Banana bread is a staple in a lot of home cooks’ households, even if they don’t have much baking experience. It’s a recipe to try on your first time baking, using ingredients already in your pantry and those bananas you forgot you had!
With your first bake, it can feel a bit daunting when you see your baked loaf and notice something strange happening. Why does banana bread crack on top like that?
We’ll tackle all of the questions regarding cracks on banana bread. Let’s answer why first.
When baking, cracking might not be just from one cause. There are two main reasons why your banana bread would split:
Sinking with the cracking can be a bit worrisome. If this is the case, you likely left the bread on the counter longer than you should have before putting it in the oven.
To prevent that from happening again, try not to leave the batter for longer than ten minutes before baking.
Other factors include:
- Not enough leavening agent in the batter
- Too wet batter
- Improperly incorporating additional ingredients
This happens when the outside of the loaf, particularly the top part, sets first before the inside starts to bake fully, which makes it crack open like that.
The inside of the baking banana loaf pushes against the now-set outer crumb, exposing the batter underneath.
This kind of crack on your bake is ideal. The batter is doing its job and the baking process is going smoothly.
It’s making way for the rest of the loaf to bake and expand as normal.
Actually, yes. The good kind of cracking, with an ample amount of roundness and firmness on the crust, is what you want.
Cracking on the domes of the bread is quite normal for a type of quick bread like banana bread.
If the top is both slightly irregular and cracking, then it’s a good chance it has something to do with the temperature of the oven. In this case, the temperature may be too high for your bread.
The typical temperature to preheat your oven for banana bread is 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the cracking on the top looks like it’s fully baked and has risen beautifully, then you don’t have anything to worry about. Your bread is fine and very well-made
Yet, if the cracking on top looks like it’s underbaked and has sunk, then you can adjust a couple of things the next time you use your recipe again.
Here are a few tips to help you out with that:
Making quick bread like banana bread requires crucial timing. Once the batter is set and the temperature of the oven is just right, immediately place the banana bread tin in the oven so the leavening agent will do its work.
A raising agent’s purpose is to add lightness to baked goods by releasing pockets of carbon dioxide throughout the baking process. Therefore, it’s best not to keep it waiting.
Always check if you use the exact amount of leavener as well as bananas. Some recipes call for up to four bananas, but you shouldn’t go for more than that.
As for the amount of baking soda or baking powder, level the teaspoon with the back of a spatula to have as accurate a measurement as possible.
The rule of thumb for a decent banana bread recipe is two cups of flour to start. If the recipe calls for less than that, then your banana bread will need more flour.
Carefully add a tablespoon of flour at a time to the mix until you get the right consistency.
The ingredients you add to your loaf to enhance its taste like some chocolate chips or walnuts may be the culprit behind the cracking. Because they can be denser than the rest of the batter, they tend to drop to the bottom of the loaf pan.
For them to be fully suspended in the batter, toss them in a few tablespoons of flour until they’re evenly coated in it. You can also chop them into smaller pieces so that the add-ins are lighter.
So, why does banana bread crack on top? It depends on the kind of crack.
If the crack shows that it’s cooked all the way through, then it’s a desirable crack that many bakers hope to end up with.
On the other hand, an undercooked loaf can have a crack on top because there isn’t enough leavening agent, the batter is too wet, or it’s been sitting on the counter for too long.
To solve this issue, find out if you used the recipe to a T, like the right amount of bananas, leavening agent, and flour. Ensure a consistent temperature throughout for preheating and baking.
But most of all, make sure to savor every bite when you finally make your perfect banana bread loaf after following our steps. Enjoy!
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.