flour for making banana bread

Best Flour for Making Banana Bread

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Do you smell that? Fresh, delicious banana bread in the oven, and it smells amazing! Baking can bring a smile to any home and a satisfied tummy to just about anyone as well. 

Banana bread is an art. It’s really quite simple to make but the best banana bread utilizes the best ingredient options. So what are the best ingredients? One of the most important ingredients of banana bread is the flour used. Believe it or not, all flour is not created equally. 

There are so many different types of flour on the market and then additionally there are numerous brands and it can be overwhelming to determine which flour you should use.

Your banana bread recipes often just say “flour” but they don’t guide you any further than that. What is the best flour for making banana bread, you might ask?

We’re here to help you make the best decision when it comes to making banana bread. We’re going to discuss various types of flour and ultimately break it down to which flour you should use for the best banana bread. 

We hope you’ll keep reading through this informative guide as we discuss the best flour for making banana bread. 

Flour vs. Flour – Types and Details 

There are so many different types of flours on the market so we’ve determined the best place to begin is by detailing several different types of flours and sharing with you their qualities and what they are best used for. 

types of flour

All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is exactly as the name would suggest. The flour that works averagely for anything you might be baking. It’s a great versatile flour that will get the job done. All-purpose is commonly what recipes refer to when baking and is commonly used for cakes, cookies, and bread. 

You may not notice a significant difference when all-purpose flour is used because it is often the most used flour when baking at home.

It’s a great option for your banana bread, but there are other flour options that will deliver a finer texture and tenderness than all-purpose flour will. 

Whole-Wheat Flour

Whole-wheat flour is a much more nutritional option than many other flour options. Whole-wheat flour is made with both the bran and the germ and offers a higher nutrition value with less alteration to it for the finished product. 

Whole-wheat flour often provides a unique flavor that may seem slightly nutty and delivers a dense texture. This flour works best in cakes that have other types of filling to them, such as applesauce cake. You can also mix whole-wheat flour with other types of flour to maintain a different overall texture. 

Cake Flour

Cake flour has a name that ultimately speaks for itself. Cake flour is the ultimate baking flour when you want a fine texture in your cake or bread. Cake flour has a superior compound with a high protein compilation derived from the soft wheat it is made with. 

Cake flour also tends to be much lower in gluten than other types of flour. Cake flour has the perfect clumping qualities that allow you to mix batters while keeping the overall texture extremely fine and lightweight. 

Cake flour has an additional flour type known as pastry flour. Pastry flour is very similar to cake flour with a slightly higher protein level. Pastry flour is often very hard to find in stores. 

Bread Flour

Yes, you read that right – there is a type of flour known as bread flour. I think it’s quite obvious that bread flour may be the top choice for your banana bread, but keep in mind that other flours may still provide quality bread when used. 

Bread flour has a significantly higher protein content than any of the other flours mentioned. It is very strong flour, allowing the ultimate strength and tenderness in a single combination. 

Bread flour allows you to blend together with your other ingredients for the perfect volume and softness in bread. You can even brown the crust of the bread much better with bread flour. 

Gluten-Free Flour

In recent years, it has become important to offer healthier alternatives to flours that take into consideration gluten intolerances as well as those striving to live healthier lifestyles. 

Gluten-free flours include coconut flour and almond flour, as well as a multitude of other flours that are made from grains, nuts, or even rice. You can often substitute your all-purpose or other types of flours for these gluten-free options. 

Often, gluten-free flours will affect your texture and might be an acquired taste, but your health will thank you as you adapt to the differences. 

The Best Flour for Making Banana Bread

Now that we’ve provided you with a basic description of various types of flours, let’s progress and determine the best flour to use when making banana bread. Have you guessed yet which type of flour may be best for banana bread? You might be surprised at the answer. 

flour for making banana bread

The best type of flour to use for banana bread is cake flour. Don’t be fooled by the title bread flour. While it is great for bread, it will most likely be too thick for banana bread. For the best results with your banana bread endeavors, we recommend sticking to cake flour, with all-purpose flour coming in as a secondary option. 

The 3 Best Cake Flours for Banana Bread

Here are three of the best cake flours for whipping up a delicious batch of banana bread:

RankProductKey Features
1.Pillsbury Softasilk Cake FlourBleached white flour
2.Kauffmans Enriched Purasnow Cake FlourEnriched, finely milled
3.King Arthur Unbleached Cake FlourUnbleached, organic

Let’s check them out!

1. Pillsbury Softasilk Cake Flour

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The Pillsbury Softasilk Cake Flour comes with packets of flour. This is an enriched cake flour that has been bleached so that it can easily be used for white cakes if needed. Pillsbury has endured the test of time through baking products, offering quality products at affordable prices.


  • 32 oz. box with 2 divided flour packages portioned for a single cake per packet. 
  • Pre-sifted flour
  • Can be mixed with all-purpose flour


  • This flour is a bit pricy in comparison to other cake flour options
  • Flour is not self-rising

2. Kauffman’s Enriched Purasnow Cake Flour

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Kauffman's Enriched Purasnow Cake Flour

Deliver exceptional banana bread or sumptuous banana cake with Kauffman’s Enriched Cake Flour. This flour is a high-ratio cake flour that offers silky texture and ultra-fine grain. This flour provides some of the best volumes for bread and baking. 


  • Homegrown in the U.S.A. 
  • Available in 5, 10, 20, or 50-pound bags
  • Price is determined per pound, with a decreasing price for the larger bags
  • High-quality flour that is hand bagged and cared for each time 


  • Texture tends to be a bit dense

3. King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour

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King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour

King Arthur’s offers this unique unbleached cake flour that is organic. This is a high-quality cake flour whose company respects and desires to protect the earth around us. This cake flour is perfect for baking and will work wonders on your banana bread. 


  • Organic cake flour with superior quality
  • Stores up to one year in a cool, dry location
  • Works perfectly for delicious bread and cakes


  • Seems fairly new to the market with limited research and review information


In summary, we want to remind you that banana bread requires flour that will give it a light texture and ultimately will work finely. In terms of baking, banana bread falls under a cake category for the best results. 

Cake flour can be mixed with all-purpose flour to reduce the cost of using cake flour. This will provide very similar results to baking with solely cake flour. It is not recommended that you use bread flour for baking banana bread, as it is more dense and heavy than banana bread is intended to be. 

If you prefer not to spend the extra money on cake flour, all-purpose flour is still a great option. You can purchase all-purpose flour from online retailers as well as from your nearest grocery store of preference. 

We hope this guide has been helpful and informative to you and we urge you to try cake flour with your next banana bread endeavor. Trying something once is always worth it when you are searching for the best flavor and quality. 

Related Questions 

We invite you to take a look at some of the most common questions and answers that we have compiled and listed below. 

Should I Use Bleached or Unbleached Flour?

For banana bread, bleached flour will most likely provide you with the best results. Bleached flour usually results in softer textures at higher volumes. Unbleached flour will work well, but bleached flour will provide the best results for banana bread. 

If I Mix Cake Flour and All-Purpose Flour, How Much Do I Mix?

When you use cake flour rather than all-purpose flour, you should use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour for every recommended cup of all-purpose flour. You can replace all or a portion of the flour as you please. 

For example, if your recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, you could use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour and mix together. While you can mix the flours, we do recommend choosing one or the other for the best results. 

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