Don’t let this question drive you bananas! Here’s everything you need to know about the self life of banana bread.
Here’s a challenge for you: Name one thing better than the smell of freshly-baked banana bread on a weekend morning. Take your time; I’ll wait!
Banana bread is the perfect treat for a lazy Sunday. Baking it is as easy as pie (okay, maybe even easier), and it keeps longer than most quick breads do. Still, don’t take too long eating it; it definitely doesn’t last forever.
If you just baked a loaf of banana bread and you’re wondering how long it will keep, check out our guide to banana bread shelf life below.
How Long Is Banana Bread Good For?
|Storage Method||Shelf Life|
|On the kitchen countertop||1 to 3 days|
|In the refrigerator||5 to 7 days|
|In the freezer||Almost indefinitely|
On the Kitchen Countertop
Banana bread lasts longer than most quick breads do. But it’s important not to forget that banana bread is still a quick bread—and quick breads don’t keep as well as yeast breads.
As a general rule of thumb, banana bread will keep for 1 to 3 days if stored in a bread box on the kitchen countertop. Some websites say you can extend its shelf life to 3-4 days. But in my personal experience, the banana bread dries out and molds by then.
In How to Cook Everything, American food journalist and former columnist for The New York Times Mark Bittman recommends eating banana bread the same day you bake it. It’s fine to bake it a few hours in advance, he adds.
Cool the banana bread for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. Then transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool completely for 15 to 20 minutes before wrapping it loosely in aluminum foil or wax paper.
In the Refrigerator
If you baked more banana bread than you and your family can eat in the same day, store it in the refrigerator.
Wrapped in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or wax paper banana bread will keep for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. You can also slice the banana bread and store it in a food storage container with the lid closed.
Corey Williams of MyRecipes recommends placing a paper towel or two at the bottom of the storage container to catch any excess moisture that may escape from the banana bread over the next few days.
In the Freezer
To keep banana bread for an extended period of time, store it in the freezer.
When you freeze banana bread at a temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or below, the bacteria in it enter a state of temporary pause. This means that, technically, banana bread can be kept almost indefinitely in the freezer.
However, freezing eventually takes its toll on banana bread, and the loaf dries out and loses its best aroma and flavor. For the best quality, eat frozen banana bread within the first 2 to 3 months after freezing.
Thaw the banana bread by moving it from the freezer to the fridge overnight. The bread should be ready to reheat and enjoy the evening of the next day.
How to Tell If Banana Bread Has Gone Bad
- If you’ve kept banana bread for too long, throw it away.
- If you haven’t kept the banana bread for too long, but it shows signs of premature spoilage, throw it away.
When You’ve Kept It For Too Long
How long you store banana bread is the number-one indicator of whether or not it has gone bad.
If you’ve kept banana bread at room temperature for more than 1 to 3 days or in the fridge for more than 5 to 7 days, don’t eat it — even if it looks and smells just fine.
Although the bacteria that make banana food are generally harmless, the pathogenic bacteria that grow alongside them can cause food poisoning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million Americans contract food poisoning every year, 128,000 get hospitalized, and 3,000 die.
Keep yourself and your family safer by storing your banana bread properly and throwing it away it’s too old. While we all have a role to play in preventing food waste, the gamble with your health is simply not worth it.
Since can’t see, smell, or taste the bacteria that make us sick, banana bread stored for too long can make you sick even if it doesn’t show any of the signs of spoilage.
When It Shows Signs of Spoilage
Of course, you shouldn’t eat banana bread that shows the signs of spoilage. If your banana bread smells sour, has an excessively dry or somewhat slimy texture, and has dark spots or mold growth on the surface, then it’s gone bad.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dispose of the banana bread.
So, how long does banana bread last?
Whether you read this far or scrolled down to the bottom looking for the too long; didn’t read version, here are the key takeaways to remember:
As a general rule, banana bread keeps for 1-3 days at room temperature and 5-7 days in the refrigerator. When refrigerating banana bread, be sure to wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent it from getting tainted by other foods in your fridge.
Freezing banana bread at 0°F (-18°C) makes it safe to eat indefinitely. However, the banana bread will only keep its best quality for 2-3 months. While it will stay safe to eat beyond that time window, it will no longer be as appealing as it once was.