Baking banana bread is a popular pastime for experts in the kitchen and newbies alike. For one, it’s delicious, and secondly, pretty easy to make.
Most of all, it’s a great way to utilize those leftover bananas that didn’t make it into your breakfast bowl or smoothie on time.
The only problem is when it comes to the baking itself, and you find the results of your labor are a loaf that is beautifully moist inside but burnt on the outside. What could be the reason?
Why Does My Banana Bread Burn On the Outside?
There are a few reasons your banana bread may be burning on the outside, but it’s usually related to temperature. Banana bread should bake slowly, over a long period of time, at a lower temperature than regular bread. This is because of the batter’s high moisture levels, which may take longer to cook than you expect. High heat will burn the outside of your bread without thoroughly cooking the inside.
Mixing Your Banana Bread Batter for Success
While banana bread is probably one of the most straightforward baked goods to make, there are a few tips and tricks you can employ to prevent it from burning or turning hard on the outside.
And this has to do with how you mix your batter.
Because of the banana’s high moisture content, you don’t want to overmix your batter, or it will turn stodgy and gooey.
Instead, stick to carefully and gently fold all ingredients together until they’re just combined.
Not overmixing will also stop your batter from turning too liquid.
The moister your mix, the longer it will take to set in the oven, heightening its chances of burning.
Why is My Banana Bread Burning?
It’s very frustrating when all you want is a warm, fresh slice of banana bread, and you whip it out of the oven only to find the crust is burnt.
But you’d be amazed at how common a problem this is.
Most of the time, the reason is that your oven temperature is set too high.
Banana bread takes a famously long time to bake, and it’s not a good idea to try and circumvent this by ramping up your oven’s temperature.
Generally, I stick to 375F (190C), although many recipes recommend 400F (200F).
I then bake my bread for between 60 to 90 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Some ovens bake faster than others, so you may need to experiment with different temperatures to get yours just right.
Other Potential Reasons Your Banana Bread is Burning
Another reason your banana bread crust might be burning is because of its positioning in your oven.
You should place your loaf pan in the center of your oven, midway between the top and bottom elements.
The top crust may turn hard and burn if it’s too high up.
Additionally, the color of your loaf pan can play a role in the outside of your banana bread burning.
Darker aluminum baking dishes absorb more heat faster.
Glass loaf dishes are the same.
Your best bet is a good-quality (light-colored) silicone baking mold that is well-greased to prevent sticking.
The best way to prevent your banana bread from burning on the outside, particularly on top, is to cover it with foil for part of its baking duration.
How Do I Prevent My Banana Bread from Burning on the Outside?
There are two ways to go about this.
You can cover it when you first place it in the oven for half- to three-quarters of its total baking duration.
Or, you can cover it for the last twenty minutes of baking once it has already partially browned on top.
Together with this, it’s also advisable to line your loaf tin with parchment paper that is well-greased to prevent sticking.
These barriers (foil and parchment paper) help prevent too much exposure to the oven’s intense, direct heat.
And as an added bonus, they also lock in moisture, rendering your banana bread tender and soft.
How Do I Know When My Banana Bread is Ready?
It can be hard to tell when banana bread is fully baked, especially as the top tends to brown quite quickly.
If you’re not confident in judging for yourself when it’s ready to come out of the oven, you can use a cake tester or sharp knife inserted into its center.
In both cases, when it comes out clean, your banana bread is cooked through.
Alternatively, you can invest in a kitchen thermometer.
These handy little devices will tell you exactly what temperature your loaf is and when it needs to be removed from the oven.
Banana bread is cooked when the center is 400F (200C).
Once out of the oven, let it stand for a few minutes to cool before transferring it out of its loaf pan.
Else, it may crumble and break apart if it’s still too warm and steamy.
Conclusion to Why Does My Banana Bread Burn On the Outside?
Banana bread is a treat worth having in your baking repertoire, so don’t be put off if you’ve suffered through the occasional burnt crust. All you need to do is adjust your baking practices slightly, and in time you’ll find you have perfect golden banana bread with every attempt.
Frequently Asked Questions on Why Does My Banana Bread Burn On the Outside?
Should Banana Bread Be Gooey or Moist in the Center?
Banana bread should be cooked evenly, so if it’s gooey in the center but brown on the outside, it’s likely slightly undercooked. Banana bread batter is very liquid and takes a long time to bake, so make sure it’s solid to the center before taking it out of the oven. There are also health risks associated with eating undercooked dairy and egg products, especially after a few days on the counter.
Can You Put Banana Bread back into the Oven?
If your banana bread is underbaked, you can pop it back into the oven for 10 to 20 minutes. Just make sure to monitor it carefully, so you don’t overcook the outside. It’s best to cover it with foil which will lock in heat and steam and cook it more evenly.
Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)
Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.