What is Bread Anyway? Banana Cake vs Banana Bread Compared

To me banana bread is cake. There is no gluten, and it contains far more butter, eggs, and sugar than any bread I’ve ever made. So, I call it banana cake not bread. Also, it is leavened with baking powder and not yeast.

I’m not sure what the actual definition of bread is, and I’ve tried to figure out at which point it becomes cake, but it seems that it’s a fluid border. Breads can be sweetened and contain eggs and fats, but still be glutenous and not have a crumbly interior. Breads can also be gluten free or made with wheat alternatives and use methods like cake making does. And they can be leavened with baking soda or baking powder too.

Some purists will of course say that it’s only bread if it contains flour, water, yeast, salt, and oil with some exceptions. I don’t believe in that.

If it contains a large proportion of sugar, eggs, and fat (upwards of 50% in baker’s percentage terms). If it is not leavened with yeast and if it has no gluten, then it’s definitely cake.

Let me know what your definition is!

With all the above in mind I will show you how to make an amazingly moist and tasty banana cake. And I will also show you how to use the same ingredients (except for one) with different proportions to make glutenous, slightly sweetened, and yeast fermented banana bread.

The only difference between the two recipes is the ratio of ingredients and the fact that the cake is made with baking powder, but the bread is made with yeast.

Both recipes fit perfectly in a 1lb (450g) loaf tin.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the banana bread

220g (7.75oz) white bread flour

30g (1oz) sugar

1 egg yolk

170g (6oz) mashed banana

30g (1oz) softened butter

4g (0.14oz) salt

3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.3oz) fresh yeast

2g (0.07oz) ground cinnamon

30g (1oz) milk chocolate chips

1 egg white for glazing


For the banana cake –

100g (3.5oz) softened butter

100g (3.5oz) sugar

80g (2.8oz) egg

140g (4.9oz) mashed banana

100g (3.5oz) flour

1g (0.03oz) salt

5g (0.17oz) baking powder

2g (0.07oz) ground cinnamon

30g (1oz) chocolate chips


  1. To make the banana bread. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except for the flour. Mix well until the salt and sugar have dissolved and everything is evenly dispersed. Add the flour and mix until there is no dry flour left.
  2. Cover and leave to ferment for 45 minutes.
  3. Fold #1.
  4. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  5. Fold #2.
  6. Ferment for 45 minutes.
  7. Pre-shape. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Final shaping. Place the dough in a greased baking tin.
  9. Final proof will take around 1.5 hours.
  10. Glaze with the egg white and bake for 40 minutes.


  1. To make the banana cake. In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until the sugar has dissolved and the buttery mix in nice and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and whisk well.
  3. Add the banana and whisk again. The mix will split, but don’t worry.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and chocolate. Mix well.
  5. Pour the batter in a non-stick paper lined baking tin.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reads above 94C (200F).
  7. Leave to cool down before removing from the tin.


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.

Watch the video here

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