Recipe: No-Fuss Rice Cooker Banana Bread

Amy Frasca Banana Bread

By Amy Frasca

If you love baking, the lack of a conventional oven in a Japanese apartment can be frustrating. But all is not lost! Many sweet treats can be made at home in your rice cooker. This recipe for banana bread is simple and only takes about an hour and a half.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups enriched white flour
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda*
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium to large bananas)
  • 1/3 cups softened butter
  • 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • Cooking oil

* Baking soda may not be available everywhere in Japan. If you can’t find it, don’t worry; extra baking powder can be added as a substitute without a noticeable difference. I’ve found that an extra teaspoon of baking powder works well in this case.

For extra sweetness, substitute a portion of white sugar for an equal amount of packed brown sugar. Or, add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract along with the wet ingredients.

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Next, add the bananas, butter, milk, and egg. These should be mixed until the batter has a uniform and thick, creamy consistency. If you own an electric mixer, let it do the work (low setting recommended). If not, the bananas and butter may give you some difficulty when hand-mixing it. To make things easier, make sure you let the butter soften long enough beforehand. Also, if you put the bananas into a plastic freezer bag, you can make sure they’re well-mashed without making a huge mess.
  • At this point, you can stir in any other ingredient you may want, like chopped nuts or a bit of dried fruit. Feel free to try out your own variations on the recipe!
  • Before pouring the batter into the rice cooker’s pot, remember the most important step! Coat the inside of the pot lightly with cooking oil. Paper towels help to spread it properly. Otherwise, the banana bread will stick to the inside as it cooks.
  • Now simply pour the batter evenly into the pot and start the cooker. I use the same settings as when I make rice. On my rice cooker, the bread isn’t done after just one cycle, so I let it run twice, though this could vary based on your rice cooker. With mine, I have to allow the cooker to cool down for a few minutes in between cycles, as it won’t start again right away.
  • That’s it! After it’s done, pop the bread out onto a serving tray or plate and enjoy!
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Rating: 7.4/10 (105 votes cast)
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Rating: +24 (from 34 votes)
Recipe: No-Fuss Rice Cooker Banana Bread, 7.4 out of 10 based on 105 ratings

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43 thoughts on “Recipe: No-Fuss Rice Cooker Banana Bread”

  1. What size rice cooker did you use?

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  2. Jane, I’m not positive but I believe I was using the 10-cup Zojirushi rice cooker (I’m no longer in Japan so I can’t check). I imagine that you could make this recipe with a bigger or smaller rice cooker, although if the surface area of the bottom of the bowl is too small, the top of the bread might not cook through all the way.

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  3. As I type this message I’m eating the bread I made with this recipe and it’s fantastic. I thought I wouldn’t be able to bake anything without an oven so I never would’ve though to try making something like this in my rice cooker. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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  4. Yep it is yummy and performs as expected. I’ve adjusted it a bit and added a touch of Vanilla, some nuts. In Vietnam everyone loves it!

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  5. Just made this – it turned out really well. Just for the record, in the local supermarket, baking powder was labelled as ベーキング・パウダー (beekingu paudaa) but baking soda was labelled as 重曹 (じゅうそう・juusou) so it may be more readily available than at first sight.

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  6. Greetings from Fukuoka,
    One the my PAs sent this link to me after her banana cake was a big hit at a hanami party. The cake turned out really well, so well in fact that I decided to ice it with a white chocolate and kinako ganache (120g white chocolate, 0.5 cup of cream scalded cream and enough kinako to make it spreadable). Tasted beautiful, thanks.

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  7. I’m doing this recipe with an 8 cup rice cooker. It is not working. I’ve hit cook at least 10 times and it only cooks for 30 seconds. Is it really only 1/4 cup of milk? Mine was very dry so I added more milk.

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  8. I had to use my rice cooker 3 times, and it still was a little bit raw in the bottom, but still tastes great! This recipe is the best banana cake I’ve tried so far. Thank you

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  9. @Kelly, that’s because many of the new rice cookers are set to turn themselves off based on moisture. Because this is bread and not rice, it’s not going to cook long.

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  10. I use this recipe ever time I have super-ripe bananas. I always give it two goes in the rice maker. I really appreciate this lovely bread. Thank-you, thank-you from me and everyone I feed! :-)

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  11. Would anyone know if I can use the rice cooker method to bake other breads? I would love to do a lemon blueberry bread. Any info would be great as I’m having trouble finding recipes- thnx! =)

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  12. I’m in New Zealand and have a ‘fuzzy logic’ rice cooker that works on the principle of how much water has to evaporate off before it turns itself to ‘warm’, so here’s how I used my ‘Kiwi ingenuity’ to overcome the problem:

    I have a microwave cake ring that fitted almost perfectly into the inner rice cooker bowl. It had a ridge round the top so I just cut the ridge off with a pair of sharp kitchen scissors. Now the cake ring fits perfectly! To make it easy to put in and get out of the rice cooker, I made a ‘cradle’ out of string to put around the cake ring.

    I poured 250mls (1 standard cup) of water into the rice cooker bowl and preheated it while I was making up the cake mix. Then I put the mix into the cake ring, covered it with a plate to stop condensation dripping onto the cake, put the cake ring into the ‘cradle’, and lowered the whole lot into the rice cooker. I left it for 40 minutes and the rice cooker had not yet started counting down the last 12 minutes so I took the cake out to check. It wasn’t quite done in the middle so I put it back to finish cooking, which meant my rice cooker had lost heat and had to come back up to temperture before it started cooking again. Next time, I won’t be so impatient. Another 10-15 minutes would have seen it cooked the first time.

    The cake is, of course, a bit pale due to no direct heat to brown it, but it tastes delicious. I could ice it but as I have a carton of ready-made custard to use up, I’ll serve the cake as dessert with custard over it.

    Oh, and a couple of changes to the recipe: I used canola oil to avoid the hassle of melting butter. And I decided to use soft brown sugar but inadvertantly put in 1 cup instead of 3/4 of a cup. By mistake I picked up my 1/3 cup measure instead of the 1/4 cup one! Didn’t seem to have any adverse effects. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

    Now that I have everything sussed out, it will be a piece of cake (excuse the pun) to make this cake again.

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  13. oh my gosh thank you. I’ve been dying to bake ever since moving to Japan, now I have a recourse to do so!

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  14. What is the shelf-life for this banana bread!
    Does putting it in the freezer/ in the fridge prolongs its shelf-life?
    :)

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  15. I’ve made this twice now and it’s perfect it tastes so good! My boyfriend and I have basically eaten the whole cake in one sitting, both times, it’s so nice.

    I have one of the annoying automatic-switch-off rice cookers as well so like every 15 minutes or so I have to restart it (even if it only lasts 15seconds on max power) just to keep the heat up, so it does take a few hours to cook through, but it’s worth the time.

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  16. Salam! Im from the middle east. Thank you for this recipe! i thought mine would fail since the rice cooker often switched to WARM when it was still very raw. i just keep putting it to COOK for around 10 times until the upper surface looks slightly brown already. again, thank you!

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  17. I tried this recipe in my rice cooker and it did not work . After three hours I took it and put it in my oven and cooked it there .

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  18. Hi,
    I’m wondering what size rice cooker you have? I have a 6 cup cooker and it took nearly two hours for mine to cook. I’m wondering if cutting the recipe down would help cut down on the cooking time?

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  19. Just made this today and it was EXCELLENT. But it didn’t work in my rice cooker. About 5 minutes after I set it in, the cooker switched to “keep warm” and I tried everything but couldn’t get it to “cook” again. I quickly transferred the whole thing (batter in rice cooker pot) in the oven and baked it for 30 minutes at 160*C. It came out perfect. My husband sliced it right after I took it out of the oven and we and the kids gobbled it up while blowing on it! Super good while hot! Also, I added about a tablespoon more of milk as I found the batter a bit too dry. I didn’t add any vanilla extract because I find it sometimes distracts from the true banana taste. Out of the 5 smallish bananas I used, I really mashed the 3 and kept the 2 quite chunky, so that there would be tiny pops of banana as we bit into the bread. Yummmmm.

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  20. Hello, I’d like to try this recipe in a slow cooker instead. Any ideas how long I’ll have to leave it in the slow cooker?

    Thank you for your attention.

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  21. do you need to put water on the outer pot of the rice cooker? just like cooking rice, there is water in the inner pot with the uncooked rice, and you have to put water on the outer pot
    thanks a lot!

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  22. I tried this! It’s yummy! I added dates..

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  23. Just made this as a school cooking class. It definitely didn’t look like this picture but tastes yummy! A bit spongy too.

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  24. This is great! Thank you so much!! I’m living in a bedsit (‘studio’) apartment in Thailand, with no kitchen. I’ve made myself a makeshift kitchenette on my balcony: I have a little camp stove which does for frying and boiling pasta etc, but after seeing your recipe via this http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/surprising-things-you-can-make-in-a-rice-cooker I’ve invested in a rice cooker too. Now I can pretty much cook everything I want! Your wonderful bread is baking as we speak, and it smells (and looks) amazing.
    My rice cooker switches to ‘warm’ once it gets to a certain temperature, and I have to wait for a few minutes to switch it back to ‘cook’. After a couple of cycles, it only stays ‘on’ for about 5 mins, but in my previous experience with baking this is actually a good thing(so long as you remember to put it back to cook!) as it keeps the cake at a roughly regular temperature.

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  25. Hi, from Jakarta! Thank you for the recipe. My rice cooker is turn to warm every 30 second, and i need to wait before put it in cook again. But with a little bit patience of 10x warm-wait-press cook, it works like magic.

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  26. Hello! Can I ask what brand of enriched flour did you use? I cannot read Japanese yet and most of the products here doesn’t have any translations in it. Thanks for the help!

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  27. @Grace – grace use the strong flour it’s what they use in Japan for baking the kanji looks like this: 强力小麦粉

    @stephanie – so I have made all sorts of bread an even cake in my rice cooker. I use standard cake and bread recipes meant for an oven and then just put them in my rice cooker no problem. They’ve come out beautifully.

    Also as a general note – I have a small rice cooker so I split the batter in half and make two loaves with this recipe. I have found that for all my cakes and breads I don’t want the batter to be thicker than an inch and a half or it won’t cook all the way through and since the dough rises everything I have made comes out perfectly with this :)

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  28. Hello there pretty much set oout programming in the ruby programming language so Im a bit of a noob!

    However, have found your site very enlightening and valuable.
    Thank you!

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  29. Thanks a lot for the help! ;)

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  30. This is such a great recipe! This is my second attempt at rice cooker baking, and a more successful one at that. I have a 5-cup Toshiba rice cooker, using the regular cycle twice – the bread finished baking in about an hour. I increased the baking powder as instructed to make up for the baking soda, which I didn’t have. I used weak bread flour or hakurikiko 薄力粉(leftover from said first attempt) following the same measurements in the recipe, and added chopped walnuts. The bread tastes just as delicious as what you get baking in a regular oven. Definitely a keeper in our house. Thanks so much!

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  31. Hi! Thanks so much for this recipe! It worked for me. It took only 30 minutes, with 3 cycles. It’s moist and sooo delicious! I only lessened the sugar in accordance to my taste. :)

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  32. I have ovems but this one worth trying. L love doing new stuff. Thanks for sharing this recipe

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  33. Sadly, I could not make this work in my rice cooker. It switched off after 15 mins and would not continue cooking. So I dumped it in a baking pan and put in my toaster oven.

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