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Lemon Poppyseed Banana Bread December 15, 2009

Posted by merp in Food.

I just checked: I have written only 3 posts on food in 2009.  Three!  And none of them were on food that I had cooked.  Disgraceful.

Admittedly, it was not until fall that I actually had any time to cook, what with everything, but since we’ve been settled in Durham, our kitchen has been quite lively.

One thing I’ve recently gotten into is inventing new quick bread recipes (or rather, dramatically modifying existing ones).  Turns out this is not at all hard, and I’m wondering why people don’t do this more often.  Why isn’t there already a buttermilk sweet potato banana spice bread recipe out there? I couldn’t find one, at least – but the combination works.  And why isn’t it obvious to put lemon poppyseed and banana together of in one bread?  I couldn’t find a recipe like that, either, but I like it!

Everybody knows that banana bread is the best way to use up overripe bananas (except for Pisco.  He says they are best stuffed into his Kong).  Bananas are great for quick bread because they’re soft, pulpy and moist.  The thing is, though, I don’t really like banana bread, or banana-flavored things, just bananas.  So I’ve been working on getting banana bread to taste less like bananas and more like other things.


Here’s my first attempt.  I took the basic banana bread recipe in Joy of Cooking, checked the proportions in a lemon poppyseed cake recipe and cobbled them together.  The poppyseeds give the bread the crunchy texture of a seed cake and add a touch of bitterness, and the lemon brightens up the flavor, both offsetting the mushy-sweetness of the bananas.

lemon poppyseed banana bread batter

Lemon Poppyseed Banana Bread
(heavily modified from Joy of Cooking‘s banana bread recipe, plus a little Mark Bittman)

Makes 1 loaf
Prep + baking = approx. 1 hr. 15 min.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together:

  • 1-3/4 c. flour (some of which can be whole wheat, say 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Cream together in a separate, larger bowl:

  • 1/3 c. margarine (trans-fat free, of course) or butter
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind (fresh or dried)
  • 1-2 Tb. lemon juice

Beat into the butter-sugar mixture:

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 to 1-1/4 c. ripe banana pulp (about 2 bananas, squished up with a potato masher)

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 parts.  Then add:

  • 1/4 c. poppy seeds

Pour into greased loaf pan.  Bake 50 min. to 1 hour, or until knife or chopstick inserted into the center comes out clean.

lemon poppyseed banana bread baked



1. gpcman - December 15, 2009

Thanks for the great recipe. I love banana bread and lemon poppy seed bread and never thought of mixing the two. This is one recipe I will be making.

2. Anne - December 15, 2009

I have a good banana chocolate chip bread recipe that uses Bisquick. I just made it this weekend. Great for breakfast!!

3. Leah - December 16, 2009

Very pretty…the wheels in my brain are already turning with plans to turn this into a gluten-free, sugar-free, fruit-free…oh wait. Never mind.

I did make a very nice seed bread the other day, though. Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds…. I’ve just never liked poppy seeds.

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