October 3, 2018

Pawpaw bread

Pawpaw bread sliced on a cutting board.

If you are lucky enough to have pawpaws and have some to spare, this quick bread is a delicious way to use them. We usually only get a few pawpaws during their short season from a local farmers' market, so I don't cook or bake with them very much. But this year we were given a big box so I had the opportunity to try them in a quick bread. 

This quick bread is somewhat similar to a banana bread but with the distinctive tropical notes and aroma from the pawpaw. If you are not familiar with pawpaws, they are a fruit that is native to the eastern U.S. and they are custard-like in texture with flavor somewhat like a cross between a banana and a mango (I sometimes get some pineapple smell). 

They have a beautiful aroma and could be growing in a neighborhood or woods near you. We have three tiny trees in our yard, but they are still several years away from fruiting. 

You can read more about pawpaws here and in this fascinating book. It used to be grown and eaten much more frequently, but it still has its fans and even festivals in the regions where it grows. And rightfully so because this native gem is a delight! 

A word of caution - some people may experience gastrointestinal distress from eating pawpaws, and maybe especially cooked ones. You can read more about that from the USDA.  

Slices of pawpaw quick bread.

Pawpaw bread
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 2 large eggs
1 cup very ripe mashed pawpaw flesh*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive (or vegetable) oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or more oil)

Lightly grease an 8"x4" loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour through nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs through applesauce until well-combined. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove to a cutting board to cool fully before slicing. Store in an airtight container.

* Cut the pawpaws in half lengthwise and peel off the skin. Remove the seeds and try to peel off all the fruit/pulp surrounding them. You can mash it up with a fork (leaving it slightly chunky as I did here), or puree it in a food processor or blender for a smooth puree.

Pawpaw quick bread with pawpaws.

What was I cooking one year ago?: slow cooker eggplant "baked" ziti
Two years ago?: white chocolate pumpkin oatmeal cookies
Three years ago?: chocolate chip pumpkin cookies
Four years ago?: pan-fried finger dumplings
Five?: hot & spicy refrigerator turnip pickles
Six?: creamed collard greens w/ crispy shallots
Seven?: curried butternut squash & yellow pea soup
8?: pork & pepper goulash


  1. What a unique quick bread! Must get some pawpaw to try :-)

  2. Neat bread! I don't often see pawpaws in the store, but next time I do, I know what I'm doing with them. :-) Thanks!

  3. I've never see pawpaws in our market but from your description they sound good.

  4. Have never seen nor tasted a pawpaw. Based on your description, I would love to try one. Your bread looks delicious.

  5. i don't have pawpaws but my grandpa back in virginia has plenty and is happy to share! great bread. :)

  6. I have heard of and eaten paw paw once, but I have never seen it in the store. I will keep my eyes peeled so I can make this bread.


I love to hear from you!