Most of the time, the aroma of freshly-baked banana bread is enough to make mouths water. You know the excitement it brings as you take it off the oven.
However, the thrill’s gone when you see it doesn’t have the color you expect it to have. Suddenly this baked goodie becomes unappetizing.
So you ask yourself: “why is my banana bread white?”
Well, there are several reasons for its pale color, and that’s what I’m about to share with you. More than that, I’ll show you how your banana bread can have a richer color.
So, let’s get going!
Knowing what color the banana bread should have helps you determine what to aim for.
If you prepare and bake this sweet treat the traditional way, you can expect its sides and top to have a deep golden brown color. Its inside, on the other hand, should have a yellowish color.
In other words, using standard recipes, the ratio of ingredients, methods, and baking time all contribute to the banana bread’s ideal color.
In the following sections, you’ll discover various reasons that make banana bread white. Along the way, you’ll also learn how to achieve that deep golden brown color.
Some of us think that sugar is only to sweeten the bread. Well, that’s one of its purposes.
However, this ingredient plays a big part in achieving the banana bread’s perfect color. If you use too little sugar, your bread will come out white instead of golden brown.
Sugar makes baked products brown because of the process called caramelization. It begins when you introduce heat to the sugar and when the temperature reaches 338° F.
To put it in another way, the heat from the oven alters the sugar’s chemical composition. These changes involve the transformation of the sugar’s color from white to brown.
Yet, you’ll notice that the inside of the banana bread has a lighter color. That’s because its indirect exposure to oven heat makes it caramelize less than the bread’s outer part.
You might also want to consider using brown sugar instead of white. Its color darkens the batter, which helps the banana bread achieve a darker color.
Most of us know that bananas are rich in potassium. However, we overlook that they also have sugar content.
Much like store-bought sugar, this fruit’s sweet substance also helps in making banana bread brown.
However, I suggest you use ripe bananas because they contain more sugar or sucrose than unripe ones. In fact, every 100 grams of ripe banana is 1.5 grams higher in sucrose content than its unripe counterpart.
I know bananas have various stages of ripeness, so choosing the right one is challenging.
So, here’s what I suggest.
When you hit the fruit aisle, look for bananas with black marks on their skin. Their ripeness is just about right to make your banana bread brown.
So far, we’ve seen how sugar influences the color of banana bread. But sometimes, we unwittingly counteract its effect.
It happens when we add an excessive amount of flour to the mix. Too much of this baking ingredient could reduce the batter’s sugar content.
Simply put, reduced sugar means reduced caramelization. That makes the bread’s ideal color tough to achieve.
So, consider this ratio, for every cup of sugar and two mashed ripe bananas, use one and a half cups of flour.
As an added note, a batter without baking soda could make banana bread come out white. On the other hand, using too much of it makes this baked goodie unnecessarily dark.
Mixing the batter longer than is necessary also makes banana bread white. Overmixing makes the ingredients’ gluten content become unnaturally large.
As a result, the batter won’t rise fully, even if it has all the right ingredients. The banana bread will come out undercooked, hence, the white color.
To prevent overmixing the batter, combine the wet ingredients first.
Follow it up by adding and mixing the dry ingredients like the mashed banana, butter, and sugar. Lastly, toss the baking soda and flour into the mix.
Baking without enough heat could make banana bread come out white. Earlier, we saw caramelization happens when the temperature reaches 338° F.
That’s thanks to the Maillard reaction. The heat from the oven makes the sugar develop a brownish color.
So, to make your banana bread golden brown set the oven to 350° F. With that temperature, preheat the oven for 10 minutes and bake the bread for 55 minutes.
However, you need to check after 45 minutes by inserting a skewer into the bread.
If the skewer comes out clean, the banana bread is almost cooked. You might have to take it off the oven on the set baking time.
However, if the skewer comes out with a gooey residue, increasing the oven’s temperature will help the bread get cooked on time.
So, why is my banana bread white?
Out of the five reasons we saw, the lack of sugar is the leading cause that makes banana bread white. That said, using enough sugar lets the magic of caramelization turn this baked goodie from white into brown.
However, don’t forget that overmixing, too much flour, and using unripe bananas could make the bread white too. Therefore, pay close attention to the amount of the ingredients and how you mix them.
Lastly, we learned that heat is what makes caramelization take place. So, set your oven to the right temperature and enjoy well-baked golden brown banana bread.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.