It’s no secret that everybody loves banana bread.
Not only is it a great way to use up overly ripe bananas, but banana bread is delicious and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
Plus, banana bread is technically one of the healthiest cakes out there, thanks to the inclusion of potassium and vitamin-filled bananas (just don’t think about the sugar!).
The only issue with banana bread is that people don’t know how to store it properly.
Unless you’ve managed to eat the entire cake the day it has been baked, you need to find a suitable way to store the cake without drying it out or allowing the ingredients to go bad.
Here is our guide on how to store banana bread, including the 3 best ways!
Banana Bread Ingredients
Before we delve into the best ways to store banana bread, it’s important to acknowledge the ingredients used to make banana bread.
This is because the ingredients will determine the correct storage time and method.
The majority of ingredients in a banana bread are found in most cake recipes. These include sugar, flour, eggs, milk, salt, baking powder, and butter.
Other ingredients include spices or vanilla extract, and (of course) ripe bananas.
Each recipe will vary on how many bananas are required, but the general amount is typically 3 ripe bananas.
So, what do the ingredients have to do with the storage length of banana bread?
The issue isn’t with the dry ingredients, it’s with the wet ingredients.
Eggs, milk, butter, and oils have a shorter shelf life than dry ingredients such as flour and sugar, which is why it’s important to know the expiration dates of the wet ingredients.
If you need to use up your eggs within the next 2 days, banana bread is a great way to do so.
However, this means that the banana bread will have a similar expiration date thanks to the inclusion of the eggs.
So, the lifespan of the wet ingredients will determine the lifespan of the banana bread.
Interestingly, the ripeness of the bananas won’t affect the quality of the banana bread. In fact, the blacker the banana, the better!
This is because overly ripe bananas become naturally sweeter as the starch turns into sugar, which helps to sweeten the banana bread.
How Long Does Banana Bread Last?
Depending on the method of storing the cake, banana bread can last anywhere from 4 days to 3 months.
It also depends on the expiration date of wet ingredients, most importantly the longevity of the eggs, which will ultimately determine the shelf life of the banana bread.
It’s important to note that the longer you store your banana bread, the drier it will become. This is true for every method of storing.
Make sure to keep this in mind when storing banana bread, because it’s not going to be as moist on the fourth day compared to the day it was baked.
A great way to make banana bread moist again is to pop a slice into the toaster.
This helps to warm the cake, providing enough humidity to activate its moistness once again.
As with any food item, if you notice that your banana bread is particularly stale or starting to grow mold, then it’s time to throw the cake away.
It’s never safe (or tasty) to eat moldy banana bread!
How To Store Banana Bread – The 3 Best Ways
So, now that we know which ingredients will determine the longevity of banana bread, and the cake’s general shelf life, let’s take a look at the best ways to store banana bread.
Storing Banana Bread In The Refrigerator
If you have space in the refrigerator, you can store your banana bread there.
Storing banana bread in the fridge is good for extending the shelf life of the cake, keeping it somewhat fresh for up to 4-6 days.
You will need to tightly wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap when storing it in the fridge. This is to help maintain the moisture.
However, storing banana bread in the refrigerator is probably the least preferred method of storing.
This is because banana bread becomes significantly dry when stored in the fridge, even when it’s been tightly wrapped.
The cold temperature inside the fridge works to dry the cake, and considering the moist texture of banana bread is the most important part of the cake, you will want to avoid this as much as possible.
So, the best way to combat this is to wrap a couple of layers of plastic wrap around the cake, ensuring that there are no gaps to promote dryness.
You can also put the cake in a zip lock bag to prevent any gaps in the plastic wrap from drying out the banana bread.
If you’ve found that your banana bread is slightly dry, a good way to moisten it is to pop a slice of the cake into the toaster.
Alternatively, you can place it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
This will help to create a humid environment for the cake, thus temporarily bringing back the moist texture.
Just make sure to remember that the longer you keep the banana bread in the microwave, the hotter and floppier it will get, which will ruin the consistency.
Also, don’t keep it in the toaster for too long, unless you want the slice to be crispy on the outside!
Storing Banana Bread In The Freezer
If you’re intending on keeping your banana bread for weeks at a time, then freezing it is your best option.
Banana bread freezes remarkably well thanks to the consistency of the cake, which is ideal if you intend on baking two loaves at once.
You will need to wrap the banana bread tightly with plastic wrap when freezing it to prevent the cold from drying out the insides.
Due to the nature of freezing the cake, it’s not likely to dry out nearly as much as it would in the refrigerator.
The best part about storing banana bread in the freezer is that it will keep for up to 3 months, which is handy for long-term storage!
When you want to eat the banana bread, you will have to allow enough time for it to defrost. You should take it out of the freezer the night before you intend on eating it.
If you wish to eat a slice of banana bread without having to refreeze the defrosted cake (which isn’t recommended), make sure to cut the bread into slices before freezing it.
When thawing a slice of frozen banana bread, simply leave it at room temperature on the countertop for 20-30 minutes.
If you’re in a rush, you can even pop it in the microwave or toaster for 10-20 seconds or until it’s entirely defrosted.
As expected, it’s quicker to thaw multiple slices of frozen banana bread than to thaw an entire loaf of frozen banana bread, so keep this in mind when planning to eat the cake.
If you don’t want to wait overnight for the entire frozen banana bread loaf to thaw, you can always put it in the oven.
Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the frozen loaf for 90 minutes (or 40 minutes for half a loaf).
This will allow enough time for the cake to defrost and warm up to its original temperature when it was first baked.
Storing Banana Bread On The Counter
If you’re not bothered about extending the shelf life of your banana bread because you intend on consuming it within a matter of days, then you can simply store the cake on the counter.
This is probably the most ideal way to store banana bread, because leaving it at room temperature reduces the risk of the cake drying out.
You will still need to store the banana bread properly to prevent it from drying out, by simply putting it inside a plastic container.
By storing the banana bread in a plastic airtight container, you allow enough space for the cake to breathe without it being exposed to the air, which both prevents sogginess and dryness.
You should also place a paper towel underneath the cake to soak up any moisture if it’s becoming too soggy.
When storing banana bread in a container on the counter, it will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
It shouldn’t be consumed past this time, because you’ve got to consider the longevity of the wet ingredients.
If you are worried about the freshness of the cake, you can always move it into the refrigerator or freezer before the 4 days are up to extend the shelf life.
Just remember that when you thaw the frozen cake, it will go back to the original shelf life, meaning it’ll only have a day or two to be eaten.
How To Use Leftover Banana Bread
While it’s so easy to eat an entire loaf of banana bread (whether or not you’ve got guests around), there’s always the chance that you’ll be left with leftover banana bread.
Fortunately, there are several ways to use the leftover cake.
Firstly, you can simply freeze the leftover banana bread.
Freezing the cake is great if you don’t intend on eating the rest of the cake in the next few days, because it gives you up to 3 months to eat slices.
Once defrosted, you can eat the banana bread like you normally would.
Alternatively, warm it in the microwave and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a tasty and warming dessert.
If you’ve put your banana bread in the refrigerator and you’re bored with eating it alone, you can put it on the toaster and serve it with butter and honey like a sandwich.
You can even fry it in a mix of egg and milk to make French toast, which is really delicious!
So, there you have it! There are three ways to store banana bread – putting it in the fridge, freezing it in the freezer, and storing it on the counter – all of which come with their own benefits and downfalls.
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