Sunflower Zucchini Bread (Gluten-Free with Coconut Flour)

By Ann Fulton

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While I typically use my tried-and-true gluten-free flour blend as a cup-for-cup stand in when baking quick breads, cakes, muffins, I have been experimenting more and more with various flours used separately, specifically, almond flour and coconut flour.

Coconut flour is unique in that very little of it is required relative to other flours due to its incredible ability to absorb liquid.  It also responds well to eggs, making it possible to produce a high-protein, low-carb baked good.  Although I have several traditional  zucchini bread recipes which I adore, I have eaten quite a bit of this as I have worked through creating the recipe and found it satisfies my hunger longer than most anything else.  And although this recipe is not too sweet and has no refined ingredients, I think it is quite tasty and is a wonderful choice even if you don’t have to eat gluten free!

Extra note:  I love the added texture provided by the steel cut oats and might actually add an extra tablespoon to see what that does the next time around.  If you must eat gluten-free, look for a brand of oats that is specifically marked gluten-free to ensure no cross-contamination (Bob’s Red Mill, for example).   If you are sensitive to oats in general, I have made this recipe without and it is still good.  Almond flour would be another option.


Sunflower Zucchini Bread (Gluten-Free with Coconut Flour)
This loaf has a mere quarter cup of honey. While I find it to be plenty sweet, you could add an extra tablespoon or two–or even sprinkle some coarse sugar on the top of the loaf before baking–if you prefer a sweeter bread. I have also cut the recipe in half and baked in two 5 1/2 x 3-inch mini loaf pans for 28-32 minutes.
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (I use the coarse side of a box grater)
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (could use maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (85 grams) coconut flour (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/4 cup (slightly rounded) sunflower seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan by buttering and placing a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan for easier removal.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the spices, salt, baking powder, and coconut flour. Stir in the oats and the seeds.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix well. If you have lumps use the back of a spoon to break them up.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10-15 minutes, and then remove from the pan and cool completely.
  8. Yields 8-10 slices. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
  • Because coconut flour is so absorbent, it is important to measure precisely. I really like my kitchen scale for this reason. If you do not have a scale, I suggest sifting the flour then gently spooning into the measuring cup and leveling with a knife.
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This recipe was shared at This and That.

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    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Melissa, The amount of honey is small enough that you should be able to substitute granulated or even brown sugar without further adjustment. If you try, I’d love to hear how you make out!

  1. geoff

    I tried this recipe and loved the flavor and the texture. It’s a little different than a recipe using basic all-purpose flour, but it satisfies far better. Great way to start out the day.

    1. Ann

      I’m glad you enjoyed, Geoff. Coconut flour is definitely unlike any other flour and a little bit goes a long way. I love the way it really holds the moisture in baked goods.

    1. Ann

      I just saw this comment…so sorry for the slow reply! Thank you for the thoughtful comment and for sharing the site with your friends!

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    1. Ann

      Hi Sara! I was going to work on another variation using almond flour but I think I zucchini-ed everyone out so I stopped after this recipe! I really like what the steel cut oats did to the texture of this loaf. I wanted to add almond flour, too, but didn’t want to include too many specialty ingredients and, as I was creating the recipe, I only wanted to change one variable at a time. Next time, I might add a third of a cup or so of almond flour to see how that affects the final outcome. Let me know if you try!