Some people grew up knowing it as banana bread, whereas others know it as banana cake. So, which is it? Is banana bread a bread or cake?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the two different names for calling this baked good, and whether or not the names make any difference at all.
Bread and cakes share similar ingredients like flour, eggs, and sugar. However, the difference is how each is baked and what else you can incorporate into it.
Bread is typically baked with yeast and left to rest until the dough rises. Cakes, on the other hand, are mixed with baking soda and baking powder to help them rise.
Concerning their respective texture, there’s the option of making bread from whole wheat or other grain flour, but cakes use pastry flour custom to them.
Bread is healthier than cake and can be eaten at any time of the day, whether it’s for a full meal, snack, or even dessert.
While cakes are dessert at best, who is to say you can’t eat them for breakfast? If you’re feeling up to it, go ahead and do that!
Now, let’s consider how banana bread is baked to determine if it’s actually a bread or a cake of some sort.
Typically, yeast is mixed into the bread dough to change its form, but banana bread uses baking soda and baking powder instead to give its rise.
So, you can say that banana bread is closer to cake than it is to bread. Traditional banana bread is usually baked in a loaf pan, however, hence its shape and name.
Banana is, of course, the star ingredient of this delicacy!
Banana bread also falls into the category of quick bread, which comprises different kinds of bread, cake, and pastry—all without being leavened with yeast.
There are also banana cake recipes calling for it to be baked in cake molds or sheet pans for layering. Then, they’re topped with icing, glaze, or frosting like cream cheese.
In flavor, banana bread is lighter in sweetness than its cake counterpart. It’s intended to make banana bread healthy and suitably eaten for breakfast. Banana cake is meant to be a sweet treat after meals.
Nevertheless, both treats are best paired with a cup of coffee or tea. If the level of sweetness is your concern for both, there are always other sweeteners you can replace sugar with.
Banana bread and cake are normally baked in the oven, but there are different methods of baking you can do.
If you’re in a situation where an oven is inaccessible, there are stovetop recipes calling for cast-iron skillets or large pots.
How stovetop baking works is the same as cooking any dish over a cooking range. It brings the heat from below and spreads upwards, evenly cooking your dish, which is banana bread, in this case.
Absolutely! If you need to make a small batch of banana bread for two or even for just yourself, here’s a good recipe you can check out.
You’ll love how easily this recipe comes together. You’ll only need one small banana, one bowl, and some pantry staples.
So, which is it then? Is banana bread a bread or cake? Technically, banana bread is cake, but it’s also a quick bread.
To make banana bread, you can use grain flour, a loaf pan, and incorporate healthy toppings. If you’re making banana cake, bake it with pastry flour, add frosting, and make it sweeter.
Whichever it is, it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy baking and eating your banana bread and cake.
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.