Lemon Summer Squash Bread

This Lemon Summer Squash Bread with Lemon Glaze is a fantastic change up from Zucchini Bread. Light and lemony it really is perfect for summer.

Lemon Summer Squash Bread Garnished with Roasted Lemon Slices

Seriously why did I never think to make Lemon Summer Squash Bread before? I have been making Zucchini bread for ages; probably ever since we had a huge garden at our first home which was at least 30 years ago.

I used to have a big garden and while we would occasionally have the same over abundance with yellow squash that we had with zucchini I never, not once, EVER thought to utilize it in a bread.

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The original recipe I’ve used for zucchini bread for all those years comes from a VERY old church cookbook; one that belonged to my mom. It’s a standout and perfect and I’ve only revised it to include some cream cheese frosting.

But not once in all those years, not in any other church or community cookbook that I’ve collected, have I ever seen a similar recipe for yellow squash.

It might have been a leap of faith but once done I have to ask WHY? This recipe for a lemon summer squash bread is absolutely divine; right now I would choose it in a heartbeat over zucchini bread so grab that yellow squash, get your graters on and go for it!

Slice of Lemon Summer Squash Bread

My inspiration to go this route was really pretty simple. My neighbors had gifted me with a big yellow summer squash. Now I know if I had cut it open that I was going to find that same fibrous interior with some big seeds that appear in zucchini when they get big; much like the inside of pumpkins. So my choices were to stuff it or. What?

That’s when I wondered myself why I had never thought to grate it and make bread (which in all honestly is more like cake with the sugar and glaze). I thought I would give it a try and originally thought savory, maybe some herbs and roasted tomatoes? Or a yellow squash garlic bread? Those all sounded good but it was a simple juxtaposition that morning that sealed the deal; yellow squash was on the counter next to lemons and I was off and running!

This recipe is an adaptation of the aforementioned tried and true one for zucchini bread and it was perfect. I like enough lemon that there is no doubting that’s what is in it and this had that. I didn’t go the route of frosting though; preferring to make a glaze and add some of the juice and zest of lemon to it as well.

The crowning glory? Those adorable little roasted lemon slices. I made those for this salad a couple of weeks ago and they are not just a pretty face; that roasting in olive oil and sugar makes for a fun bite too!

Lemon Summer Squash Bread With Lemon Glaze

Know what I consider a successful recipe? One that is shared with my Indian neighbors who cook only Indian dishes and who ask for the recipe afterwards. They LOVED it. And my friends that gave me the yellow summer squash have threatened to keep it all for themselves now…so they can make bread!

They’re kidding…they know they’ll give it to me. I’ll make it and then I’ll give them some; that’s how it works around here. 🙂

That was all the testimony I needed and I hope you try it too. I will no longer lament an abundance of squash or one that might be too big; I will simply make my new favorite squash bread!

PIN IT! ‘Lemon Summer Squash Bread’

Lemon Summer Squash Bread Garnished with Roasted Lemon Slices
Lemon Summer Squash Bread Garnished with Roasted Lemon Slices
Lemon Summer Squash Bread Garnished with Roasted Lemon Slices

Lemon Summer Squash Bread

There's a new squash bread in town and it's lemon! It's a great, light loaf of quick bread that is absolutely delicious.
4.45 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 20 Servings (Two Loaves)
Calories 266 kcal


  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups grated summer squash

For the Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons lemon zest

For the Sweet Roasted Lemon Garnish (edible and optional)

  • 1 lemon halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease and flour 2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini pans.
  • Mix butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until well blended.
  • Add eggs one at a time and once all are incorporated beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Add squash and stir just to blend.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes for small loaf pans or 1 hour for regular size loaf pans.
  • Allow the pan to cool; remove the bread and place top down on a serving plate (makes for a nice presentation for the glaze and lemons).

Make the Roasted Lemons

  • Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and pat dry.
  • Gently toss lemon slices with sugar, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lemons are no longer wet and only slightly colored, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Make the Glaze

  • Combine the melted butter and powdered sugar and stir until smooth; add the lemon juice and lemon zest and stir to combine.
  • Add water or milk if necessary to get the right consistency.
  • Pour the glaze over the top; covering it completely and letting excess dribble down the sides.
  • Arranged sweet, roasted lemons on top.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


Nutrition Facts
Lemon Summer Squash Bread
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword bread, lemon, yellow squash
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  1. This was so good! I’ve made a chocolate cake with yellow squash before and it’s surprising how moist it comes out. A keeper!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it Liz. I’ve been making zucchini bread forever and enjoy it too but this has become my favorite bread using summer squash.

  2. Made gluten free by substitute flour with gluten free king arthur cup for cup. It was fantastic. No one guessed it had squash but made it moist but not dense. The lemon taste was spot on not to tart. I got rave reviews from family and friends

    1. That’s great to hear Deb; think I’ll go make note of that in my recipe since it worked well for you. And thanks for the kudos; I thought it was spot on too and such a nice addition to the summer squash bread repertoire!

  3. I have made this several times and it is soooo delicious! However it doesn’t raise one the middle. Any idea what I might be doing wrong??

    1. This is the first time I’ve made these; same thing happened to me. Fell in the middle. I’m at 3500 feet- I normally cut back on the soda but did not this time. I wonder if that’s why.

      1. Could be Janny. I always cite my recipes for baking at sea level so any changes I make are just in my kitchen. A locally renowned chef even told me that baking at a mile high is just ‘sort of’ different but barely requires bit substitutions and has me now just turning up the heat in my over a bit to bake goods a bit quicker; to match their rising faster.

        So, I would suggest that yes, you remove a dab of the leavening and maybe even consider adding 5-10 degrees to your oven temp and then checking at least 10 minutes earlier.

        I hope you still loved them; after so many years of zucchini bread, we really enjoyed the lemony flavor of this squash bread.

  4. I just made this yesterday! It tastes amazing! It actually tasted better the next day. I didn’t have any fresh lemons so I used bottled lemon juice and dried lemon peel that I had bought in the spice section. I can’t imagine it tasting better using fresh lemons! Thanks for sharing!

    1. This was truly a huge surprise. For all the zucchini bread I’ve made and loved…the truth is I love this bread better. I’m glad to used what you had and it worked…we have to be resourceful when we’re cooking!

    2. Hope this isn’t a silly question. Do I measure 1 cup of butter then melt it, or melt butter until it measures 1 cup?

  5. Well, my husband looked at me like I had 5 heads when he found out I had grated the yellow squash from our garden for a dessert. The smell when this bread was cooking was simply amazing and the taste was even better! What a great recipie. So happy to have finally found something better to do with yellow squash other than the standard casseroles, etc.

  6. I’ve made this recipe twice, and it’s divine! I even froze some small loaves and had some yesterday!! My question is this, has anyone played around with a gluten free recipe? I have some end of the season squash so I thought I would try some coconut and almond flours. Thank you!

    1. Well I’m five years late but just saw your comment Jennifer. I actually haven’t but a friend in my neighborhood just saw the recipe and is going to use a ready made GF flour mix; I’ve asked her to let me know how it turns out; I’ll add that info to the recipe when she does.

      1. Hello I was just wondering if you could do this in a muffin form? I have kids and they like grabbing the muffins and go.

        1. I haven’t done that but I see no reason why you couldn’t anymore than when I’ve made zucchini muffins from a zucchini bread recipe. I can’t tell you exactly how long to bake them though so start to test at 12 to 15 minutes.

  7. I just made this bread, and oh my goodness, it is just delightful! The flavor is wonderful! I have so many summer squash from my garden right now, and this is a fabulous way to use them up. I was growing tired of eating them as-is. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  8. I made this last night and OH.MY.GOODNESS is it amazing.. the kids had it for breakfast this morning and raved! For the flour I used 1cup white, 1cup wheat, and 1 cup wheat germ (a “sneaky chef” substitution) and brought the sugar down to 1 3/4 cup but, holy cow, is this bread the bomb… it is actually more like cake. This is all the better because I grew that squash in my own yard. Wow– will be sharing this!!

    1. Your reaction was much like mine…it was a gamble but it SO paid off; glad you and your family love it too Sue!

  9. For myself, I’m delighted that you went sweet with this. I think it’s pretty darn creative of you to make a bread (loaf cake) from the squash. It certainly looks appetizing and if you and your neighbours loved it then that’s good enough for me!

  10. I probably would have gone savory with this one, because that is my way, but I am so glad you bucked the system and went sweet, Barb. This is a beautiful cake or bread or whatever you want to call it. I wish I lived on your block.

    1. Well someone took a huge leap of faith once with zucchini; guess it just took me decades after making my first zucchini bread to do the same with yellow squash? It is wonderful; so glad I did!

    1. Thank you Rivki and no; no peeling. Depending on the age and size of the squash, whether yellow or zucchini, I either grate whole if they’re young and don’t have a lot of fibrous stuff and seeds in the middle or I grate pieces if they’re large and I have to clean out the inside. I typically use my Cuisinart but discovered something this weekend when I couldn’t find my stem piece for the grating blade. When I used an old fashioned box grater on this big squash, I grated it whole; the flesh grated and fell on the inside of the grater and the seeds and that stringy fibrous stuff did not grate and so landed on the outside. It was sort of perfect!

    1. You and me and everyone else Maureen. Truth is I loved it so much if I had to choose? Hmm, might be a hard call but this would win right now. I love zucchini bread but I save the grated squash for bread later in the year with cinnamon and nutmeg seem more in season. This is so perfect now when yellow squash are still coming off the vine. I might have to rethink planting one next summer!

    1. If I’m honest I expected a whole bunch of people to comment and say, ‘Oh I’ve done that before.’ but instead seems I took a chance on something we’ve all had in front of us for years and never thought to do. That it is so good makes me especially happy to share it with my friends and THE WORLD!! 🙂

    1. When I can inspire someone who has an entire book about vegetables? You just made my day! Hope you love it too. I gave one loaf to the neighbors who gave me the squash; he brought the plate back a bit later wondering if he should be embarrassed it was all gone so soon. Embarrassed? Nothing more special than knowing someone loved something so much that they ate it all up!

  11. This is one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that recipes! Summer squash and zucchini are practically interchangeable, yet I’ve never seen summer squash bread before. Next time I have yellow squash laying around, I know what I’m making!

    1. Everyone has felt the same way; I’ve never before looked at a yellow squash and considered bread but now? I will never not. This is so good; it will be a new staple in this house every year!

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