Banana Cake Vs. Banana Bread

Banana bread and banana cake with question mark over both


What’s the difference between banana cake and banana bread? I hear you saying, who cares - they’re both delicious, moist, and flavorful. We agree, but this is a genuine question out there, so we’re answering it.

The Shape

Is there a difference between the shape of one and the shape of the other? Well, if what you’re about to chow down on was baked in a sheet pan and is topped with some creamy icing, it’s probably a banana cake. We usually see banana bread baked in a loaf tin, but pound cake is also baked in a loaf tin, and it’s still a cake. So shape isn’t conclusive evidence of one or the other. 

Related: Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

The Texture

There isn’t a massive difference in the textures of banana bread and banana cake. Because of the inclusion of bananas, they are both moist and soft. Banana bread is usually denser than banana cake, although the difference is subtle. The heaviness of banana bread is one of its charms. It makes it a filling treat that you don’t have to over-do to enjoy. 

The Taste

While both banana bread and banana cake are sweet and tasty, the banana cake is a little sweeter. Banana cake is meant to be more of a dessert, which is why it’s made so sweet, while banana bread tastes more banana-intensive, with only a hint of sweetness. 

The Ingredients

Most of the ingredients for banana bread and banana cake are the same, except the flour. We usually use soft wheat flour for banana cake to get that light texture. This also means that banana cake has a little less gluten than banana bread which consists of regular flour. The other difference is that banana cake includes yeast as its raising agent, while banana bread uses baking powder because it doesn’t need to rise quite as much. 

Related: Banana Bread Ice Cream Cake

Banana Bread Prep

To make banana bread, we cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy. We add eggs one at a time and beat them until they’re thoroughly mixed. Then we add the bananas and vanilla extract. Finally, we sift the dry ingredients into the mix. We’ll bake our banana bread in a greased loaf pan for 30 to 35 minutes. The main goal here is to keep the mixture fluffy. 

Banana Cake Prep

To make banana cake, we add our sifted dry ingredients to shortening. We then add our bananas and buttermilk. We add our eggs and mix our batter thoroughly, with a little more buttermilk if necessary. We’ll beat our mixture a little longer before lightly flouring it. We bake it in greased cake pans for 35 to 40 minutes. The main goal here is to keep the mixture moisture and light. 

Best Pairings 

So is there a difference in the way you serve your banana bread and your banana cake? 

Banana Cake Pairings

Banana cake is made incredibly decadent when we add icing or other fruity toppings. Serve your cake (slightly warm) topped with sliced bananas and drizzled with maple or chocolate syrup. Add a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy this after dinner or as you sit in front of the fireplace with a cup of cocoa or a glass of wine.

Banana Bread Pairings

Banana bread is a yummy on-the-go treat for everyone. Tuck it into the kids’ lunchbox or for your packed lunch for a mid-day snack. When you get home from a long day of work, a slice of banana bread with a cup of tea will solve all your problems - for a few moments anyway.  

Related: Chocolate Chip Almond Banana Bread Bites

Final thought

So it seems that banana cake is made like a traditional butter cake with only the addition of moist, flavorful bananas. At the same time, banana bread is denser and firmer and especially great for slicing.  

Are you hungry? We make banana bread mix that is good for your body and soul. Check out GoNanas today!