Why Does My Banana Bread Taste Bitter?

If you take a huge bite out of your nice warm banana bread that just came out of the oven, then immediately notice a bitter taste, it’s a huge disappointment.

Banana bread can taste bitter if there is too much baking soda in the mix, if the baking soda and dry ingredients are not sieved or mixed together properly. The soda might clump and cause bitterness.

This article will explore all of the reasons why your banana bread tastes bitter.

Why Banana Bread Tastes Bitter

Banana bread can taste bitter when the following things occur:

  1. The dry ingredients aren’t sieved properly, causing the baking soda to clump.
  2. The dry ingredients aren’t proportioned correctly.
  3. Too much baking soda is used.
  4. No acid is used to offset the baking soda, which is alkaline.

This is why it’s so important to spend time on each and every step of the instructions, and always follow them to the letter. Never omit or change anything, and always do everything the instructions ask you to do.

4 Ways to Avoid Bitterness in Your Banana Bread

If your banana bread tastes bitter, it is most likely because you’ve added either too much baking soda or too much baking powder. Here are a handful of tips to follow if you want perfect-tasting banana bread:

1. Make Sure It Isn’t Out of Date

For both your baking soda and baking powder, check the expiration date and make sure the product is still good to use.

Even if it is just a tad out of date, you should throw it away and buy some new product. The fresher the soda or baking powder, the better your banana bread will taste.

2. Always Keep Dry and Wet Ingredients Separate

At least in the beginning, you have to keep your dry and wet ingredients separate. The dry ingredients need to be sifted well to make sure they are smooth and there are absolutely no clumps whatsoever – not even tiny ones.

Only when you’re sure the dry ingredients are sifted well should you mix them with your wet ingredients. Even tiny clumps of soda or powder can leave a bitter taste in the bread.

3. Pay Attention to the Amount of Baking Soda Used

You do not need a lot of baking soda to make good banana bread. On average, a 4” x 8” pan only requires about a teaspoon of baking soda. If you find that you’re using more than that, even just a little bit more, you’re very likely using too much.

4. Remember That Moisture Is Important to the Mix

Mix the wet ingredients together first including butter, milk, eggs and the mashed banana. Then add the sifted dry ingredients that have been thoroughly mixed together. This includes the baking soda, sugar and flour.

How to Get the Bitter Taste Out of Banana Bread

Once the bread is baked, there is nothing you can do to get the bitter taste out, but while you’re putting all of the ingredients together, you can do something to prevent this bitterness.

Always sift the dry ingredients properly. Don’t be in a hurry to do this, and if you notice clumps of any of the ingredients, sift them again! Use the exact measurements needed for all dry ingredients, and always make sure you include some type of acid, such as buttermilk, when baking soda is part of the instructions.

If you follow the instructions to the letter, you should not experience any bitterness in your banana bread.

What Happens If You Use Too Much Baking Soda in Banana Bread?

If you accidentally put too much baking soda in with your other ingredients, and you haven’t put the pan in the oven yet, the best thing to do is to change the proportions of all other ingredients.

If you double the baking soda, just double the rest of the ingredients. Some people think they can just add a little lemon juice to add more acid, but this changes the amounts of the other liquids in the recipe.

The best thing to do is either change the proportions of all of your ingredients, which means you might end up with two loaves instead of one, or simply start all over again.

And you’ll know you added too much baking soda if you bake the bread and it comes out too brown and dark either on the top of the loaf or the inside of the loaf – or both. It’s still going to be edible, but it might alter the taste and/or texture somewhat.

What Happens if You Put Too Much Baking Powder in Banana Bread?

Several things can happen if you put too much baking powder in banana bread. First, it can give the bread a bitter flavor, and it can also cause the bread to quickly inflate and then collapse.

his can affect the texture and possibly the taste of the bread. To remedy this, just change the proportions of the other ingredients by the same amount that you increased the baking powder.

In case you’re wondering, extra baking powder will not harm you in this instance. You’d have to consume a large amount of baking powder for it to be harmful to you.

Why Does Baking Powder Leave an Aftertaste in Banana Bread?

Normally, if your baking powder has left an aftertaste in your banana bread, it means that you’ve used it incorrectly. More often than not, it means you’ve added too much baking powder when you made the bread.

If you accidentally do this and you haven’t yet put the batter in the oven, you can try adding a little extra water or even increasing the amount of the other ingredients. It doesn’t always work, so you might have to start all over again to get bread that tastes good.


Banana bread usually tastes bitter because of the baking soda or baking powder. If you add too much of either of these ingredients, your bread will taste bitter. Often it is caused by clumps because you didn’t sift the ingredients enough, but there are other reasons as well.