Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

How to Make Banana Bread Moist After Baking

Banana bread is best when it's warm and moist!
Banana bread is best when it’s warm and moist!

You know those old, brown bananas you forgot about almost as soon as you brought them home?

Banana bread is a great way to use them up! Fresh from the oven, it’s a delicious snack to go alongside your afternoon tea. As with any other bread or cake, it tastes better when it’s moist.

That’s a problem if, like the bananas, you forgot about it for a couple of days. How can you make your banana bread moist after baking?

What’s the deal with dry cakes?

Banana bread is made from the same batter we use for baking muffins. It’s a mixture of flour, baking soda, salt, cream, butter, and brown sugar. The best cakes and bread are served warm and a little moist, and banana bread is no different. The problem with all cakes is that they go dry rather quickly.

There’s a belief that you can maintain your cake’s moisture by leaving a damp kitchen cloth draped over it. This works, but you can’t leave the cloth there too long. You risk drenching the banana bread and making it soggy beyond repair.

Take preemptive action

Experiment with the ingredient ratios to get moister bread.
Experiment with the ingredient ratios to get moister bread.

You can also ensure that your banana bread stays moist by slightly altering the ingredients. Fold your wet ingredients in with your dry ingredients. Melt the butter and add it to the mix. If your banana bread still comes out dry, try adding some canola or vegetable oil after this step.

You can also increase the amount of butter you use, but keep in mind that butter contains milk solids as well as water. These will create steam, which will raise the moisture level in the bread. Too much will result in the bread becoming dry, which is what you’re trying to avoid in the first place! You might need to do some trial and error. Try adding just the oil, about a quarter of a cup, and see how that works first.

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Sifting your dry ingredients will also help. It aerates the flour so that the moist ingredients can coat it sufficiently. This gives you a lighter, fluffier and, ultimately, moist banana bread.

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A simple alternative

If, after baking, you still have a dry loaf of banana bread, you can make a simple syrup that will wet the bread and whet your palate. (How’d I do with the grammar?)

It’s super easy to make. Grab a pot, then pour in water and sugar in equal measures. A half cup of each is a good place to start. Heat the mix on medium heat until boiling, and remove once the sugar has dissolved. Allow it to cool for a bit.

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Take a skewer and poke some holes in the loaf. Next, spoon some of the syrup over the top of the banana bread. Spread the simple syrup over the top of the bread with a pastry brush, paying particular attention to the holes and sides of the loaf.

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Once that’s done, cover it in a Tupperware box and leave it to sit for a couple of hours before serving.

Go bananas!

If you’ve ever messed up and produced a dry loaf of banana bread, fear not. Use a few of these tips and save the bread from the perils of dryness. A simple syrup formula is easy to make and will turn any dry cake into a moist, delicious treat.

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Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Bobbi B. and Neil C.

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