One of the first recipes I learned as a baker was banana bread. During lockdown time, I had plenty of time on my hands, mostly making banana bread!
I tried everything; adding fruit variations and nuts, making banana bread cupcakes, and even making the banana bread in the air fryer!
It’s sweet, with accessible ingredients, and super easy to make. What’s not to love about banana bread?
In this article, I’ll share with you my secrets on how to make banana bread without the oven, alongside some tips and tricks to help you make the yummiest banana bread.
How to Make Banana Bread Without the Oven
You don’t have to “bake” banana bread. Some oven alternatives are easier to use and get the job done in a shorter time.
The main appeal of this method is that it takes almost half the time to make banana bread on a stovetop as opposed to baking it in the oven.
Yet, you should be aware that the produced loaves will taste different. They’ll have subtly different textures, too.
As opposed to oven baking, where the heat comes from the top and bottom to bake the food, stovetop baking relies on the heat from the bottom of the cooking container.
To trap the heat, we cover the skillet tightly with a preheated lid when we make banana bread on the stovetop. The resulting banana bread will be slightly paler than oven-baked banana bread, and the crust won’t be as golden.
The recipe is best eaten fresh and hot off the stove. It won’t survive storage.
- 2 large ripe bananas
- ½ butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- Start with melting the butter in a non-stick skillet or pot. Grease the bottom and sides and leave it on low heat. You can use oil instead if you wish. If you fancy a nutty flavor, butter would be the better option. Brown it a bit beyond its melting point for enhanced taste.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Then, add the beaten egg alongside salt, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour the butter or oil and stir well until you achieve a homogenous mixture.
- Add the flour and baking soda together and stir well. You want to get nice consistency with no flour streaks.
- Pour the batter into the preheated skillet if you want to jack it up.
- Put a preheated lid to cover the skillet and cook on medium-low heat for 13 minutes.
- After 13 minutes, keep an eye on the banana bread. The top will solidify quickly around this time, and you should know when to take it off the stove; it’s when you can insert a knife at the corner, and the knife comes out clean.
- Loosen the sides using a spatula and invert the bread quickly over a plate. The center will be a bit burnt. You can sprinkle some cinnamon here if you’d like.
- Slice and serve!
You can make banana bread in the air fryer, which allows for a lighter and healthier version of the beloved sweet snack.
You don’t have to feel guilty about eating banana bread if you make it in the air fryer. It takes 40 minutes to make a loaf for two in the air fryer with less oil than traditional baking methods.
Making the banana bread in an air fryer produces a loaf with a crisp outer crust and a fluffy, moist core.
It’s good to know that you can easily freeze banana bread that’s made in an air fryer for up to a month. All you need to do is to let it cool completely, wrap it in some saran wrap, and put it in the freezer.
- 2 ripe bananas
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup chocolate chips, optional
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
- Mash the bananas in a medium-sized bowl using a fork or a potato masher.
- Add the milk, beaten egg, sugar, vanilla, sour cream, and oil, and blend well. You can replace sour cream with whole milk or yogurt if you want.
- Pour this mix into the dry ingredients bowl and give them a couple of stirs.
- At this point, you can add in the walnuts and chocolate chips if you desire.
- Then, pour the batter into a non-stick baking pan and place it in the air fryer. You can use any other air fryer-friendly container.
- Bake at 310 ºF for around 35 minutes in the air fryer.
- Cool for 20 minutes, then remove it from the air fryer.
Too lazy to bake, but having a sweet tooth?
We’ve got your back. Believe it or not, you can make banana bread in the microwave in under 15 minutes!
- 1 banana, overripe ripe
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup water
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp walnuts, chopped
- Mix all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt) together in a large bowl.
- Smash the banana well and then add it to the dry ingredients bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract, water, honey, butter, and walnuts to the same bowl. Mix well.
- Grease a microwave-friendly small baking pan with butter or a cooking spray. Then, floor the pan with a small piece of parchment paper.
- Pour the batter into the pan and put it in the microwave with no cover for 10 minutes.
- Try the toothpick test to ensure the banana bread is ready.
- Leave it to cool for a minute, then use a fork or a small spatula to carve out the edges.
- Place on a serving plate. Don’t forget to remove the parchment paper!
- Serve with dark chocolate or a light glaze of sour cream mixed with sugar.
- Ripe bananas are the key to producing moist banana bread. A perfect banana for banana bread is an overripe one that is dark yellow with brown spots.
- Make it a habit to throw any overripe bananas in the freezer to be ready for you whenever you crave banana bread.
- Try to flip the loaf first when making the toothpick test for the banana bread in an air fryer. Sometimes the top cooks faster in an air fryer.
- This recipe can use natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup as an alternative to sugar.
As we’ve said, the riper the bananas, the sweeter the banana bread will be.
Does that mean you must wait for bananas to overripe on the counter to make a tasty loaf of banana bread?
You can use the paper bag method to ripen your bananas fast. Place the bananas in a paper bag with other overripe fruits you have, an apple, avocado, or even another banana, and fold the paper bag loosely.
The ethylene gas -the one responsible for ripening by converting starch to sugar- will circulate in the closed paper bag causing the bananas to ripen within 24 to 36 hours max.
Even faster, you can use the oven or microwave to ripen bananas by peeling them, putting them on a baking sheet, then leaving them in the microwave for 20 minutes or 30 to 90 seconds.
Easy doesn’t equate to boring. Banana bread doesn’t have to be bland, and here’s how.
If we can make “banana” bread. Why not make “strawberry” banana bread?
All you need to do is add one and a half cups of fresh strawberries to your favorite banana bread recipe. Cut the strawberries in halves and add them as a final step to the batter, just before your pour it into the baking container. Don’t over-stir so as not to ruin the strawberries.
You can put it in a cupcakes pan, add an additional strawberry slice on top of each cupcake, and serve it as a nice snack for your kids!
You can take your banana bread up a notch by adding white chocolate. Surprisingly, ripe bananas pair well with white chocolate. You’d be surprised!
For this recipe, you’ll need to add half a cup of natural unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and half a cup of white chocolate chips when the batter is ready, just before you pour it into the baking pan. Et voila!
We don’t know about you, but we love adding a crunch to dense bakeries. The contrast between the tenderness of bananas and the crunchiness of almonds takes your banana bread loaf to a whole new level.
You should know the drill by now. Add a quarter to a half cup of unsalted almonds cut in halves to the batter just before you pour it in the baking pan, and that’s it!
Feel free to add some almonds on top of the loaf after it comes out of the oven.
Banana bread is versatile. When it comes to baking, you don’t need an oven. A stove, a microwave, or even an air fryer will do!
As far as creativity goes, you can experiment with various ingredients like strawberries, cranberries, butterscotch, or nuts.
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.