How to Quickly Ripen Bananas

To me, baking season is now in full swing as the weather has been cooling off where I live. I was making a cake to share with you all (next week) and given what day I had better sunlight for photography, I decided to ripen my bananas sooner than expected to go ahead and bake the cake. It dawned on me that knowing how to quickly ripen bananas for baking is one of those things that I’ve been doing for years, being a banana bread obsessed person. Ha. And I have a feeling that a lot of you already know this, but just in case anyone didn’t know this little trick I thought I’d share.

There are two methods I tend to use based on how long I have. One method to quickly ripen bananas will take just a day or two, while the other will get them ready for bread-making in just under an hour.

If you have very yellow (maybe even a little green) bananas but you want/need to use them for baking that day, here’s what you do. Simply place the bananas on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300°F for 40-45 minutes. I don’t even bother flipping them halfway through. Once they cool, you’re ready to go!

If you have a day or two but the only bananas at the store were very yellow (maybe even a little green), try to buy a ripe avocado or even an apple that looks like it’s maybe getting toward the end of its ripe life. I think it’s easier to tell with avocados, like bananas, but the goal is to find something that is ripe and place it in a brown paper bag (like you would get from the grocery store) with the bananas. Then place in a cupboard or somewhere dark (not the refrigerator though) and this will speed up the ripening process.

These are just what I do when I am in NEED of banana bread or other banana-based baked goods but can’t wait for them to ripen. Anyone else have other tricks or hacks that work for them? xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • This is SO useful!! My husband and kids never leave bananas in the fruit bowl long enough for them to ripen enough for baking despite the fact they love banana baked goods. Thank you 🙏

  • I freeze my brown bananas so that I’ll always have some on hand. Just make sure to peel them first!

  • I just tried this yesterday with green-ish bananas for my first loaf of banana bread of the season (for some reason, I associate it with fall) It worked so well! My partner took them out of the oven and was worried that the bananas turned black. They ended up working perfectly and I am now enjoying my banana bread as I write this.

    Thanks for the tip! I will use this forever.

  • I can’t wait to use this tip. I have the opposite happen more often whereas I have too many ripen bananas. So I peel them and put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. When I go to bake banana bread I thaw them out alongside the butter and eggs.

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