This healthy lemon blueberry bread is studded with fresh blueberries and made a little more indulgent with a swirl of cream cheese.
Healthy lemon blueberry bread is one of my favorite brunch recipes
While I can always cozy up with a slice of bourbon banana bread, a really lemony-flavored loaf is my favorite.
Growing up, there was a coffee shop called Peaberry Coffee in Colorado and they had the BEST lemon bread with a perfectly thick cream cheese swirl through the middle.
As the coffee shop closed down many years ago, I’ve been trying to come up with a lemon bread that’s just as moist and lemony, but slightly healthier.
This healthy lemon blueberry bread is my ideal brunch recipe!
It’s a bit healthier thanks to Greek yogurt and white whole wheat flour, but the cream cheese swirl makes it feel indulgent. Trust me, you’re going to want this recipe!
Why you’ll love this recipe
While good, there were a few key aspects lacking in that bread, particularly blueberries and poppyseeds.
Wonderfully moist thanks to protein-rich Greek yogurt.
Packed with bright, lemony flavor.
Less than 200 calories per slice – that’s about half the number of calories of most coffee-shop loafs!
Irresistible balance of juicy blueberries and rich cream cheese swirl.
Ingredients Used to Make Lemon Blueberry Bread with Greek Yogurt
Avocado oil:Avocado oil is my go-to oil for baking as it’s rich in monounsaturated fats like olive oil, but doesn’t have as strong of a flavor. You can read more on the differences between cooking oils in my healthy cooking oils guide.
Sugar: I usually use raw cane sugar, but coconut or granulated sugar will work too.
Local honey: For a Springtime twist, I often use a more floral local honey, but any honey will work.
Eggs: I haven’t tried this recipe using a flax or chia egg. As the ingredients in this loaf are a bit dense, I’m not sure if they’d provide enough structure to help hold the bread up. Let me know if you try it!
Plain Greek yogurt: For a richer tasting lemon bread, I recommend using 2% or whole fat plain Greek yogurt. My go-to brand is Athenos as it seems to be thicker than many other Greek yogurt varieties. I haven’t tried this recipe with regular yogurt.
Lemon juice and zest: I love a strong lemon flavor, so I used the juice and zest of 1 large lemon. I don’t recommend using bottled lemon juice as the flavor just won’t be quite as good. You can use Meyer lemons, but you may want to slightly reduce the amount of sugar as they’re sweeter than regular lemons.
White whole wheat flour: Feel free to sub in all-purpose flour or spelt flour instead. I don’t recommend regular whole wheat flour as it’ll make the loaf a bit too dense. I also haven’t tried it with almond or coconut flour. For a gluten-free option, check out my Almond Flour Blueberry Banana Bread.
Blueberries: I love the combination of blueberries and lemon, but you can leave them out if you don’t want them or don’t have any on hand. Raspberries would also be really good! If using frozen blueberries, don’t thaw before adding to the batter.
Poppy Seeds: In my opinion, all lemon breads should have poppyseeds. You can buy them online and they last forever! But if you don’t have any, feel free to just leave them out.
Baking powder: For a little lift.
Salt: Just a touch will help balance out the sweetness.
Vanilla extract: I recommend using a good quality vanilla extract, not imitation. You could also use vanilla paste.
Cream cheese: The cream cheese center is optional, but so good! I usually use a ⅓ reduced fat cream cheese, but full-fat will also work. Make sure to use the kind that comes in a block, not in a tub.
Egg white: For the cream cheese swirl, you’ll need one egg white for texture. Don’t worry, I have tips for not letting the yolk go to waste!
Healthy recipes ideas for using the leftover egg yolk
The only thing I don’t like about this bread is having a leftover egg yolk.
Yes, it sounds odd, but you can actually freeze leftover egg yolks! Simply whisk the yolk and add a tiny pinch of salt or granulated sugar.
The general rule is for every 4 yolks, you’d add ¼ teaspoon salt or ½ teaspoon of sugar. But if you’re only freezing 1 yolk, I tend to just eyeball it.
Once your yolk is mixed with sugar or salt, place in a freezer-safe container. To thaw, simply place in the fridge overnight.
How to Make Healthy Lemon Blueberry Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350oF and lightly grease a loaf pan.
Lately I’ve been preferring to use butter to grease, as I’ve had better luck with them not sticking compared to spray. You can also use a parchment sling instead.
Step 2: Mix sugar and liquid ingredients together in a mixer
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, ⅓ cup sugar and 2 ½ tablespoons honey until well combined.
Add eggs, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest. Mix well.
Step 3: Add dry ingredients
Slowly stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.
Step 4: Add blueberries
Fold in blueberries and poppy seeds; set aside.
If using frozen blueberries, don’t thaw before adding them. It’s also a good idea to lightly coat the frozen berries with some flour before adding to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom.
Step 5: Make the cream cheese filling
For the cream cheese mixture, beat together cream cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and egg white until smooth. I’ve done this by hand and using a mixer – I recommend the latter as the mixture ends up smoother.
Additionally if you use sugar in place of the honey, the mixture will be thicker, but I liked the flavor of the honey better.
Step 6: Assemble bread
Pour ⅔ of batter into prepared pan. Add cream cheese layer on top.
Note: Your cream cheese layer may seem liquidy, but don’t worry, the texture will sort itself out as it bakes! I was so sure I was going to end up having to throw the bread away as the cream cheese mixture got so liquidy, but when I pulled the bread out of the oven, everything had settled in the way I’d hoped.
Pour remaining batter on top.
Step 7: Bake!
Place pan in oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Note: this bread was ready after 55 minutes when making it in Denver, but when I used to make it in Boston, it was done closer to 45 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before slicing.
How long does this blueberry yogurt bread keep?
Since it’s made with Greek yogurt and very moist, this bread doesn’t last quite as long as others.
I recommend storing it in the fridge (either in a zip-top bag or airtight container) for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze individual slices by wrapping each slice in plastic wrap, or a reusable wrap, then placing that inside of a freezer-safe bag. Store for up to 4 months.
Tips for making this recipe
If baking at altitude, I recommend increasing the oven temperature to 375F.
Don’t overmix the batter otherwise it can get a little too dense.
Watch the bread carefully. Depending on the oven and where I am in the country, this bread has taken anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes to bake.
If using frozen blueberries, it can help to toss them in a little flour before adding them into the batter.
You are my favorite food blogger! I always look forward to your posts in my inbox. Thank you for sharing your culinary adventures and nutritional expertise. This looks delicious!
The Healthy Toast3 years ago
Hi April, that means so much to me thank you!! Please let me know if there are any recipes you’re looking to see more of 🙂
I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!
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