Lemon Poppy Bread


Since we had to cut grains from the family diet about a year ago, it’s been 1001 Attempts at Grain-Free Baking around here. The obvious go-to flours are almond flour and coconut flour, and of the two, I much prefer the taste and texture of almond flour.

Then we had to greatly reduce our intake of nuts (even soaked/dehydrated), and since your average almond flour recipe has about a million almonds, that left coconut flour.

Thirsty, dry, takes-forever-to-bake, uses-a-dozen-eggs, sticks-your-tongue-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth, makes-everything-taste-vaguely-of-a-tropical-island-you’ll-never-get-t0, coconut flour.

Can you tell I’m not that enamored with it?

Trial and error has gained me a few lessons, the most important being to use coconut flour in recipes with *strong flavors* – coconut flour white sandwich bread is never going to cut it for me. I need spices.

Or, as it turns out, citrus.

This recipe is an adaptation of Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins from Comfy Belly. I made her recipe as written on her site and really liked it, but it was a touch too sweet for us, and I wanted to highlight the lemon flavor even more. I also almost never make muffins anymore because parchment paper muffin liners are rather expensive, and my number two lesson learned about coconut flour is ***always*** use parchment paper (unless you like attempting to dislodge whatever glue seems to form between coconut flour and regular muffin papers). So I doubled the recipe for a 9×13 pan, easily lined with parchment.

A great variation of this is to replace the poppy seeds with small wild blueberries (frozen is fine) for a delightful lemon blueberry bread.

Lemon Poppy Bread

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 eggs (room temperature is best, but I’ve made this with cold eggs and it’s fine, just harder to mix)
  • 1/2 cup of honey (or more to taste – if it’s breakfast I use less, a treat I use more.)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • zest from one or two lemons (I love a microplane for this)
  • juice from one or two lemons (about 1/4 cup – probably use those same lemons you just zested)
  • a few drops lemon essential oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (chia seeds make a good substitute)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment; it helps to put a little dab of butter or oil in the corners of the pan first to keep the parchment in place.

Sift coconut flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.

Combine coconut oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until just melted. Add melted oil/butter, eggs, honey, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice to dry ingredients and whisk (or use a hand mixer or stick blender) until no lumps of coconut flour remain. Mix in poppy seeds and lemon essential oil (optional, but really brightens up the lemon flavor) with a whisk or spatula.

Pour or scrape thick batter into prepared 9×13, using a spatula to even out the batter and smooth the top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until top and edges are just beginning to brown, about 30 – 40 minutes. You can probably cut the recipe in half and bake in an 8×8; cooking time would be similar.

For some reason, cutting bread like this into “bars” instead of squares makes it that much more appealing to my kids. They now request “lemon poppy bread” for breakfast all the time and have deemed it their “favorite bread ever” (except the older ones, who remember real pizza crust from the old days…).


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