Poppy Seed Lemon Banana Bread
This poppy seed lemon banana bread has all the hallmarks of the classic recipe with the added brightness of lemon and crunchy poppy seeds. It's slightly tart, slightly sweet, and perfect for lemon lovers. This refreshing banana bread twist is also fluffy, moist, and infused with the natural sweetness of banana.
Lemon cake lovers, this poppy seed lemon banana bread is for you! We've added a bright tang of lemon, crunchy poppy seeds, and a delicious lemon glaze to our favorite banana bread recipe. While the bright, fresh flavor is perfect for welcoming the arrival of spring, we love this delicious poppy seed lemon banana bread year-round.
Lemons are such a versatile kitchen ingredient; they add fresh citrus flavor and provide the perfect touch of tartness to sweet desserts. In this recipe, the tartness is balanced with the natural sweetness of bananas and crunchy poppy seeds.
With just a few simple ingredients, this lemon banana bread is easy to make ahead and stores well in the freezer. With the 2-ingredient lemon glaze, this banana bread tastes a lot like cake, but it's tasty without the glaze, too. Enjoy it as a delightful springtime dessert with afternoon tea, for celebrations, or as a tasty sweet breakfast, brunch, or anytime treat!
Ingredients for the banana bread
To make this lemon poppyseed banana bread loaf, you'll need:
- All purpose flour – this will form the base of the batter.
- Granulated sugar – makes it sweet.
- Poppyseeds – add subtle flavor and irresistible crunch.
- Baking soda – helps it all rise.
- Salt – enhances the other flavours.
- Ripe bananas – they add a wonderful natural sweetness and provide bulk for the batter.
- Sour cream – a surprise ingredient that adds richness and moisture.
- Oil – any vegetable oil will work.
- Eggs – add moisture and richness and helps it rise.
- Lemon juice + zest – adds the fresh, bright citrus flavor.
Ingredients for the glaze
The glaze comes together with just two simple ingredients:
- Powdered sugar – this is the base of the glaze, giving a nice sweet finish.
- Lemon juice – adds the wonderful lemon tartness.
After we drizzle the glaze on the lemon banana bread, we like to add a little extra lemon zest and some poppy seeds for a tasty and visual pop of brightness.
How to make lemon poppy seed banana bread
You'd never know it by looking at it, but this poppy seed lemon banana bread is simple to make by following a few easy steps:
- Start by whisking the dry ingredients together.
- Then in a separate bowl, mash the ripe bananas with the back of a fork before stirring in the other wet ingredients.
- Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix to combine. Be careful not to overmix the batter!
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and pop it into your oven. You'll want to check on the banana bread after about 40 minutes – if the top is getting too brown, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
- Once your lemony banana bread has finished baking and is completely cooled, mix the glaze ingredients and pour it over the banana bread then top with a bit of zest for extra lemon flavor and a sprinkle of poppy seeds.
Tips and variations to try
One of the wonderful things about banana bread is how versatile and fuss-free it is. Here are a few tips that might be helpful when you're preparing and storing yours:
- Use spotty, ripe bananas. They will be sweeter, more flavorful, and mash into a better texture for baking.
- Don't over-mix! Fold the wet and dry ingredients together gently until just combined for maximum fluffiness.
- Easily turn this recipe into muffins. Simply grease a muffin tin or use paper liners and adjust baking time to 20-25 minutes (testing with a toothpick inserted into the centre for doneness).
- Make it ahead. This loaf is perfect for making the day before, and tastes great the next day.
- The glaze is optional, but delicious. It adds extra lemon flavor, sweetness, and decadence.
- Allow the loaf to fully cool before drizzling with the glaze. If the loaf is still warm at all, the glaze will melt and either be absorbed or drip off.
- Switch the citrus. While lemon works perfectly, you could try orange, mandarin, or tangerine instead for a different citrusy spin. Swap equal amounts of juice and zest in place of the lemon.
- Storing it. It will keep in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 4 days. Freeze any uneaten portion for up to 3 months.
How to freeze this lemon banana bread
The unglazed version of this poppy seed lemon banana bread freezes really well. It can be frozen whole or sliced, with small pieces of parchment between the slices to keep them from sticking. Store it in an air-tight container or wrap it in parchment paper and place it in a freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it at room temperatures before using it and glaze it the day of.
Lemon Banana Breas: Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe has been tested using all-purpose flour. If you choose to experiment, know that other flours will yield different results.
This recipe has been tested using regular all-purpose flour, but you could try subbing it for a gluten-free all-purpose alternative.
Any neutral-tasting vegetable oil will work such as avocado or vegetable oil. Melted coconut oil could also work in this recipe but may give it a slight coconut taste – which would be delicious!
Yes! We recommend a thick, full-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
Yes simply swap the sour cream for a dairy-free alternative sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt.
Yes, you can. Store whole or sliced and store in an air-tight container or wrapped in parchment in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
When to serve lemon banana bread
Or make it the star of one of these celebrations:
- Mother's Day brunch
- A baby shower
- Afternoon tea
- Easter brunch
- Anytime you want to treat yourself!
Popular banana bread recipes
Poppy Seed Lemon Banana Bread
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large ripe bananas
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup oil
- 2 large eggs
- Zest from 1 lemon
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Lemon zest and poppy seeds, to garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with butter. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking soda, and salt.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Mash the bananas in a large bowl then stir in the sour cream, oil, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice.3 large ripe bananas, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup oil, 2 large eggs, Zest from 1 lemon, ½ cup lemon juice
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined – do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check on the bread after 40 minutes and if it's starting to brown on top, loosely tent it with foil. Let the banana bread cool for 30 minutes in the pan then remove it and let it finish cooling on a cooling rack.
- Once the banana bread is completely cool, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until it is a thick but pourable consistency. Pour it over the banana bread then add a little lemon zest for color.1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, Lemon zest and poppy seeds
If you love banana bread as much as we do, make sure to check out all of our banana bread recipes!