Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread with a Marbled Option


Today is National Zucchini Day, and to celebrate we’re sharing this wonderful vegan chocolate zucchini bread recipe. It was shared with us a few years ago by Holly Price for one of our So Delicious recipe contests. Today I’m giving this post some new life to make it easier for you to find and make! Plus I’ve added some vegan quick bread baking tips.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe with Marbled Option (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free!)

Simple Baking Tips for Perfect Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Free-from baking can be tricky business. Eggs not only bind, but they also add lift and moisture, and help quick bread to retain it’s shape under most conditions. So when they are removed, as Holly has done in this vegan chocolate zucchini bread recipe, there is a bigger margin for problems to occur. Here are some tips to help you bake the perfect loaf.

Eye the Batter. Vegan batter will almost always be thicker than quick bread batter with eggs. It needs the extra density to help bind. But a thicker batter can also result in a denser loaf. If the batter is too thick, which can happen in dryer climates, add a little moisture. You can add an egg or two (if not vegan), some aquafaba, or just a little milk beverage. The latter won’t help in binding or texture.

Consider Your Altitude and Climate. Quick bread results can vary dramatically from coast to coast due to environmental factors. If you are baking at higher altitude, bread can rise too quickly and collapse. But if you are baking at sea level in a humid zone, it can struggle to rise and remain overly moist.

Check the Bread at the Halfway Mark. Take a peak in your oven (but don’t open it!) when the loaves have been baking for about 25 to 30 minutes. Do they look hardly rise or are they already becoming a bit boisterous? It’s important to check at this stage just in case your loaf comes out too dense and flat in the end.

Adjust for High Altitude or Too Much Leavener. If your loaf came out dense or concave, but it was boisterous when you checked at the halfway mark, then it probably has too much leavener for your area. Without eggs, bread is more fragile when it rises too quickly and can easily “pop.” Reduce the leavener (in this case baking soda) according to the results. If it completely collapsed into a concave, dense loaf, then reduce the leavener by half. If it wasn’t so severe, then reduce the leavener by 25%.

Check the Taste. A telltale sign of too much baking soda or not enough acid in the recipe is a bitter or soapy aftertaste. If the loaf rose perfectly but you noticed an off taste, reduce the baking soda from 1 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. This can also vary from kitchen to kitchen!

Adjust for High Humidity or Too Little Leavener. If your loaf was too dense, but it hadn’t risen much at all by the halfway mark, then it needs some lift. If you do eat eggs and like to bake with them, then you can actually add one to eggs to this recipe, which will help. You can also add a little leavener. In this case, I would start with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. I wouldn’t add more baking soda as this can set the acidity (and taste) off.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe with Marbled Option (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free!)

Special Diet Notes: Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, optionally nut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

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Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sometimes I opt to marble the chocolate rather than mixing it all in, so I've added this option in the notes below.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 8x4-inch loaves
  • ¼ cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup oil (your favorite type for baking)
  • ¾ cup plain or unsweetened milk beverage
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups grated zucchini (about 3 zucchini)
  • 1 cup blueberries or dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and grease two 8x4-inch loaf pans. You can optionally flour them or line them with a sheet of parchment paper for easier release.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the cocoa powder in the boiling water.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the oil, milk beverage, vanilla, dissolved cocoa powder, and zucchini and stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries or chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  4. Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans and even it out.
  5. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean (although it might have some chocolate or blueberry on it if you used those additions).
Marbled Loaf Option: Before adding the dissolved cocoa powder, remove 1 cup of batter from the large bowl and transfer to smaller bowl. Add the cocoa to the small bowl and stir to combine. Alternate scoops of the plain batter and cocoa batter in each loaf pan, and use a butter knife to swirl a figure eight in the batter before placing the pans in the oven.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


    • I haven’t tested it Sarah, so I wouldn’t want to say for sure, but it might work with a gluten-free flour blend (one with some binder in it since there are no eggs).

  1. What can you use in place of sugar? I’d like to not add additional table sugar to this bread. Perhaps a banana? Let me know your thoughts.

    • Hi Jaci, you can substitute coconut sugar or evaporated cane juice if you are just concerned about refined sugars. In terms of simply replacing with fruit, that would change the chemistry of the bread, so it would need retesting.

  2. Wow. Simply wow. Tried this today! Super easy and it turned out amazing! I halved the recipe to try one with banana in place of zucchini. That one needed slightly more flour to thicken the batter. Both turned out delicious! The banana one rose better but the zucchini bread was bound together better. Both were very moist and my youngest even preffered the zucchini bread! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes. Trying to find fun treats are hard with a child who has an egg and dairy allergy. Thanks to this she has a slice of yummy birthday breakfast bread!!!

    • All-purpose would produce the most desirable results, but if you like a heartier loaf, whole wheat pastry flour or white-wheat flour can be used. I can’t easily recommend a gluten-free flour sub without experimentation, particularly because this recipe doesn’t use eggs.

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