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The first thing to do is to ensure it cools down properly. When it comes out of the oven, take it out of the tin after a few minutes and cool it on a wire cooling rack. This will ensure that the whole cake, top and bottom cools down. If you leave it to cool in the tin you will end up with condensation at the bottom of the cake, and the bottom will go soggy. For more information on cooling racks, see our article Banana Loaf Recipe Equipment.
Once it has cooled, you can slice and serve.
Any leftovers need to be stored safely so that you can continue to enjoy the cake for a couple more days. We find the best place to store the cake is in an airtight tin. See our article Banana Loaf Recipe Equipment for more information.
If you aren’t going to eat up the cake in a day or two, the best thing to do is freeze it. Depending on your household, you can freeze a whole or half cake, or you may prefer to slice the cake and wrap the slices individually. Either way, you need to ensure the cake is well protected, so wrap it in cling film and put the cake in a freezer bag, labelled with the contents and the date. It should keep for a few months in the freezer.
The banana loaf cake should defrost at room temperature in a few hours. If you want to speed it up, you could microwave it, though this will make it softer. This is perfect for pudding (see our separate post here) but if you want it for afternoon tea, you may need to have experimented on previous occasions before risking it for that posh tea with your Great Aunt Marjorie. Since microwaves vary greatly, it is hard to give times but, as a rough guide, a single slice of banana loaf cake could defrost in 20-30 seconds in a microwave. You may wish to use a lower power level or “defrost” setting to defrost more slowly and carefully.