This cast iron skillet banana bread is the best. Super moist, fluffy, and full of aromatic flavor, the easy banana bread recipe is a brilliant way to use up those browned, overripe bananas. Your family will love this recipe for breakfast, snacking, and dessert.
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Cast iron skillet banana bread
If you’re an avid banana bread fan, then you’ll love this delicious skillet banana bread. You might think this is a fancy recipe – but baking banana bread in a cast iron skillet is super simple to pull off, I kid you not.
Overripe bananas are mashed and then combined with creamed butter and flour to a thick batter. The pecans on top are optional, but that extra crunch paired with fluffy texture is a winner, in my view.
And then it’s just a matter of baking the bread until the crumb looks golden brown and the inside is fluffy and soft.
Why you’ll love cast iron banana bread
- Flavor packed. My skillet banana bread recipe has a luscious texture and packs a ton of flavor from brown sugar, sour cream, and bananas.
- Pantry staples. I bet you have all of the ingredients at home already. Plus, banana bread is a fab way to put those overripe bananas sitting on your countertop to good use.
- Easy to prepare. With only a few easy steps to the recipe, skillet banana bread could not be simpler to make.
- Great for any time of day. Cast iron banana bread is the perfect breakfast treat. It’s also a tasty lunch box filler, afternoon snack, and can double as banana cake. You can even serve it warm for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Obviously, there is banana in this skillet banana bread, and the other ingredients are baking staples. This skillet banana bread has become a pretty frequent quick bread because I almost always have everything needed to bake it. Find measurements in the recipe card below!
- Bananas: Spotted, overripe bananas are the very best for banana bread. They are softer, sweeter, and have a richer banana flavor because the starches have broken down into sugar. And you can absolutely make banana bread with yellow bananas too. The cast iron banana bread will still be delicious, just not as banana-y.
- Flour: You’ll need regular all-purpose flour. I recommend a digital scale or the scoop and level approach when measuring flour with measuring cups.
- Brown sugar: 3/4 cup of brown sugar provides the perfect balance of sweetness, chewiness, and depth of flavor.
- Butter: Room temperature, softened butter gets creamed with the sugar until pale and fluffy. I used salted butter. Of course, you may also use unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp salt.
- Eggs: 2 eggs are needed to bind the ingredients and help the bread become light in texture.
- Sour cream: A touch of sour cream adds a subtle tang and perfect moisture to the batter.
- Baking powder: This leaving agent gives the skillet banana cake just the right amount of lift and fluffy texture.
- Pecans (optional): I like to decorate the top of my easy banana bread recipe with a few whole and crushed pecans before baking. You could also use walnuts, chocolate chips, or banana halves.
How to make skillet banana bread
Making banana bread in a cast iron skillet is easy! All you have to do this mix the batter, prepare your skillet, and bake until golden brown. In about an hour and a half, you’ll have warm, sweet banana bread ready for snacking.
Step 1: Preheat the oven
- Adjust a baking rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
Step 2: Prepare the skillet
- Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-in / 25 cm skillet with butter.
- Trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of parchment (baking) paper. Cut out and place inside the greased skillet.
- Generously sprinkle the side of the skillet with flour. Set aside.
Step 3: Mash bananas
- Place the peeled bananas in a medium mixing bowl and mash with a fork until pureed.
Step 4: Cream butter and sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, using a whisk or mixer, beat the softened butter and brown sugar until pale, fluffy, and doubled in volume.
Step 5: Add wet ingredients
- Next, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Then stir in the mashed bananas and sour cream. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
Step 6: Stir in dry ingredients
- Add the flour and baking powder and stir until just combined and you no longer see streaks of flour.
Step 7: Bake banana bread
- Transfer the batter to the prepared skillet. Optionally, press a few pecan halves into the top of the batter.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs.
Step 8: Cool
- Let the banana bread cool in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Then remove from the skillet and let cool completely or enjoy a slice of warm banana bread right away.
Step 9: Serve
- Optionally, drizzle the banana bread with glaze and garnish with extra nuts and banana slices.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
What skillet size do I need?
You can bake the banana bread in 9-in / 23 cm, 10-in / 25 cm, 11-in / 27 cm, or 12-in / 30 cm cast iron skillet. The baking time and thickness of your bread will vary depending on the pan size.
How do you avoid banana bread sticking to the skillet?
Greasing and flouring the pan well is essential to avoid sticking and removing the bread easily from the skillet. The first step is greasing the skillet very well with butter. Do this even for well-seasoned skillets.
Then cover the bottom of the pan with a parchment (baking) paper round. I added handles to my round, but that isn’t really necessary.
Lastly, be sure to sprinkle the sides of the skillet liberally with flour. Now your skillet is ready for baking, and your bread will release easily!
How to tell if banana bread is done?
Ensure your loaf is thoroughly baked to prevent sinking, soggy banana bread. Skillet banana bread needs approximately 50 to 60 minutes to bake through. To check doneness, poke the center of the bread with a skewer or toothpick. When it comes out clean (without wet batter), the bread is done.
Tips for success
Here are a few helpful tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years when making banana bread in a skillet. Hopefully, they will help you out too!
- Use overripe bananas: The more the peel browns, the sweeter and more aromatic the banana gets inside, a win in the flavor department.
- Ripen yellow bananas: At a pinch, if your banana is still yellow and not overripe, wrap the fruit in foil and place it in a hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Then scoop out the banana filling and follow the recipe as indicated. Tracy from Baking Mischief has an in-depth tutorial on ripening bananas in the oven.
- Room temperature ingredients: Make sure refrigerated ingredients (butter, eggs, sour cream) have a chance to warm up. Room temp ingredients incorporate better into a fluffy batter than cold ones.
- Don’t overmix: The best banana bread is light and tender in the center. Mixing the bread batter until just combined is essential to achieving this.
Skillet banana bread is hands down one of the easiest and most delicious banana bread recipes. It tastes amazing just as written, yet there are always a few ways you could change it up! I’ve assembled a few ideas for inspiration:
- Mini skillets: For individually mini skillet banana breads, divide the batter equally between four to five 3.5-in lodge miniature skillets. Two 6-in skillets will work as well.
- Glaze: Try making a simple glaze by mixing 1/2 cup powdered (confectioners’/icing) sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons milk until smooth. Then drizzle over the bread.
- Chocolate chips: Chocolate chips make a fabulous addition to this skillet banana bread. Add about 1 cup chocolate chips. Milk, semisweet, and bittersweet are all good options.
- Nuts: If you like banana nut bread, add 2/3 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter.
- Spices: Feel free to add 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + a pinch of ground nutmeg for extra warmth and flavor.
- Sugar: Feel free to swap out the brown sugar for white sugar if that is what you have at hand.
Cast iron banana bread will taste excellent as leftovers as long as you store and freeze it properly. Here are some tips:
- Room Temperature: Allow your skillet banana bread to cool completely. Then store in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap (cling film). Enjoy within 3 to 4 days.
- Refrigerator: Let the loaf cool and keep it covered in plastic wrap (cling film) or in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 4 days. If you want to store the bread any longer than 4 days, you should move it to the freezer to maintain its freshness.
- Freezer: Wrap individual slices or the entire loaf in a couple of layers of plastic wrap (cling film) and pack in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Defrost: When ready to eat, bring the bread to room temperature. A whole loaf will take several hours, but a slice will take about 20 minutes. Optionally, reheat in the microwave for a few seconds for that oven-warm taste.
More banana recipes
I love bananas and the sweet delight they add to just about any treat. Whether it’s dessert or breakfast, bananas will always be one of my favorite fruits. I’ve gathered up a couple more of my favorite banana recipes. Try them all!
- Banana Breakfast Cookies
- Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad
- Banana Pudding Brownies
- Creamy Peanut Banana Smoothie
Should I preheat the skillet?
No, preheating your skillet isn’t necessary for this recipe. Cast iron isn’t the best conductor, and hence some skillet cake recipes suggest preheating the skillet. However, a cold skillet is actually preferably for banana bread. Your bread bakes more evenly with a softer crumb when the batter and skillet heat gradually.
How do I clean my skillet afterward?
After removing the bread, you want to clean your skillet promptly. Start by scraping off any crumbs and stuck-on bits. Secondly, add a squirt of dish soap and rinse it under running water for a minute.
Next, be sure to dry your skillet immediately with paper towels. It’s a piece of iron and will rust if exposed to water too much. I usually blow-dry my skillet for a few minutes to ensure no moisture is left in the pan.
Once the pan has cooled, coat the inside with a bit of neutral vegetable oil. You don’t need much, just enough for a light coating, a teaspoon or so. I splash the oil onto a cloth and rub the inside of my skillet.
Can I make this banana bread in a regular baking pan?
Absolutely! If you don’t have a skillet, simply bake the bread in a 9 in x 5 in / 23 cm x 10 cm loaf pan (tin). The baking time will be roughly the same.