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5 Culprits Behind a Flat Loaf of Zucchini Bread and How to Rise Above

5 Culprits Behind a Flat Loaf of Zucchini Bread and How to Rise Above

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Baking zucchini bread for the first time may be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the baking world. The lack of experience might lead you to ask a couple of questions before you start mixing ingredients, a common one being: Does zucchini bread rise?

Yes, zucchini bread rises just like any other type of bread. Yet, what causes it to rise isn’t yeast—as it’s a type of quick bread—but rather baking powder or baking soda.

To figure out how much zucchini bread typically rises and why it fails to do so sometimes, keep reading!

How Much Does Zucchini Bread Rise?

The amount that zucchini bread rises depends on the size of the pan you’ll bake it in. If you’ll be using a standard 9-inch pan, you should only fill it to ¾ of its size with the zucchini bread batter.

After baking to perfection in the oven, the zucchini bread loaf will rise the rest of the way to the top, which also translates to around an inch.

On the other hand, you’ll have to fill an 8-inch pan to half its size, so the bread will rise around two inches.

Why Won’t My Zucchini Bread Rise?

One problem that many first-timers face when making zucchini bread is the inability to make it rise as it should. Or, it might come out of the oven perfectly risen, only to fall within 30 minutes of leaving it on the kitchen counter.

This section analyzes all the causes that lead to this scenario as well as how to keep from making these mistakes.

1 – Insufficient or Expired Leavening Agent

As leavening agents are a crucial part of your zucchini bread’s rising ability, adding old, expired, or too little of them into your mix won’t cause your bread to rise properly.

So, always check your baking powder and baking soda’s expiry date. Then, mix a teaspoon of each with your other ingredients (for every three cups of flour).

After preparing the batter and pouring it into the baking pan, let it settle for a while before putting it in a preheated oven. This short rest allows the leavening agents enough time to work their magic!

2 – Over-mixing Ingredients

Beating your batter too hard or for too long will get rid of air bubbles within it. Or, it’ll significantly decrease the number of air bubbles, so they’ll break apart during the baking process.

As a result, you’ll end up with a dense loaf that isn’t as fluffy as you’d like, not to mention that it won’t rise properly.

3 – Filling the Pan to the Brim

Some novice bakers make the mistake of filling their pans to the very top, not realizing that it’s a surefire way to poorly-cooked bread.

If you don’t leave sufficient space between the batter and the pan’s brim, the bread will overflow and collapse in the middle.

4 – Underbaking

Taking your baking pan out of the oven too soon means that the batter won’t have enough time to rise. The same goes if the bread looks ready along the edges but still has an undercooked center.

So, always check the middle with a toothpick before turning off the heat—if it’s clean, then your bread loaf is ready.

Plus, it’s a good idea to stick to the recipe’s recommended baking time, which is around 40 minutes.

5 – Excessively Moist Batter

Last but not least, too much moisture in your batter will mess up your bread’s consistency and get in the way of it rising ideally.

This is why you have to squeeze out any excess water that may come out of your zucchinis. Also, it’s best to grate your zucchinis in the first place instead of mashing them to prevent extra moisture.

Final Thoughts

Does zucchini bread rise?

After reading our guide, you now know that the answer is yes, as zucchini bread normally rises an inch or two. If you’re having problems with your bread not rising, try adjusting your baking habits.

Underbaking, too-moist batter, filling the pan all the way to the top, over-mixing ingredients, and an old leavening agent are all responsible for sinking zucchini bread.

Now that you know what to do, are you ready to try your luck again with this delicious quick bread?

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Wednesday 27th of December 2023

Hi, Sarah! My zucchini bread rises to a peak in the middle. I made a huge batch at one time, so do you think I may not have mixed the ingredients well enough?


Friday 18th of August 2023

I moved to Colorado three years ago my zucchini bread my banana nut bread did just fine in California, so why is the middle not cooking right and making the 2 inch center look right?

Sarah Bridenstine

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

Hi Katherine!

Are you at a higher elevation? That definitely could be causing some issues for your bread! Check out these articles for a few ideas on what to try!


Saturday 12th of August 2023

will zucchini bread still be ok to eat if you forget to add the baking soda??? I baked 20 loaves and realize that I forgot to add bs to the batter. Help just want to know before I hand out the bread

Sarah Bridenstine

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

Hi Bonnie!

I know that omitting the baking soda will have an effect on the texture, but I'm not sure what effect it would have on the flavor. If you're not concerned about the texture, you could always taste a piece and see! I hope that helps!