Is Banana Bread a Cake? | The Easy Answer

Banana bread is a cake even because it uses baking soda or baking powder as a raising agent instead of yeast. It has typical cake ingredients including butter, eggs, flour and sugar with the added flavor of banana. It is called bread or “quick bread” because it is often shaped into loaf and baked in a bread tin but is not kneaded to develop the gluten in the flour like regular bread.

Difference between banana bread and regular bread

The main difference between banana bread and regular bread is the raising agent and process. Regular bread contains basic ingredients such as water, yeast and flour. The ingredients are kneaded together developing the gluten in the flour.

The yeast will cause the bread to rise as it metabolizes. This process is often repeated twice to get the maximum amount of air in the loaf.

Banana bread on the other hand is kneaded gently bringing together typical cake ingredients such as flour, sugar and egg. It will have a raising agent like baking soda that releases carbon dioxide to help the banana bread to rise instead of yeast.

It is best to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately for your banana bread.

Why banana bread is known as ‘quick bread’

Banana bread is known as quick bread because it uses baking soda or baking powder to cause the bread to rise during the baking process.

It is also baked in the shape of a loaf of bread. Making the banana bread is quicker than regular bread as it rises quicky during the baking process. Regular bread on the other hand requires the yeast to be activated which starts to metabolize and release gases which help the bread to rise.

Regular bread is often allowed to rise twice, once after kneading and again after being placed in the tin. This gives it maximum rise and a soft and fluffy result.

Once banana bread batter has been mixed, it can be put in the tin and placed straight into a preheated oven.

Difference between banana bread and banana cake

The difference between banana bread and banana cake is the shape of the baking pan that is baked in. Most banana bread and banana cake recipes are the same except banana cake is baked in a round tin and banana bread is baked in a loaf tin.

Most banana cakes are iced with cream cheese frosting or a glaze while banana bread is often left plain or has a sprinkle of oats for added fiber. The regular ingredients in banana cake and banana bread both include flour, mashed banana, sugar, eggs and butter or oil.

Both banana bread and cake can be made with specific recipes that replace the egg or butter with alternatives.

Check out this super easy recipe for banana bread.

Can you make banana bread whole-meal or wholegrain flour?

Banana bread can be made with either whole-meal or wholegrain flour instead of plain white flour. You can replace up to 50% of the white flour with wholegrain or whole meal flour to add extra fiber.

Another way to increase the fiber content of your banana bread is to add some quick cooking oats. These oats are cut into small pieces to cook through quickly. I like to add 1/3 of a cup to my recipe and sprinkle some on top for decoration.

Mix the sugar in with the flour thoroughly before adding the wet ingredients.

Is Banana bread a cake? | Summary

Banana bread is technically a cake as it does not use yeast to make it rise and it contains cake ingredients like butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Banana bread is a quick and simple recipe to make and only takes 5 minutes to mix up the batter.

You can even make the batter the day before if you want to have it ready to put in the oven the next day. For more on this, check out my article on how to store banana bread batter in the fridge:  Can Banana Bread Batter be Refrigerated? | 5 Easy Tips