The Game-Changing Way You’ve Never Thought to Bake Banana Bread

Sorry, loaf pan.

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Like pretty much the entire Internet, I’ve been baking banana bread over the past few months. One day, when a craving hit particularly hard, I decided to pop the batter in two 9-inch cake pans instead of my trusty loaf pan. And folks—let me tell you—this method is a game-changer!

Not only did my banana bread cook in less than half the time of a traditional loaf, but it was also less dense. The batter cooked more evenly, too, creating a perfectly golden top. Plus, serving up wedges of bread felt a little more fancy than plain ol’ slices.

If you’re ready to shake up your banana bread routine, follow these step-by-step instructions for success.

How to Make Banana Bread in Cake Pans

For this technique, I reached for my favorite recipe: Judy’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. This sweet beauty comes from Debra Keiser in St. Cloud, Minnesota who received it from her co-worker and dear friend, Judy. It yields 16 tasty servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

*I didn’t have buttermilk on hand, so I substituted ¼ cup whole milk in its place. You could also use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

KATIE BANDURSKI/TASTE OF HOME

Before baking, I like to lay out everything I need in small bowls. While, yes, this technique—called mise en place—does create more dishes, in my eyes it’s worth it. I can just dump my ingredients without needing to question whether I’ve already added the baking powder. And it’s a great way to make sure I have everything I need before getting too deep in the process.

Step 2: Make the Batter 

KATIE BANDURSKI/TASTE OF HOME

Once your ingredients are ready to go, preheat the oven to 350°. Then, make your batter. Start by beating together the butter and sugar until crumbly. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure you beat well after each addition. Add the bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, get started on your dry ingredients. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, just until combined.

Finally, fold in your chocolate chips and, if desired, walnuts. Or, reach for these upgraded banana bread mix-ins.

Step 3: Prep Your Pans

KATIE BANDURSKI/TASTE OF HOME

Here comes the unusual part—instead of grabbing a loaf pan, reach for two 9-inch cake pans instead. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of each pan, then cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom. (Learn more about greasing cake pans here.) Once your pans are prepped, divide the bread batter between both pans.

Step 4: Bake and Enjoy

KATIE BANDURSKI/TASTE OF HOME

Pop your cake pans in the oven and set a timer for 20-25 minutes. Bake until the bread is golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove banana bread from the pan, peel away the parchment paper and let cool completely. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Editor’s Tip: Since this recipe yields two “loaves,” it’s easy to freeze one for a rainy day. Simple wrap the round in parchment paper, then pop it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw before serving. Learn more about how to freeze bread.

Go Bananas!
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Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.