Is Banana Bread A Cake?

Is Banana Bread A Cake?

The decision on whether banana bread is cake or quick bread might seem obvious. But based on how it is made and banana being the primary ingredient in it rather than flour, it is pretty confusing if it is a cake or not.

Bread and cake share similar ingredients, but bread is typically baked with yeast and also left to rest until the dough rises, while cake on the other hand uses baking soda and powder to rise. But does this mean that banana bread is a cake?

Technically, banana bread is a cake but also close to being bread. Banana bread as the name indicates falls into the category of quick bread. One reason banana bread qualifies as cake is the sweetness, bread is usually not sweet, but cake is, and we all know banana bread is quite sweet. Banana bread can be concluded to be a hybrid between cake and bread.

Banana bread is a type of sweet bread made from mashed banana so while growing up, some of us consider it to be a cake and others know it to be bread. That being said, banana bread has been enjoyed as a desert for generations. Banana bread also comes in different options made from whole wheat or other grains, which leads to different types of texture.

Banana bread is unlike regular bread, and neither is it like the traditional cake. At the same time, it is normally baked in the oven. There are different methods of baking it as well. Banana bread has a unique combination of ingredients that gives it a distinct texture and flavor. But despite its bread-like qualities, is it a cake? Read on to understand what category banana bread falls under.

Why Banana Bread is Called Bread

Banana bread is called bread due to its origin. This popular quick bread recipe started to appear in all cookbooks across North America, and the recipe book became available in grocery stores in the 1930s. There are so many theories on how banana bread was created, but there is no doubt that many homemakers loved it. The original banana bread recipe used yeast, which is what gave it its name, flavor, and bread-like texture.

There are so many variations of banana bread these days, so it is not limited to just banana bread. Now some recipes incorporate nuts or chocolate chips into it to give it flavor and texture.

With the invention of baking powder and soda as well, yeast was quickly replaced by these leaving agents. Banana bread remains a beloved dessert for any occasion, no matter the variation that is being baked.

Is Banana Bread A Cake?

Coconut Pineapple Banana Bread
Source: Closet Cooking

Banana bread is a cake, but it is also regarded as tea bread or quick bread. But does not need time to rise like regular bread and with banana being the star ingredient, it is closer to being a cake than bread. The obvious reason it does not qualify completely as a cake is that it does not have icing or frosting like cake does, and it does not incorporate heavier flour like whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour but sometimes calls for lighter flour like pastry or cake flour.

Also, there is the belief that the name banana bread was used to distinguish from cakes and other types of baked goods that are indulgent, such as pastries and desserts. Banana bread is considered to be a hybrid between cake and bread.

Some people grow up knowing banana bread as bread, and some know it to be a cake. What it is will be dependent on how it is baked and what else you can incorporate into it. Bread is typically made with yeast, while cake on the other hand uses baking soda and powder. Banana bread made these days uses baking soda and powder as well.

Traditionally, banana bread is baked in a cake pan, which is another way it gets the bread’s shape and name. Banana bread is dense and moist in texture and although it is lighter in flavor compared to cakes, some recipes might call for something sweet as well. Also, banana bread is meant to be eaten as a sweet treat after meals, just like cakes. So, you can say banana bread is closer to cake than bread.

Differences Between Banana Bread And Banana Cake

Banana Bread With Cake Mix
Source: We are not Martha

To understand whether banana bread is cake or not, it is best to evaluate the differences between it and the banana cake as well. Banana bread and cake are both normally baked in the oven, but there are other methods they can be baked as well. Banana bread and banana cakes have always been used interchangeably, as not much difference is considered between them. Here are the notable differences between these two popular treats.

1. Texture/Flavor

When the texture is compared, banana bread has a more dense and moist texture which lets you mix in nuts, dried fruits, and other confectionary toppings. While the banana cake is soft and crumbly. Both treats are best paired with a cup of coffee, but banana bread is lighter in sweetness compared to its counterpart.

Banana is the star ingredient in the two, so the flavor is quite similar, but banana cake is meant to be a sweet treat while banana bread can be enjoyed for breakfast.

2. Icing Vs No Icing

Banana bread is a quick bread, so it can simply be served as a side dish with no icing. Cake on the other hand can be enjoyed with some icing for desserts. If it is baked in a sheet pan then it qualifies as a cake and when icing is slapped on it, that is a clear indication it is a cake. But this does not mean that naked banana bread automatically qualifies as bread since baking powder/baking soda still makes it rise quickly in the oven. So, it is some sort of hybrid then.

3. Ingredients

The banana bread is made with minimal ingredients, although there are so many varieties of it. But the banana cake often includes ingredients such as milk, butter, and eggs. There is also an addition of sugar in banana cake, but the bread is usually not sweet.

Can I Put Banana Bread in The Toaster?

You can make banana bread in the toaster oven, but you can only heat it in your regular toaster. However, if you are making a small batch of banana bread then your toaster oven is the perfect place to make it and the result is one that you will truly enjoy.

Your toaster oven machine can do more than just toast bread. It can come in handy when making a single large loaf or mini loaf. You will love how easily the toaster oven banana bread recipe comes together. Here is a good banana bread recipe to make in the toaster oven.

Final Thoughts

Banana bread is not that different from banana cake and frankly, it does not matter since you can enjoy baking and eating the two in similar ways. Banana breads do have more recipes than regular bread, which is one reason why everyone loves it, no matter what you choose to call it.

There are so many banana bread recipes these days to savor. Banana bread recipes range from super healthy to a more decadent option than the average layer cake. Technically it is a cake and quick bread as well, so not to worry about banana bread being a cake or bread, just make it and enjoy this delightful bread and cake.

Was this article helpful?
Previous Article
How Ripe Do Bananas Have to Be For Banana Bread

How Ripe Do Bananas Have to Be For Banana Bread?

Next Article
Can Sofa Cushions Be Dry Cleaned

Can Sofa Cushions Be Dry Cleaned?