Cranberry Banana Bread
Published Dec 01, 2023, Updated Feb 08, 2024
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This cranberry banana bread is moist, delicious and the perfect festive breakfast or treat for the holidays. It’s naturally sweetened and studded with juicy cranberries and crunchy walnuts in every bite!
I am a banana bread fanatic so when I had the idea to add fresh cranberries to a loaf for a pop of color and festive spin I knew it would be a winner. And boy, was I right! This cranberry banana bread is absolutely delicious and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season.
It’s made with a combo of oat flour and almond flour to make this loaf gluten-free and it’s studded with tart, juicy cranberries and crunchy walnuts. The combo is SO good!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make – This recipe comes together quickly with minimal prep work and it requires simple ingredients that are easy to find.
- Healthier – This is a lightened-up recipe so you can feel good about enjoying it and serving it up to friends and family, especially during the holidays
- Festive – The cranberries add a festive pop of color to this loaf making it a great breakfast option for Christmas morning! It also makes for a great homemade gift! See my tips below for how to turn this recipe into a holiday gift for friends and family.
// ★★★★★ REVIEW //
“I’ve been making this banana, cranberry loaf for over a year now and I literally don’t make any other kind of banana bread now. This mix of the banana with the cranberries and choc chips is delicious…it’s seriously the BEST banana loaf EVER!” – Amanda
Cranberry Banana Bread Ingredients
- oat flour and almond flour – the combination of these flours makes for the perfect texture for a gluten-free loaf! You can make your own oat flour if you’d like or use store bought like Bob’s Red Mill oat flour. As for the almond flour, make sure you get finely ground blanched almond flour and not almond meal! Bob’s Red Mill almond flour is what I typically buy.
- baking soda – a leavening agent.
- sea salt – brings the flavors together.
- coconut oil – helps to keep the bread moist. Feel free to use melted butter or another neutral oil like olive or avocado oil if you don’t have coconut oil on hand.
- coconut sugar – the less-processed upgrade for brown sugar. You can sub brown sugar if you don’t have any coconut sugar on hand.
- maple syrup – just a touch to add more natural sweetness and some maple flavor. You can use honey or agave instead if that’s what you have on hand.
- bananas – those bananas you forgot about on the counter that are now overripe? They’re perfect for this recipe! Make sure you’re using ripe bananas with brown spots for the best results. The riper they are the more sweetness they add. Many times I’ll freeze bananas when they’re perfectly ripe so I can use them for banana bread later. Just thaw and use!
- eggs – to bind the ingredients together and give the loaf structure.
- vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
- cranberries – adds a nice tart contrast to the sweetness of this banana bread banana bread. And it adds a pop of color! I used frozen cranberries, but fresh cranberries will also work if they’re in season. You can also use dried cranberries in place of the fresh cranberries if you prefer.
- walnuts – this adds a nice crunch and pairs perfectly with the tartness of the cranberries and sweetness of the bananas. Feel free to skip the nuts or swap them with another nut of choice like raw almonds or pecans. You can also swap them with chocolate chips for a different mix-in option.
- Vegan: I haven’t tested a vegan version of this recipe and I’m not sure I would recommend using an egg replacement since this loaf is gluten-free is needs the eggs to help give it structure. One reader did use flax eggs and said it turned out fine, but the loaf didn’t rise as much and had a denser texture. If you’re looking for a vegan banana bread and don’t need it to be gluten-free you can just make my vegan banana bread instead. That might be your best bet!
- Nut-free: If you’re allergic to nuts or wish to make this recipe nut-free, you can skip the walnuts, but I haven’t tested this loaf with a substitute for the almond flour, so I’m not sure what a good sub would be. Using all oat flour might result in a drier loaf and you can’t swap the almond flour with coconut flour as it soaks up way more liquid. If you need a nut-free banana bread that’s gluten-free try my coconut flour banana bread instead.
How to Make Cranberry Banana Bread
Step 1: In a medium bowl, mix together your dry ingredients. In a separate, large bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients. Once combined add it with your dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Step 2: Toss the cranberries with some oat flour until they are coated evenly (this prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf), and then fold them and the chopped walnuts into your batter.
Step 3: Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. If desired, add some extra cranberries and walnuts on top. Bake for about 60 minutes checking for doneness with a toothpick or bread knife. Once done, let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips For Success
- Use ripe bananas: Make sure you’re using ripe bananas for the best results. The more brown spots, the sweeter they’ll be.
- Toss cranberries in flour: Don’t skip this! Tossing the cranberries in flour prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf while baking.
- Don’t over-mix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix until just combined. It’s okay if there are a few streaks of flour still visible. Over-mixing can result in a banana bread that’s dense.
- Line loaf pan: Don’t forget to coat your loaf pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper to prevent the bread from sticking to the pan and to make removal easier.
- Cover if needed: Check your loaf at the 30-40 minute mark to make sure the top is getting too brown. If it is I recommend covering it with foil for the remaining baking time to prevent it from burning.
- Check for doneness: Use a toothpick or butter knife to check if the bread is done. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Let cool: Let the bread cool completely before slicing. This helps the bread to set properly and makes it easier to slice.
Ways to Serve Cranberry Banana Bread
I love eating this banana bread toasted with butter or drizzled with nut butter, but here are some ideas on ways to serve this banana bread:
- For breakfast: Enjoy a slice for breakfast alongside your morning coffee with a little butter or drizzle of nut butter. For a more protein-packed breakfast serve a slice alongside two hardboiled eggs and/or a protein shake.
- For holiday brunch: Serve this cranberry banana bread for Christmas brunch alongside my make ahead breakfast casserole, fruit salad and apple cider mimosas. So festive!
Holiday Gift Idea
I love giving people edible gifts around the holidays. There’s something so special about homemade gifts, especially ones that are tasty!
I love making mini loaves of this cranberry banana bread to gift to friends and family over the holidays. To make mini loaves, line three mini loaf pans with parchment paper and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaves cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap, tie a cute ribbon around it and voila you’ve got the perfect homemade gift that everyone will love!
How to Store Cranberry Banana Bread
At room temperature: Wrap the loaf in foil or plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
In the fridge: For longer storage, refrigerate the banana bread in an airtight container for up to a week. This helps maintain freshness and prevents mold.
In the freezer: Banana bread stores great in the freezer. Store the loaf or individual slices in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature before enjoying.
More Quick Breads to Try
- Vegan Apple Bread
- Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- Strawberry Banana Bread
- Almond Flour Banana Bread
- Chocolate Banana Bread
More Cranberry Recipes to Try
- Cranberry Energy Balls
- Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars
- Cranberry Orange Baked Oatmeal
- Healthy Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Banana Bread
- 1 ¼ cup oat flour + 1 Tablespoon for tossing cranberries
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 ¼ cup oat flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate large mixing bowl use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to combine coconut oil, coconut sugar and maple syrup. Add in mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- In the same bowl you used for the dry ingredients toss the cranberries in 1 Tablespoon oat flour until coated. This helps prevent the cranberries from sinking to the bottom of the banana bread.
- Gently stir in frozen cranberries and walnuts to the batter.
- Pour batter into loaf pan, smooth top and sprinkle a few more walnuts and cranberries on top if desired.
- Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.