Single-phase Cr doped zinc ferrites have been synthesized by hydrothermal method. The crystal structure, microstructure, crystallite size and distribution, composition and magnetic properties of the synthesized nanoparticles were determined using X-ray powder diffraction, electron microscopies and vibrating sample magnetometry. Powders are composed of ultrafine spherical nanoparticles with a highly homogeneous elemental composition. The nanoparticles have partially inversed cubic spinel structure with average crystallite size below 10 nm. Superparamagnetic behavior is observed at high temperature while ferrimagnetic ordering and surface spin canting is reported at 5 K. Substitution of Fe with Cr ions controls both structural and magnetic parameters.