Super moist Lemon Yellow Squash Bread is made with fresh lemon juice and zest and healthy yellow squash from your garden! This summer squash bread is the perfect way to sneak veggies into dessert! Put this at the top of your quick bread recipes, because you’ll make it more often than any other type of sweet bread!
I know this sounds weird. But hear me out.
We went on a trip to Seattle for a week, and when we got back, our yellow squash in our garden had become absolutely enormous. Like the size of medieval clubs. You could take these things into battle.
But I did not want to bludgeon people with them. I wanted to feed people with them! So I started thinking of ways to sneak the squash into food, and I found the perfect solution.
Lemon Yellow Squash Bread.
Who would have thought you could make dessert with yellow squash?
The beauty of this is that the squash is absolutely tasteless and just looks like bits of lemon.
(This means that your children will never know that you have baked yellow squash in the bread!)
I have made six loaves of this bread (with possibly more to come, because I have yellow summer squash coming out my ears!)
My whole family loves this bread and cannot stop eating it. We had guests for dinner on Sunday and I served this bread for dessert. They could not get enough, so I sent some home with them. Needless to say, this is quite possibly the best use EVER for all your summer squash.
Ingredients for Lemon Yellow Squash Bread
- Vegetable oil (or olive oil)
- Buttermilk (can be made with regular milk and a splash of vinegar or lemon juice)
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Grated yellow or summer squash (can use fresh squash or frozen)
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
For the optional glaze:
- Powdered sugar
- Lemon juice
How to Make Lemon Yellow Squash Bread
First, you’ll need to grate or shred your yellow squash.
How do you shred squash?
It’s really easy with a food processor that has a grating attachment! If you don’t have one, you’ll need to grate it with a hand grater. Either way, the first thing you want to do is wash the squash and then cut off both ends.
Cut the squash into chunks about 3 inches high.
Slice these chunks in half from top to bottom. If you have a really large squash with hard seeds, you may want to remove the center portion with the seeds. If you are using smaller, normal-sized squash, you probably don’t need to do this.
Add the chunks to a food processor fitted with a grating blade. I love my Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Food Processor.
Can you freeze the grated squash?
Yes! I like to measure out one cup of the grated squash (the amount used in this recipe) and put it into Ziploc bags. Then when I am ready to make this bread, I take the frozen squash out of the freezer (at least a day in advance so it can thaw in the refrigerator).
One thing to note is that your frozen squash will release a lot of water as it thaws. Be sure to drain the water before adding the squash to your bread.
You’ll also notice that the thawed squash will have compacted into about 1/2 a cup. Don’t worry about that! Just go ahead and add it to your recipe. It was a full cup before you froze it, so you’re good to go!
Once you mix up the batter for the bread (please use a large mixing bowl, because this makes a lot of batter), you add in the grated yellow squash.
Mix it together, then pour batter into a large bread pan (9×5) and bake for 40-45 minutes.
You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer for the batter, but I always just mix it by hand. That way, I’m sure not to overmix and activate any gluten.
Once the bread has cooled for a bit, turn it out of the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then top it with a wonderful lemon glaze and serve!
I left this bread out overnight before glazing because I wanted the top crust to stay wonderfully crispy. If you put it in a plastic bag, the crust will absorb the moisture in the bread and will no longer retain its wonderful texture. Even though I left the bread out for so long, it still stayed super soft.
I suggest you just let the moist bread rest at room temperature, uncovered, and only add the glaze right before you plan to serve it.
You can also make this wonderful Lemon Bread using zucchini. If you have kids who object to green things in food, you might want to stick with the yellow squash, though 🙂
Note: You can also make this bread in mini loaf pans! Bake for 30 minutes. If a toothpick comes out from the center with just a few crumbs, it’s done! (You may need to adjust the baking time depending on the size of your mini loaf pans and how hot your oven cooks).
This recipe adapted from a great zucchini bread recipe, Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread from Lil’Luna.
There is a great recipe on Smitten Kitchen for Zucchini Bread where she suggests you leave the bread in the pan overnight, uncovered. That will keep your bread wonderfully moist, but preserve the crunchy top!
Did you make this delicious recipe? (It’s one of my all-time most popular recipes!) If so, be sure to leave a comment and let me know how it turned out!
For the Lemon Yellow Squash Bread
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest from one lemon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup yellow squash, grated
For the Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon milk
Grease and flour a 9x5" bread pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat the eggs. Add the 1/2 cup of oil and 1 1/3 cups of sugar and mix until well blended.
Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 2 tablepsoons of lemon juice, and lemon zest to the mixture and blend well.
Add the 2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of baking powder all at once. Blend on low speed just until everything is incorporated and most of the lumps are gone.
Add the one cup of grated yellow squash and fold in using a spoon.
Pour the batter into your prepared bread pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes in the pans. Then slide a knife or spatula around the edges to loosen and turn out onto a cutting board. Allow to cool completely. (Alternately, you can leave the bread in the pans, uncovered, overnight).
Before serving, make the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk together. Drizzle over the top of the bread. Glaze will harden up in time.
If you use frozen squash or add extra squash to this recipe, you may need to increase the baking time. I have tested this recipe with both frozen and fresh squash and gotten excellent results with both. If using frozen squash, be sure to thaw it first and drain any liquid. When measuring thawed squash, just use 1/2 cup instead of a full cup.
If you don't have any buttermilk, you can make some. Just pour your 1/2 cup of milk into a measuring cup and add a small splash of lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit for about ten minutes.
If you want even more lemon flavor, add more lemon zest, a couple drops of lemon essential oil, or a teaspoon of lemon extract to the batter.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 4g