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Satisfy your afternoon sweet tooth with this cranberry banana bread. It's full of familiar banana bread flavor, dotted with tart cranberries, and drizzled with a simple sweet glaze. It's a festive treat that's perfect for the holidays, and it's quick and easy to make!
While cranberries might not be the first ingredient you think of when you think of banana bread, it's a really incredible combination! The sweetness of banana bread is balanced by the tart cranberries, and it all comes together thanks to a simple sweet glaze.
It's an easy recipe to make with only one surprise ingredient: sour cream! If you've never tried adding sour cream to banana bread before, you're in for a treat. It makes it super tender and moist.
The glaze does make it taste more like a dessert so feel free to skip it for a less sweet version. Glaze or no glaze, we like to enjoy it warm with a generous smear of butter (try our homemade butter!) and an afternoon tea.
With bright red cranberries, it's a festive treat that travels well so it's great for holiday dinner parties and potlucks.
Also, be sure to try our banana bread recipe!
Banana cranberry bread ingredients
With just a few basic ingredients and a loaf pan, you can make this recipe at home, too! Here's what you'll need for the cranberry banana bread:
- Flour – regular all-purpose flour is what we use.
- Sugar – granulated sugar sweetens up this banana bread.
- Baking soda, sea salt, and vanilla extract – make the bread rise and gives it flavor.
- Ripe bananas – save the extra spotty ones! They give this banana bread its distinctly sweet banana flavor.
- Eggs – we use large eggs that are at room temperature.
- Butter – we love using butter in banana bread, it adds lots of richness and moisture.
- Sour cream – sour cream is our secret ingredient, making the loaf tender and moist.
- Cranberries – we use fresh cranberries because we love the tart taste. If you don't love the tartness, you can use dried cranberries instead.
Then, all you need for the simple two-ingredient glaze is powdered sugar and water.
How to make cranberry banana bread
Cranberry banana bread is super delicious and festive, too! Here's how we make it in a few easy steps:
- While your oven preheats, butter a loaf pan and set it aside. Mix together all the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork, and stir in the eggs, melted butter, sour cream, and vanilla.
- Now you know the drill. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and gently fold them together until only a few streaks of flour remain. Then add the cranberries, being careful not to over-mix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan, top it with a few more cranberries, and pop it in the oven. You'll know it's ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- When it's cooled completely, mix the powdered sugar and water together and drizzle it over top, slice it, and serve!
Delicious cranberry banana bread add-ins
This cranberry banana bread is delicious on its own, but here are a few ideas for tasty add-ins:
- Chopped nuts or seeds – toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans add delicious crunch. For a pop of green color, a few pumpkin seeds or pistachios sprinkled on top add a nice festive touch.
- Chocolate chips – white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks add creamy chocolate flavor.
- Lemon glaze – lemons and cranberries are a perfect pair. To give your loaf a lemon glaze, use fresh lemon juice instead of water.
Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream?
Yes! We recommend using full-fat Greek-style yogurt to match the consistency of the sour cream.
Can I freeze cranberry banana bread?
This loaf freezes really well, but skip the glaze if you're planning on freezing it. Store it in a reusable silicone bag or airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months! You can add the glaze after you thaw the loaf.
How long does it keep on the counter?
When stored in a sealed container, this cranberry banana bread will stay fresh for 3-4 days.
Can I make this gluten-free?
While we haven't tested it, most baked goods can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend.
When to serve cranberry banana bread
We consider banana bread to be one of those any-time-of-day treats. We love it in the morning with a cup of coffee, as a mid-day snack with tea, or in the evening to satisfy our sweet tooth.
Since cranberries are a hallmark of the holidays, it's a festive dessert to bring to holiday dinner parties and Christmas celebrations. It's easy to transport and any uneaten loaf will stay fresh for a few days.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large bananas (1 ¼ cups)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 4"x8" loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. See Notes. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Mash the bananas in a large bowl using a fork. Add the eggs, melted butter, sour cream, and vanilla and whisk well.3 large bananas, 2 large eggs, ½ cup melted butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla, ½ cup sour cream
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold the batter using a rubber spatula. When only a few streaks of flour remain, add the cranberries. Do not overmix the batter.2 cups fresh cranberries
- Pour the cranberry banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan, top with a few extra cranberries, and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the top is light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top is browning too quickly, tent it loosely with foil. Let the banana bread cool completely before removing it from the pan.
- Once the cranberry banana bread is cool, mix the powdered sugar and water in a small bowl and then drizzle it over top.⅓ cup powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons water
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.