Zesty Lemon Blueberry Banana Bread

cooked and sliced banana bread surrounded by lemons and blueberries

This Zesty Lemon Blueberry Banana Bread has a citrusy lemon zest, plump juicy blueberries and bananas. Add a dollop of butter on it and you’re all set!

This recipe was originally published in March of 2018, updated again in March 2019, and now I updated it with fresh photos and tweaked the recipe slightly to add more lemon flavor. Enjoy!

Spring has sprung! Ok, kinda. Maybe Spring will one day make its appearance around here.  You can never really tell with North Carolina weather. One moment it’s sunny and 75 degrees, next you’re bundled up in a coat with your boots on.

But for today, I wanted to say goodbye to winter citrus (love you forever, lemon!) and HELLO to spring flavors by combining the two – hence the zesty lemon blueberry banana bread.

close up of 2 slices of banana bread sitting on top of one another with lemons and blueberries around them

I love it when I have ripe bananas. The logical side of me thinks: You should freeze those for smoothies! But my heart tells me: You should make banana bread and then spread butter all over it and drink it with a huge cup of coffee with cream. And I always end up choosing the latter. It’s just who I am as a person, ya know?

Why You’ll Love This Bread: 

It’s just WONDERFUL!

 It’s not overly sweet because most of the sweetness comes naturally from the super ripe bananas. 

The bread itself has a delicious crumb and remains soft and moist on the inside with a perfect crunchy topping thanks to a little bit of turbinado sugar. 

It’s LOADED with blueberries – I swear, you’ll have one in each bite which adds such a juiciness to the bread. By the way, I used frozen blueberries in this recipe which means you can make it YEAR ROUND! Yay for not having to wait until they are in season! 

close up of 4 slices of banana bread sitting on top of one another to showcase the golden brown top

And of course, you can’t forget the real MVP of this bread – the LEMON! I’ve tweaked this recipe to make sure you have both lemon juice AND zest in the bread. And then of course, for both flavor and beauty at the end – you zest more lemon on top. 

It’s so good, fresh, and just the absolute perfect bread to slice for an afternoon snack or for breakfast in in the morning! 

Ingredients You Need:

  • All purpose flour + Baking Soda – the base of your dry ingredients. 
  • Light brown sugar – I love the taste of light brown sugar but I have also used maple sugar for an unrefined sugar version and it was delicious.
  • Egg – this helps bind it all together!
  • Ripe bananas – the riper and sweeter the better!
  • Frozen blueberries – As I said above, I used frozen blueberries for this recipe to make sure they were at peak ripeness. However, if it’s blueberry season where you are, use fresh! 
  • Salted Butter – My go to for baking!
  • Vanilla extract – This is to add yummy flavor! 
  • Lemon Juice + Zest – a must for adding so much flavor to this bread! Use fresh lemons. 

How to Make Bread in 5 Simple Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350! In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until they’re pretty much fully mushed. To that bowl, add your melted butter, egg, brown sugar and vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix until fully combined.
  2. Add in the flour and baking soda directly to the bowl and using a wooden spoon, stir in gently. Do not overmix! Just mix enough until everything is fully incorporated. To this bowl, add in your frozen blueberries and lemon zest. Fold in gently until incorporated.2 photos side by side - first is of the batter with blueberries and lemon zest on top, the second is the batter fully mixed together with a wooden spoon
  3. Butter/grease a 9×5 loaf tin, add parchment paper if desired, and pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean!2 photos side by side - one of the batter in the loaf pan before it's baked, the 2nd is the bread freshly baked in the loaf pan
  4. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. 
  5. Slice, add butter and enjoy!

Best Tips for Success:

Be sure that your loaf tin is greased well or that you use parchment paper. I actually used BOTH to make sure that the loaf wouldn’t stick because that would be a real tragedy. 

Be sure that your bananas are truly ripe! This will mean that they are pretty easily mashed down with a fork. To mash them even more intensely, I used my potato masher! You want to make sure they are mushy and don’t have too many large lumps/chunks of banana in the batter. 

I used salted butter – I really enjoy the added flavor plus that means you don’t have to add salt to the batter itself! 

side angle photograph of 2 slices of bread sliced with the rest of the bread right beside it

The baking time for this recipe is 55-65 minutes – mine was done at about 65 minutes. I started to check mine at 55 minutes to make sure! To check, insert a toothpick into the middle of the loaf. If there is still batter on the toothpick, place it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Check again with the toothpick until there is no wet batter remaining on the toothpick. 

close up of bite of banana bread with juicy blueberries

If desired, make a glaze to top this bread! Combine powdered sugar, a splash of milk and a splash of lemon juice and mix until a glaze consistency forms. Once the bread has fully cooled, generously drizzle the glaze on top. 

Storing Leftovers: 

Store your leftover bread in a tightly sealed tupperware container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Here’s a few musts for consuming this recipe:

  • Cut a big thick slice of it.
  • Eat it warm.
  • Schmear some type of butter/coconut oil/creamy deliciousness on it to elevate it even higher.
  • Eat while relaxing, reading your favorite book, watching your favorite show etc.
  • Enjoy with a hot beverage of your choice.
  • Cut another slice and repeat.

This bread is good as breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch dessert, an afternoon snack, dinner dessert; it’s really perfect for any time. Enjoy, my friends! Cheers to Spring!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few more you might like:

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 

Good Morning Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Vegan Orange Spice Muffins

Brown Butter Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 6 votes
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Zesty Lemon Blueberry Banana Bread

This Zesty Lemon Blueberry Banana Bread has a citrusy lemon zest, plump juicy blueberries and bananas. Add a dollop of butter on it and you're all set!

Course bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword blueberry banana bread, lemon blueberry bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Haylie

Ingredients

  • 4 small-medium bananas (a little over 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) salted butter (melted)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • zest of one lemon (about 1 tbsp) - save some to top the bread with as well
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Begin mashing the ripe bananas in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a small bowl. Add butter to your bananas and stir to fully combine. Add in your egg, vanilla extract, fresh lemon juice and brown sugar. Stir to combine. 

  3. To the same bowl, add in the flour and baking soda. Gently use a wooden spoon to combine until no flour streaks are left. Do not over mix! Once fully combined, gently stirin the frozen blueberries and the lemon zest. 

  4. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and add parchment paper if desired. Add batter to the prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly.

  5. Bake for 55-65 minutes, beginning to check the middle with a toothpick at 55 minutes. It's done when there is no wet batter on the toothpick (Oven times may vary, mine took around 65 minutes.) 

  6. Once it's done baking, let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to fully cool. Slice and enjoy! 

 

31 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this, but converted it to muffins instead of bread so it would be easier for quick breakfasts during the week. SO GOOD! Thanks for a great recipe combining some of my favorite flavors with one of my favorite comfort foods! 🙂

    1. Yay! Cait, this review makes me so happy! Glad you were easily able to convert to muffins (which sound delicious btw!) 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

  2. 5 stars
    I know what ya mean….totally trying to use what we have on hand instead of piling on the groceries with new stuff! Waste not, want not, right 😉 ? Love making banana bread and bananas that are not at their best for straight up eatin’ are the best for banana bread. Then, add blueberries to the equation? I’d be dunkin’ a butter slice in coffee too! Delish, my friend!

  3. I LOVE when I have an unexpected pile of ripe bananas, too! I’m so glad you decided to whip up this banana bread. It looks amazing! Lemon and blueberry is an unbeatable combo. Spring has somewhat sprung here too, and I am LOVING it. Cheers, Haylie!

  4. 5 stars
    Spring is a ways off here, but this lemony loaf is certainly putting me in the mood for warmer weather and sunshine! Lemon, blueberries and banana sound like a delicious combo. I’ll definitely need a thick slice please!

    1. Hey! After doing a bit of research, Google says that you can potentially substitute 1/4-1/3 cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of regular all-purpose flour! However, I haven’t personally tested it so I’m not sure if it will work. Maybe if you did that AND added an extra banana for extra moistness? That’s what I would try. Let me know if it works!

    1. Hey Amanda, thank you! I haven’t tried swapping it out with strawberries but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work! Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  5. making for my 88.5 yr. old mama! Added Pecans! Added the juice of the lemon in addition to the zest! 30 minutes till tasting!!!

    1. Hi Rachel! I’ve never tried either option but I think the fresh blueberries would work just fine! Coconut oil might affect the flavor slightly, but I think you could definitely try it out. I would melt the coconut oil though 🙂 Good luck! I also found this article to be helpful in regards to subbing coconut oil for butter: https://www.thespruceeats.com/can-coconut-oil-substitute-for-butter-995440 Hope this helps! Let me know how it turns out 🙂 Best – Haylie

  6. second time i’m trying this recipe! it’s my new go-to! i’m new to baking…what type of sugar did you use to coat the banana bread in your picture ?

    1. Hi Amaris! Yay! So glad you liked it! I also have a delicious chocolate chip banana bread recipe as well you might enjoy 🙂 For this recipe, I used just plain powdered sugar and sprinkled some on top for some “pizazz!” Thank you again for your kind review! Have a great weekend! – Haylie

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe has some of my favorite flavors to use. Absolutely delicious. Kids have eaten two loaves already!!!

    1. Hi Nora!! This review just made my day! I agree – blueberry and lemon are some of my favorite flavors too! So glad you and your family have been enjoying this recipe! Thank you for your kind feedback! 🙂

  8. hiii! thank you for the recipe. i made it and it was an almost bread pudding consistency towards the bottom of the loaf. does this mean i undercooked it?

    1. Hi Michelle! So sorry that you had this issue. It could definitely mean that it might have been undercooked – did you check it with a toothpick to check the done-ness? It can be hard with ovens varying so much in the way/time that they cook! Letting it cool in the pan for around 15 minutes is also pretty imperative to help the bread continue to cook as it also cools…I hope this helps! 🙂 I hope you try the recipe again! Thank you for the comment! – Haylie

  9. Delicious~ A keeper!! Mine actually looks like your photos:) That hardly happens…
    So I only had a 81/2 x 41/2(even cookware is shrinkflation these times).
    I baked a tiny loaf pan alongside & was able test & taste & adjust time for the bigger
    loaf pan, Yum~

  10. 5 stars
    This was a huge hit at my house! I only used 3 bananas since that’s all I had on hand, and it was still perfect. Love that it’s not overloaded with sugar! Thank you for creating this lovely simple recipe.

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