Have you let your friend borrow your loaf pan and are in the mood for some banana bread? If they haven’t given it back yet, you’re probably wondering how to bake banana bread without a loaf pan.
While loaf pans are definitely the ideal choice for baking banana bread, they’re not a must. Other types of pans can also be used. These include cake pans, muffin pans, cast iron skillets, casserole dishes, and bundt pans.
Read on to find out more about how to use different types of pans to bake banana bread, as well as the things you need to keep in mind when doing so. You’ll also find in this guide useful tips on how to avoid your banana bread sticking to the pan.
When baking a warm, delicious batch of banana bread, loaf pans are undoubtedly the best option to use. This is because they’re designed to help the bread maintain its shape as it rises during baking.
Therefore, if you have a loaf pan on hand, you should definitely use it when baking your banana bread.
However, you don’t necessarily need a loaf pan to bake this tasty treat.
Sometimes, you’ll have some overripe bananas that are perfect for baking banana bread and you need to use them as soon as possible before they go bad.
There are several other types of pans that you can use as a substitute and put those bananas to good use if you don’t have access to a loaf pan for any reason.
These pans include:
- Cast iron skillets
- Cake pans
- Casserole dishes
- Muffin pans
- Bundt pans
A cast iron skillet is an excellent alternative to use when you don’t have a loaf pan on hand. Cast iron skillets have great heat distribution, which will allow you to bake your banana bread to perfection.
Sure, your banana bread won’t come out as a loaf, but it’ll still look and taste great.
The main concern with using a cast iron skillet to make your banana bread is that it’s typically used to cook savory dishes.
This can lead to ingredient residues from other dishes you’ve used your cast iron skillet to cook getting into your banana bread and throwing off its flavor.
However, if you wash and wipe down your skillet thoroughly before using it with banana bread, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Here are the steps you need to follow to get the best results:
- Preheat your oven to 350℉
- Grease the entire surface of your cast iron skillet
- Once the batter is ready, pour it into the skillet and spread it evenly
- Bake for 35 minutes (if you’re using a 10- or 12-inch skillet)
- Check that the center is cooked using the toothpick test
You can also cook up a batch of delicious banana bread using a cake pan.
In fact, the results you’ll get using a cake pan will have you questioning why you haven’t been using it to bake your banana bread all along.
The primary factor you’ll need to keep in mind is the temperature and baking time you’ll need when baking banana bread in a cake pan. Both of these factors will depend on the size of the cake pan you’re using.
The bigger the pan you use, the thinner the batter will be in it, and the shorter the time needed to bake the banana bread will be.
Here’s all you need to do:
- Preheat your oven to 350℉
- Prepare your cake pan by greasing its bottom and sides and lining the bottom with parchment paper
- Mix your ingredients and pour the batter into the cake pan
- Place the cake pan into the oven and bake for 25 minutes (if you’re using a 9-inch cake pan)
- You’ll know when to take the pan out when you can poke the bread with a toothpick and it comes out clean
If you only have a casserole dish available, don’t worry; you can still make some mouthwatering banana bread. It won’t come out in the shape of a loaf, but it will definitely still be a crowd-pleaser.
In a similar fashion to cast iron skillets, casserole dishes are usually used to make savory foods. Therefore, you should make sure to wash your casserole dish well before you bake some banana bread in it.
Additionally, you’re going to have to tweak the oven temperature and baking time you use when baking in a loaf pan. The optimum baking conditions will depend on the size of the casserole dish you’re using.
You can bake banana bread in a casserole dish by going through these four easy steps:
- Preheat your oven to 400℉
- Prep the casserole dish by applying some non-stick baking spray
- Prepare your batter and pour it evenly into the casserole dish
- Bake for 45 minutes (if you’re using a 9-inch casserole dish)
The answer is yes, you absolutely can. In fact, if you’ve never tried banana bread muffins before, you’re definitely missing out.
Using a muffin pan to bake banana bread is also a major time-saver. Since the batter is portioned into smaller pieces, it’ll bake much quicker than it would in a traditional loaf pan.
Once you try using a muffin pan for baking banana bread, you’re likely to strongly consider switching to muffin pans for good.
Here’s how to make some tasty banana bread muffins:
- Preheat your oven to 350℉
- Prep your muffin pan with reusable silicone liners
- Split the batter evenly between your pan’s muffin cups
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffin tops have reached the desired color
Bundt pans can also be used to bake a scrumptious, fluffy batch of banana bread.
One of the perks of using a bundt pan is that it gives your banana bread an appetizing shape that will have your taste buds craving a slice.
In order to get the best results, you’ll need to find the sweet spot when it comes to baking temperature and duration.
However, using a bundt pan to bake banana bread isn’t without its drawbacks. It’ll take you significantly more time than it would with any of the other pans mentioned above.
Here’s how you can use a bundt pan to bake banana bread:
- Preheat your oven to 375℉
- Prep your bundt pan by spraying the bottom and sides with non-stick baking spray
- Pour your banana bread batter evenly into the pan
- Bake for 1 hour
- You can tell when your banana bread is ready to take out of the oven using the toothpick test or when it acquires a golden brown color
Having your banana bread stick to the pan after all the time and hard work you’ve put in to bake it can be very frustrating.
Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid that can lead to this happening:
The first common mistake that some people make when baking banana bread is not using a non-stick pan.
Pans that aren’t non-stick are prone to causing your banana bread (or whatever you’re baking) to stick and make a mess. This is true even when you prep them using parchment paper or non-stick baking spray.
Therefore, you should definitely invest in a non-stick pan for your baking needs. These pans don’t need prepping, and they make your life so much easier when it’s time to remove your banana bread from them.
However, prepping your non-stick pan is still a good idea even if it’s not a must. This is because it makes your pan last longer before you need to replace it.
Another error that many people tend to fall into is leaving their banana bread in the pan for too long after taking it out of the oven.
Once you’ve taken your banana bread out of the oven, you should let it cool for no more than ten minutes. After it’s cooled, you should remove it from the pan and transfer it to an airtight container straight away.
Failing to do so will make your banana bread highly likely to stick to the pan. This is because the bottom of your banana bread will dry up if it’s left to cool for too long, making it very difficult to remove from the pan without it sticking.
If you’ve fallen into one of the mistakes above and your banana bread is stuck to the pan, there’s one way you can try to pry it out.
Get a butter knife and move it back and forth along the point of contact between your banana bread and the sides of the pan. When doing this, you should try to get as deep down into the pan as you can.
Next, turn your pan upside down and place it on a large tray or plate. Gently shake the pan until your banana bread wiggles free.
You should note that this method can be a hit-or-miss one. You may find that your banana bread doesn’t come out fully intact. However, using this method will allow you to minimize the damage caused to your banana bread’s structure from it sticking to the pan.
If you’re wondering how to bake banana bread without a loaf pan, the answer is that there are plenty of ways you can do so.
Sure, loaf pans are generally considered to be the most suitable type of pan for banana bread, but using them isn’t a must.
There are several alternative types of pans that you can use to bake your banana bread while still getting excellent results.
Whether you use a cast iron skillet, muffin pan, casserole dish, cake pan, or bundt pan, you’ll need to keep a couple of things in mind.
Those things are the baking temperature and duration that the pan stays in the oven. Both of these factors depend on the size of the pan you’re going to use.
Next time you decide to bake up some banana bread, try one of these pans out!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.