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Zucchini Bread Pancakes with Lemon Glaze

If you love zucchini bread, you'll love these Zucchini Bread Pancakes, made with fresh zucchini and lots of zucchini bread spices! I serve these zucchini pancakes with a quick lemon glaze that I like to use instead of syrup. The fresh lemony flavor goes perfectly with the spiced pancakes!

Stack of zucchini bread pancakes with lemon glaze
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Zucchini bread pancakes

I love sneaking in veggies anywhere I can (see my carrot cake pancakes and protein pumpkin pancakes), so I am really excited to share these pancakes with you. These pancakes are inspired by flavorful, spiced, thick-sliced pieces of zucchini bread. 

Zucchini bread pancakes are just as easy to make as regular pancakes, with one additional step: grating a small zucchini to add to the pancake ingredients. Grating a zucchini takes just 1 minute (I timed it!) and it's a great way to add some nutrients to your breakfast. It's not much, but every little bit adds up, right?

Don't worry, you won't taste or feel the grated zucchini in your pancakes. All you'll taste is light, fluffy, spiced zucchini pancakes. 

Fork holding a piece of zucchini bread pancake to show inside texture.

Related recipe: Savory Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini for breakfast - hidden vegetable pancakes

While you can certainly see little tiny bits of green in these pancakes, I still consider these to be a GREAT almost-hidden vegetable breakfast recipe. If you've got picky kids who love pancakes, they might just be convinced to devour these zucchini pancakes without inspecting them for veggies.

If you're concerned about the green bits in your pancakes for picky eating, you can use a yellow squash instead. Yellow squash is virtually undetectable in cooked pancakes, especially if you use a nice mix of spices to add some color to the pancake batter.

Another option is to peel the green off the zucchini—then the zucchini will definitely not be detected, even by the pickiest eaters.

Related recipe: Zucchini Brownies

How to grate zucchini for pancakes

It is best to use the medium grater from a box grater to grate zucchini for pancakes, if you have that option. The large grater leaves the zucchini pieces too big and they are noticeable in pancakes, since pancakes cook quickly. The fine grater (zester) shreds the zucchini into too-small pieces and turns it into mush.

The medium grater is perfect for getting small pieces of zucchini for pancakes without making it mushy and too wet.

In this zucchini pancakes recipe, I use all the juices from the zucchini instead of discarding it because that liquid contains lots of nutrients, so why not use it to make a healthier pancake?

Related recipe: Zucchini Cookies 

Spices for zucchini bread pancakes

This recipe uses lots of ground cinnamon (1 tablespoon) and plenty of ground nutmeg and ground ginger (1 teaspoon each) to give the pancakes a nice spiced flavor. They're not spicy, just flavorful.

I also use ground vanilla bean powder because I like the stronger vanilla flavor it adds compared to vanilla extract, and because it adds nice vanilla specks throughout the pancake batter. 

You can use 4 teaspoons of pumpkin spice seasoning instead of reaching for each individual spice, if you prefer. You can also cut down on the spices if you don't like spiced zucchini bread and don't want to mimic that flavor in your pancakes.

Ready to make these??

Ingredients to make zucchini bread pancakes

Related recipe: Pumpkin Waffles

Ingredients

For the zucchini pancakes:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) ground cinnamon, or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger, or less to taste
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or use vanilla extract in the liquid ingredients)
  • 1 small zucchini (about
  • 1 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Optional: ½ cup small chocolate chips, raisins, or chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Oil or butter for cooking

For the lemon glaze:

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or use ½ teaspoon lemon juice + ½ teaspoon water for a less lemony and more sweet glaze)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)

Equipment needed:

Related recipe: Vegan Zucchini Muffins

Instructions

Step 1: Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla bean powder. Mix well.

Dry pancake ingredients in a bowl

Step 2: Grate the zucchini using the small grater size of your grater (the large one is fine too, but I like smaller pieces of zucchini) directly into a medium bowl. You're keeping all the juices from the zucchini.

Grated zucchini in a bowl

Step 3: Add the milk, egg, and vegetable oil to the zucchini and whisk together until well combined. If using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean powder, add it here.

Liquid ingredients for zucchini pancakes, included grated zucchini

Step 4: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined—do not overmix. If adding chocolate chips, raisins, or chopped nuts, add them now.

Zucchini pancake batter in a bowl.

Step 5: Heat a large non-stick pan and add a small amount of oil or butter. Add a scant ¼ cup of pancake batter to the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat, or until small bubbles form at the top but the bottom does not burn. Use a silicone spatula to flip the pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side, or until fully cooked.

Cooking a pancake with shredded zucchini in a pan

Cook ~3-4 pancakes at a time, depending on the size of your pan, and repeat until all the batter is used. 

Step 6: Serve warm with maple syrup, lemon glaze, cream cheese icing, or your favorite pancake toppings! To make the lemon glaze, stir together the glaze ingredients until you get a thick syrup. You can add a few tablespoons more sugar for a really thick glaze, or a few drops of water or lemon juice for a thinner, runnier lemon icing. Drizzle over the warm pancakes and enjoy!

Stack of pancakes with zucchini, topped with maple syrup

Freezing and reheating zucchini pancakes

Zucchini pancakes freeze well just like all other pancakes! If you want to be able to reheat them one by one, freeze them with a piece of parchment paper in between each pancake, so you can easily unstick them. If you just want to freeze a batch for a big breakfast another day, you can freeze them in a stack and allow them to thaw before trying to separate them.

Frozen pancakes can be reheated from frozen in the toaster or toaster oven, or you can let them thaw overnight and reheat in a toaster or toaster oven even faster the next morning.

I hope you get to try these zucchini pancakes!! We are huge fans of them!

Plate of zucchini bread pancakes cut open to show texture inside.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Recipe card

Stack of zucchini bread pancakes with lemon glaze on top
Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

Zucchini Pancakes with Lemon Glaze

These lightly spiced Zucchini Bread Pancakes are a great way to sneak some hidden veggies into your breakfast. I love serving them with lemon glaze for a fun change from maple syrup.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time26 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 16 pancakes
Author: Kate

Ingredients

or the zucchini pancakes:
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour - (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon - or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg - or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger -
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder - (or use vanilla extract in the liquid ingredients)
  • 1 small zucchini - (7-8 inches) see notes for tips for picky eaters
  • 1 cup milk - (any kind)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Optional: ½ cup small chocolate chips, raisins, or chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Oil or butter - for cooking
For the lemon glaze:
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice - (or use ½ teaspoon lemon juice + ½ teaspoon water for a less lemony and more sweet glaze)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar - (confectioner's sugar)

Special equipment

Instructions

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla bean powder. Mix well.
  • Grate the zucchini using the small grater size of your grater directly into a medium bowl. This recipe uses all the juices from the zucchini.
  • Add the milk, egg, and vegetable oil to the zucchini and whisk together until well combined. If using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean powder, add it here.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined—do not overmix. If adding chocolate chips, raisins, or chopped nuts, add them now.
  • Heat a large non-stick pan and add a small amount of oil or butter. Add a scant ¼ cup of pancake batter to the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat, or until small bubbles form at the top but the bottom does not burn. Use a silicone spatula to flip the pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side, or until fully cooked.
  • Cook ~3-4 pancakes at a time, depending on the size of your pan, and repeat until all the batter is used.
  • To make the lemon glaze, stir together the glaze ingredients until you get a thick syrup. Drizzle over the warm pancakes and enjoy!

Notes

Picky eater tip: If you're afraid that kids or other picky eaters won't want to eat pancakes with tiny bits of green, peel the zucchini before grating it—it will be invisible in the pancakes! Or use a yellow squash instead.
The nutrition facts are estimated per pancake assuming a total of 16 pancakes cooked with minimal oil, and do not add any optional add-ins or the lemon glaze. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 73kcal (4%) | Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 1g (2%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg (4%) | Sodium: 83mg (3%) | Potassium: 94mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 40IU (1%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 44mg (4%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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