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Banana bread is one of my family’s most requested desserts during the holiday season. The only negative aspect of banana bread is the tendency of the bread to sometimes be undercooked. Due to the wet ingredients such as eggs and bananas, the cooking for banana bread can sometimes result in a product that is soggy and wet in the middle while looking done on the outside.
As a general rule, you can know that your banana bread is done when it has a golden brown color on the outside. Once golden brown, push a finger on top of the banana bread and let go. The banana bread should bounce back up to its original spot without leaving a dent.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to tell if banana bread is done. If you end up making a mistake in the process, there are also a few easy ways to correct those mistakes. Banana bread is one of my family’s favorite foods, and I am happy to share my tips with you so that you can enjoy delicious and perfectly baked banana bread anytime.
How to Know When My Banana Bread Is Done?
As a general rule, you can use a toothpick to check if your banana bread is done. Stick a toothpick into the center of the banana bread and remove it. If there is dough on the toothpick, the banana bread is not done yet. If there is no dough on the toothpick, the banana bread is done.
The easiest way to tell if your banana bread is done is to check it with a toothpick. Always check at least three spots in the bread to determine doneness when using a toothpick.
If the bread is done, the toothpick should come out clean when you take it out. If the banana bread needs additional time, the toothpick will still have dough stuck on it when you remove it. If you don’t have any toothpicks available, you can substitute a knife for this method.
While I like to do my mixing by hand, I much rather prefer using a Stand Mixer instead. I recently wrote an article that talks about the 3 Best Stand Mixers that bakers can buy in each stage of their baking journey. After reviewing a few stand mixers, the Best Overall Mixer was the KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. You can check out this stand mixer on Amazon!
What Happens If You Remove Your Banana Bread From the Oven Too Soon?
If you undercook your banana bread, you will slice into it and discover a gooey center that easily falls apart. If the bread has been cooked long enough, it should be firm enough to handle without falling apart.
Well-cooked banana bread should be solid enough to handle a slather of peanut butter, a spread of butter, or any other type of topping.
I like to top my banana bread with a spoonful of almond butter and the occasional handful of chocolate chips. If you make sure that your banana bread is cooked thoroughly, you will be able to indulge in delicious toppings, too.
*Side Note: You might also want to know Can You Bake Cookies with Bread Flour. I recently wrote an article that talks about What To Expect When Baking Cookies with Bread Flour. You can check out this article here!
How to Check Banana Bread Is Done Without a Toothpick?
As a whole, you can check if your banana bread is done by looking for it to have a caramel brown color along the edges. Once you press the top of the banana bread with your finger, it should bounce back up to its original spot without leaving a dent.
Look at Your Banana Bread
You can check to see if your banana bread is done by looking at the tops and sides. A fully cooked banana bread will be a caramel brown color along the edges and sides. The center of the bread may have a light golden brown color.
Although you can check the doneness of the banana bread by looking at it, you also want to stick a toothpick into the center to verify that the banana bread is done.
Touch Your Banana Bread
You can check your banana bread by gently pushing into the top of the bread. If the bread springs back when you remove your finger, it is done. If the indent stays in the bread after you have removed your finger, the banana bread needs to cook longer.
This method was difficult for me when I first started to cook. After I had experience baking banana bread, the method of using my sense of touch became much easier. If you are new at baking or simply unsure, you may wish to combine this method of checking your banana bread with the toothpick or thermometer method.
*By the way, you might also want to know How To Bake A Cake Without A Cake Pan. I recently wrote an article that talks about How To Bake A Cake If You Don’t Have A Cake Pan. You can find this article here!
Can You Use a Thermometer to Check to See if Banana Bread Is Done?
As a general rule, you can use a thermometer to check if your banana bread is done. Stick a digital baking thermometer into the middle of the bread and into the edges. Temperatures in the middle should be at least 205 degrees Fahrenheit, while the edges may be at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
When should you use these methods:
|Toothpick Method||Thermometer Method|
|Simple banana bread recipes with no extra ingredients||Complex banana bread recipes with extra added ingredients|
Which method is best: Toothpick or Thermometer? When I have included a lot of extras in my banana bread – such as chocolate chips, raisins, or walnuts, I will use a thermometer. For simpler recipes, I use a toothpick alone.
*Side Note: I recently wrote an article that talks about How To Store All Types of Baking Yeast. This article breaks down exactly what you need to do to store your opened unused yeast to keep it fresh for longer. You can check out this article here!
Why Is Your Banana Bread Raw in The Middle?
As a general rule, your banana bread will come out raw in the middle because you did not bake it long enough in the oven. Usually, you should bake the banana bread for 55 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After, continue to check if the middle is done every 5 minutes until it is firm.
If you follow a recipe and the banana bread still turns out raw, you may need to adjust one of the following factors to ensure that your banana bread does not come out raw:
- Loaf pans
- Oven temperatures
- Cooking times
- Mixing methods
You’re Using the Wrong Loaf Pan
Dark metal loaf pans are the best choices for making banana bread. These types of bread pans will help the bread cook evenly and will help the outer crust turn the nice dark brown you want out of banana bread.
Glass pans and stoneware loaf pans will not cause the same quality of cooking for banana bread.
I love having a variety of loaf pans for use in my kitchen. However, I save the stoneware and glass loaf pans for other types of bread and use metal loaf pans for banana bread.
Your Oven Temperature is Not Registering Correctly
If your banana bread is still raw after cooking it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of your oven may not be registering correctly. This usually happens in older ovens that need to be recalibrated.
You need to invest in an oven thermometer to judge the true temperature of the inside of your oven. This will help you get to know your oven better! I recently came across a great Stainless Steel Instant Read Oven Thermometer. You can check it out on Amazon!
You Didn’t Bake it Long Enough in the Oven
Your banana bread will take at least 55 minutes to cook at 350 degrees. It may take longer. Start checking your banana bread after 55 minutes. Every five minutes, check to see if the banana bread is done.
The adjustments in your cooking time can be affected by:
- Size of bananas you used
- Freshness of your leavening agents
In general, I find most of my banana bread loaves take at least an hour and 15 minutes to fully bake on the inside. But I always start checking at the 55-minute mark so that it doesn’t end up burning.
You Overmixed or Undermixed the Dough
Both overmixing and undermixing the dough can affect the amount of gluten formed in the banana bread. This can cause the bread not to rise well, and this can result in a center that is uncooked.
To achieve the best results, I am careful to fold the dough gently by hand, until I can no longer see any flour. If any flour remains, the gluten will not be able to form, and the banana bread will not get as done as I wish!
*By the way, you might also want to know How To Mix Batter Without a Mixer. I recently wrote an article talking about The Right Ways of Mixing Batter By Hand, which you can check out here!
Why Should You Allow Banana Bread to Cool After Baking It?
Banana bread should cool for at least 10 minutes after you have removed it from the oven. This allows a significant amount of steam to escape. If you try to cut into the bread before it has had time to cool, the inside may appear to be soggy and undercooked, even if it is done.
It can definitely be tempting to cut into a fresh piece of banana bread before it’s had time to cool. But resisting the urge will result in a much better tasting piece of banana bread. Your patience will be rewarded!
Does banana bread continue to cook after you take it out to cool down? Banana bread does not continue to cook after it is taken out to cool down. After it leaves the oven, banana bread begins its cooldown process immediately. Make sure to take the banana bread out of the oven at precisely the time that it is done.
How Do You Fix Undercooked Banana Bread?
Can you put banana bread back in the oven if it’s undercooked?
If your banana bread is undercooked, stick the loaf back into the oven and bake it for another 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure the oven is heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When you place the loaf into the oven, it will take a few minutes for the loaf to reach the right temperature to continue cooking.
You can stick the banana bread back into the oven even if the bread has cooled completely. If you are worried that the outside of the bread will get done too quickly, tent a piece of foil over the top of the bread.
How Do You Fix Burnt Banana Bread?
As a whole, take a knife and scrape off the burnt edges of the banana bread loaf. After, add moist toppings such as syrups and frosting to each slice to add moisture to the banana bread. This will help prevent a dry taste while reducing any residual burnt flavors.
If your loaves are constantly coming out of the oven burnt, try the following steps:
- Reduce the heat
- Check your oven’s temperature
- Add aluminum foil in a tent for the last 20 minutes
*By the way, I recently wrote an article that talks about Why Your Buttercream Frosting is So Runny. This article talks about how to fix runny frosting by making it thicker. You can check out this article here!
Why Is My Banana Bread Not Done After 3 Hours on 350 Degrees Fahrenheit?
If your banana bread is not done after 3 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven, there are a couple of things that might have gone wrong. Your recipe, cooking method, or ingredients might be incorrect to a certain degree. Go through each one separately to find the problem.
Likely mistakes include:
- Your oven was not properly preheated
- You incorrectly measured the ingredients, especially the flour
- Too many wet ingredients were used
- You did not use fresh all-purpose flour
- Your recipe did not have the right instructions
Learning how to perfect each one of these aspects of baking banana bread will help prevent any potential future baking problems!
Banana bread offers a unique form of comfort that other foods simply do not have. When it’s fresh, it is warm and full of reassuring carbs and sweetness that bring back memories of childhood and family.
It’s also a type of food that seems right, no matter what the season might be – as long as you can handle heating up the oven. So knowing if your banana bread is done is an important step to having the perfect banana bread dessert!