It’s a question I see always asked, why does my banana bread burn on the outside?
You follow the recipe to the tee.
You ensure that you have the oven at the correct temperature.
Surely, you’re going to cook the perfect loaf this time.
However, once you remove your banana bread from the oven, the outside is burnt to a cinder.
And to make matters worse, the inside is soft, gooey, and undercooked.
It makes you want to scream, doesn’t it?
Here’s what you need to do to produce perfect banana bread.
There are numerous reasons why your banana bread burns on the outside. Firstly, if your banana bread is both burned and undercooked, this would indicate that the oven is too hot. You can also tent the loaf with aluminum foil after the first 30-40 minutes of baking. Additionally, a dark-colored loaf tin will absorb heat more than a light color, which means it is far more likely to burn the outside.
1. Is Your Oven Too Hot?
It sounds obvious when you say it, but if you’re burning anything in the oven, it’s a surefire sign that the temperature is too high.
This is especially true if something is both burned and undercooked at the same time.
And I’m sure you’ve suffered the indignity of burned banana bread that’s still soft and gooey in the middle.
The main issue, as I see it, is that there never seems to be one perfect recipe for banana bread.
Plus, there definitely isn’t an exact oven temperature and timing either.
You’ll find recipes that say that the oven needs to be at 320F, whereas others will state that it needs to be 330F or 350F.
Then, there are the recipes that say you should cook your loaf for 50 minutes to an hour.
And then there’s someone else telling you it needs to be 60-65 minutes.
Which one is it, people?
I mean, it’s enough to drive you bananas (sorry, pun intended).
For me, I would much rather cook my loaf at a lower heat, say 300F, and allow it to cook for slightly longer and more evenly.
This also means that there is much less chance of the outside burning.
I would use a digital thermometer to check if your banana bread is done.
The center should be 205F, whereas the edges are 200F.
Basically, no part of your loaf should be below 200F.
So, a lower oven temperature and longer cooking time is definitely the way forward.
2. Does the Position Inside the Oven Matter?
There are a number of things you can do while your banana bread is cooking to ensure the outside doesn’t burn.
Firstly, not all ovens were created equal, and they can be prone to being temperamental.
This is especially true of fan ovens, and you may even find that they won’t cook the contents evenly.
You may find that something tends to cook faster on the left than the right or that the top shelf cooks slower than the bottom shelf.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but ovens can be a law unto themselves.
Here are a couple of other more “normal” points to consider.
You could tent your banana bread with aluminum foil (ensure the foil does not touch the loaf and is loosely placed over the top).
This is usually best done for the final one-third of the cooking time, so approximately 20 minutes.
Additionally, where you place the loaf in the oven can have an impact.
On the top shelf and the top may get burned.
The bottom shelf and the same may happen to the bottom of your banana bread.
So, be safe and place your tin on the middle shelf.
3. Why Can’t I Use a Dark Tin?
If you find that your banana bread is prone to burning on the outside, it may be time for some new cooking apparatus.
You’ll typically find that dark baking tins absorb more heat, and this can impact the outer crust of your loaf.
The same can actually be said for a glass tin.
Therefore, your safest bet would be a light silver tin.
I will also add that if your mixture is too moist, the outside is more likely to burn before the inside sets.
And unfortunately, this can be made worse with dark cooking utensils.
Banana Bread Problems
I hope you have a better idea of why your banana bread burns on the outside.
This is usually because the temperature of your oven is too hot.
Therefore, it is likely that the outside will cook more quickly than the inside.
Furthermore, you need to be aware of whether your oven cooks evenly or is perhaps hotter in different areas.
Plus, aim to cook your loaf on the middle shelf and cover it lightly with aluminum foil for the final 20 minutes.
Finally, ensure your mixture isn’t too moist and avoid dark tins.
There are numerous things that can go wrong with your loaf, and at some point, you might need to know what to do if you add too many eggs to your banana bread.