The One Thing I Always Do When Making Banana Bread (and You Should Too!)

updated May 12, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Banana bread was one of the first things I learned to bake on my own. I picked it up in high school home ec class and was instantly smitten. Now it’s safe to say it’s the baked good I’ve made more than any other in my lifetime. And, like millions of other people, I’ve baked a couple loaves of banana bread over the past month-and-a-half.

Every time I bake banana bread, no matter what recipe I follow (this is my all-time favorite), there’s one thing I do with every loaf after it comes out of the oven: As soon as the loaf cools completely, I cut a few thick slices (sometimes up to half the loaf) and store them in an airtight bag in the freezer for later. Whether it’s a week or two or even a month later, rediscovering a couple slices of banana bread in the freezer feels like you hit the jackpot.

I started doing this nearly 15 years ago when I was living on my own and cooking for one. I loved baking banana bread, but at the time there was no way I could eat the whole loaf before it went stale. So, I sliced about half the loaf and stashed it in the freezer for later. Not only did it make the most of my baking session and prevent any waste, but it also always felt like such a treat to pull out a piece of home-baked banana bread for breakfast.

These days, my family would have no problem polishing off a whole loaf in a mere couple days, so my motivations are a little different: Stashing a few slices of banana bread in the freezer is all about leaving a treat for my future self.

How To Freeze Sliced Banana Bread

For the best results, wait until the loaf cools completely. This makes it easier to handle and the slices will be less likely to bend and potentially split in two. Then, cut the portion of the bread you want to freeze into half- to one-inch-thick slices. Freeze the slices in an airtight zip-top bag (or container) for up to several months. If I have the forethought to plan ahead, I’ll thaw a slice in the fridge overnight. Otherwise I’ll pop a slice of the banana bread straight from the freezer into the toaster for a nearly effortless, warm home-baked breakfast or snack.

Try Our Favorite Banana Bread Recipes