A fantastic way to use up fresh Fall cranberries, this Cranberry Banana Bread is fluffy and flavorful!
Oh it’s that time of year, people!
I’m cranberrying (pretend that’s a word) ALL THE THINGS!
Though some may want to fight me on this, the have way more uses than plain ole cranberry sauce.
We love them tossed into salads, swirled into cornbread, and roasted with butternut squash to sweet caramelized perfection!
Up next is this fluffy and fantastic Cranberry Banana Bread!
Cranberry Banana Bread
There’s a deliciously sweet, mild banana flavor in the bread itself with little jewels of cranberries flecked throughout to shake things up with their tangy tartness.
The nuts add fantastic texture to to the bread but if you’re either out of or avoiding nuts entirely, they can 100% be skipped as needed!
When this bread is hot from the oven the cranberries are downright assaulting with their tartness. I’m talking a high-five and a half to the tastebuds here, people! The WOAH-factor mellows as the bread cools. So be sure to give it some time to cool down.
If you find fresh cranberries too tart, you can actually use chopped dried cranberries in this bread.
You can also take a walk on the sweeter side and serve the bread with a sweet vanilla icing on top.
The sticky-sweet glaze mellows the cranberries and gives this cranberry banana bread a total dessert bread vibe. It’s tastes a bit like a breakfast cake when you do this and I have to admit, I’m a fan!
Optional Vanilla Icing
- 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
- 3 or more TBSP heavy cream, as needed, to thin the icing
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sift confectioners sugar into a medium-large bowl. Add heavy cream, one Tablespoon at a time while mixing to reach desired consistency. Stir in vanilla extract and drizzle over cooled bread.
Cranberry Banana Bread
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 TBSP unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup mashed ultra-ripe banana*
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, and/or pistachios)
- 1.5 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set oven rack to center position.
- Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. For easy bread removal, you can also place a "sling" of parchment paper into the pan horizontally with a bit hanging over the edges to help you lift out the loaf. I love this trick!
- Mix sugar and butter in a medium mixing bowl until completely blended.
- Add banana, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well.
- Add dry ingredients, mixing just until moist. Stir in nuts and cranberries.
- Spread batter evenly in the loaf pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from pan, cool on rack.
Recipe adapted from Food.com.
Crazy for Cranberries?
We are too! Here are a few more favorites from the P&C recipe archives:
So good. Could you use blueberries?
You absolutely could!
I was curious about this combination. It was such a great combination the banana taste was mild being balanced by the tart cranberries. I recommend toasting the bread in your air fryer. It makes it even more amazing.
Can I use maple syrup in place of the sugar and gluten free flour?
Hi Jeanne! These swaps have the potential to alter the texture of the bread so I would maybe compare it against a favorite GF banana bread you love making and make adjustments based on that? You’ll be my first to experiment with these swaps so do keep me posted if it works! I have been slowly experimenting with GF baking but haven’t had a chance to tinker with this particular one past the testing of the original recipe. xoxo
Was cleaning out the freezer and came across a 1/2 bag of cranberries and some bananas. Wondered what to do with them and this recipe came up. Was short in banana so dug in the pantry for something to add to it to have enough. Added crushed pineapple. Anyway, it turned out great – probably should have drained the liquid from the thawed bananas and more off the pineapple and left out the milk but I’m not complaining! Love the sweet contrast with the occasional tart cranberry bite. Will make again!
I want to make muffins using this recipe! How long should I bake them for? And how full should I fill the muffin tins?
Hi Tavie! With muffins my rule of thumb is normally 3/4 the way full. Start with 20 minutes at 350 F and then keep checking from there with a toothpick inserted into the center. I would say somewhere between 20-28 minutes for bake time? I’ll test a muffin version next time I make this to get a more exact timeframe. To get more of a domed top you can try the trick where you preheat the oven to 375F and then when you place the muffins inside change the temp to 350. This gives them a little extra rise!
This is absolutely BEST recipe for banana cranberry bread! It’s so good, I have to double the recipe every time I make it! Thank you!!
Aw thank you Trish! So stoked you’re loving the recipe! xoxo
How long can I bake this recipe using a 9×23 inch ceramic baking dish?
Hi Tes! I’m not sure as I haven’t had the opportunity to test this myself. I own a 9×13 but not a 9×23.
This bread is absolutely scrumptious! I’ve made similar breads for many years, but this one takes the PRIZE!
Ahhh yay thank you Pat! I’m so glad you’re loving it!
Why is 1/2 cup nuts mentioned twice in the recipe?
And why is there no mention of the vanilla in the recipe?
Hi Brenda! So sorry for the delay; I just got my computer/internet access back. Somehow the duplicate write up escaped my recipe testers and myself and I’ve updated the recipe to clarify. You’ll add 1/2 cup total chopped nuts (sometimes I’ll even add a little extra) and vanilla will go in along with wet ingredients.
Trying cranberry/ banana nut bread. I’d like to find fairly easy recipes.
This bread is delicious! It’s incredibly moist, but not heavy. You can definitely taste both the bananas and cranberries individually, and they complement each other, I made it last night, and I’ve already eaten nearly half the loaf – a keeper, for sure!
Thank you Patrice; I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe! I cannot be trusted around a loaf of this stuff – it gets devoured so fast, haha!
Just made this and boy is it good! I used a small Bundt pan (made for the instant pot) so I also got a few muffins. Next time I’ll add the nuts, decrease the sugar just a tad and maybe add a little orange zest. Can’t wait to try it again!
Yay!!!! So fun to use a small bundt pan!
Oh My Goodness! Just the best!! I used Ocean Spray dried cranberries in mine, and it is sweet, moist, and just the yummiest!! Thank you! It smells like a lil piece of Heaven in my kitchen! This is the most perfect bread I have ever made —- rose to top beautifully and was popping open. Cooked it exactly as you stated —- 1 hr and 10 mins! Nailed it!! I would give you 10 stars for that Award Winning Cranberry Banana Bread!! ❤️❤️👍👍
This bread was delicious! Moist, tender crumb was so good with the sharp cranberries. I topped mine with turbinado sugar, which gave it a great crunch. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Julie! So stoked you enjoyed the banana bread! xoxo
This bread was delicious! I am definitely adding this to my recipe file!
Made it exactly as says only adding dark chocolate chips. Crispy, soft and absolutely perfect <3 droooollll thank you!
I love the addition of dark chocolate chips! So glad the recipe was a hit!
Can you use dried cranberries? Is there a trick on how to pick cranberries?
Hi Milan! I use dried cranberries in my Cranberry Orange Pumpkin recipe if you’d like a recipe written for dried cranberries. It’s delightful! As far as picking cranberries, the season should be starting up so you should be able to find them in your local grocery store soon. I like to go with organic bagged cranberries when I can find them and sometimes my store even has them fresh in a little makeshift “bog” where you can pick out exactly how much you need. So fun! xo
Can you make this with frozen cranberries?
Hi Sandy! I haven’t tested it with frozen yet, so I’m not sure if they bleed a bit and change the batter color like frozen blueberries can? Let me know if you experiment!
Super yummy! Mine came out slightly underbaked despite an extra 10 minutes cooking time, probably due to my wonky oven, and it’s still delicious. I love how tangy it is, with the sweetness of the bananas keeping it from being overly tart. Alas, my husband doesn’t like it, so I will have to eat the whole loaf myself, woe is me, whatever shall I do.
Bahahaha! I say the same thing any time my spouse snubs something and it’s mine alllll mine! So glad the recipe was a hit! xoxo
What a cool recipe! This bread looks so delicious and airy! I made cranberry bread and banana bread separately, but it never occurred to me to combine them, although this is such an elementary idea. Thank you for that I always can find something interesting on your blog, and everyone will surely like it.
I’m kind of in love with this recipe. I’m so excited for cranberry season to start!
The nuts made this banana cranberry bread special. I recommend it!
So happy to hear it Helene – thank you!