Moist and tangy-sweet, my cranberry banana bread is a terrific treat to bake up during the fall or winter months when fresh cranberries are plentiful. Prepared with ripe bananas, fresh cranberries, spices, walnuts, brown sugar, and a finishing sprinkle of crisp oats, this cranberry banana bread recipe is terrific as a holiday treat, or a simple mid-week indulgence!
Banana Bread Studded with Fresh Cranberries
Friends, ’tis the season for baking and making our kitchens all cozy and warm, filled with the aroma of spices, vanilla, and sugar!
I love this time of year when I can prepare all sorts of homemade goodies, using ingredients that autumn offers up, turning them into mouthwatering treats to enjoy for breakfast, or as an afternoon treat.
Fresh, tart-sweet cranberries are one of my favorites to use as they become plentiful on the produce shelves in our markets, because their beautiful ruby-red hue lends a pop of vibrant color to everything they're added to.
My cranberry banana bread is a late fall twist on my traditional banana bread recipe, filling our home with that cozy aroma, letting everyone who enters know that there's something magical happening in our kitchen...
You can tell when it's banana bread baking, but there's a little something extra, something special, with this loaf...
Delectably moist, my cranberry banana bread features extra-ripe bananas (the more spotted the better!) and fresh cranberries folded into a rich batter, along with a sprinkle of crunchy walnuts.
It bakes up super fragrant, with just the right amount of sweetness.
Topped with a crispy topping of oats, this cranberry banana bread is best sliced nice and thick, gently warmed, and perhaps spread with a little pat of butter!
My Recipe for Cranberry Banana Bread
Over the years, I've constantly fiddled with my banana bread recipe, trying to tweak it ever-so-lightly to make it taste even better.
I've finally found that “sweet spot” with my recipe, creating the perfect texture and flavor, with richness and tenderness in each slice.
Having said that, it made sense for me to play around a little more by making a fall-inspired banana bread, filled with those fresh cranberries offering a touch of tartness!
I'm using brown sugar for a hint of molasses flavor, a touch of cinnamon for spice, vanilla for aroma, a combination of melted butter and oil for that perfect balance of flavor and moist texture, and a touch of sour cream for tenderness.
Easy to mix up, top, and bake, this cranberry banana bread is delicious and festive enough to serve during the holidays to family and guests, yet easy enough to whip up during the week to serve as a simple snack in the afternoon with tea or coffee.
Here's a sneak peak at my cranberry banana bread recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I whisk together my dry ingredients, and set those aside.
- Next, I whisk up my wet ingredients, folding them into my dry ingredients, just until combined, and then I add in my fresh cranberries and walnuts.
- When the batter is ready, I pour into my prepared loaf pan, and top with a sprinkle of oats.
- I then bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until baked through.
- Finally, I allow the cranberry banana bread to cool for a few moments in the loaf pan, then lift it out and allow it to cool completely before slicing and enjoying.
Cranberry Banana Bread
by Ingrid Beer
This moist cranberry banana bread is filled with fresh cranberries, fragrant spices, sweet, ripe bananas and crunchy walnuts!
Yield: Serves 8
Nutrition Info: 482 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 extra ripe medium bananas, well mashed
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup melted, unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream, room temp
- 1 cup (slightly heaping) fresh cranberries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 to 3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and mist a non-stick loaf pan (9 x 5 inch) with cooking spray. Line with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs for easier removal after baking.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and set these dry ingredients aside for a moment.
- To another bowl, add the mashed bananas and the brown sugar, and using a hand-mixer, mix on low speed until well-combined. (You can also use a whisk.)
- Add to the banana mixture the oil and melted butter, the eggs, the vanilla and the sour cream, and mix (or whisk) those in until well-incorporated.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and fold together just until combined, taking care not to over mix the batter.
- Fold in the cranberries and the walnuts, then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle over top the oats, and bake for about 1 hour and 5 to 10 minutes (checking it after an hour), or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. (You may need to loosely cover the loaf with foil for about the last 10 minutes of baking if it begins to become too dark.)
- Allow the loaf to rest in the pan for about 15 minutes, then carefully lift the cranberry banana loaf out and place onto a wire rack to allow to cool before slicing and serving.
Tips & Tidbits for my Cranberry Banana Bread recipe:
- Fresh cranberries for sweet-tart flavor: If preparing this during the season when fresh cranberries are available, opt for those. They add a bit of texture and that sweet-tartness to this treat, perfect for fall. Do not use frozen cranberries, as they can add water to the batter. You can substitute dried cranberries, if you prefer, and if fresh are not available.
- Very ripe bananas for flavor and sweetness: If you have very spotted, extra ripe bananas sitting in your fruit bowl, those are the bananas you want to use for banana bread. They offer a lot of natural aroma and flavor, plus natural sweetness, so you don't have to go overboard on adding too much sugar.
- Sour cream or buttermilk, for tenderness: I typically like to use sour cream in my banana bread recipe, but if I don't happen to have any, then buttermilk is a terrific substitution. They both have a bit of tanginess and richness, so either will work well.
- Walnuts for crunch, or other options: Walnuts are a great add-in to this cranberry banana bread, offering some crunch. You can substitute pecans, or even chopped hazelnuts, if you prefer. Or, leave the nuts out altogether if you have you're allergic.
- Storing cranberry banana bread: You can keep your cranberry banana bread nice and moist for a few days after baking if you keep it covered. I like to place it on a large plate and use plastic wrap, keeping it either room temp or in the fridge. If you'd like to freeze it, simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and place into a large ziplock freezer bag. Then, when ready to serve, simply thaw at room temp or in the fridge, slice and enjoy.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated with even more love!