A perfect springtime treat, this healthier lemon poppyseed bread is studded with fresh blueberries and made a little more indulgent with a swirl of cream cheese.
If you’ve been following The Healthy Toast for awhile, this recipe may seem vaguely familiar to you.
Posted in 2017, the original recipe was simply lemon bread with a cream cheese swirl, and the goal was to replicate a quick bread that I loved growing up.
While good, there were a few key aspects lacking in that bread, particularly blueberries and poppyseeds. I also felt that the springtime flavors could be enhanced with the addition of honey, but if any of you have baked with honey before, then you’ll know that you can’t just sub honey in for sugar.
First of all, honey browns faster than sugar, so depending on how much you add, you need to adjust the temperature and cooking time. It’s also sweeter, heavier, and more liquidy, so adjustments have to be made to the amounts of sweetner, liquid ingredients, and rising agent (in this case baking powder).
After playing around with the recipe, I think I found a happy medium between adding floral notes from local honey, while still keeping the bread light, airy, and not too brown.
Wondering how it turned out? Let’s just say that it didn’t last the weekend ;).
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.
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.
Slowly stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.
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.
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.
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 and baked 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. Wrap leftover bread in plastic wrap (or a ziplock) and store in fridge for up to four days. You can also freeze individual slices for up to 3-4 months.
The only thing I don’t like about this bread is having a leftover egg yolk.
I urge you not to throw it away! Instead, use it up in one of these healthier recipes or freeze it. Yes, it sounds odd, but you can actually freeze leftover egg yolks by mixing them with 1 teaspoon of sugar per yolk and freeze for up to 6 months.
While I initially chose canola oil as it keeps baked goods moist without adding any flavor, not everyone is a fan of using it. Feel free to use extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil instead, just note that olive oil in particular can add a little earthiness to the overall flavor – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
I don’t recommend using melted butter as the texture will be heavier, and the bread will dry out faster. I haven’t tried it with melted coconut oil, but I’d imagine it’d also affect the texture.
While I think this bread would be perfect for Easter, I’d love to see how this lemony loaf brightens up your Spring! Tag @TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram or comment below!
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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!
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 🙂