This cranberry banana bread boasts a slightly denser texture than banana breads that are more cake-like. The sweetness from the bananas works so well with juicy, tart cranberries, lemon zest, and crunchy pecans for a tasty breakfast or snack. It’s freezer-friendly and would make a perfect food gift for the holidays!
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Shortly after we moved into our new house this past year, one of our sweet neighbors brought us the most delicious loaf of cranberry banana bread!
I had never made banana bread with cranberries before, but after tasting her bread, I knew I wanted to try to make something similar myself.
This recipe uses fresh or frozen cranberries, but if cranberries aren’t in season, you can use dried ones as well. I like to buy extra fresh cranberries around Thanksgiving time to freeze so I can use them year-round!
Chopped pecans (or walnuts) are added for texture, but you can omit the nuts, if you like. Lemon zest and vanilla extract enhance the flavor further.
You can bake 1 large loaf, or as I did in this post, four small loaves using mini loaf pans. The bread freezes very well, and is pretty enough to gift.
More Breakfast Recipes from Aberle Home:
- German Apple Pancake Recipe
- Green Chile Breakfast Burritos to Freeze
- Homemade Cinnamon & Nutmeg Granola
Tips for Making Cranberry Banana Bread
- Use ripe bananas so your bread has enough sweetness.
- A microplane zester will be useful for zesting your lemon
- Do not over-mix the batter for the best texture.
- You can use this recipe to make 4 mini loaves with 6-inch x 3.5-inch loaf pans or make one large loaf with an 8.5-inch x 4.5-inch (1lb) loaf pan.
- 4 mini loaf pans or a 1 pound loaf pan
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Hand mixer
- Microplane zester
- Digital kitchen scale
- Cooling rack
How to Make Cranberry Banana Bread
Step 1 – Preheat Oven and Prepare Pans
You’ll want to start out by preheating your oven to 350°F and preparing your loaf pans.
Rub butter over the entire inside surface of each pan with a paper towel. Then cut a piece of parchment paper the same width as your pan, and leave it long enough that the edges can rise past the edges of the pan. Lay the parchment paper into each pan.
You’ll use these edges later to easily lift your loaves out of the pans.
Step 2 – Mix Cranberry Banana Bread Batter
To make the batter, you’ll start by beating together your dry ingredients with the lemon zest in a medium-sized mixing bowl. A hand mixer makes the process go quickly. Set the dry ingredients aside.
In a separate bowl, beat your sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. Then mix in your mashed bananas.
I actually like to mash my bananas with my hand mixer as well before adding them in.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything comes together. Then you can stir in your cranberries and chopped nuts until they are incorporated.
Try not to overmix your batter or your bread will be less tender.
Step 3 – Pour Batter into Prepared Pans and Bake
I suggest weighing the the pans on a kitchen scale after filling them with the batter to ensure you’re putting the same amount of batter in each pan. They will bake at the same rate this way.
Bake your mini loaves on the center rack for 35-40 minutes (about 1 hour and 10 minutes for a large loaf), or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.
Allow your loaves to cool for a few minutes in the pans before attempting to remove the bread.
Run a table knife gently around the loaves on the ends where there is no parchment paper. Pull your loaves out of the pans by the edges of the parchment paper, and place them back on the cooling rack to finish cooling before you slice into them or store them.
Cranberry banana bread will freeze well for up to three months in an airtight container. To thaw a loaf, simply remove it from the freezer the night before to thaw at room temperature.
Alternately, give these some pretty wrappings and give them as gifts!
If you make this recipe and love it, I would greatly appreciate if you would come back to leave 5 stars and a review! Tag me on Instagram @aberlehome to show me what you made!