Cranberry Banana Bread Recipe

Cranberry Banana Bread

I had read about this recipe a little while ago on Mariko‘s blog. She credited Melissa for it, who had herself gotten it from Wilson’s Farm in Lexington, MA. I’d always wanted to make a banana bread but never had, and the addition of cranberries sounded great. A few months ago, my grocery store was selling cranberries, very uncharacteristically I might add, and I had bought a basket with this bread in mind, and frozen it until the occasion arose to make it.

And arise it did! On Sunday night, my friend Marion invited me to dinner at her appartment, along with our other friends Stéphane and Caroline. The three of them had spent the day having a picnic and hiking in Fontainebleau and they’d be home just in time for dinner, so it would be a simple, whip-something-up affair.

No reason to skip dessert though, and around seven, I looked at the clock and thought : by golly, there’s just enough time to bake a Cranberry Banana Bread! So I did, giving a call to Marion to let her know dessert was in the oven. The news was met with a little shriek of joy.

The batter was very easy to assemble, and by the time the bread was done, the apartment was filled with a very, very promising smell. I unmolded the banana bread cautiously, wrapped it in foil, placed it in a bag and took it with me on the metro ride to Marion’s place. I could tell people were trying to locate where the yummy smell came from, while I kept a straight face, with the precious but innocent-looking bundle, still warm on my lap.

After a delicious dish of pasta alla carbonara, we dug into the banana bread. It turned out to be delicious : not too sweet, with the tartness from the cranberries well balanced by the stable banana taste. It was baked just right, nice and moist, with a slightly crispy outer crust. The slices also looked very appetizing, with pretty cranberry red freckles in the brown and white cake. I will definitely make it again, possibly substituting other berries or cherries for the cranberries, as they’re not so easy to find.

Cranberry Banana Bread

– 1/4 C (55 g) butter, softened
– 1 C (200 g) sugar
– 2 eggs
– 2 small bananas, sliced
– 1 C (110 g) cranberries
– 1/4 C water
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 3/4 C (200 g) flour
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp cinnamon

(Serves 6.)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease a 9 by 5 inch (22 by 12 cm) loaf pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor. Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well between each addition. Add in the banana slices, the cranberries, the water and the vanilla extract. Mix again until blended, but not too much : it’s nice if the banana and cranberries are not completely mushed.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients into the batter, and mix until just combined — do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for approximately 55 min or until the top of the cake is nicely brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Let rest for ten minutes, then run a knife around to loosen the sides, remove from the pan, and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Original recipe : Wilson’s Farm, Lexington, MA. Via Melissa.

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  • Oh Clotilde you wicked girl! You TORTURED those fellow metro riders with the sweet fragrance of your bread—

  • m

    Yummm I love banana loaf and I’ll look out for Cranberries to make an up market version.

  • How amazing to drop into my favorite Parisian weblog and see a recipe from my local grocery!

    Cranberry note: these are ubiquitous and cheap around here. Cranberries aren’t much like other berries; in particular, you can freeze them without much harm.

  • Windy

    I linked to your site from Chez Pim and I am glad I did!

    I really enjoy reading your blog everyday. I especially like reading about your take on things that I seem to take for granted. Take cranberries. They are pretty much available all the time, usually frozen, and I never really give them much thought until the Christmas holidays. I would have never thought about adding them to banana bread but now I can’t wait to try out your recipe!

    My husband and I will be traveling to Paris on May 22 for a week’s vacation. What seasonal specialty dishes would you recommend we seek out to eat while we are there?

  • Dear Clotide,

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and I am utterly fascinated by it! I wanted to mention that, in the states at least, dried cranberries are all the rage lately, and they work very well in almost any baked good that calls for fresh.

    My mother has a wonderful recipe for cranberry orange bread that is always a hit for breakfast or dessert.

    And I like to eat the dried cranberries just plain or in trail mix!

    Thanks for your blog!


  • carla

    cranberries in paris? what’s next? good bread in the u.s…?

    i buy dried cranberries year round. they’re great for snacking and really terriffic in a green salad with blue cheese. recently the nytimes did a cranberry article that included cranberry meringue pie… how’s that for another surprising cranberry appearance!

  • Yay, you made the cranberry banana bread! It looks very delicious. Those metro riders don’t know what they were missing.

  • Maryanne

    Another cranberry fan from New England…dried cranberries with greens, goat cheese and sugared pecans, with raisins in bread stuffing for turkey or pork, in a reduction sauce with orange for grilled salmon. Very high in antioxidents. Hurray for the cranberry. Clothilde, I am ADDICTED to your site! (Whining now) I need/want to go back to Paris!

  • sarah

    I loved this recipe! I read your blog every day and I really enjoy it. Thanks for putting all this time into it!

  • I haven’t tried cranberries in banana bread but I can imagine how the tartness matches the sweetness of mashed bananas. Blueberries are good too. But they bleed. My favourite matching for banana bread however is nuts: I either use a blend of poppyseeds and sesame seeds (and quite a few like 1/4 cup of each) or a 1/2 cup or more of chopped walnuts. It’s amazing to crunch into a delightful tea bread and crunch the odd earthy nut. Walnuts go well in zucchini bread too of course. And by the way, years ago when I baked at a cafe, I ALWAYS put a whole bunch of overgrown zucchinis from my parents vegetable garden into my chocolate cakes! So there you go…

  • hilary

    hi. i just started checking out your site when it was listed in gourmet magazine recently…i really enjoy seeing what you make and reading about life in France. i am a transplanted new yorker living in california and missing the ease of travelling to europe. also have two young kids that keep us busy now. but…still love to cook and especially to bake…our favorite banana bread includes yoghurt or creme fraiche to keep it moist, and lots of chocolate chips…it is yummy right out of the oven…heaven to a four-year-old. Looking forward to trying some of your recipes…thanks, hilary

  • Dried cranberries are a good suggestion, and I can find them here, so I’ll give it a whirl next time. Or dried cherries should be nice too.

    Carla – That cranberry meringue pie sounds intriguing, I’ll go hunt for the article!

    Lacy, Daphne and Hilary – If you’d like to share your banana bread recipes, I’d love to see them.

    Windy – Asparagus are in season so asparagus dishes would be nice, but otherwise I can’t really think of anything in particular, just follow your heart and taste what sounds/looks good to you!

  • jun

    hi clotilde,
    i haven’t been able to find any cranberries here in Malaysia, not even dried or frozen :(
    would blueberries work? or raspberries/blackberries? any other suggestions?

  • Jun – Yes, any other berry, fresh, frozen or dried would work well in this. And nuts, too!

  • Allie

    Good recipes they make me feel good inside I just said Love ya recipes1

  • Hi clotilde! Do u reckon that dried cranberries can be used as a substitute?

  • z.K – Yes, absolutely, dried cranberries would work fine. Maybe soak them in tea first to plump them up a bit?

  • Bee

    What type of bananas do you use? In Singapore,we have more than 5 types of bananas-big and small!!
    I usually use Del Monte (fresh bananas)for banana that ok?

    they are shld be very ripe right?

    2 small bananas is abt how many grams?

  • Bee – Yes, they should be quite ripe. I’m not sure which type of banana I use since there is only one kind here, but fresh bananas such as Del Monte would work fine. And by “small banana”, I mean a banana that’s about 7 inches long.

  • Kim

    Thanks for the recipe. I hope you don’t think it’s a perversion that I substituted chocolate chips for the cranberries (banana and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combos). Banana bread was one of the first things I ever baked as a teenager, whenever we had overripe bananas. It’s funny that we never thought of it as dessert.

  • Brenda Wiley

    Hi Clotilde,

    Love the site and am jealous that I’m not going to Paris this Christmas. I was wondering what to do with this aging banana in my fruit basket and will try the Cranberry Banana Bread recipe tonight. Many breakfast restaurants in Connecticut are using quick breads in French toast fashion. I’ll be trying that tomorrow morning. Thanks for a delicious forum.

  • Elizabeth

    I put dried cranberries in my oatmeal–soooo much better than raisins. I’ve also tried mixed dried fruits (apples, cherries, etc.). And my favorite deli in Connecticut made cranberry scones–hot from the oven each morning . . . so yummy.

  • the banana bread is baking in the oven right now and it smells sooo good! i can’t wait to try it, thanks for the recipe :)

  • I made this recipe with dried apricots cranberrys and banana its in the oven.I also added some mango and sugar and top i hope it turns out good!

  • Pietzsche

    Using this recipe, I made a batch of 12 banana cranberry muffins this morning! I replaced the sugar with a cup of Splenda/sugar blend for baking, and I added 1/2 cup walnuts into the food processor with the cranberries. Other than this, no changes. I baked the muffins for 25 minutes. They came out very tasty!

    Next time I’ll also try the addition of ground flax seed, and replace some of the flour with oatmeal, to make the muffins a healthier breakfast treat!

    Thanks for recommending the recipe!

  • ginger

    A woman I used to work with would make her famous banana bread every once and a while and it was amazing. I got the recipe from her and she said the secret was to use bananas that were so ripe they had turned dark brown. Of course this takes planning to buy the bananas in advance, let them sit, and basically wait until they look inedible, and it really does make a difference.

  • Erin

    I stumbled upon this recipe last week and decided to make it yesterday. This bread was fabulous! I couldn’t find any fresh cranberries at the grocery store, so I used dried cranberries. I let them soak in water for about 40 minutes to plump them up a little. The bread turned out moist, plump, and very flavorful! My apartment smelled so wonderful while this was baking in the oven. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Gayathri


    I have made this 3 times so far — all 3 times this has been a super hit. I made it with whole wheat pastry flour and replaced 1/2 the sugar with splenda and added blueberries instead of the cranberries and also replaced 1/2 the butter with applesauce. I also added walnuts and raisins. This is my most favorite bread/muffin ever !!! Thank you for such a great recipe.

  • Miranda

    I made this loaf recently because it sounded really good and I had some bananas to use up. However, I used whole wheat flour, frozen cranberries, and 4 frozen bananas. It got rave reviews and I have been asked for the recipe by a couple of people.

  • Sarah

    This looks delicious! I’d love to make it some time as I really do enjoy to bake. You’ll probably never answer this but where in Paris can you find dried cranberries? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen them, which is a shame. I’d really appreciate it if you have the time to let me know :)

  • Sarah – You will find dried cranberries in organic food stores (such as Naturalia) in Paris, or at Izrael in the 4th. They’re also available from the dried fruit stall of the Batignolles market on Saturday mornings.

  • Thank you for this simply wonderful recipe. I’ve been looking for ways to make some banana bread with a twist, and this is definitely it! Your site offers so many wonderful recipes and resources – thanks. I noticed also that you posted the recipe in 2004 – how wonderful that it’s still getting rave reviews from people four years later! Thanks again.

  • Laure Joachim


    I actually had, by chance, some overripe bananas. Tried and loved this recipe. Thanks!

  • Shweta S.

    This is really good. I had a couple old bananas ripe for baking but every recipe I found needed pecans or walnuts which I didn’t have handy. So this is perfect. I used dried cranberries but the tartness goes really well with the sweet bananas! Merci Clotilde.

  • sx

    hm, forgot to put eggs, and it still came out pretty tasty :)

  • Nicole

    Hi Clothilde! I finally found cranberries here in Orléans (just an hour from Paris) after over a week of searching for them. The problem with this recipe is that I don’t have a food processor, blender, or any other mashing appartus. Any suggestions on getting them the right consistency for the bread?

  • Nicole – In that case, I suggest you use very ripe bananas and mush them by hand with the cranberries (and possibly a little of the water to increase friction) using a sturdy fork. The rest of the batter can easily be mixed by hand, too. Let me know how it turns out!

  • I guess I went all the way to Paris for a recipe suggestion that I had right here in the Wilson Farm Country Cookbook that sits on my kitchen bookshelf. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • miriam


    To set an American oven to 360 F is dicey at best. So which setting do you recommend: 350 or 375?

  • It’s cherry season again here on the West Coast of the U.S. So I feel compelled to point out, this recipe is AMAZING with fresh pitted halved cherries. Also, a little almond extract (or amaretto!)

  • Jan

    The cranberry banana bread looks just so delicious. I can’t wait to try it myself. Great recipe!!

  • Elli

    I had no cranberries so I used soaked raisins, and reduced the sugar to 150 grams. I used 3 overripe bananas. And as usual, I instead of flour, i used 100 grams blanched almond powder and 100grams wholewheat flour.
    It came out really well. People have asked me for the recipe and I have shared your site with them yet again! :-)

    • Thank you for reporting back, Elli, I’m glad you and your friends enjoyed this!

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