Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

This irresistible orange poppy seed zucchini bread is studded with plenty of shredded zucchini, poppy seeds, vanilla and orange zest! Moist, fluffy and easy to make, it’s the perfect anytime treat. Dairy free.

Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread in a white ruffled loaf pan with a blue napkin on the side.

Preheat your oven, grab a few mixing bowls and let’s bake this orange poppy seed zucchini bread!

Because yes. Zucchini bread is absolutely worth turning on your oven for in this crazy summer heat.

ESPECIALLY when said bread is studded with flecks of gorgeous grated zucchini, flavorful poppy seeds, dreamy vanilla and plenty of orange-y zing.

And guys, holy moly is it good. It’s soft, moist (<— yes I said it), fluffy, perfectly sweet. And kinda sorta reminds me of a light lemon orange pound cake that just happens to be filled with plenty of zucchini.

i.e. this is so NOT your momma’s zucchini bread.

{PS – if you are looking for a more classic spin, this healthy honey cinnamon zucchini bread will do the trick.}

No but seriously. This bread is easy, simple to make and has a few healthier swaps, like some white whole wheat flour, applesauce and, errrm, lots of zucchini.

So the answer to how you should put all that extra zucchini to good use? You make cake. Always, always, make cake. ♡♡♡

A slice of Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread on a small plate with more zucchini bread and coffee in the background.

Tips & Tricks For This Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

  1. First up, let’s talk about the zucchini. You’ll need 1 medium to medium-large zucchini to get the amount listed down in the recipe. Cut off the bottom end of the zucchini, then holding the stem, shred using a box grater. There’s no need to peel zucchini when making zucchini bread!
  2. When measuring out your zucchini, drop it into your measuring cup and let the weight from the moisture in the zucchini sort of weigh it down. Don’t pack it in with your hands, rather let the weight of itself weigh it down until you get the 1 ½ cups.
  3. Alright, moving along! The zest of 1 large orange will give you the required 1 tablespoon.
  4. Be sure to measure the applesauce in a dry measuring cup, as it won’t level off correctly in a liquid one.
  5. Finally, let’s talk substitutions. You could absolutely use lemon zest in place of the orange for a lemon poppy seed vibe! Additionally, you could also use a different oil in place of the olive oil (however I will say that the olive oil adds an awesome sort of richness to the bread).

How To Store

This bread keeps well for 3 to 4 days loosely covered at room temperature. I like to just leave it in the loaf pan and cover with foil.

A piece of Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread with a bite taken out and a cup of coffee in the background.

Additional Quick Bread Recipes You Might Enjoy

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 (9x5) loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This irresistible orange poppy seed zucchini bread is studded with plenty of shredded zucchini, poppy seeds, vanilla and orange zest! Moist, fluffy and easy to make, it’s the perfect anytime treat. Dairy free.


  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup pure cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini*
  • scant ¼ cup chopped raw walnuts or pecans, for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, poppy seeds, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until well combined. Add in the olive oil, applesauce, vanilla, orange zest and grated zucchini and whisk again until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (the batter will be on the thicker side).
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts (if using).
  6. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean (if the top of your loaf starts to brown too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil).
  7. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before removing / slicing!


*If your grated zucchini is really wet, lightly blot with a paper towel before using.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 5g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.
A loaf of Orange Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread in a ruffled pan with a blue napkin to the side.