Here’s all you need to know about the shelf life and spoilage of banana bread. Learn how long banana bread lasts, how to store it, and how to tell if yours is spoiled.
If the banana bread you’ve bought or baked didn’t get devoured immediately, you might be wondering how to store it or how long it lasts. After all, you don’t want it to spoil.
Do you treat it the same way you do regular bread, or does it require special treatment?
If you’re not quite sure, this article is for you. Read on.
How Long Does Banana Bread Last?
|Homemade banana bread, low moisture
|3 – 4 days
|Homemade banana bread, high moisture or banana chunks
|3 – 4 days
|Store-bought banana bread, unrefrigerated
|Best-by + 1 – 2 days
|Store-bought banana bread, refrigerated
|Use-by + 1 – 2 days
Freshly baked banana bread usually keeps for three to four days on the counter and up to a week if you refrigerate it. Make sure it’s in an airtight container or wrap it with plastic wrap, so it doesn’t dry out too quickly. If you need more time than that, you can freeze leftover banana bread.
Those are the general guidelines, but a lot depends on the type of banana bread you buy or make.
If the baked good is fairly low-moisture and quite similar to regular bread, it should last for 3 to 4 days on the counter and a week in the fridge, as mentioned above.
But if it’s of the high-moisture variety, has some banana chunks spread throughout the batter, or is topped with banana halves (see my photos), all you get is 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Banana bread that’s more like banana cake than regular bread doesn’t long, and you should definitely refrigerate it.
For store-bought banana bread, these usually come with a best-by date on the wrap. That date is a pretty good estimate of how long the loaf will retain quality. You might be able to keep it for an extra day or two if you’re lucky, but that’s about it.
When it comes to freshly baked banana bread, check the recipe you’re using for details. Most good recipes tell you where you should store the leftovers and how long they’re supposed to stay good for.
When in doubt, assume your banana bread will last for 3 to 4 days and that it requires refrigeration. In other words, treat it the same way you treat any perishable leftovers.
(I recommend the same approach for similar baked goods, like cornbread.)
How to Tell if Banana Bread Is Bad?
It’s usually quite obvious when banana bread is done for. Here’s what you should look for:
- Mold. Banana bread is usually quite moist. That means it will grow mold eventually. If there’s any, discard it. Make sure to check both the surface and the insides after slicing.
- Discolorations. If it starts growing dark spots, it’s time for it to go.
- Off smell. If the loaf smells sour, funny, or off in any other way, get rid of it.
The moister your banana bread is, the more strict you should be about the storage time. More moisture means the chance of it going bad is higher, hence if it’s a day past its date, it’s probably better to let it go. Better safe than sorry.
How To Store Banana Bread
Main article: How to store banana bread?
What’s true for both regular bread and banana bread is that you should keep it in an airtight bag or container. This way, it doesn’t dry out and go stale that quickly.
When it comes to whether or not you should refrigerate banana bread, it depends. In most cases, refrigeration isn’t necessary, but if it’s one that’s moist on the inside or with unmashed banana pieces, storing it in the fridge is a smart move.
For store-bought ones, look for guidelines on the packaging or ask the clerk. Some of them require keeping in the fridge, while others not necessarily so. It all depends on the ingredients that go into the batter. In many cases, the choice is up to you on whether you chill it in the fridge or not.
If you’re not quite sure if your store-bought banana bread requires refrigeration or not, stay on the safe side and store it in the fridge. Even if it’s not a requirement, it retains moistness for longer that way.
When it comes to homemade banana bread, check the recipe you’re using for instructions. Typically, those recipes don’t include any additional preservatives, and some call for refrigeration. If you can’t be bothered with finding the recipe, just put the loaf into an airtight container and in the fridge.
No matter how well you store the banana treat, it only lasts for about a week or so. If you need more time, you can freeze it.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
In case you didn’t know, you can freeze bread. And the same is true for banana bread. The whole process takes little to no time and doesn’t require any fancy tools. Here’s how to go about it:
- Slice the bread (or not). Having the bread sliced allows you to quickly grab a couple of slices when needed if the bread itself isn’t too moist. If it’s super moist, the slices will freezer together, so there’s no point in doing so. Alternatively, you can also grab the frozen loaf and cut a few slices using a good knife, and put the rest back in the freezer. A third option is to cut the whole loaf into halves or quarters and wrap each one separately.
- Wrap the bread. Wrap the loaf with aluminum foil (leave the wrap it came in as-is) or put it into a freezer container. If going with the latter, remove as much air as you can before sealing.
- Chuck the wrapped bread into the freezer. Put a name and date on the label if you like.
Frozen banana bread retains quality for at least a couple of weeks, probably even more. As usual, it all depends on the recipe.
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