Banana bread is the very best use of over ripe bananas. But in summer, I really hate to fire up my oven unless absolutely necessary.
And even though I freeze my ripe bananas until I’m ready to bake(you can read about how I do this below), after a while I start to feel that there’s a real buildup of frozen bananas waiting to be used.
That’s where the air fryer comes in. Once I realized I could use mine to bake banana bread, I was happy to make it, even on the hottest days of summer.
Air Fryer Banana Bread all summer long!
Using frozen bananas for baking
First, let me explain my freezing process for overripe bananas. Once a banana is past its prime, I put it in the freezer. Peel and all. This recipe only calls for a half cup of banana, which is about 1½ medium bananas.
When you thaw a frozen banana, you will find that the fruit has become semi-liquid. Which eliminates the need to mash an unfrozen banana, so I find this method superior. 😁
Once the banana has thawed (still inside the intact peel), simply snip off the end of the banana peel and squeeze the puree into a measuring cup. As I said, you’ll probably need more than one to make a half cup, so plan accordingly.
Using an air fryer to make banana bread
I started with my favorite banana bread recipe and modified it for the air fryer.
It is important to note that I use an Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid. This lid has some specific features (like a bake setting) that may or may not be present in other brands. It took multiple attempts to get the timing and settings figured out for this, so if you have a different model, please understand that it may (probably) perform differently.
With any air fryer, there are certain things you need to figure out to make banana bread - here are the questions I had, which needed to be figured out:
Question #1 was: how do you fit a loaf pan in a round air fryer basket?
Answer: you don’t! I use a 6-inch round cake pan. 😀
And since you can only fit one at a time in the air fryer, I decided to reduce the size of my recipe, which originally made 2 loaves. But that was easy enough.
Question #2 was: do I use the air fryer basket?
My answer: no. The basket feels redundant when using a cake pan. The Instant Pot liner alone does the trick. I do however use a trivet to raise the cake pan from bottom of the Instant Pot liner and to promote air circulation all around it.
Question #3: time and temperature settings.
This took the longest to figure out. I did start out using the air fry function and it does make a good banana bread. If you want to try this, I air fried for 30 minutes at 350F. The top crust was VERY brown and the inside was slightly under done. If I try again, it will be at 325F for 35-40 minutes.
But after that first attempt, I realized that the air fryer lid has a BAKE setting, so I started using that. We are, after all, trying to replicate the baking process normally used for banana bread.
I found that using the bake setting with a combination of uncovered and covered (with foil) of the bread produces the best result: moist and flavorful banana bread. Every bite brings a smile. 😀
How to make the banana bread
Banana bread is considered a “quick bread”, a term used to describe a bread that uses a leavening agent such as baking powder or soda instead of yeast, which permits immediate baking of the batter rather than waiting for it to rise.
Simply mix the dry ingredients separately from the wet, then combine them all together. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake.
For the air fryer lid, start with the cake pan uncovered and bake for 30 minutes at 325F. Then remove the pan, cover with foil and return it to the Instant Pot. Use the lid to bake an additional 25 minutes at 325F.
Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack. The smell will drive you crazy, and yes you can have some while it’s still warm – I find it irresistible!
Apart from being in a round pan, this bread is no different from the version I make in the oven: wonderful sweet banana taste in every tender bite, with a terrific crusty top. Have with a cup of coffee or tea – you’ll love it!
Air Fryer Banana Bread
- ½ cup mashed ripe banana about 1½ medium
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour all purpose
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Prepare 6-inch cake pan by lining with parchment paper, or grease and flour.
- Combine banana and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and banana mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the banana mixture. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Use the Bake setting on the air fryer lid. Set the cycle for 30 minutes at 325F, with the cake pan uncovered. Remove pan, cover with foil and return to the Instant Pot. Bake again for 25 minutes covered at 325F. When done, a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.