Honey Banana Poppy Seed Bread

It took me by surprise to realize this is the first banana bread recipe I have baked with the intent to share in this space. I make banana bread or muffins fairly often since I prefer my raw bananas on the green side. The moment they get a few brown freckles, I deem them too sweet to eat. Which is ironic, really, since the first thing I do is use them in a sweet baked good.

Since we all have our go-too recipes for banana bread, I suppose I thought sharing a banana bread recipe was just too common. The authors of this recipe, Matt Lewis and Renato  Poliafito, wrote as much when they described banana bread in their cookbook Baked Elements. For such a well known recipe, it has countless interpretations.

Some of us add milk to the batter, like this recipe, while others use yogurt or sour cream. Toasted walnuts are my personal favorite when it comes to add ins, yet I have no problem eating banana bread baked with rich chunks of chocolate. What is your favorite ingredient to add to banana bread?

Honey Banana Poppy Seed Bread

This recipe was just different enough, sweetened in part by honey and made unique with poppy seeds, that I wanted to share. It tastes just like banana bread should – tender and flavorful – and the poppy seeds lend just the right amount of “huh?” to keep this otherwise common recipe interesting. As all banana breads are, this one is delicious alone and made even better when topped with cream cheese.

When my bananas ripen past the point of consumption, I usually pop them in my refrigerator and there they sit. I recently froze a few overly ripe bananas in hopes of keeping them longer, and for this recipe, they worked just fine. Granted, they look like giant slugs as they thaw, but if you get past that, all will be well. To freeze, peel the ripe bananas, wrap each one in a layer of foil, then seal in a Ziploc bag with the air pressed out. To thaw, simply transfer them to the refrigerator.

In part, I froze my most recent batch of ripe bananas because I was burnt out on banana bread and muffins. What else is a ripe banana good for? TheKitchn offers up 10 ideas, including banana hot chocolate which sounds great for winter, in their clever “Don’t Toss Them” post. What is your favorite way to use up ripe bananas? The dozen bananas waiting in my freezer need to know!

Honey Banana Poppy Seed Bread

Honey Banana Poppy Seed Bread
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ripe, mashed banana (about 3 large bananas)
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the wet ingredients: mashed banana, vegetable oil, milk, honey and eggs.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and fill with the wet ingredients. Stir together until just combined, then fold in the poppy seeds.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean.
  6. Allow the loaf to cool until no longer hot to touch, then turn out onto a baking rack to continue to cool to room temperature.
If the top of the bread begins too look too brown during baking, tent with foil and carry on. If poppy seeds are not your thing, the original recipe suggests replacing the two tablespoons of seeds with ½ cup of chocolate chips or nuts.

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