The top-ranked and defending champion American overwhelmed the 21st-seeded Russian 6-3, 6-2 in a one-sided final that lasted just 67 minutes and showed why Williams is considered one of the greatest players of all time.
Williams served nine aces, broke three times and never faced a break point in nine service games. She finished the tournament without dropping a set.
After converting an overhead smash to finish the match, Williams tossed her racket away, bent backward, looked to the sky, shook her fists and screamed.
Williams, who improved to 13-3 in Grand Slam finals, added to the Wimbledon titles she won in 2002, 2003 and 2009. However, this was the first time she defeated someone other than her sister Venus in the final.
The Williams sisters have now won nine of the last 11 Wimbledon titles. Venus beat Serena in 2008 for her fifth title here.
"My dream was able to come true," Serena said after accepting the Venus Rosewater Dish from the Duke of Kent with a curtsy. "Everyone's dream can come true if you just stick to it and work hard. This one is very special."
Serena moved ahead of Billie Jean King into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list of women's Grand Slam champions with 13, the most of any active woman player. Williams also has five Australian Opens, three U.S. Opens and one French Open.
Williams turned to King, who was sitting in the Royal Box, and said: "Hey, Billie -- I got you. This is No. 13 for me now. It's just amazing to able to be among such great people."
King grinned and applauded.
"That's actually my lucky number," Williams said of No. 13.
Williams graciously congratulated Zvonareva, who played in her first Grand Slam final and was the second-lowest ranked women's finalist ever at Wimbledon.
"Everyone should give her a big round of applause," Williams said. "She defines what being a champion and never giving up means."
Zvonareva kept close early in the match but was essentially out of contention after being broken in the eighth game. From 3-3, Williams won nine of the last 11 games.
"I think I'm a little bit disappointed at the moment," Zvonareva said. "Maybe I was not able to show my best today, but I think Serena just didn't allow me to show my best."
As has been the case throughout the two weeks, Williams' big serve was the dominant factor Saturday.
Williams won 31 of 33 points when her first serve was good. She hit her fastest serve -- 122 mph -- for an ace in the final game. She finished the tournament with a record 89 aces.
"I honestly never served like this," Williams said. "At Wimbledon whenever I come on this grass and play on this amazing court I start serving well."
Williams also won all 14 points when she came to the net, and had 29 winners to only nine for Zvonareva.
Posing for photographers, Serena held the trophy on the balcony above the club entrance, then walked through the entrance and twirled and skipped while still holding the trophy as military personnel stationed in the lobby applauded.
The men's final will be played Sunday, with No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal going for his second Wimbledon title and eighth Grand Slam overall against 12th-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
Nadal has won 13 straight matches here and 25 of 27, with the only losses coming against Roger Federer in the 2006 and 2007 finals. Nadal beat Federer in the epic 2008 title match, but was unable to defend his crown last year because of tendinitis in his knees.
Berdych upset six-time champion Federer in the quarterfinals.
It will be Nadal's 10th Grand Slam final; Berdych's first.