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 food at a temperature of 0°F (-18°C) and 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
Storage time is the first and most underappreciated indicator of banana bread 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, you shouldn’t eat it. We can’t see, smell, or taste the bacteria that make us sick, so banana bread may seem perfectly fine at first glance but just as easily cause food poisoning.
Don’t eat banana bread that shows any of the obvious signs of spoilage. These signs include a sour smell, weird taste, dark spots, or fuzzy mold on the surface.
Although the bacteria that make banana food are generally harmless, the pathogenic bacteria that grow alongside them can cause plenty of harm.
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 discarding it it’s too old.