Cream Cheese-Swirled Zucchini Bread

A deliciously thick swirl of cream cheese inside the best ever zucchini bread. This “secret” family recipe is one you’ll want to use over and over again!

The BEST ever Cream Cheese-Swirled Zucchini Bread
It’s about time I shared this recipe!! I’ve only alluded to my mom’s famous zucchini bread about a dozen times on the blog. And I did promise the recipe way back when. Sorry it has taken me so long!

Part of the reason is, as earth-shattering good as this bread is, I didn’t want to post “just another zucchini bread.” Because there are about a million other recipes on the web and how can you trust me that mine is the best?

There’s only one way – I need to mail every single one of you a slice. If only… :) So, I decided to make the bread a little unique. Don’t worry – I didn’t mess with any of the magic in the regular bread ingredients, I just added to them. In the form of a delicious cream-cheese swirl. I’ve been seeing zucchini cakes pop up everywhere with cream cheese frosting’s and I thought – why not put that in the bread? Sooo — I did!

The BEST ever Cream Cheese-Swirled Zucchini Bread

And the swirl couldn’t be easier – cream cheese, some sugar, vanilla, and an egg. The ingredients just get beaten together and then alternate between the bread batter. I barely covered the bottom of the pans (this recipe makes 2 loaves – and trust me – you’ll want them!!) with the bread batter and then pour some cream cheese mixture down the middle. Then more bread batter and finish it off with a thicker coating of the cream cheese. Finally, one last layer of bread batter and these loaves are ready to go into the oven!

I also experimented with making muffins and they turned out great! I just sprayed a muffin tin and filled the cavities slightly higher than half way. Then I poured in some of the cream cheese mixture and swirled it around with a toothpick. About 15 minutes later some awesome muffins were also ready to be eaten.

So, if desired, you could make one loaf and some muffins. Or just two loaves with this recipe. And feel free to cut the recipe in half if you just want one loaf, but I’m telling you, you’re going to want both!

The BEST ever Cream Cheese-Swirled Zucchini Bread


5.0 from 1 reviews
Cream Cheese-Swirled Zucchini Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 loaves
Zucchini Bread
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
Cream Cheese Swirl
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  1. Lightly grease and flour two bread pans and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the sugar and eats until well incorporated. Add in the oil and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add cinnamon to taste preference - if you are a big fan do 3 teaspoons and less if you like it less.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Over-beating or over stirring will result in a denser bread.
  5. Stir in the shredded zucchini and vanilla.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the cream cheese swirl. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  7. Pour enough batter just to cover the bottom of both pans. Then pour about 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture into each pan so you will use 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture.
  8. Cover with a little more batter, then the remaining cream cheese into each bread pan. Use the remaining batter to cover the cream cheese mixture.
  9. Both bread pans should be about 3/4ths the way full.
  10. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
  11. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow to continue to cool or eat it while it's hot!
Make sure you have thoroughly dried the zucchini to keep it from being too wet

 Here are some more zucchini recipes:


20-minute zucchini and summer squash spaghetti

Healthy Zucchini Bread Muffins from Chelsea's Messy Apron
Healthy Zucchini Bread Muffins 


Summer squash zucchini gratin


Twice-Baked Zucchini BoatsThe BEST ever Cream Cheese-Swirled Zucchini Bread


  1. says

    Ouhhh I love family recipes!! Love what you did with this zucchini bread…cream cheese is always a favorite to many! The swirl adds enough change, but also holds that special taste of the bread I can imagine! I have never made zucchini bread! Clearly I need to change that. Also, the muffins sound great for a breakfast or snack on the go 😉 Thanks Chelsea!

  2. says

    Ooh…this looks SO good! I love the pretty swirl of cream cheese. As it happens, I do not have a go-to zucchini bread recipe, so I’m more than happy to give this a try! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  3. says

    I will be waiting very excitedly for my hunk of this zucchini bread in the mail. 😉 For reals though, Chelsea, that cream cheese swirl takes this bread to a whole new level! I’m just so excited for fall (even though it’s still august) and the idea of making a nice comforting loaf of this zucchini bread on a cool autumn day has me EXTREMELY excited to try it out!

  4. Katie says

    Absolutely amazing! I bake a lot especially zucchini bread this time of year and this is by far the best bread I have ever had! Made it GF also and it turned out fantastic. Thank you for such a great recipe!

  5. Debbie says

    It is delicious but I would like to know if you can freeze it. I would like to make some ahead of time and freeze for the holidays.

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Hi Debbie! I actually made tons before my wedding and froze it. It thawed out great! What a great idea for the holidays!

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