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Buttermilk Zucchini Cornbread

This Buttermilk Zucchini Cornbread is a slightly sweet cornbread recipe that’s super easy to make. Serve slathered with butter or drizzled with honey!

Looking for more cornbread recipes? Check out this Cornbread with Cheddar Cheese.

A loaf of Zucchini Cornbread with some slices cut out.

During the summer months, my garden produces so much zucchini that the question is not “What do you want for dinner?” but rather, “How do you want your zucchini for dinner?” (Or breakfast, or dessert!) I put zucchini in everything from frittatas and Turkey Meatballs, to zucchini brownies and muffins. If there is one thing I know, it’s that there is a way to serve zucchini at every meal without anyone being the wiser.

This slightly sweet fluffy cornbread is an easy way to use up zucchini and serve it on the side. It goes with scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, with salad at lunch, or with a hearty venison chili or rabbit stew at dinner. You can even eat it for dessert if you drizzle it with honey or maple cream.

Everything you need for Zucchini Cornbread: butter, eggs, buttermilk, zucchini, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cornmeal.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you will need to make this fluffy zucchini cornbread. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for amounts.

  • Butter: I prefer unsalted butter.
  • Eggs: I use 2 medium sized eggs from my hens. Large eggs work too, you may just need to bake a bit longer.
  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by mixing 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream with 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.
  • Zucchini: You can also use summer squash or pattypan squash in equal amounts.
  • Flour: I used a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat.
  • Cornmeal: I use medium-grind.
  • Sugar: This is a sweet cornbread.
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Kosher Salt

How to Make Zucchini Cornbread

With just 6 steps, this recipe is pretty easy to make. You’ll need a large and medium bowl, a grater and a colander.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Trim the zucchini ends and coarsely grate the zucchini. Place the zucchini in a colander over a large bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stir things about a bit with your spoon, then set aside.

Melt the butter on the stovetop, then set aside to cool.

Once the butter has cooled, whisk in the eggs and buttermilk. Then, use your hands to press the zucchini and add it to the buttermilk mixture. No need to do too much squeezing, you just want to get some of the extra liquid out. (In fact, on lazy days I will skip this step with the zucchini, add it straight to the batter and just bake it a bit longer.)

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in the zucchini mixture (the batter will be very thick).

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake until golden and when a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (45-55 minutes). Let cool for ten minutes, remove from pan, and then let cool completely on a wire rack. (Note that if you did not squeeze out the zucchini liquid then this bread often bakes in 55-60 minutes.)

Tips for Success

Here are some of my notes for how to make your buttermilk zucchini cornbread super moist, fluffy, and perfectly golden:

  • Use fresh zucchini – I use zucchini straight from my garden, and there’s just something about using fresh produce that makes any recipe taste better.
  • Use the grater attachment on your food processor if you have one – This will make your life much easier! Don’t spend forever using a regular grater to shred the zucchini if you don’t have to.
  • Start checking the bread around 40 minutes – Every oven is different so you just want to make sure your cornbread is not baking too quickly. Once you hit 45 minutes, I recommend inserting a tester into the center of the loaf to see whether it comes out clean. Alternatively, you can gently press the top of the bread and if it springs back then it is done. The finished cornbread should have a deep golden color.
  • Don’t over bake – This zucchini cornbread is moist and fluffy, but over baking it will dry it out.
A loaf of Zucchini Cornbread with a slice cut off in front of the loaf.

Serving Suggestions

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this cornbread is just slathering it with a thick coat of butter. For a sweeter topping, try maple cream or a drizzle of honey!

You can serve zucchini cornbread same as you would any other cornbread. I recommend serving it on the side with:

For the chili recipes in particular, I like to crumble a piece of cornbread into my chili and mix it all around. I know it sounds strange but it’s super satisfying.

How to Store Homemade Cornbread

You can store this zucchini cornbread in an air tight container and just keep it on the counter. Make sure it has cooled completely before you put it into a container though, otherwise the residual heat from the bread will create steam inside your container and make the bread mushy. The cornbread will last for 3-4 days.

Can I Freeze This?

Yes, you can freeze zucchini cornbread. Although this bread tastes the best when served fresh from the oven, it will keep well for up to three months in the freezer.

After baking, let the cornbread cool to room temperature, then wrap it in a few layers of saran wrap and place it in an airtight freezer safe container. It will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. To defrost, just place it in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours.

Print

Fluffy Buttermilk Zucchini Cornbread

A slightly sweet cornbread that’s super easy to make and loaded with fresh zucchini. Serve slathered with butter or drizzled with honey!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large zucchini (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup medium-grind cornmeal
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher, plus a pinch

Instructions

  1. Prep your tools. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 9x5x3″ loaf pan.
  2. Prepare the zucchini. Trim zucchini ends. Coarsely grate zucchini. Place the zucchini in a colander set over a large bowl. Sprinkle a generous pinch of kosher salt over the shredded zucchini. Mix with a spoon and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pot/skillet on the stovetop. Set aside and let cool.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl combine both flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
  5. Mix wet ingredients. Pour the cooled butter into a small bowl and whisk in the eggs and buttermilk. Set aside.
  6. Press zucchini & add to wet ingredients. With your hands, press the zucchini so that excess liquid runs out of the colander and into the bowl. You can either press it against the sides of the colander, or you can grab handfuls and just squeeze them in your hands. Add the zucchini to the buttermilk mixture.
  7. Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture. Mix until combined and no dry ingredients are visible. The batter will be very thick.
  8. Bake. Transfer batter to  the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45-55 minutes.
  9. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes

Preferably, use a grater attachment from your food processor to grate the zucchini

Keywords: sweet cornbread, buttermilk cornbread, zucchini cornbread

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