the bread with powdered sugar or drizzle with a lemon glaze (see note) for extra flavor and sweetness.
Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


  • Fresh or freeze-dried lemon zest: Use as is. No need to rehydrate first. 
  • Homemade applesauce: You can use this instead of oil in the recipe. This not only adds flavor but also reduces the fat content of your bread. 
  • Fresh or freeze-dried zucchini: Fresh zucchini can be grated directly into the batter. If you’re using freeze-dried zucchini, rehydrate it first by soaking it in water.
  • To make lemon glaze: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and drizzle over warm bread.

Printable recipes for Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (U.S. & Metric)

Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

This Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed Bread doubles easily and freezes well. Allow the bread to cool completely before freezing. This helps maintain the bread’s texture and prevents it from becoming soggy when defrosted. Wrap the cooled bread in two layers of foil. The bread can then be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

Best Recipe for Zucchini - Carla’s Calabacitas

Looking for zucchini recipes? We love using extra zucchini in Carla’s Calabacitas.

Don’t have a freeze dryer?

Purchasing a freeze dryer is undoubtedly an investment. My freeze dryer runs almost nonstop, and I’m grateful to have one. I have the medium-size freeze dryer with the premier pump from Harvest Right.

If you purchase a freeze dryer, please consider purchasing through my affiliate link. (It doesn’t cost you more, and I earn a small commission.) Your support helps me continue providing free content on my blog and YouTube channel. Learn more about how to freeze dry here.

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