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How to Make Banana Bread Moist (Plus 6 Tips to Keep It Moist)

How to Make Banana Bread Moist (Plus 6 Tips to Keep It Moist)

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There are many reasons why banana bread is an excellent recipe. It’s easy to make and use readily available ingredients in your pantry all the while being incredibly delicious and versatile. But perhaps the most characteristic feature of banana bread is its softness and moisture.

Despite that, banana bread might turn out a little dry or lose its moisture in a very short time, which leads you to wonder how to make banana bread moist for longer, and that’s where this article comes in handy!

Keep on reading as we walk you through a brief guide with everything you need to know to make moist and juicy banana bread!

What Makes Banana Bread Moist?

There are various factors that play a role in making banana bread moist, especially when compared with other types of baked goodies.

For example, the moisture content of banana bread is relatively high because of the high water content in bananas.

Sliced Bananas

According to the USDA FoodData Central, the water content in a single banana is anywhere between 75% to 80%.

Additionally, some dairy-based ingredients used in banana bread help in retaining more moisture within the batter, such as sour cream and milk.

How Long Does Banana Bread Stay Moist?

The exact time that banana bread stays moist depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The storage conditions
  • The ambient temperature (refrigerated banana bread dries up much quicker than when left on the counter)
  • The ingredients used in the bread, especially the ratio between bananas and flour
  • The level of ripeness of the bananas used
  • Whether the bread was wrapped in an airtight container

However, in ideal conditions, you should expect the banana bread to stay moist for around 3 to 4 days before it starts drying up.

How to Keep Banana Bread Moist

If you want to keep your banana bread moist for longer, here are some tips and tricks that you should keep in mind:

1 – Use the Ideal Banana/Flour Ratio

Small Cup Of Flour

Since banana is actually the secret ingredient behind both the flavor and characteristic moisture of banana bread, adding more bananas will guarantee you a juicer loaf.

With that said, in nearly any banana bread recipe out there, you still need to add a little flour in order to create dough for baking.

Simply put, if you want moist banana bread, the banana/flour ratio should be around 1.5:1 or a little higher.

2 – Don’t Go Overboard with the Bananas

As previously established, adding more bananas will create a moist loaf. However, if you use too many bananas, the bread won’t help up nicely and will crumble and break down easily.

Instead of increasing the number of bananas used in the recipe, you might want to go for improving the quality.

For example, make sure that you mash the bananas thoroughly using a potato masher rather than a fork to make the most of it.

3 – Don’t Overmix the Batter

While making banana bread, you’ll need to mix the dry ingredients with the liquid ones. A good rule of thumb here is to lightly mix them until they’re fully incorporated and start pouring the batter evenly onto the baking sheet.

Don’t worry if you can still see some small lumps in the batter, as this is simply the nature of any batter with flour included.

Overmixing the batter will make the banana bread tougher and moisture will escape the batter easily while baking in the oven.

4 – Use Baking Soda Instead of Baking Powder

A Wooden Spoon With Baking Soda

Baking powder and baking soda are both used as leavening agents that will help the bread rise.

While different recipes of banana bread might call for one of both ingredients, we highly recommend that you only use baking soda as long as you’re using sour cream or buttermilk in the batter.

To make the substitution, you can simply use 1/3 the amount of baking soda instead of baking powder.

For example, if the recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, simply use 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda along with the acidic ingredient.

5 – Allow Banana Bread to Cool Slowly Before Slicing

As you take the freshly baked banana bread out of the oven, allow it to cool down for at least 5 to 10 minutes before cutting or slicing the bread.

When the bread comes out of the oven, most of the moisture content inside of it is in the form of vaporized steam.

If you cut the bread right away, the steam will simply escape the bread, which makes the banana bread stale and dry shortly after.

If you allow the internal temperature of the bread to cool down for a few minutes, the steam will start to condense back into moisture stored within the bread, keeping it juicier for much longer.

In fact, the slower the time it takes to cool down, the softer it’ll be on the inside. However, too much moisture will end up making the bread soggy.

This is why the ideal time here is to cover it for 5 to 10 minutes with a clean towel and set it aside, and then take it out of the baking tray and slice it.

6 – Take It Out of the Oven at the Right Time

The amount of time needed to bake banana bread will vary significantly depending on where you live, the size of the oven, the amount of batter, etc.

For that reason, following an online recipe alone may not be the best thing for you when it comes to baking time and temperature.

For example, let’s say that the recipe calls for preheating the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and leaving the batter for 45 minutes.

Instead of taking it out exactly at minute 45, you should do the toothpick test at minute 40 or even earlier (but try to not open the oven while baking too much).

Simply insert a toothpick in the batter for a couple of seconds and take it out, and only remove the banana bread from the oven when the toothpick comes out clean.

How to Make Banana Bread Extra Moist

Now that you know how to keep banana bread moist for longer, you might be interested in knowing how to make it softer with a higher moisture content:

1 – Use Extra Ripe Bananas

Extra Ripe Bananas On The Counter

If you want to make your banana bread moist, always make sure that you use bananas that are as ripe as possible.

As bananas ripen, the starch content in the banana starts to turn into sugar. This won’t only make the bread sweeter, but it also releases the moisture stored in the starch, which makes the bananas super soft and smooth.

With that being said, make sure that the bananas are not too ripe that they’re starting to mold or ferment.

On the other hand, fresh bananas have high starch content, which ends up absorbing a lot of moisture with time (similar to starch in flour).

2 – Choose the Right Type of Flour

Ideally, any kind of flour would do if you want to make banana bread. However, if you want your banana bread as soft and moist as possible, you should consider the type of flour you use.

This is because flour with high protein content contains a higher level of gluten, which renders the bread chewy, stretchy, and relatively dry.

Ideally, all-purpose flour would work just fine for your banana bread. However, if you want to make it super moist, you should go for cake flour instead of bread flour.

This is because, despite its name, banana bread is actually closer to muffins and cakes in structure than bread (you don’t need any gluten to make banana bread, which is lower in cake flour).

3 – Cover the Banana Bread with Plastic Wrap

Leaving banana bread out in the open will encourage the internal moisture to gradually evaporate, which turns the banana bread dry over time.

To avoid that, you should wrap your banana bread in plastic wrap whenever you’re not using it.

Unlike towels, the plastic wrap doesn’t allow moisture to escape, so it condenses back into the bread.

However, only cover the banana bread after it cools down initially so that it doesn’t become soggy, which also encourages mold to grow much quicker on the bread.

4 – Properly Reheat Banana Bread Before Consuming It

If you want to enjoy soft and moist banana bread exactly like a freshly baked one, your best bet is to either use the skillet or the microwave. Here’s the method for each one:

Skillet Method (Crispy on the Outside but Moist on the Inside)

Melting Grass-Fed Butter In A Skillet

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet on medium heat, then add the banana bread slice along with a tablespoon of water, then cover the bread with a lid. leave the bread on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, then take it out.

Microwave Method (Easy and Quick, Especially for Dried Banana Bread)

Put the slices on a microwavable plate, then sprinkle some water over the bread (preferably with a spray bottle) or cover the bread with a damp paper towel.

After that, set the microwave on high, and turn it on for 10 to 15 seconds. Once the slices are warm enough, take them out, remove the paper towels, and enjoy soft and moist banana bread.

This is also an ideal method to fix stale banana bread that has gone dry!

What to Add to Banana Bread to Make It Moist

While the previously mentioned tips will help improve your current banana bread recipe, adding certain ingredients remains your gateway to moist and juicy bread. Here are some of the best ingredients that will produce softer banana bread:

Dairy Products

Adding small amounts of sour cream (best results), buttermilk, or yogurt will increase the moisture content inside the banana bread better than any other additive because they have excellent water retention qualities.

Simple Syrup After Baking

Drizzle some brown sugar simple syrup over the banana bread after poking some holes into the freshly baked bread using toothpicks to make it super spongy and juicy

Use Water Rich Additive

In addition to adding an extra layer of depth to the banana bread, additives like Pumpkin Puree, Pineapple, Zucchini, etc are all great for adding more moisture to the bread and helping it stay juicy for much longer.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! A brief guide that shows you how to make banana bread moist and soft while maintaining its amazing flavor.

As you can see, the secret to moist banana bread is using the proper banana flour ratio and avoiding overmixing the ingredients.

You can also add various ingredients that will maintain moisture inside the bread and keep it soft for longer.

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Holly Gruenwald

Friday 24th of May 2024

Thanks, Sarah. At age 80, I have never made a banana bread that was as moist as I'd like it, so I will definitely try some of these tips. BTW, I was eating my banana bread as I read your article...small smile.

Sarah Bridenstine

Monday 27th of May 2024

Banana bread is definitely one of my favorites. I hope you have luck with making your loaves more moist, though I'm sure your banana bread is pretty perfect how it is! Good luck!


Sunday 7th of May 2023

I think you mean seconds, not minutes, to heat up banana bread in the microwave.

Sarah Bridenstine

Monday 15th of May 2023

Hi J!

Thanks for catching my slip! I corrected it.