Top of banana bread almost burnt, but the middle is undercooked?

I use a dark grey 9x5 bread pan when making my banana bread at 375F for 45-55 minutes on the top rack of my oven. The recipe says to bake for 40 minutes; however, the middle of the bread isn't cooked by then!? It's still wet in the inside, but the top of the bread looks perfect at this time. Leaving it in for another 10-15 minutes made the inside perfectly cooked, but now the top is hard, dry, and basically burnt. How could I fix this to make sure the bread is cooked in the inside without having a burnt top/bottom/side?

  • Posted by: Jenny
  • November 14, 2015


Kim June 6, 2019
Four years later, but I followed my grandma’s recipe exactly. Then I started having the same problem, but mine was seeable from the top. So it wasn’t actually the center, but a long strip of rawness along the top. One day my friend told me it was because I used too many bananas. I DID use 4 instead of three back then. She also said to use a glass pan at 350° instead of any other kind at 375°, which my recipe called for. Both of those two suggestions were right!
Lisabeth H. November 20, 2015
For banana bread, turn your oven temperature down to 330 degrees and bake it for 25 minutes longer. Use only a light silver pan not dark metal nor glass. Also during the last 30 minutes or so of bake time (once the top is set) loosely place a piece of foil over the top of the bread. Perfect results every time.
rubyskin December 30, 2019
When I took my banana bread out of the oven the top was cooked but the middle was soggy. I left it out for a bit to see if it would set but it didn’t. I did what you said and put the foil on, when I took it out it was shrivelled up and has sunken down. It was worse than before!
stefanie November 15, 2015
You can try to tent it with tin foil and move the bread to the middle rack to slow the browning on top.
Jenny November 15, 2015
Thanks! I'll try this if the browning begins to happen again :-)
sdebrango November 15, 2015
I agree with Nancy and Jane, the batter for banana bread is quite thick and I think lowering oven temp to 350 will help and place on rack in middle of the oven.
Jenny November 15, 2015
Thank you for the response! Will definitely try this next week when I bake another loaf.
Nancy November 15, 2015
The top of the oven is often hotter than the rest.
Also, rarely if ever have I seen a cake recipe specifying placement in top third of oven - usually cakes are baked in middle or bottom third.
If, on top of this, your oven was still heating up, there may have been a greater differential (much hotter on top, cooking the top crust but no the middle or bottom).
Last, many/most recipes call for moderate oven (350F, 175C), so maybe using the 375F oven also contributed to uneven heating and baking.
Here are a couple articles for more info:
Jenny November 15, 2015
Thanks for the advice! These articles really helped, and I will try these out!
miss J. November 14, 2015
My recipe works well at 350 degrees for one hour on middle rack.
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