The classic banana bread with dried cranberries in this delicious recipe is amazing. Whether served hot or cold, with or without butter, this moist tender bread is fantastic. Plus, the dried cranberries add a super nice tart flavor and texture. The best way to use up ripe bananas is making Dried Cranberry Banana Bread.
I’m so happy to be sharing this old fashioned recipe with you. This recipe actually comes from my mom’s recipe box, you know it must be good.
I’m a streusel lover, so I added that optional brown sugar topping, which you’ll find in the Notes section of the recipe.
Because bananas are so cool, I use them a lot when I bake. If you love all things bananas, too, check out this Chocolate Banana Pudding Cake and this Chocolate Lovers Banana Cake. They’re very similar to each other, except in shape.
One uses 2 rounds for the more traditional 2-layer cake. The other uses a 13 x 9″ baking dish, which is great when you need to transport the cake.
Ok, back to the banana bread.
Using ripe bananas for baking.
I love when the little brown spots start appearing on the yellow peal of a banana. It usually means there will be banana bread in my near future.
The more brown spots, the better. Ergo, the more ripe the banana is, the stronger the flavor comes through when you bake with it. And that is just heaven.
So, if you have have ripe bananas with brown spots…
Let’s bake some Dried Cranberry Banana Bread.
Start by picking what size you want your bread to be. I prefer the mini loaves, because they’re fun to share, fit in the freezer better, and they bake easier. A mini loaf pan is about 3 1/2 x 5″ and you’ll need three of them.
If you want to give them as gifts, you can buy the aluminum foil pans, let them cool right in the pan, then wrap them in a pretty clear bag. You never have to take them out of the pan if you don’t want to.
That’s not to say the larger (9 x 5″) loaf pan isn’t great, but sometimes the center will surprise you. If you bake the larger size, just make sure you use a larger (longer) toothpick, like the kind you use for appetizers, to make sure you get into the middle. The toothpick should come out clean. If there’s anything stuck to the toothpick still looking wet, keep baking it until that toothpick is clean.
Making moist Dried Cranberry Banana Bread
Besides the bananas, the buttermilk helps to make this old fashioned recipe nice and moist. Scrumptious even.
So, mixing things up, start with the wet ingredients. In another bowl, have the dry ingredients sifted together.
Then add the dry to the wet and mix just until incorporated. You don’t want to overmix the batter.
Lastly, add the dried cranberries and mix them with the spatula just so they’re evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the greased pan (or pans) and smooth the top so the batter is level.
Ok, just one more thing…
What about the streusel topping?
A delicious option, but certainly not needed for this bread to be fantastic without it.
I tend to add streusel to a lot of things, like my French Toast Cupcakes and my Pumpkin Streusel Muffins. It’s a brown sugar topping that gives it a sweet buttery flavor with a rustic look and a crunchy texture.
So, if you want to add the streusel topping, just mix the ingredients together and spoon evenly over the top before baking. The streusel is listed in the Notes section on the recipe.
Time to bake.
Normally you preheat the oven, but not this time. Wait until the batter is in the pan(s) and ready to go before you turn the oven on. This gives the batter time to rest before it makes banana bread magic happen.
Once the oven has reached 350°, bake the large pan for 50 – 60 minutes, or the 3 small minis for 35 – 40 minutes. Remember to use the toothpick test, it should come out clean, no wet gunk. Give it another few minutes at a time, rechecking with clean toothpicks.
Once baked, allow to cool in the pan for 10 -15 minutes, then remove from pan and let finish cooling on a wire rack.
I don’t want to sound like I’m contradicting myself, but if you baked the bread in those thin aluminum pans, you don’t have to remove them. They can finish cooling in those pans, because they don’t retain heat like the thicker pans can. And if you give them as gifts, it’s easier to keep them in the pans.
Keeping banana bread.
Dried Cranberry Banana Bread also freezes well, but it usually gets eaten before I have a chance to freeze it. To keep the bread moist, keep it sealed whether you freeze it or just store it for later.
Dried Cranberry Banana Bread
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp. buttermilk
- 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Grease either 1 - 9 x 5" loaf pan, OR 3 - 3.5 x 5" mini loaf pans.
- In large bowl, mix sugar, shortening, and eggs.
- Stir in buttermilk and eggs.
- In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to large bowl alternating with bananas. Stir until everything is combined, do not over-mix. Add dried cranberries, stir.
- Pour into greased pan(s) and level. Allow to sit while you heat oven to 350°.
- For the larger pan, bake for 50 - 60 minutes. For the 3 mini pans, bake 35- 40 minutes. Allow baked bread to cool 15 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!
- For optional streusel topping, see NOTES below.
I hope you’ll follow me on Pinterest and post a picture of your Dried Cranberry Banana Bread. I love hearing from my readers and finding out what you think of the recipe.
Also, feel free to comment and rate the recipe below.
Happy baking and have a blessed day.
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