Banana poppy seedbanana poppy seed

 Today I got to spend my Saturday in one of my most favorite places in the world  “The Hill of Tara” – after a brisk walk over the hills, I sat down in Maguire’s Coffee shop situated at the base of the hill for some breakfast and a jug of freshly brewed coffee

I am very lucky not to live too far away from literally one of the most magical places in Ireland “Cnoc na Teamhrach: The Hill of Tara” which means I get to come up here a few times a month. It’s rich in Irish history and mythology and complete with its own  “Fairy Tree”.  Tourists  (and locals) come from far and wide to soak in this history and to leave their little ribbon on the tree.




For both the Summer & Winter Solstice it’s home to the White Witches & Druids who still perform their ancient ceremonies on the hill , which I have been privileged to witness on numerous occasions.

So while having my usual breakfast, I have been musing about how my Saturday mornings have changed over the years.

When the kids were small it was early rises and cartoons on the TV.   Now its a major shock if they get up before noon!  I’m not complaining,  I get to spend a couple of hours in Maguires.





As well as delicious breakfast & lunches they have a yummy assortment of cakes and goodies. One of my favorites is a lemon poppy-seed muffin , which inspired me  to bake a Lemon Poppy Seed Tray Bake ,  only one problem I had no lemons but I do have a fruit bowl full of very ripe bananas .  So why not –  let’s have a Banana & Poppy Seed Tray Bake instead.





This accidental bake turned out to be one scrumptious tray bake.  Even our Daniel who picks the poppy seeds off his bagels raved about this cake & took a good few slices to school with him the next day.  It’s finished off with a vanilla cream cheese frosting which is just the perfect partner to the Banana and Poppy Seeds.  So next time you have a few unhappy bananas in the fruit bowl forget about the banana bread and give this a try instead!



Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 9 squares

Banana poppy seedbanana poppy seed

a really delicious way to use up those over ripe bananas left in your fruit bowl


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 125ml sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 med ripe bananas, mashed
  • 75g poppy seeds
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3-4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (about half the 8 oz package)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350F and line a square 8 x 8 baking tin completely with baking paper. (makes it easier to lift out)
  • Cream the butter, sugar and sour cream together. Beat in the egg, mashed bananas and vanilla.
  • Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into the wet mixture. Mix together just until thoroughly combined. Fold in the poppy seeds.
  • Spread the batter into baking pan
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick just comes out clean.
  • mix everything together until you have a thick, creamy, spreadable consistency. Taste to adjust your lemon juice.
  • Spread over cooled cake and top with some edible cake decorations for a bit of colour – this is optional


🙂 please leave a COMMENT by clicking the comment bubble at the top of the post

Check out my FB Baking Page for more delicious recipes




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  • Stephanie Lynch October 18, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Karyn, this looks fab…I have been lucky to have tried & very well tested a lot of your recipes, this is another on e going on my list 🙂

    • Karyn October 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      Awe Thanks Stephanie 🙂 and for taking the trouble to leave a comment..I always wonder with the blog posts even though they go out does anyone actually read now i know… thanks again xx Karyn

  • Sam Blight October 19, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Karyn.. Well I’m just tucking into my second slice of this mind blowing cake.. the baby awoke for a feed just as your email arrived last night.. so I did a spot of late night baking. James took half of it with him to work this morning.. love your recipes please when are you going to write a cook book!!!!!

    • Karyn October 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Hey Sam..Wow thanks so much for those lovely comments… and there’s nothing wrong with a spot of midnight baking..its my dream some day to write a baking book that every one can use especially non bakers… check out my fb baking page for some great Halloween recipes your kids might like them have a great halloween x karyn

  • liz October 22, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Oh My Karyn
    I am going to visit Tara, you brought back some memories. I went there on a school tour when i was in 4th class,the kids are on there mid term next week and we are going to put a ribbon on the tree and we might stop at that coffee shop for some hot chocolate. Got some Poppy Seeds today to make your banana poppy seed cake it looks so yum. I absolutely love your blog and your photos

    • Karyn October 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Morning Liz;) thank you so much for those lovely comments. there is also a lovely little book shop i forgot to mention and the man who runs it knows all the history. Enjoy your hot chocolate. Did you make the cake? Hope it was good!

  • Annie November 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Karen going to bake this tomorrow as have a couple of sad bananas!! Nice to come across a different way instead of doing the banana bread all the time. Love your blog just after coming across it ?

    • Karyn November 24, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Hello Annie.. Thank you very much for the comment..I’m always looking for ways to use up leftover fruit..I always buy too much..I’ve often frozen sliced bananas for smoothies.. but i much prefer baking with them.. let me know how you got on ?


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