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.

If you love the fresh taste of lemon, also try our lemon coconut bars, glazed coconut lemon sugar cookies, or deliciously fresh lemon lime loaf.

slices of lemon poppy seed banana bread with glaze on a serving platter

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!

the ingredients needed to make Poppy Seed Lemon Banana Bread

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.

looking down on an unsliced glazed loaf of lemon banana bread

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:

  1. Start by whisking the dry ingredients together.
  2. Then in a separate bowl, mash the ripe bananas with the back of a fork before stirring in the other wet ingredients.
  3. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix to combine. Be careful not to overmix the batter!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
sliced of lemon banana bread with poppy seeds and lemon glaze

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

Can I use a different kind of flour?

This recipe has been tested using all-purpose flour. If you choose to experiment, know that other flours will yield different results.

Can I make this gluten-free?

This recipe has been tested using regular all-purpose flour, but you could try subbing it for a gluten-free all-purpose alternative.

What kind of oil should I use?

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!

Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream?

Yes! We recommend a thick, full-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Can I make this dairy-free?

Yes simply swap the sour cream for a dairy-free alternative sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt.

Can I freeze this?

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

Serve this poppy seed lemon banana bread for a festive brunch alongside smoked salmon eggs benedict, with a refreshing mimosa (champagne orange cocktail).

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!
a glazed loaf of lemon banana bread with poppy seeds
a glazed loaf of lemon banana bread with poppy seeds

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.

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!

4.8 stars (5 ratings)
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Ingredients

  • 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

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Lemon zest and poppy seeds, to garnish

Instructions 

  • 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
    image for recipe instruction
  • 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
    image for recipe instruction
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined – do not overmix.
    image for recipe instruction
  • 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.
    image for recipe instruction
  • 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
Serving: 1 slice, Calories: 336kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 209mg, Potassium: 198mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 127IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 1mg
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If you love banana bread as much as we do, make sure to check out all of our banana bread recipes!