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This healthy cranberry banana bread is a tasty way to enjoy fresh, juicy cranberries during the holiday season! Each bite is a blend of moist, tender goodness and delightful textures, plus, it freezes wonderfully for future cravings.

Eye-level shot of sliced bread.
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Reasons to Love this Cranberry Banana Bread

  • Quick and Easy – Made with a handful of simple ingredients and ready in an hour. It’s the most delicious quick bread.
  • Full of flavor! this bread combines the sweetness of the bananas with the tanginess of yogurt, the slight tartness of cranberries, and the crunch of nutty walnuts.
  • Moist and tender – has a soft crumb thanks to the moisture from the ripe bananas and Greek yogurt.
  • Delicious holiday breakfast – this is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for your family and loved ones. It will also make for a sweet, thoughtful gift during the Christmas season.

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • White whole wheat flour – I love baking with this flour because it’s the same nutritionally as whole wheat flour but is lighter in texture and a little sweeter in flavor.
  • Bananas – Be sure to use overripe bananas with plenty of brown spots. The more ripe they are, the sweeter and more moist the bread will be.
  • Eggs – use room temperature eggs for best results!
  • Greek yogurt – adds moisture while adding a healthy dose of protein, fat, and calcium. Whole milk, plain yogurt will work best. If dairy-free, you can use any Greek-style plant-based alternative.
  • Pure maple syrup – a great unrefined sugar alternative. You can also use honey, if preferred.
  • Cranberries – you can use fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw). Buy an extra bag and make this healthy cranberry sauce that’s naturally sweetened.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage of how to make the bread.
A two image collage of before and after baking.
  1. Mash bananas in a medium bowl using the back of a fork or a potato masher. Try to get it as smooth as possible but small lumps are fine. Measure out 1 cup. To the same bowl, add all the wet ingredients and mix together until well combined.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  4. Gently stir in cranberries and walnuts.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for for 45-60 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips for Success

An overhead shot of sliced bread with cranberries in the background.
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup rather than scooping the flour out of the container or bag with your measuring cup. Using the latter method, you could end up with a lot more than what you need.
  • Take eggs and yogurt out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to baking. This will help the dough rise better and gives the bread a nicer texture.
  • After combining the dry and wet ingredients, do NOT over-mix the muffin batter. Mix lightly with a spatula until just combined. Otherwise, you will end up with dense bread.
  • Use serrated knife to cut the bread for perfect slices without squishing the bread.
  • Cranberries tend to be quite tart when freshly baked. But don’t worry! they will mellow out as they cool.
  • Extra add-ins – Add some chocolate chips for extra sweetness and chocolatey flavor or fresh orange zest for a burst of brightness.

Storage

Once cooled, store in an airtight container for 1-2 days on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To freeze:

  • A whole loaf of bread – cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer bag. Will keep for up to 3 months.
  • Individual slices – Stack two to four slices, separating each with a small piece of waxed or parchment paper and wrap each stack in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer bag.
  • Or flash freeze, as I recommend for freezing muffins. This will eliminate the need for individual wrapping.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make this bread dairy-free?

Swap butter with canola or coconut oil and non-dairy greek-style yogurt.

Can I use frozen or dried cranberries?

Yes! If you aren’t a fan of tartness, add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. I recommend soaking them in some hot water for several minutes to plump them up. Drain and pat dry before adding to the batter.

More Quick Bread Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 4 votes

Cranberry Banana Bread

This healthy cranberry banana bread is a tasty way to enjoy fresh, juicy cranberries during the holiday season!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 44 minutes
Total Time: 54 minutes
Servings: 8 Slices
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Equipment

Ingredients 

Dry

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (245g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet

  • 1 cup mashed banana (240g), about 2 1/2-3 medium bananas
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (78g)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir-ins

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, cut large ones in half (110g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 8×4 loaf pan by greasing it with oil or butter or lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Mash bananas in a medium bowl using the back of a fork or a potato masher. Try to get it as smooth as possible but small lumps are fine. Measure out 1 cup.
  • To the same bowl, add all the wet ingredients and mix together until well combined.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Gently stir in cranberries and walnuts. Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for for 45-60 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Video

Notes

  •  
  • Cranberries tend to be quite tart when freshly baked. But don’t worry! they will mellow out as they cool.
  • You can also add some chocolate chips for extra sweetness and chocolatey flavor.
  • Storage: Once cooled, store in an airtight container for 1-2 days on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Can also freeze for up to 3 months.
  •  
 

Nutrition

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 258IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. how long is the bake time if using a 9×9 square pan instead of loaf pan? also, can i use spelt flour? would that work with this recipe?

  2. 5 stars
    Yum!! I made this today (Thanksgiving Day!) so my toddler would have a healthy, festive snack 🙂 I didn’t want to use maple syrup (we are still avoiding added sugars) so I used 1/4 cup of homemade date syrup. Between that and using overripe bananas I am extremely happy with the sweetness level. There is also a perfect balance between the tart cranberries and the sweetness of the bread is perfect. I cut nearly all of my cranberries in half so that I had very small pockets of tartness.

    We all enjoyed slices of the bread while it was still warm and loved it, including my ~2 year old!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. how long is the bake time if using a 9×9 square pan instead of loaf pan? also, can i use spelt flour? would that work with this recipe?