- I’ve made banana bread many times and have learned some common mistakes can ruin your loaf.
- Packing flour can dry it out, while mistakenly using baking powder changes the flavor.
- If you’re cutting the recipe in half, make sure you use half the eggs or you risk a spongey loaf.
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Whether it’s for breakfast, a snack, a housewarming gift, or the perfect dessert to end a meal, banana bread is truly delightful — when it’s made correctly, that is.
There are loads of different mix-ins home bakers can include in loaves of banana bread, but none of it matters if you fall prey to some easy but colossal faux pas in the baking process.
As Insider’s food reporter, I’ve made plenty of banana bread (most recently using lifestyle guru Joanna Gaines’ recipe). And throughout my hours of baking it, I’ve learned there are a few mishaps that won’t change the quality of a banana bread too badly — and a few other problems that’ll completely wreck your loaf.
Here are five common baking mistakes you might be making that are ruining your homemade banana bread:
Measuring out flour the wrong way can make banana bread dry
One common mistake home bakers make is packing their flour. When measuring flour, it’s important to spoon it into a measuring cup, leave a mound, and level it off with something flat like the back of a knife or a skewer.
With this recipe, packing your flour as you measure it out (and therefore using too much of it) will make the banana bread dry and crumbly.
Mistaking baking powder for baking soda changes the taste of banana bread
This is a colossal mistake that can drastically change the flavor of your loaf.
Rather than the flavor of fresh bananas used in the recipe, using baking powder (instead of the correct ingredient, baking soda) makes this loaf taste more like the artificial banana flavoring used in candies.
Forgetting to halve your eggs if you cut the recipe in half risks a spongey banana bread
Though it’s unlikely that a recipe will call for anything other than a round number of eggs, you could run into an issue if you’re cutting a recipe in half. And it’s a bad idea to skip over halving your egg measurements precisely.
Making the decision to use a whole egg rather than half of an egg, for example, makes for a spongey cake with severely muted flavors. Just take the time to measure out half of the egg — trust me on this.
Skimping on the sugar can dry out a loaf of banana bread and leave it flavorless
It turns out, sugar does more than just make things sweeter.
When it comes to banana bread, cutting back on sugar will leave you with a dry loaf totally devoid of any distinguishable flavor.
Adding in extra butter won’t make your banana bread richer — it’ll just weigh the loaf down
Typically, we equate butter or fat with richness in a baked good. But in the case of banana bread, adding extra butter weighs down the loaf and takes away from the banana flavor. The end result? A heavier banana bread with a more muted banana flavor.
And though the inside winds up moist, my too-much-butter loaf ended up dry on the outside.