My husband eats two bananas a day. Every day. Without fail. Sometimes my kids also eat lots of bananas. However, as soon as I increase the banana supply entering my house, the kids declare allegiance to apples, and my husband gets a cold.
Suddenly, I’m staring down a bowl of spotted, overripe fruit. Banana Bread to the rescue!
I often make two or three loaves at a time. I keep one loaf on the counter to enjoy over the next few days and freeze the remaining loaves for a day when I need breakfast, or company is coming over.
Today, I’m sharing a few tips and tricks for storing, freezing, and thawing banana bread so it’s as fresh as the day you made it.
How to Store Fresh Baked Banana Bread
The best place to store banana bread you’re planning to eat right away is on the countertop. Never store it in the refrigerator. A refrigerator circulates cool air, which removes moisture and can prematurely dry breads and cakes.
Place your cooled loaf on a plate and cover it in plastic wrap, or store it in an airtight container. Store it for up to four days on your counter.
How Long Does Banana Bread Last?
Banana bread can keep for up to four days on your counter before you begin to notice changes in texture. When day five or six rolls around, the bread will begin to dry out, but it will still be fine to eat. Pop a slice in the toaster, and you will never know the difference.
If you notice mold, it’s time play like Elsa and “Let it Go.”
Banana bread will keep in the freezer until the end of time, but it’s at its best when used within three or four months. It’s still edible after that timeframe, but it’s likely to develop freezer burn when kept much longer, and that can impact the taste and texture.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
You can freeze slices, half loaves, or whole loaves. I prefer to wrap loaves and slices in foil, place them in a zip-top bag, remove as much air as I can, then freeze for up to four months. I find that this is enough to keep freezer burn away. (Also, you can reuse both the foil and the bag, yay!)
When testing the best ways to wrap and freeze the bread, I used plastic wrap by itself, plastic wrap and foil, and just foil. All versions were also placed in a zip-top bag. I didn’t notice any difference between the textures or taste of the bread with any of these, so use what you have on hand.
- How to Freeze Slices: Double wrap each slice individually in foil then put the wrapped slices in a zip-top bag. I double wrap slices because more of the bread’s surface is exposed, which could dry out easier than a whole loaf. Remove as much air from the bag as possible without squishing the bread. Place the bag in the freezer and remove slices as needed for a ready-made breakfast.
- How to Freeze a Half Loaf: Slice the cooled loaf in half. Wrap it in foil. Place the foil wrapped loaf in a zip-top bag, remove as much air as possible, and place it in the freezer.
- To Freeze a Whole Loaf: Wrap the whole loaf in aluminum foil. Store it in a zip-top bag. Squeeze as much air out as you can without smooshing the bread. Plop it in the freezer and save it for a rainy day. Or a sunny day. Any day, really.
How to Thaw Banana Bread
It’s easy to thaw banana bread either on the countertop or in the oven. It all depends on the amount of time you have.
- How to Thaw Slices: Remove a pre-wrapped slice of banana bread and leave it on the countertop for about 20 to 30 minutes. To speed up the process, unwrap the bread and zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. If you were my husband (or if you just like crispy edges) you would also put it in the toaster.
- To Thaw a Half Loaf: When you have a hankering for banana bread remove it from the zip-top bag and let it thaw on the counter for 2 hours.
- How to Thaw a Whole Loaf: Once you’ve determined today is the day you need to eat banana bread, pat yourself on the back. It’s going to be a good day. Then, remove the loaf from the zip-top bag, but keep the loaf in the foil. (Save the bag for freezing pancakes.) Leave the loaf on the counter, go write some letters to an old friend or two. Return four hours later to find thawed banana bread ready for you to eat.
How to “Quick” Thaw a Half or Full Loaf
Patience may be virtue, but banana bread is a relentless temptress. If you just can’t wait for the frozen banana bread to thaw on the countertop, or you’re craving the sweet aroma of bananas and sugar wafting through your home, thaw banana bread in the oven.
Remove the half or whole loaf from the zip-top bag, but keep the foil on. Place it directly on the rack of your oven. Turn the oven to 350°F and set your timer: 40 minutes for a half loaf, or 90 minutes for a whole loaf. The bread will thaw as the oven warms and comes to temp.
Remove the bread from the oven, and let it stand in the foil for 10 minutes. This allows residual heat to continue thawing the bread.
When it’s cool enough to handle, unwrap it, slice it, and slather it with butter. Mmmm, butter.
Our Favorite Banana Bread Recipes!
Need some banana bread right now?! Try any of these great recipes: