Why Is My Banana Bread Dense?

Banana cakes are super fun to make, and you only need a few leftover bananas, as well as some staple ingredients.

Banana bread batter is thick, but over mixing can be the downfall of a banana bread. It can make your banana bread dense, and lightly gummy.

There are many banana bread recipes out there, with the same staple ingredients.

However, certain ingredients, as well as the order that you put them in, can have a dense effect on the result of your banana bread.

This includes baking powder, ripe bananas, and baking soda.

In this article, we’re going to be giving you some excellent solutions and advice on how to make the perfect banana bread, as well as answering why it might be so dense.

What Is In Banana Bread?

Banana bread is a super simple recipe, consisting of easy ingredients.

The ingredients of a traditional banana bread include ripe bananas (or mashed bananas), brown sugar, flour, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, baking powder, and any additions such as ground cinnamon, and chocolate chips.

Banana Bread Recipe

Before we get into the reasons why your banana bread may be dense, let’s go through a classic banana bread recipe.

Ingredients To Make Banana Bread

  • 2 or 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Method For Perfect Banana Bread

Firstly, preheat your oven to 350F, and butter your loaf pan.

Next, make banana mash! Mash up your overripe bananas.

Mashed banana is the whole base of banana bread recipes, and it needs to be done well.

Once your sufficiently mashed up those overripe bananas, add the butter to the mix.

Next, in a separate bowl, mix up your dry ingredients.

This includes flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar, not granulated sugar.

Make sure to get the measurements correct, because too much flour or too much baking soda will completely mess up the texture and taste of the banana bread.

Next add your beaten egg, and other wet ingredients to the previous wet ingredients.

Make sure they are thoroughly mixed, as this will make a lighter and fluffier loaf. Light and fluffy banana bread is the only way that banana bread should be!

Combine the two mixes together, to make one large mix. Mix well, but not for too long.

When curating this recipe, we found that we should not mix for too long, because gluten pockets formed on our first batch, making it dense bread.

Pour your raw batter into a loaf pan. If you do not have a loaf pan, you could use a square cake pan, but a loaf pan is always preferred.

Bake the banana bread for around 40 minutes, or until it is baked. Banana cake needs more time in the oven, but this does not mean it will be dry bread.

Dry and wet ingredients need longer to combine, and after this amount of time, a sweet scent and a toasty crust will have formed on your banana bread.

If you follow this, this recipe is bound to be your favorite banana bread recipe!

Why Is My Banana Bread Dense?

Why Is My Banana Bread Dense?

Nobody wants a dense banana bread, and there are many ways that you can prevent this.

Mashed bananas act as the wet base for the bread, and most banana bread recipes will call for a few bananas.

Bananas are not likely to be the reason that the banana bread will be dense, because they are quite high in moisture.

So, what makes the banana bread dense? Let’s find out how to make better banana bread.

Too Much Flour

The more flour you add to a banana bread batter, the drier it will be.

Flour is the main binding ingredient in most baked goods, but too much of it will create a glutinous mix, making it dense and gluey.

The gluten in flour is what helps bind, but make sure you always have the right amount of flour, and never over mix the batter, otherwise this is a good way to make your banana bread gummy.

More Baking Soda/Powder

One of the most common reasons for a dense banana bread is the soda and baking powder.

If you add more baking powder than necessary, it is likely that you will end up with a chewy loaf.

Leavening agents are necessary for most baked goods, especially cakes.

However, excess baking soda and baking powder will create a gluey and dense banana bread.

Banana bread ingredients are simple, and the measurements should be correct.

Leavening agents include baking powder and baking soda, and if the recipe calls for a certain amount of these, try to follow this as much as you can.

Let the banana bread rise with the correct measurements, and do not try to encourage it to be bigger with more baking powder.

Ripe Bananas

The bananas that you use in your banana bread will make or break the bread.

The best banana bread will be fluffy, with a golden brown exterior, and a toasty crust.

Typical recipes will tell you to use bananas that are overripe, as they account for the liquid ingredients, too.

To make banana bread, never use green banana, as this will make the entire banana bread dense and not like a loaf cake at all.

On the other band, too much banana will make a gluey mess.

Not too ripe bananas will not create the best banana bread, and green bananas are even worse.

Banana breads need a lot of wet ingredients to be fluffy, but the bananas should not be so ripe that they are rotting either.

The best bananas are yellow with a lot of black spots.

Oven Temperature

Keep the oven temperature stable, and at the temperature that is listed in the recipe.

Otherwise, your banana bread will be dense, and the outside may even be burnt.

Maintain a consistent baking temperature, and your quick breads will be delicious.

Make sure the oven rack is not too close to the top of your oven, otherwise your finished loaf will not be golden brown, but brown.

Mixing Banana Bread

The cake batter of a banana bread should be fluffy, but not over mixed.

Over mixing the still raw batter is one of the most common ways to get a dense cake batter, and a loaf cake is meant to be dense, but still fluffy.

Banana bread is a quick bread to make, with mashed bananas, and a delicious banana flavor.

The banana flavor comes from mixing the banana bread batter slowly, as you will lose the flavor by over mixing.

If other banana bread recipes tell you to mix for longer, you will not make banana bread well.

Banana muffins are different to bread, because they are smaller. Making banana bread is super simple if you follow the right recipe.

Final Thoughts

Baking banana bread has never been easier, but the right banana bread recipe is necessary for successfully baking banana bread.

Baking soda, mashed banana, and too much flour are some of the most common ways to make banana bread gummy.

This is not what you want, and by following these tips, you can prevent this!

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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