Banana bread is an easy, yummy treat to bake, which is why it’s often recommended for beginners. To make it, all you need are some super ripe bananas and a handful of basic ingredients.
Then, after some mixing and pouring, you put it in a hot oven, and a few minutes later, out pops a mouthwatering loaf of tasty bread.
So, how long does banana bread last? That’s what we’re here to figure out today.
The short answer is about four days. Yet, this only applies to freshly baked banana bread sitting at room temperature.
Yet, what about if you put it in the fridge or store it in a jar?
This article will answer all of these questions and more. We’ll also tell you how to tell when your banana bread has gone bad.
Let’s dive in.
As a general rule, the more moist the banana bread, the sooner it’ll go bad because it has a higher chance of growing mold faster.
So, let’s say you keep your loaf of semi-moist banana bread on the kitchen counter at room temperature. In this case, you can expect it to last about 3–4 days.
Store-bought loaves usually come with a ‘best-by’ date on the packaging. While this date is an average estimate of how long the loaf can stay fresh, you can always extend it by an extra day or two, but no more than that.
The most effective way to ensure this classic treat stays moist and tender during this time is to place it on a plate. Then, cover it in plastic wrap or place it in a breadbox.
You can also slice the banana bread and store it in a large airtight container.
We recommend adding one paper towel on the bottom of the container and another on top of the bread loaf before placing the lid. The paper towels help soak up excess moisture to prevent molding while keeping air away from the loaf.
This method also works if you’re using resealable bags or a breadbox.
If you want the banana bread to last for longer than four days, then your best bet is to refrigerate it. In the fridge, it’ll keep for up to a week.
This storage solution comes in handy if you usually make two or three loaves at a time. You can keep one on the counter to enjoy for a few days. Then, store the other two in the fridge to enjoy later on.
The only problem is that the circulation of cool air inside the fridge tends to remove moisture from baked goods, leaving them dry and stale with hardly any taste or texture. So, if you put it in the fridge right after baking, you risk prematurely drying out your loaf of bread.
Your best bet is to let it cool down for about 1–2 hours after taking it out of the oven. Then, either wrap it in plastic before putting it in the fridge or store it in an airtight container to preserve its texture and flavor.
All in all, if you’re not sure whether to refrigerate or not, you’re better off refrigerating. This ensures that the loaf of banana bread stays fresh for longer than if it was stored at room temperature.
Fortunately, the freezer is one of those places where banana bread can last almost indefinitely. However, it’s best used within 3–5 months.
While you can still eat it after that time, the bread is likely to develop freezer burn, which can impact its texture and taste.
Below are three ways to freeze banana bread. For all these methods, it’s recommended that you add a label with the name and date to help you remember when you placed the loaf in the freezer.
- The whole loaf: The first option is to wrap the entire loaf in aluminum foil. Next, store it in a resealable plastic bag. Make sure you remove as much of the air inside the bag as possible without squashing the bread. Then, place it in your freezer.
- Half the loaf: The second option is to divide the loaf into two halves. Then, cover each half separately with foil before placing it in a resealable bag.
- Slice the loaf: The third solution is to cut up the banana bread into slices. Next, wrap each slice in two layers of foil. Then, place all the wrapped slices in an airtight container or resealable bag.
When you’re ready to take the loaf of banana bread out of the freezer, you need to give it time to thaw, which you can do as follows:
- On the kitchen counter: Placed on the kitchen counter, banana bread slices can take between 30 and 60 minutes to fully thaw out. On the other hand, a whole loaf takes about 3–4 hours.
- In the oven: This method can speed things up if you’re in a hurry. Start by preheating the oven to 350℉. Then, remove the bread from the plastic wrap, line a baking sheet with foil, and place the loaf. A whole loaf will thaw in about 30 minutes, whereas slices can take between 15–20 minutes.
- In the microwave: Banana bread slices will thaw after only 30 seconds in the microwave.
Freshly baked homemade banana bread should never be stored in the fridge. Instead, keep it out on the kitchen counter and enjoy it over the following 3–4 days after baking.
As soon as day five rolls around, you’ll notice that the bread becomes less and less moist. Although it’ll still be fine to eat, it won’t be as tender as those first couple of days.
You can always place a slice or two in the toaster to warm them up and make them more moist. The toaster also makes the edges crispy while keeping the center tender and chewy.
Once they’ve softened up a bit, you can enjoy them on their own or topped with some peanut butter, jam, or unsalted butter.
Another option is to put them in the microwave. Then, enjoy them with a cup of dark, rich coffee for a delicious afternoon snack.
Almost all ‘banana bread in a jar’ recipes agree that the bread is best eaten fresh.
Yet, because these make great gift ideas, it’s often assumed that you won’t eat them as soon as they’re baked. In that case, you can cover the jars and store them at room temperature for 3–4 days.
If sealed properly, the jars can be placed in the fridge and they’ll stay fresh for up to a week. You can also freeze the jars, and they’ll be good for 4—5 weeks.
A spin on the traditional banana bread loaf is banana bread muffins. Like the traditional loaf, this fun treat will last 3–4 days at room temperature.
Just make sure you cover them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before storing them on your kitchen counter.
If you want them to keep for longer than four days, you need to place them in the fridge where they can last for up to 7–8 days.
You can also freeze them just like regular banana bread. Wrap each muffin individually in double layers of foil and cover with plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn. Then, place them in the freezer and they’ll keep for about four months.
Generally, there are three indications that can help you determine when your banana bread has gone bad. Take a look.
- Mold: The most obvious sign of banana bread going bad is mold. If you notice moldy spots on your loaf, it’s time to throw out whatever is left.
- Discoloration: Another indication that the bread is no longer safe to eat is discoloration. Once you notice any areas that have started to darken or change color, you can discard any pieces with an odd smell or appearance. However, we recommend throwing out the whole loaf of banana bread to avoid potential health issues.
- A Weird Smell: The third sign is if the bread has a strange or sour odor. If your loaf smells off, throw it away immediately and bake a fresh loaf.
Knowing how long banana bread lasts can help you ensure your loaf stays fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
Whether you baked it or bought it, this classic treat can keep for up to four days at room temperature. If you want it to last longer, it needs to be stored properly in the fridge where it’ll stay fresh for about seven days.
You can also freeze banana bread and it can last for about 3–4 months. Then, when you’re ready to enjoy a couple of slices of banana bread, you can let it thaw on the countertop, oven, or microwave.
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.