Banana bread will crack on top if the batter continues to rise after the top has set. This can happen if the oven temperature is too high or if the bread is placed in before the oven has fully preheated. If there is too much baking soda or baking powder in the mix this can lead to the bread rising too much and cracking.
It is perfectly fine for banana bread to have a crack on top but if you want a perfectly smooth top I have some tips that can help you out. This article will explore the top reasons why banana bread cracks on top and how you can stop this from happening.
Why banana bread cracks on top | Top 6 reasons
Check out the top reasons why banana bread cracks on top and how you can stop each one
1. Not preheating your oven
Putting the banana bread batter into an oven that has not been preheated can lead to the top of the loaf cracking fast. When an oven preheats it blasts very hot air into the oven space to rapidly increase the temperature.
Exposing the banana bread batter to these very high temperatures will bake and se the top before the loaf has had a chance to rise. When the loaf rises it will then cause a crack in the already baked top.
To avoid this always preheat your oven before putting the banana bread batter in. This will make sure that the bread has a chance to rise before the top is set. Slowly cooking banana bread over 45-55 minutes is the best way to bake it all the way through without it cracking on top.
2. Placing the banana bread too close to the top of the oven
Placing the banana bread high up in the oven can cause the top of the bread to crack. This is because in many fan forced ovens the top is hotter. The hot air is blown over the top of the bread causing it to cook fast.
I find that in my fan forced oven, my banana bread will crack on top if I place it on the highest shelf.
To avoid this aim to put your banana bread in the middle of the oven. Move the shelf down to the center to allow the bread to cook through slowly and set the top before it cracks.
3. Using too much baking powder or soda
Adding too much raising agent like baking powder or baking soda can cause your banana bread loaf to crack on top. Both baking powder and soda react to release a gas which causes the bread to rise. If there is too much it will cause the bread to rise too much breaking through and cracking the top.
4. Using self-raising flour instead of plain flour
Using self-raising flour if the recipe states plain flour can cause banana bread to rise too much and crack on top. Most recipes use plain flour and add the raising agent like baking powder or baking soda separately. The controls the rise on the banana bread loaf.
If you add self-raising flour which also contains a raising agent like baking powder it will cause the bread to rise too much and crack the top.
It is best to follow the recipe and add plain flour if it specifies this. That way your banana bread will rise the perfect amount without cracking.
5. Setting the oven temperature too high
Setting your oven temperature too high can quickly lead to your banana bread to crack on top. If the oven is too hot it will cause the bread to crust over on top quickly. When the bread continues to rise it will crack through the crusted top.
Make sure you set the oven to a medium temperature. I like to cook it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius. This will allow the bread to cook through before the top crusts over.
6. Adding too much flour
Adding too much flour to your banana bread recipe will cause it to dry out and crack on top. Getting the moisture content right is important to stop it from cracking. Measure the liquid ingredients out with measuring cups and spoons and do the same with the dry.
When you put your flour in the measuring cups, flatten it over with a butter knife. You can also use scales to measure out the flour accurately to avoid the becoming too dry.
How to stop banana bread from cracking
Here are my top tips to stop banana bread cracking. These tips will help you to have a nice smooth finish on the top of your bread.
- Put your banana bread in a preheated oven.
- Place the bread in the center shelf of the oven.
- Measure your ingredients in the recipe accurately.
- Set the oven temperature at medium.
- Only use self-raising flour if it states it in the recipe.
- Cook the banana bread all the way through to avoid it dropping and cracking when you take it out.
Why Banana Bread Cracks on Top | Summary
Banana bread will crack if the top sets before it has finished rising. This can happen if the oven is too hot, if there is too much raising agent, or if the batter is too dry. Even if your banana bread cracks on top it doesn’t matter, it will still tastes great and look homemade.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.