When it comes to most baked goods, the right batter can make all the difference. The same is true for banana bread. But can you freeze banana bread batter and still end up with a soft, moist loaf when you go to make it?
We make a lot of banana bread in the RecipeFAQ household. I mean a lot! At least once a week, we’re baking up a fresh, warm loaf loaded with dark chocolate chips and tasty over-ripe bananas.
Sometimes we’ll make a large batch of batter and save it for later use to speed up the process. That’s because banana bread batter can freeze really well — for up to 3 months — as long as you follow a few key steps.
I’ll walk you through the best ways to freeze banana bread batter, and how to thaw it out, so your fresh loaf turns out soft and moist. Plus, I’ll go over how to freeze the finished banana bread after you bake it so you can save any leftovers long-term.
What is in banana bread batter?
Banana bread batter typically includes all purpose flour, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and of course, bananas.
While many of those ingredients are common to a lot of baked goods, it’s the bananas that make banana bread so soft and moist. That’s because they have a high water content, and they also incorporate well into the batter when the overripe bananas are mashed together with the other ingredients.
That results in a soft, dense bread when baked fresh. But that extra moisture can dilute the batter if it’s not frozen properly.
So, what are the best ways to freeze your batter and still get a soft, great-tasting banana bread loaf?
👉🏼 Related: Best Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Freezing banana bread batter
You have a couple of options when it comes to freezing banana bread batter. One uses a baking pan and the other simply uses a freezer-safe plastic bag. Either way is effective, so the method you choose may just come down to personal preference.
Freezing the batter in a pan
For this method, use a baking pan that’s the same size as the one you normally use to bake fresh banana bread. That will make the baking process easier after you thaw out the frozen batter.
1. Using butter or cooking spray, thoroughly grease the inside of the pan so the batter doesn’t stick to it. Or you can line it with parchment paper.
2. Add the batter to the pan and leave some room at the top of the batter for it to expand in the freezer.
3. Cover the pan with a lid or seal it tightly with plastic wrap. It’s a good idea to use a few layers of plastic wrap to create a good seal between the batter and the cold air of the freezer. If you don’t, ice crystals can form on the batter, which can dilute it when you thaw it out.
4. Put the pan on a level surface in the freezer. And add a date label.
5. (Optional). After the batter is fully frozen, you can remove it from the pan, wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap, and transfer it to an airtight container or large freezer-safe bag. That way you can use your pan for other baked goods in the meantime.
Freezing the batter without a pan
You can also freeze banana bread batter without a baking pan. Here’s how:
1. After the batter is thoroughly mixed, pour it into a large freezer bag or airtight container.
2. If using a freezer bag, press down lightly to remove any excess air. This will help the batter rise better when you go to bake it.
3. Place the batter in a single layer in the freezer. So it freezes evenly, be sure the batter is on a level surface, and avoid placing anything on top of it that can crush it.
4. Add a date label so you know when you froze the batter.
⭐️ Tip: It’s a good idea to make your banana bread within 3 months of freezing the batter, otherwise you may notice some decline in the overall taste and texture.
How to thaw frozen banana bread batter
The best way to thaw banana bread batter is to transfer it from your freezer to the fridge and let it defrost for several hours. Once it’s soft and pliable, pour it into your baking pan and give it a good whisk to incorporate any ingredients that may have settled during the freezing process.
❌ Avoid trying to thaw out the batter in the microwave. That can warm it up too quickly, which can inadvertently start to cook the batter.
After you thaw and bake your banana bread batter, you may notice a slight change in the rise or overall volume of your loaf. Research shows that freezing batter can cause cakes to lose some rise when baked, because the freezing process reduces the amount of air bubbles in the batter.
That can make the finished loaf flatter and less fluffy — and darker in color. So your best option is to seal in as much air as possible by using an airtight freezer-safe container. This will also help prevent freezer burn.
How to bake thawed banana bread batter
To make a tasty, soft loaf of homemade banana bread from your thawed batter, follow this delicious banana bread recipe from our sister site. Here are the basics in a few simple steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
2. Mix your thawed batter well so all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Then add it to a 9 x 5-inch greased loaf pan, or one lined with parchment paper.
3. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes. Test it by inserting a toothpick into the top of the loaf. When it comes out clean, it’s done.
4. For best results, let it rest on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Then slice and serve!
👨🏼🍳 Note: Baking time may vary depending on the size of your baking pan. You can also use muffin tins to make moist banana bread muffins from your batter. Simply reduce the baking time to about 25 minutes.
Can you freeze banana bread?
Yes, banana bread freezes very well and it’s a great way to save it long-term. First, let it cool completely. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then again in a layer of aluminum foil. For an extra layer of protection, you can also place your batch of banana bread in an airtight container.
Then add a date label and place it in the freezer. It should keep for up to 3 months. To thaw it out, simply move the frozen banana bread to the fridge and let it defrost slowly over a few hours.
⭐️ Tip: Freeze your banana bread in individual slices. That way you only need to thaw out what you intend to eat rather than the whole loaf. That can speed up the thawing process and you won’t need to refreeze any uneaten leftovers.
It’s best to not store banana bread batter in the fridge for more than 48 hours, as resting it too long in the fridge can affect its rise and texture. The more air that’s trapped in the batter, the higher it will rise. So waiting too long before you bake it will let more air escape, which can make the banana bread somewhat flat and dense instead of light and fluffy.
The best way to store banana bread is at room temperature in a sealed, airtight container with a paper towel on the bottom. This will soak up moisture and help prevent mold from forming. It should stay fresh and moist for up to 3 days. Avoid leaving it uncovered as it can dry out. If you need to store it for longer, you can place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Though this can dry out the bread the longer it’s refrigerated.
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