Easy Banana Bread with Poppy Seeds & Elderflower Glaze
Would you believe me if I tell you I made this banana bread one early evening, while being alone with my daughter and after returning home from grocery shopping so I worked over lots of shopping bags and foods waiting to be stored? I hope you do because then you’ll understand how simple and easy this banana bread is to make. I think it’s probably the first cake I made without any equipment in a long time. I have to admit I got caught in the rush of mastering super specialized techniques that I forgot how fun it is to make a simple two-bowls cake over an everyday kitchen mess.
As you probably remember from my Banana and Coffee Bread that I shared with you a few months back, I really dislike banana breads. The sentiment hasn’t change. But I loved that cake and I love this one so so so much! That’s because I like to use right-on-their-point yellow bananas, maybe with a few small brown spots but with a skin still bright yellow and a flesh still firm. That's it. I despise that slimy texture and fermented smell and taste of very ripen bananas, which are key in any traditional banana bread. But, after having this revelation of hello?? why won’t you just use firm bananas instead of the very ripen ones in your banana breads, I’m loving making and eating them.
This version is so simple and delicate with the notes of the elderflower cordial (I used Belvoir Elderflower Cordial and I fell in love with it!) on the glaze and the nice texture the poppy seeds gives to the crumb. Making it in a Bundt pan makes it more pretty and floral. It has been our breakfast for the last few days and it will be my dinner tonight with some Starbuck’s coconut milk mocha left over that has been lying on my counter since this morning. You’ll have to make your own soon because there will be no cake leftovers here!
1. As I mentioned, I like to use bright yellow bananas for my banana breads recipes. Not unripe but right on their peak. If you are a traditional banana bread lover you may use very ripen bananas for sure.
2. Remember that this is a quick bread batter so it is normal that it’s dryer and denser after mixing. If at the end you feel it’s too tough to mix and you’re still seeing large areas of dry flour just add 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut milk and continue mixing.
3. The recipe for the glaze is enough to cover the cake. If you are like me though, that the glaze on top is never enough to enjoy your whole slice of cake, you may double the recipe with no problem. You may store in the fridge any remaining glaze for weeks and use it over any pancakes or cookies you may make on the road ahead!
4. If you don’t have this kind of cordial or syrup on hand, just use water, your favorite juice or any other clear liquid. You may use your choice of milk but this will make a creamier glaze, not the one that hardens when dries as this one.
Easy Banana Bread with Poppy Seeds & Elderflower Glaze
Unbleached all purpose flour (preferably organic) – 4 cups
Raw sugar – 1 3/4
Baking powder – 3 Tsp
Half to full ripe bananas, medium sized (see notes) – 4
Eggs (preferably organic free range) – 2
Pure vanilla extract – 2 TBSP
Fine sea salt – 1 Tsp
Coconut milk – 1 ½ cup
Coconut oil (or any other vegetable oil such as canola or grape seed)- 1 cup
Poppy seed – 1 TBSP + 1 Tsp to sprinkle on top of the glaze
Eldelflower Cordial or syrup (see notes) – 3 TBSP
Powdered sugar – 1 cup
Total time - 1 hour plus time for cooling Active time - 15 minutes
Equipment - 2 large bowls, hand whisk, wooden spoon, large Bundt pan
To make the banana bread: Preheat oven to 350°. Place one of the racks on the second tier of the oven from the bottom up, so in lower third of the oven. Generously spray with baking spray your Bundt cake pan.
In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar and baking powder with a hand whisk until well incorporated and there are no visible lumps of flour.
In another large bowl mash the bananas. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt and with a hand whisk beat everything until well combined. Pour coconut milk, oil and sprinkle the poppy seeds. Mix everything once more.
Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the liquid mixture in the center of the well. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix everything until well combined and that there are spots of dry flour. Remember that this is a dry batter so don't worry if it is a bit tough to mix it at the end. If you feel you could use a bit of more liquid to finish mixing it up well, just pour a bit more of coconut milk, but no more than 3 to 4 tablespoons.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Place in the middle of the rack and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a large toothpick comes out clean after inserted through the center of the cake. Make the first proof at the first 45 minutes and if the batter seems too wet rotate the pan 180° and bake for the remaining 5 minutes, even 5 minutes more if necessary (see notes). Take out of the oven and let it cool down before pouring glaze (recipe follows) and sprinkle more poppy seeds on top.
To make the elderflower glaze: Heat cordial or syrup in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Place a big sieve on top of a medium bowl. Put in the sugar and sift it. Remove sieve and start pouring 2 tablespoons of the liquid that you are using. Using a hand whisk mix well and vigorously until you form a thick paste of glaze. Add the remaining tablespoon of liquid if you desire a thinner consistency. Pour over cooled cake and sprinkle some poppy seeds on top. Feel free to double this recipe if you want to have more glaze.