What’s not to love about Banana Bread? Moist, fruity and just a little bit squidgy it’s a really satisfying thing to eat. This Slow Cooker Banana Bread is quick to whip up, only takes a few hours to cook and is guaranteed to be super soft and delicious.
Banana Bread or Banana Cake?
Is it a bread or a cake? There’s the question! Here is the UK, banana bread is often referred to as a bread rather than a cake because it’s traditionally baked in a small loaf tin and served with butter or cream cheese (rather than iced). However the fact that it’s made from a cake batter rather than a dough leads to the cake or bread ambiguity.
One thing’s for sure, as it’s a sumptuous treat and it’s packed full of fruit, it doesn’t feel quite so sinful eating it!
The thing I like about baking banana bread in the slow cooker is that is always comes out incredibly soft and moist. The slow cooker promotes a lovely, gentle rise which suits this recipe perfectly. I simply line the slow cooker with foil and baking parchment, pour in the batter and leave it. After a few hours, I’m rewarded with a deliciously soft banana cake.
Why make banana bread in the slow cooker?
- A great way to use up any overripe bananas.
- An easy set it and go recipe.
- A tasty and satisfying treat!
- Slow cooker banana bread is freezable so it’s a great batch cooking recipe.
- Cut into chunky slices makes a great addition to packed lunchboxes.
- Slow cooker
- Baking parchment
- Kitchen roll
What You’ll Need
Here is what you will need to make banana bread in the slow cooker.
Exact ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Self raising flour – Fine milled flour commonly used for cakes, it also contains baking powder and salt.
Bananas – Ripened. The best ones to use are the ones that have a plenty of brown patches on the skin. Peel then mash them into a pulp with a fork or potato masher.
Sugar – Caster sugar (superfine sugar) is perfect for blending into cake mixture and will produce a light coloured sponge. I also add a smaller quantity of soft, brown sugar as this has a richer, malty taste and slightly darkens the colour of the cake.
Butter – Unsalted and soft.
Eggs – Large eggs, beaten.
Baking Powder – Add baking powder in addition to using self raising flour to help the rise as the cake has a high concentration of fruit.
Salt – Salt in the cake mixture balances the sweetness of the bananas.
How To Make It
Preparing a slow cooker for baking a cake
First prepare the slow cooker by creating an aluminium foil and baking parchment lining for the cake batter.
The foil will help to distribute the heat evenly across the cake mixture, the parchment creates a case for the cake mixture.
- Measure out a length of foil to fit the pot.
- Push the foil into the base of the pot and smooth out along the bottom and edges with your hands. The edges of the foil should reach about half way up the sides of the pot.
- Measure a length of baking parchment the diameter of the pot plus 3-4 cm each side.
- Again push this down into the base and smooth out. Fold over any sections of paper that protrude around the sides.
Finally, preheat the slow cooker for 20 minutes on the high setting.
Making the banana bread cake batter
Here are the steps to prepare the banana cake batter. This can be done by hand in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, or in a stand mixer.
- In a large mixing bowl cream the softened butter and sugar. Then add the flour (sifted for best results), baking powder and salt, then the eggs.
- Add in the mashed bananas and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the baking parchment lining in the slow cooker.
- Measure out 4 sheets of kitchen roll leaving the paper join intact. Fold in half and then place over the top of the slow cooker pot. Trap these in place with the lid.
- Bake on high for a minimum of 2 hours 15 minutes. After baking test the cake by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake. This should come away clean. If it does not, bake for longer checking every 15 minutes until fully cooked.
Once baked, remove the cake by lifting the edges of the baking parchment and place on a wire rack to cool.
This banana cake recipe will serve between 8-12 people easily.
You can serve it plain, or like a tea loaf with a smear of butter on top of the slice! If you are feeling indulgent why not make up a light cream cheese icing for the top?
Another option is to serve it slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, delicious!
This is a base recipe for a banana bread which is flavourful and moist in its own right. That’s not to say it can’t be given a few twists to add interest! Here’s a few ideas.
Chocolate chip banana bread – Chocolate and banana is a great combination! Add 75g of chocolate chips to the cake batter to make a chocolate banana loaf. I prefer dark chocolate chips to balance the sweetness.
Dried Fruit – Plump, juicy sultanas can also be added to the banana cake mix for an extra fruity taste.
Spice – Adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg to the mixture will add a fragrant spiced edge to the cake.
Nuts – Sprinkle crumbled walnuts through the cake mixture and over the top once it’s ready for baking. These provide a sweet, earthy flavour and look beautiful once baked. You could also add a hint of maple syrup flavour to the cake (as maple and walnuts are an amazing taste combination!). Simply pierce the cake with a skewer once it’s cooked and drizzle over a few teaspoons of maple syrup. This will smother the walnuts and soak into the sponge wonderfully.
How To Store and Freeze
This banana bread can be kept in an airtight cake tin or box for up to 5 days. It’s a naturally moist cake so it doesn’t dry out quickly. It can also be frozen for up to three months, simply wrap tightly in cling film and freeze. You can choose to freeze the whole cake in one go or portion it up into slices for easy defrosting.
Heat the slow cooker before baking – Just as you would with an oven, make sure you take the time to heat up the slow cooker before baking. This ensures that the cake batter goes straight into a hot, stable temperature and starts baking at the correct heat immediately. This helps to avoid the cake being unevenly baked, or worse – undercooked!
Don’t remove the lid before the end of the baking time – I know it’s tempting to take a peek as the banana cake is baking but as soon as the lid is removed some heat will escape and drop the temperature inside the slow cooker. This can cause the cake to collapse whilst it is rising. Leave the lid firmly in place until you’re ready to check it’s cooked.
More Slow Cooker Baking Ideas
Baking in the slow cooker is easy and with a few helpful tips you can make some fantastic cakes and breads. For example if you like something full of spice and flavour why not try this Slow Cooker Gingerbread Cake?
Alternatively, if you are looking for a dessert option you can’t go wrong with Slow Cooker Treacle Sponge!
It’s all down to the concentration of sugars in the fruit. The ripening process of bananas converts the starch in the fruit into sugar so the older they are, the sweeter they will be. Furthermore, as fruits age they lose liquid so the ratio of sugar to water increases resulting in a sweeter, more potent flavour. They also soften with age, making them easier to mash and add to recipes.
This recipe will also work well in the oven. Grease and line a medium sized loaf tin with baking parchment, pour in the mixture and place in a preheated oven (fan 180°C /350°F) and cook for 1hr 15 – 1hr 30mins.
Yes, banana bread will freeze really well. Simply allow to cool and then tightly wrap in clip film before freezing. It will last well for around 3 months.
Yes, you can use a loaf tin in the slow cooker and this will make the cake into a nice neat shape. It all depends on whether the tin fits into the slow cooker!
Easy Slow Cooker Banana Bread
- 275 g (2.2 cups) self raising flour sifted
- 3 bananas medium and ripe, peeled and mashed
- 120 g (4.23 oz) butter unsalted, softened
- 110 g (0.55 cups) caster sugar superfine sugar
- 65 g (0.3 cups) brown sugar
- 2 eggs large
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt finely ground
Preparing the slow cooker
- Line the slow cooker with kitchen foil. To measure the correct size, cut a length of foil which is as long as the outer rim of the slow cooker pot.
- Push the piece of foil into the base of the pot and smooth the foil against the sides so it is neatly lined (see recipe note 1).
- Now measure out a piece of baking parchment to hold the cake mixture (see recipe note 2). As before, pull out a length of baking parchment across the length of the slow cooker pot then add an extra 3cm of paper overhanging on each side and cut.
- Push the paper into the base of the pot, flattening the paper along the bottom and then folding any overlapping areas over around the sides neatly.
- Pre-heat the slow cooker. Replace the lid of the pot and set on to high for 20 minutes.
Making the banana bread
- In a bowl peel and then mash the bananas into a puree.
- Next, add the butter and both types of sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix together. See the recipe notes below for stand mixer instructions.
- Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt to the mixture followed by the eggs. Mix together well to form a dense batter.
- Stir through the mashed bananas. The batter will become looser and wetter.
- Pour the banana bread mixture into the baking parchment lining in the slow cooker.
- Now place 4 joined sheets of kitchen paper over the top of the pot (doubled over so that 2 sheets lay across the top of the slow cooker). This will absorb any additional moisture in the slow cooker and prevent the cake from becoming soggy whilst it cooks. Trap the paper in place by placing the lid over the top, then set the slow cooker to cook on high for a minimum of 2 hours 15 minutes. Do not open the lid whilst the cake is cooking, this would allow the heat to escape from the cooker and affect the rise of the cake.
- After the cooking time test the cake is cooked. Firstly by gently pressing down on the top of the banana bread, if it is cooked the sponge should have some resistance and spring back up immediately. A second test is to take a kitchen skewer and pierce the middle of the cake, the skewer will pull out cleanly if it is cooked through. If it comes out with traces of batter then replace the lid and cook for further 15 minute intervals until the skewer comes out of the cake cleanly.
- Once cooked, remove the cake from the slow cooker pot by lifting up the edges of the baking paper. Set the cake on a baking rack to cool. Once cooled, peel away the paper, slice and enjoy!
- Some slow cookers can have hotspots where the heating elements are directly underneath the pot. This can result in certain patches of the cake baking faster or over-browning. This is specifically more noticeable when baking in the slow cooker (rather than cooking stews etc).
Adding a foil liner helps to distribute the heat across the slow cooker, creating a more even temperature for baking.
- Use baking parchment to make a cake case for the slow cooker. It prevents batter sticking to the side of the pot, and makes removing the cake much easier at the end of cooking time.