Cranberry Banana Bread
Extra cranberry sauce? Not a problem! Mix it into this Cranberry Banana Bread for a morning treat that’ll have the whole family asking for more!
Laura is a wiz at using random leftovers and extra ingredients to invent meals around here. (For the record, stir fries, tacos and quesadillas are a great way to use up the last bits of ‘this and that’ hanging out in the fridge!) This time, though? I stepped in. We had some extra cranberry sauce in the fridge. I was already planning on making a loaf of banana bread. I wasn’t going to share it on the blog. It’s just a good ol’ banana bread recipe. Everyone has a recipe for banana bread, right?
Then I had an idea. What if I took that leftover cranberry sauce and mixed it into the banana bread batter? The result? Amazing. Over the years, I’ve eaten a lot of banana bread. Like loaves and loaves and loaves. This Cranberry Banana Bread with pecans might be my all-time favorite!
Cranberry Banana Bread
The sweetness of the banana bread combined with the slight tartness from the cranberries is amazing. Add in the crunch of the chopped pecans? Even better. And then put a slice in the toaster oven with a bit of butter? I could probably finish off the entire loaf all by myself. (Fortunately, I didn’t have that problem as Robbie and Laura both jumped in to help!)
If you’re looking for an amazing recipe for the holiday season, then keep this one in mind. Even if you don’t have extra cranberry sauce lying around, you can whip up one on the stovetop in about 10 minutes (recipe included below). Fresh cranberries are plentiful this time of the year in the grocery stores, but I’ve used frozen cranberries to make this sauce before, too. (Side tip: Stock up on a couple of bags of fresh cranberries when they’re on sale. They freeze well and you can pull ’em out throughout the year as needed.)
As far as making the batter for this recipe, it couldn’t be easier! It will be slightly lumpy once the bananas get added – that’s perfectly fine. This Cranberry Banana Bread (and banana bread in general) always takes longer to bake than I think it should. It’ll take 80-90 minutes in the oven before it’s fully baked, so plan accordingly. Trust me, though, the time is worth it! (Plus, the house will smell amazing while the banana bread bakes.)
I hope you enjoy this Cranberry Banana Bread as much as we do – it’s a new favorite in our house!
Did you bake a loaf of this Cranberry Banana Bread at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Cranberry Banana Bread
For the Cranberries
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
For the Bread
- 6 oz. unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup chopped pecans divided
For the Cranberries
- Using a small saucepan, add sugar and orange juice. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Add cranberries and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until cranberries begin to burst and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool fully.
For the Bread
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour a 9”x5” loaf pan; set pan aside.
- Using a countertop mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes on medium speed.)
- Add eggs, bananas and vanilla extract; stir until just combined.
- Using a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add half of flour mixture to the bowl with the banana mixture; stir until well combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture.
- Add ½ cup of chopped pecans and cooled cranberry sauce (from above); stir until well combined.
- Transfer mixture into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup of pecans on top.
- Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out mostly clean. (Note: Tent the top of the bread with foil after ~50 minutes to prevent it from burning.)
- Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Looking for other banana bread recipes? Check out these other favorites:
Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread
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Will be making this soon can i use vegan butter i never gad cranberry banana bread before love banana perfect for snacking at the office and in the home too love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
I’ve never baked with vegan butter before, so I don’t know how well it can be creamed with the sugar for this recipe. I say give it a shot, and then let me know how it turns out! This is a fantastic banana bread recipe, and I hope you enjoy it, Ramya!
Dude – what a fantastic idea! Using cranberry sauce in banana bread! “Amazing” is an understatement! Sheer fantabulous genius! This would travel SO WELL – so I am firing up my drone on this cold morning (side note, it is colder here right now than in NYC~WHAT!?) When that drone lands on your window sill – load her up with as many slices as you can – I’m trying to help y’all with your leftovers 😉
Happy happy weekend to you three!
Wait – it’s colder in Georgia than New York? What the what? I’m freezing up here right now – wishing I was back in the South! Either way, give that drone a jacket and send it north! 🙂 Hope you had an amazing weekend, too, my friend!
We always end up with extra cranberries around the holidays and this is a genius way to use them! Bookmarked this recipe to try!
This truly is one of my favorite banana bread recipes ever, Marissa! The cranberries add such a nice twist to the flavor here. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to bake up a loaf!
What a creative and delicious way to use up that leftover cranberry sauce. In fact, I’m going to make certain I make a huge batch of sauce just so I have enough cranberry sauce leftover to make this bread!
That’s a great idea, Kathy! This truly is one of the best banana bread recipes I’ve ever tasted, so I highly recommend your plan of making extra cranberry sauce this holiday season. Give this one a try for sure!!
Oh yeah I have a recipe for banana bread indeed. That’s your recipe for banana oat bread you shared 5 or 6 years ago LOL That’s the only banana bread recipe I’ve tried twice. Anyway, I love this winter version with juicy cranberries and sweet orange. And you know what I think would also be good in here? A touch of nutmeg, for a lovely holiday vine.
I do remember that banana oat bread, Ben – it’s a good one! But this one? It’s better. Trust me! I do like your idea of a tiny pinch of nutmeg. That’s a good twist for the holiday season! Put this one on the list for sure, Ben!
this looks pretty. these cake/breads are fab aren’t they? easy and delish.
Yes, yes and more yes! I do love a good quick bread. This banana + cranberry version is fantastic. I just wish you could get cranberries down there!
We LOVE Cranberry Banana Bread here David. My blog version is slightly healthier than yours, but hey it’s Christmas coming up and I’d happily settle for a slice of yours any day! It looks delicious and I love the addition of those chopped pecan nuts!
Haha – it’s the holiday season for sure! We can cut back and diet in January. 🙂 Thanks, Neil!
Ok, I have to admit I was never a fan of cranberry sauce growing up, but I would have jumped on this. Now, since moving over here I’ve come to love lingonberries, which I think are called low bush cranberries in Canada. Thus, as your cranberry and our lingonberry are cousins, I’m sure lingonberries will work great in this holiday bread recipe.
I haven’t baked (or really even eaten) lingonberries before, but it sounds like they are similar enough to cranberries. I’d give this banana bread a shot with the lingonberry addition. I’m not kidding when I say this is the best banana bread I’ve ever eaten! This recipe is on regular repeat around here during the holiday season. Hope you’re doing well, Ron! I’m still in search of that elusive Pappy…haha.
Now I wish we have cranberries here in NZ so I can try this recipe. Will try to find if I can grab a frozen ones otherwise I will try your recipe with cherries or other berries instead
Cherries would be an ok substitute here I think! Cranberries are best as the tart flavor really works with the bananas. If you find frozen cranberries, grab ’em!!
This looks fantastic! I have some pre-made sauce, and Im wondering about how much of it to use… I can’t wait to give this a go.
Hey Carrie! Thank you so much for the kind words. 🙂 So I just finished making 8 loaves of this banana bread this week as neighbor/teacher gifts. (And one extra for us…) I meant to measure how much sauce went into each, but I forgot. I would estimate that it was about 1/4 cup of sauce that goes into the batter. I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do here. It’s pretty fantastic lightly toasted with a bit of butter!