This cake mix banana bread recipe promises homemade banana bread goodness, but with very minimal effort.
Banana bread is a no-fail way to give me joy.
Growing up, my mom baked banana bread all the time, so even just a whiff of this heavenly treat reminds me of home.
Recently, though, I’ve felt like baking banana bread from scratch is too much of a chore.
Fortunately, I found an easier way to make perfect banana bread.
By using cake mix, you still get awesome banana bread, but your prep time is cut in half. It’s the best of both worlds!
Craving some homemade banana bread but too busy to spend hours in the kitchen? This recipe for cake mix banana bread has you covered.
Cake Mix Banana Bread
While I’m obsessed with homemade banana bread, I won’t say no to this simplified version, either.
It smells good, but it tastes even greater. Sweet, moist, and tender, this quick bread is the ultimate comfort food.
I love it for breakfast, dessert, and a midnight snack. Honestly, I can eat it all day.
It’s so scrumptious, you can easily fool anyone into thinking you spent all day baking it. But hey, I won’t tell if you won’t!
What is the Difference Between Banana Bread and Banana Cake?
So, what’s the real deal?
Banana bread and banana cake are both baked goods with a banana flavor. They’re both soft, moist, sweet, and bursting with banana goodness.
The main difference between the two is that banana bread takes the form of a loaf, while banana cake follows the shape of a… well.. cake!
A banana cake is also typically frosted with some type of frosting, while a banana bread is often nude, or maybe drizzled with a simple vanilla glaze.
But what if it’s shaped like a loaf, but topped with frosting? Therein lies the confusion.
Some people believe that apart from the shape and presence or absence of frosting, there are slight differences when it comes to texture.
They say banana bread has a dense and heavy texture, similar to other quick breads.
Banana cake, on the other hand, is lighter, moister, and has a more tender crumb.
Then again, these distinctions are so minute that it’s practically impossible to tell them apart!
It’s almost like trying to tell the difference between a cupcake and a muffin.
So, unfortunately, there is no clear answer. All we can say is, no matter if it’s cake or bread, it certainly is delicious.
How Do I Make Sure My Banana Bread Is Moist?
The key to ultra-moist banana bread is overripe bananas.
I’m talking brown peel, mushy flesh, ripe bananas. They’ll be too soft to eat as-is, but they’re perfect for making banana bread.
As long as you use overripe bananas, the chances of getting dry banana bread are very slim.
However, you’ll want to keep these guidelines in mind, just to be sure:
- Use oil instead of butter. Many banana bread recipes will call for butter for richness and flavor, but I like to use oil in mine. It’s the second secret ingredient to insanely moist bread.
Besides, the ripe bananas will already take care of the bread’s flavor, so there’s really no need to worry about that.
- Store banana bread in an air-tight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. This will help keep it moist for longer.
If your leftover banana bread still turns dry, just microwave it with a damp paper towel on top.
The water in the towel will produce steam during heating, which will put moisture back into the bread.
How Ripe Should Bananas be for Banana Bread?
Like I said, your bananas should be ultra-ripe to get the maximum flavor and texture.
Don’t be repulsed by the brown peel!
The darker the peel, the sweeter and moister the bananas are, and the more perfect they are for making banana bread.
If your bananas are still green in some spots, give them time. Or, you can speed up the ripening process. Here are some proven methods to do so:
- Store the bananas in a paper bag with a ripe apple. Apples are high in ethylene, the gas responsible for ripening fruits. The more exposed to ethylene the bananas are, the faster they’ll ripen.
- Place the paper bag in the warmest area of your house, such as on top of your fridge or near the window.
- Microwave the bananas. This technique works for bananas that are already sweet, but aren’t that mushy yet. Heating them in the microwave will only soften them, not make them sweeter.
Peel the bananas and microwave them for 30 seconds, or until they start to sizzle.
- You can also bake the bananas, with the peels on, at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. With this method, the peels will turn brown and the flesh will become softer and sweeter.
- Cook the bananas on the stove. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together mashed bananas and butter. Let the mixture simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
Tip: when cooking bananas, be sure to let them cool for at least 10 minutes before adding them to the batter mixture.
Tips for the Best Banana Bread
- This recipe calls for yellow cake mix because it has a custard-like flavor that complements with bananas really well. Don’t feel like you’re required to use the same mix, though. Try white cake, banana cake, or other flavors, too!
- Don’t want a lumpy banana bread? For perfectly smooth mashed bananas, use an electric mixer.
- Do not over-mix the batter. Otherwise, your banana bread will turn out tough, dry, and flat. Just whisk manually – you don’t even need an electric mixer for this – until the ingredients are well-combined. Stop once you no longer see streaks of cake mix in the batter.
- Grease the pans well, especially if you’re using a bundt pan. Be sure that all the nooks and crannies are coated generously with butter. Coat it with flour for good measure.
- If using loaf pans, line them with parchment paper and leave some overhang around the sides for easy lifting.
- Want to make banana muffins instead? Just use the same batter and pour it into greased or lined muffin tins.
- Did your banana bread sink in the center? That means you haven’t cooked it long enough. While 30 to 35 minutes seems like such a long time for a mere loaf pan, it’s crucial to achieving perfectly tall and fluffy bread.
If you notice the top of the bread browning way too much too soon, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
- Don’t leave the loaves in the pans for longer than 10 minutes. They’ll get soggy at the bottom if you do.
- Let the bread cool completely before storing. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 3 to 4 days or refrigerate for up to a week.
- For a longer shelf-life, freeze the bread. You can freeze the whole loaf or slice it in individual portions. Personally, I like the 2nd option more because it allows me to get a slice or two anytime without having to thaw the whole loaf.
- Double wrap the loaf or the slices in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store in a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out as much excess air as you can, and seal. Label accordingly and freeze. Frozen banana bread can last for up to 3 to 4 months.
- To serve, thaw in the fridge or at room temperature until soft.
Banana Bread Variations
- Bananas taste great with berries and other fruits. Add blueberries or mashed ripe mangoes into the batter for added fruity flavor.
- Fresh is best, but dried fruit also gives banana bread a nice chewy texture. Chopped apricots or cranberries not only gives it a textural contrast, but a pretty pop of color as well.
- Mix in chopped walnuts, cashews, almonds, or pecans to the batter. You can sprinkle them on top, too.
- Chocolate and bananas are a perfect pair. Mix in some chocolate chips or morsels into the batter for a chocolaty twist. Dark, milk, and semi-sweet are all fine.
- For a touch of spice, season the batter with cinnamon and nutmeg.
More Banana-Based Recipes You’ll Love
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