Pawpaw Quick Bread
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If you’ve never heard of a pawpaw, don’t feel bad — I only just learned about them myself, though I’d been hearing about them for months from Sam Consylman, one of the farmers at the Livengood Family Farm stand at the South and Passyunk Farmers’ Market.
When pawpaw season finally arrived, Sam invited me and another loyal South- and Passyunk-market goer to go foraging for this rare fruit in the Susquehannock State Park.
So, on a sunny September morning, Christine and I trekked out to Lancaster to learn about pawpaws. We shook trees, dodged snakes, avoided groundhog holes and tucked into this unknown fruit, tasting almost like a cross between a mango and a banana.
Learning about and hunting for pawpaws — a fruit indigenous to this area — was memorable to say the least.
It turns out that pawpaw flesh, like bananas and apple sauce, takes well to baking. I made pawpaw cookies first, which were good but cake-like, and so, I experimented with a quick bread. I replaced the banana in my mother’s delectable banana bread recipe with the same amount of pawpaw flesh.
Success! Moist and fruity, the pawpaw quick bread tasted better and better with each passing day. Now, because pawpaw season is over, use bananas instead — it is a wonderful recipe, and the bread, when baked in small loaf pans, makes a nice gift.Print
Pawpaw Quick Bread
- Total Time: 1 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 regular-sized loaf
- butter or spray oil for greasing
- 2½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 2 scant cups sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups pawpaw pulp*
*An equal amount of mashed ripe bananas can be used in place of pawpaws
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a bundt pan or 2 standard-sized load pans (8 x 11) or 5 mini loaf pans. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add the pawpaw pulp, and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix only until the flour is incorporated — don’t overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and place in the oven. (If using mini pans, place them on a sheet pan first.) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes for mini pans or 45 to 60 minutes for the bundt and larger loaf pans. Cake should be brown and should start to leave the sides of the pan.
- Let cool on rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Quick Bread
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pawpaw, quick, bread, baking, fall
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35 Comments on “Pawpaw Quick Bread”
My name is Hannah Kincaid and I’m an editor with both Mother Earth News and Heirloom Gardener. We have an upcoming article about growing and using pawpaws, and I’d like to discuss the possibility of printing this article + a photo or two in our upcoming issue. Please reach out to me at the email address associated with this comment to discuss in further detail. Thanks!
We have planted and are growing pawpaws on our property. I did not quite have enough paw paw pulp. Six small pawpaws yielded about 1 cup. I accomplished two cups of pulp with some frozen bananas I’d saved back. The bread is delicious, and I cannot wait to try it again with the full amount of pawpaws suggested. Yum! I have to say I could not stop eating the batter.
So happy to hear this, Jo! It’s been so long since I’ve been foraging. So jealous of your pawpaw plants 🙂
I have a similar paw paw bread recipe but calls for baking powder instead of baking soda. Why the difference?
Just had a friend give me some pawpaws and then made this bread, WOW what a treat. However I was wondering why there were some little spots of pinkish color in the bread? Maybe some of the pawpaws were a little over-ripe. SURE TASTES GOOD THOUGH FOR A NICE CHANGE.
So happy to hear this, Shirley! Shirley, confession: I have not made this recipe in over a decade. I haven’t even seen a pawpaw since we left Philadelphia, so I can’t offer any explanation for the pink spots. Maybe just pulp that didn’t get incorporated? In any case, I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for writing 🙂
I halved the recipe and it still came out really good. I used 2 palm sized pawpaws. I put it in the oven for 45 minutes but it definitely needed more time so I just checked it every couple minutes until it was done. To the commenter below, the pink stuff in it is the pawpaw pulp when cooked.
Great to hear this. Thanks so much for writing, Dani! And thanks for sharing intel on the pink stuff 🙂
I live in the tropics and I have some paw paws bigger than my head! (Honestly not exaggerating) …i’m looking forward to trying this recipe to use up some paw paw in a different way. Just wonfering what you mean by ‘pulp’? Do you mash the paw paw flesh or cut it up etc?
Really looking forward to seeing how this tastes!
Hi! It’s been a long time since I’ve been foraging got pawpaws and since I made this recipe, but yes: as I remember, I simply mashed the flesh up into a pulp, kind of like the way you do with bananas to make banana bread.
I don’t think pawpaws grow in the tropics. In some places they mean what we call papayas when they say pawpaw.
I love this recipe! I substitute a GF flour that has a 1:1 ratio and it works just as well. My question for you and others that have tried it, do you find the pawpaw turns the bread pink after you cook it? I’m curious as to why that happens!
Hi Kristen! Wonderful to hear this. And yes! I can’t offer an explanation, but this happens to me as well.
Me and my fiancé made this bread. It tasted great. However it really made us sick. Nauseous and horrible bloating. Did some research on it and cooking Pawpaws can do really cause some GI issues.
So sorry to hear this, Nathan! That’s terrible.
Pawpaw are often confused with Paw Paw, as both names are used interchangeably for several plants. The fruit used in this bread from Alexandra is that of Asimina triloba, and not Carica papaya, the tropical fruit. American Pawpaw are small fruits with big seeds placed throughout the fruit, whereas papaya seeds are a big cluster of little seeds in the center of the fruit.
Eating too much fruit from Carica will indeed cause GI distress.
The Asimina triloba is what we used and what made us feel so awful. We picked them ourselves here in Southern Illinois.
Wow, that is so interesting. Were these from your own trees, or in the wild? I can’t help but wonder if an animal, perhaps a racoon, spread something by way of touching the fruit? That had to be a terrible event, I’m so sorry you both went through that.
Yes they were from trees on our property. We have used them to make creme brulee before without issue, and we have eaten them just by themselves before without a problem either. When we baked the bread it turned a dark red. I have actually read other people saying the same thing. Like this lady who made waffles
turned out great !!! I’m a 65yr old boomer with no baking experience. The hardest part was extracting the seeds. I had to add two bannanas becuz only had 2 cups of pawpaw.
So great to hear this! I wish I could get my hands on some pawpaws 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing!
This bread turned out amazing. I think I could sell this bread commercially. No, I’d rather eat it.
So great to hear this, Brian 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks for writing!
Please be careful when eating cooked pawpaw. Eat a small amount and see how it affects you. My wife and I both had GI upset within 12 hours after eating only 2 pieces of cake, which were very yummy. We have been fine eating fresh pawpaw.
Hello, we have a few pawpaw trees on our property. My husband picked them, and they were starting to get too ripe, so I checked the internet to see if I could freeze them, the articals I read said you could, but you should run them through a food processor then freeze them. My question is my pawpaws are more like puree, and will puree work in this recipe?
Hi Shawn! Yes, it should work just fine. You might want to use half banana, half pawpaw purée if the the purée is super super thin, but otherwise it should work just fine.
That’s wonderful I never for once thought pawpaw can be turned into bread or jam . It’s amazing .
Great to hear, Darren!
Added vanilla protein powder, dash of Allspice, low far Madagascar vanilla yogurt … used 1/2 cup of sugar. I had canned paw paws last summer…they are already sweet. On the bottoms of my pans, I sprinkled grated Wheaties, a smidgen of brown sugar, and grated pineapple. …. with the idea of flipping the loaves like a paw paw upside down bread Baking now and sure smells good … Thanks for the inspiration.
Great to hear! Thanks so much for writing and sharing your notes 🙂
I just made this bread! It’s so good. We harvest the paw paws at our cabin in West Virginia. We’ve never made the ripening window in 5 years of being here on the weekends. Well, I now will be sure to harvest this delicious fruit. The bread is
so moist, we’ve eaten most of it right out of the oven! I’m so glad this recipe is for 2 loaves. I did cut the sugar to 1 1/4 C. I will be making this again.
Wonderful to hear this, Pamela 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing and sharing.
Lovely recipe. Turned out just right (here in mid-western Indiana). We usually have enough pawpaws that grow in our yard to freeze, so can take out a portion to enjoy at different times of the year.
I noticed, as I don’t therefore use fresh pulp, that there’s a slightly bitter taste using defrosted pulp, so sometimes add cocoa powder. I also, always use a measure of buckwheat flour 1:1 with regular wheat flour to anything I bake for added nutritional content as there are people with diabetes in my household, as well as a handful or two of whatever nuts are in season or available.
This recipe would go well in baking cupcakes –to minimize consumption of large portions! I think that some kinds of pawpaws can cause stomach upset. We grow at least four different kinds –from baby trees purchased through the University of Kentucky, and those salvaged, perhaps … not for sure that they’re actually growing specifically from seeds of the pawpaws growing in Happy Hollow Park near our house. (Pawpaws spread in underground root systems and we have them springing up all over our street corner)
Add a bit more flour, and perhaps butter and make biscuits or cookies, too. This recipe is really great for adaptation, even with using bananas.
This recipe is delicious! Mine came out a bit gooey in the middle. Is that normal?
It might have just needed a little bit more time in the oven.