You know that banana bread doesn’t last that long, and you’re afraid yours might go bad. That makes you wonder: can you freeze banana bread?
And, fortunately for you (and me), you can.
What’s even better is that the whole freezing process takes only a couple of minutes and doesn’t require much in terms of equipment. A freezer bag or container and maybe some plastic wrap will do.
If you want to freeze your homemade or store-bought banana bread, you’re in the right spot. Here’s what we’re is going to cover:
- the pros and cons of freezing banana bread (besides not being able to eat it right away)
- two methods of freezing it: sliced and whole
- thawing banana bread
Interested? Let’s get started.
Can You Freeze Banana Bread?
You can freeze banana bread, and the only downside is that it’s not going to be as moist after thawing as it was before freezing. And that difference is a minor one. In other words, the texture is going to suffer a bit, especially if you’ll freeze the bread sliced, which is what I recommend.
The sweet banana-like taste is still there, the bread stays intact, and the only change I described isn’t a big deal for most people. If you’re usually eating banana bread with butter or top it with anything else, you might as well not notice that difference at all.
All in all, freezing banana bread is definitely worth it, especially if throwing it out is the alternative, as banana bread doesn’t stay good for that long.
Some even go so far as to recommend that you always bake two or more loaves, leave one on the counter, and freeze the rest. If you love having this treat around and want to save time, that’s something worth considering.
Do you still hesitate to freeze your banana bread? Start by freezing a couple of slices from the loaf you have on hand and see how things go. Chances are, you’ll be happy about the result.
How To Freeze Banana Bread
Freezing banana bread is as simple as it gets.
The main concept here is to wrap it tightly to protect it from the freezer’s chilly air and not let it dry out entirely during freezing. The rest are the details.
There are two popular ways of going about freezing banana bread (the same is true for regular bread):
- freezing it sliced
- freezing it whole (or half, or what have you)
I go with slices, as this way I can grab as many as I need at a time, without thawing the rest. Plus, defrosting slices takes much less time than waiting until an entire loaf reaches room temperature.
Unfortunately, freezing slices comes at a cost. They tend to dry sooner than a whole loaf, so that’s a good option only if you freeze banana bread for the short term, like a month or so.
For long-term storage, freezing it whole gives you slightly better quality, but it also forces you to eat the thawed loaf in a day or two.
I love banana bread as much as the next person, but if you’re a single person or a couple, a whole loaf might be a bit too much for you to handle in such a short period. It’s your call, though.
So, what’s the best way to freeze banana bread? Freeze it sliced if you want to grab and thaw only a couple of slices at a time. For long-term storage and slightly better quality, go with freezing it whole.
Now that you know what’s the optimal choice for you, it’s time to go through the methods in detail.
Freezing Sliced Banana Bread
- (Optional) Wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. That’s done purely not to let each piece dry out as much and therefore retain a slightly better quality. You can also wrap all of the slices together. No worries, though – they won’t stick together even if they aren’t frozen individually. I skip this step.
- Place the slices in a freezer bag. Before sealing the bag, squeeze out as much air as you can without squishing the bread. Add a label with the name and date if you like.
- Place the bag in the freezer.
Freezing Whole Banana Bread
- (Optional) Wrap the whole loaf (or what have you) in foil or plastic wrap. The longer you expect the bread to sit in the freezer (like 1+ months), the more worth this step is.
- Place the loaf in a freezer bag. Again, squeeze out the air before you seal the bag. If you find it helpful, label the bag.
- Chuck the bag in the freezer.
If you’re worried that the banana bread will be crushed in the freezer by other foods before it freezes solid, place the bag in an airtight container.
How Long Can You Freeze Banana Bread?
Frozen banana bread retains best quality for about a month if you freeze slices without wrapping them. Banana bread that’s wrapped well keeps for 3+ months in the freezer without much quality loss.
As I mentioned, wrapping the bread in plastic or foil is recommended if you expect to freeze it for months.
If you freeze the leftovers you expect to finish within a week or two, I don’t think wrapping them is necessary. I skip wrapping, and I’m happy about the results. Plus, I don’t use as much plastic in the process, which is better for the planet.
Try freezing banana bread (sliced or whole) directly in the freezer bag, and see how it goes. If you find it a tad bit dry or stale after thawing, try wrapping it and see if that fixes the issue.
How To Defrost Frozen Banana Bread?
You defrost banana bread on the counter, and how you do that depends on whether you sliced it before freezing or not. Here’s how:
- For slices, defrost them individually on a plate. I like to set them up in a way they’re leaning against each other (like you were building a house of cards). This way, most of their surface is exposed to room temperature, and the slices are ready for eating within 20 – 40 minutes.
- For a whole loaf, place it on the counter single-wrapped. If you wrapped it, take it out of the freezer bag. If you didn’t, leave it in that bag. That single layer will prevent the bread from drying out too much and protect it from dust and any microbes that might be around. Thawing time depends on the ingredients and the loaf size and ranges from 2 to even 6 hours. Please note that you should use that bread the same day or the next day at the most.
If you’re in a hurry, you can try defrosting the whole banana bread in the oven.
Go with a moderate temperature (320°F or 160°C), and don’t wait until the oven warms up before you insert the bread. Also, keep the banana goodness wrapped in aluminum foil so that the crust doesn’t burn.
When it comes to time, it depends on the recipe and the size of your loaf. A large one that’s quite dense might take as much as 50 to even 90 minutes to thaw, while a smaller one that’s not nearly as dense might only need like 20 minutes.
This method is tricky, as it’s difficult to say when the loaf is completely thawed and warmed up to your liking. If you want to make it work, you might need a couple of tries until you end up with a winning formula.
- You can freeze banana bread. The only downside is that it dries out a tiny bit, especially if you freeze it sliced.
- The two most popular options are: freezing the whole loaf or freezing it sliced. The former works best for the long term, and retain the quality better. The latter allows you to quickly thaw as many slices as you need and use it as you go.
- Defrost banana bread on the counter, and eat it the same day (or the next day tops) you’ve defrosted it.