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Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting are the absolute BEST zucchini bars and are one of my favorite solutions to a boat load of zucchini from the garden! These zucchini bars are super moist and tender and the brown butter cream cheese frosting is irresistible.

Zucchini Bar on a plate with a fork in the background on the plate, and the pan of zucchini bars behind the plate.

While I've had a garden for the past few years, this is the first year that I've tried growing zucchini.  I guess I was always just a little jealous of people who always had their hands full of zucchini come August and I wanted in on the fun!  I also wanted in on the challenge to put zucchini in ALL THE THINGS.

Now that I have a bunch of zucchini, the question is - what do I do with it?! I loved using it in savory dishes like Summer Squash Migas and Grilled Zucchini Tacos, I also love using zucchini in sweet dishes like Zucchini Chocolate Cake and these Zucchini Bars.

Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Why You'll Love this Recipe

  1. It uses zucchini which means you're eating vegetables AND dessert at the same time!
  2. The cream cheese frosting is absolutely divine with the brown butter. It is a step that should not be skipped.
  3. It's great for sharing. These bars are perfect for a group dessert, potluck, or BBQ.

Ingredients

Zucchini Bar ingredients on a white background including shredded zucchini, white sugar, all-purpose flour, a stick of butter, an egg, two bananas, pure vanilla extract, cream cheese, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Zucchini - I use shredded zucchini in this recipe, which I do using my food processor which has a shredder attachment. You could also use a vegetable grater. This recipe does not require you to squeeze out any liquid from the zucchini

Bananas - bananas add texture and sweetness to these bars. There is a slight banana flavor but not too much!

Butter - butter is the fat that makes these bars so delicious and also a star ingredient in the frosting. Be sure the butter is at room temperature when you start making the bars and refer to this post for how to make brown butter.

Granulated sugar - to add sweetness to these bars.

Cream Cheese - cream cheese is used in the frosting, along with powdered sugar.

Refer to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients with exact amounts.

Step by Step Instructions

A stand mixer with butter and sugar that has been creamed. A stand mixer with the creamed butter and sugar with the egg and vanilla added.

Step 1. Cream the butter and sugar for 1 minute with an electric mixer until creamy.

Step 2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine.

The butter and sugar mixture mixed with the egg and vanilla. The stand mixer bowl with the wet ingredients with the cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt added.

Step 3. Beat until creamy.

Step 4. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Beat to combine.

The stand mixer bowl with the flour added to the wet ingredients. The mixture with the flour mixed in, with the shredded zucchini on top.

Step 5. Add the flour and mix until just combined.

Step 6. Add in the shredded zucchini.

The batter with the shredded zucchini folded in. A 9x13" baking dish with the zucchini bar batter spread evenly.

Step 7. Mix until just combined.

Step 8. Spread into a greased 9x13" baking dish.

An all-clad pot with a stick of butter. The pot with the butter which has been melted and cooked until browned.

Step 9. Add the butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Step 10. Cook until the butter browns. It will melt, then foam, and then the foam will subside and little brown specks will form on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan immediately once you see the brown specks form. Cool for 30 minutes. (p.s. this Brown Butter Sea Salt Brownie recipe is also to die for!)

A stand mixer bowl with the butter and cream cheese creamed together. The stand mixer bowl with the powdered sugar added and creamed.

Step 11. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Step 12. Add the browned butter and beat until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat another minute.

Baked zucchini bars with cream cheese frosting spread on top.

Step 13. Spread the frosting onto the cooled bars.

Step 14. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Pro Tips

If you have the vegetable grater attachment for your food processor, that makes shredded the zucchini much faster. Of course, you can use a traditional vegetable grater, or an attachment for a stand mixer as well.

Use very ripe bananas. They will add sweetness, be easier to mash, and make the bars extra tender and moist.

Cool the butter for at least 20 minutes before mixing it with the cream cheese. If it's too warm, it will not mix very well with the cream cheese.

These keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5-6 days.

Recipe FAQs

Why is zucchini good for baking?

Zucchini has very little flavor so it is easy to mix into baked goods. It is also high in water content so it adds moisture to muffins, bars, and bread.

Should I peel zucchini before baking?

Peeling zucchini prior to grating it for these bars is not necessary. The skin actually is a big source of its nutrition, so you benefit from leaving the skin on.

Do I need to squeeze out the water from the shredded zucchini?

No, that step is not necessary in this recipe.

Zucchini Bars with cream cheese frosting a white plate.

Other Zucchini Recipes to Consider...

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #greensnchocolate.

Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

A delicious and easy zucchini bar recipe with addicting brown butter cream cheese frosting on top!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 24 bars
Calories: 263kcal

Ingredients

For the bars:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe medium bananas mashed
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini

For the brown butter frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

To make the bars:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined about 1 minute.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat another minute.
  • Add the banana and beat another minute.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat until just combined.
  • Fold in zucchini.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 28-32 minutes, until middle is set and toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely
  • Meanwhile, make the brown butter.
  • Add butter to a small pot over medium-low heat.
  • Melt the butter and let it cook until little brown specks form and you smell a nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately.
  • Let cool for about 20 minutes.
  • In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat together brown butter and cream cheese.
  • Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  • Spread over cooled bars.
  • Cut into slices and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @greensnchocolate to let me know!
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Recipe Rating




  1. Haha, ^^^ "don't hate me" ^^^ - because desserts should be indulgent, says your personal dietitian. These look yummy and I wish I had a garden full of zucchini to make them right now!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I've never browned butter before???? but it definitely has upped my cream cheese frosting game. Being a first time gardener with a gazillion zucchini, this is going to be a keeper recipe. Thank you!