Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes to you. Read my privacy policy.

Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Frosting is deliciously moist and absolutely heavenly. This is one of the best ways to use up those extra summer zucchini.

Browned butter is an easy trick to create incredible flavor. Try browned butter in these Cookies, on Shrimp and Carrots.

Zucchini bars cut into squares.

Zucchini Bars Recipe

Right about this time the gardens start to become taken over by zucchini. There are so many great recipes to make zucchini with. Zucchini is my favorite vegetable in the garden. I love them sautéed as a side, I love them in quick bread, and I especially loved them in these bars. If you don’t have a garden full of zucchini, go to the store right now and buy some. These zucchini bars are so worth it!

These zucchini bars were so moist and perfect. Packed with two whole cups of zucchini. The best part of these dessert bars was watching my picky eater who hates all foods devour them. It just puts a smile on my face to sneak veggies into recipes. These were hands-down THE best zucchini bars that I have had. But let me tell you about my very favorite part. The browned butter frosting. This zucchini bars recipe was originally inspired by these banana bread bars. Mostly for the browned butter frosting. Browning the butter is just one extra step that takes boring old frosting to mind-blowing. It gives it a nutty flavor and complements the bars perfectly.

Ingredients For Brown Butter Zucchini Bar

Zucchini bars are so simple to make with pantry staple ingredients! It all comes together quickly and easily with just a few steps. For complete ingredient listing and measurements, see the recipe card below.

  • Granulated sugar: Adds the sweetness to the zucchini.
  • Vegetable oil: Add moisture and lightness to the cake.
  • Eggs: Have the eggs at room temperature for better mixing.
  • All purpose flour: The flour provides structure for the bars.
  • Baking powder: This is the rising agent to help them be fluffy.
  • Salt: Salt balances the sweet.
  • Ground Cinnamon: Cinnamon is the perfect spice for zucchini.
  • Shredded zucchini about 3 medium: Even extra large zucchini will work for this recipe.
  • Pecans chopped: Give the zucchini bars texture and crunch.

Brown Butter Frosting

This brown butter frosting recipe is one of the best! It takes these zucchini bars to the next level. For all measurements see the recipe card below.

  • Butter: You have to use real unsalted butter for the flavor.
  • Powdered sugar: Gives the frosting its sweetness.
  • Vanilla: Adds flavor that goes with the zucchini bars.
  • Milk: Add more or less to thin it out to desired consistency.

How to Make Zucchini Bars with Browned Butter

In three simple steps, you will have the perfect combination of sweet and savory dessert. Use up your zucchini from your garden in this zucchini bar recipe. Feed a crowd with this summertime dessert!

  1. Prep and mix: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 15x10x1 inch pan. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Wet ingredients: In a mixer, add sugar, oil and eggs and mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until incorporated.
  3. Bake: Stir in zucchini and chopped pecans. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes clean. Let bars cool completely.
  4. Make Frosting: To make the brown butter frosting, heat a medium sized saucepan to medium heat. Add butter and whisk until it turns brown. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Stir together until smooth. Spread over cooled bars.
The process of making zucchini bars.

The Best Zucchini Bars Tips

These are decadent, luscious, and easy-to-make dessert bars. Zucchini is so easy to shred and prepare for this simple zucchini bar recipe. Add in nuts or chocolate chips even to make it a variety of zucchini bars!

  • Zucchini: When shredding your zucchini do it finely, especially if you are worried about kids figuring out what’s hiding in their dessert. The smaller the easier it is to hide. You can also peel the zucchini, but it isn’t necessary. Do not to squeeze out any extra liquid. You want the moisture to create the best bars ever.
  • Pecans: If you do not like pecans you can leave them out or use walnuts.
Making the brown butter frosting.

How To Brown Butter

Don’t be scared by browning butter, it is super simple and foolproof if you follow these tips. To get the best-browned butter you really need to use unsalted butter. There are several reasons you want to use unsalted butter. First, unsalted butter is going to be fresher. Salt acts as a preservative so salted butter will have a longer shelf life, meaning unsalted will be fresher.  

  • Use a light colored pan:  You want to be able to see the brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. Using a dark colored pan will prevent you from seeing when the those have formed and this is a key clue to when your butter is done. Those dark specks are the toasted milk solids that bring the flavor, so don’t leave them behind.
  • Don’t Stop Stirring: This will make sure your butter cooks evenly and will help it from going from brown to burnt too fast, which can happen.
  • Cut the butter into pieces: Again you want it to cook evenly and cutting it will help it do so.
  • Remove from heat and pan: Once your butter has foamed, turned golden brown and the brown specks form, you want to remove it from the heat. Transfer the butter to a different pan as well or as in this case add something to the pan. This will help the butter stop cooking so it doesn’t go from browned to burnt.
  • Smell: It should have a buttery, nutty rich smell as well.
Taking a slice out of zucchini bars.

How to Store Zucchini Dessert Bars

Zucchini bars with butter frosting will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. They will last even longer in the fridge up to 10 days. You can also freeze them. Refrigerate the bars first then cut into bars and place in freezer-safe bags.

Using a fork to cut the zucchini bar.

Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

5 from 4 votes
Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Frosting is deliciously moist and absolutely heavenly. This is one of the best ways to use up those extra summer zucchini.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 24 Bars

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini about 3 medium
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans chopped

Brown Butter Frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 15x10x1 inch pan. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a mixer, add sugar, oil, and eggs and mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until incorporated.
  • Stir in zucchini and chopped pecans. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Let bars cool completely.

To make the Brown Butter Frosting

  • Heat a medium-sized saucepan to medium heat. Add butter and whisk until it turns brown. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Stir together until smooth. Spread over cooled bars.

Notes

Updated on July 27, 2021
Originally Posted on July 27, 2014

Nutrition

Serves: 24

Calories292kcal (15%)Carbohydrates52g (17%)Protein3g (6%)Fat9g (14%)Saturated Fat3g (15%)Cholesterol28mg (9%)Sodium85mg (4%)Potassium95mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar43g (48%)Vitamin A149IU (3%)Vitamin C2mg (2%)Calcium26mg (3%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bar recipes, zucchini bars, zucchini recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

Read More Posts by Alyssa

facebook twitter pinterest instagram

Categories

Comments

Leave a reply
  1. I made these last night and they are seriously the best things I have ever eaten in my life. The bars are incredible and the browned butter makes the frosting. Thank you for the recipe!!

  2. OK… I just made these and am stuck on the brown butter frosting. I wondered how the frosting turns out to be so white like in the picture – with brown butter in it. Well, mine didn’t and I don’t taste a nutty flavor like another reviewer did, I just taste powdered sugar. The recipe didn’t say if you are supposed to keep the pan on the heat after adding the sugar and mik/vanilla. I didn’t and I got a thick blob. I put it on the heat and it softened up, but again, I don’t get what is so good about it. I’m not giving up – I will let it cool and frost the bars. Hopefully together they will be good.
    PS .. did a taste test – and they are good. A little after taste with the frosting, but not too bad. A for Bars. B- for frosting. Would probably prefer a cream cheese frosting.

  3. This recipe was amazing! I forgot I didn’t have a shredder for the zucchini so I put mine in a blender. Next time I am going to put raisins in as well. I loved loved loved the frosting! I wasn’t sure if these needed to be refrigerated or not but I put them in the fridge just in case and they were really good cold!

  4. Making these now, but wonder how I could reduce the oil? Can I substitute apple sauce? Might give a nice sweetness. Thoughts?

  5. I just made these. I won’t get to try them until later, but the frosting tasted amazing! I can’t wait to try them. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!

  6. Made these tonight. Holy smokes they are AMAZING!!! Followed the recipe exactly but baked in a 9×13. Browning the butter makes the icing fantasticly awesome.

  7. I baked these bars this afternoon and my husband & I just got done tasting them. His comment “I could eat 2 or 3 pieces but will only eat 1”. The only change I made was to add pecans on top the frosting — we love pecans. I will freeze some of the bars since there is just the two of us. One suggestion to those making this for the first time — after the frosting is done you need to frost immediately without delay. Since the butter is browned & hot, the frosting will start to harden as it cools when adding the other ingredients. I will definitely bake again.

  8. It would be nice to know if you are supposed to take the butter off the stove before adding sugar and milk…

  9. Just made these, and followed recipe EXACTLY…. bars were flat and dry..any ideas what went wrong?? I want to try making again sometime. Thanks!

  10. Do you absorb the zucchini juice or use that for the moisture? Some recipes tell you to place grated zucchini in a cheese cloth and twist out the juice.

  11. 5 stars
    Sooo good!!
    My kids even loved them…
    Bars were moist and soft. Frosting made them even more delicious…followed directions and comments regarding the frosting…it all turned out great….It’s a keeper!!

  12. 5 stars
    Just tried the Zuke bars… I don’t have a 10x15x1 pan so I subbed wth a 9×13..

    Also using a new stove which I am not too used to….. amazing all went well…. I was so surprised to have the bars come out in 30 minutes,,, good thing I tested early….

    Also my first time trying the Brown Butter Icing and it is PERFECT with this cake.

    Thanks so much for putting this out there for us to try……

  13. 5 stars
    I stumbled across this recipe because I was given a large zucchini and I needed to use it before it went bad.

    WOW!! These bars a A-MA-ZING! Even our picky child who made a face at them tried it and liked them. I had to go back for another one. This is a keeper!!

  14. I made these for company the other day.
    The bars were very good, but the frosting was way too sweet for us!! I would cut the frosting in 1/2 next time or not frost at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating