Walnut & Cranberry Banana Bread Recipe

A delicious old-fashioned moist banana bread studded with cranberries and walnuts. This cranberry banana bread recipe is easy to make and utilizes either dried or fresh cranberries!

Do you love Banana Bread? Try my Instant Pot Banana Bread in a Jar. Fun & tasty!

banana bread with cranberries, walnuts, and butter on top.

What do you do with leftover bananas? Altogether now… “You make banana bread with them!!”. We all know that, don’t we! Most of us have favorite banana bread recipes passed on to us from generations ago.

Do you make banana bread? I sure hope so…don’t let that tradition die with this generation.

Did you know? Banana bread didn’t make an appearance until about the 1930’s when baking soda and baking powder became widely used? It REALLY became popular when it appeared in Chiquita’s Banana Recipes Cookbook in 1950. 

A great twist on the traditional banana bread recipe is this Cranberry Banana Bread. Adding cranberries and walnuts (totally leave them out if nuts aren’t your thing) to the batter elevates Grandma’s banana bread into something a bit more special.

This recipe is super simple and fast to mix up. Mix it up, invite a friend over, and argue about whose Grandma had the best banana bread recipe. For the record, mine would win :).

ingredients for banana bread. Including mashed banana, dried cranberry, dry ingredients, butter.

Key Ingredients

Can pretend the addition of cranberries and nuts makes our banana bread more healthy?

  • Dried Cranberries. Use fresh cranberries in the fall when they are in season. The rest of the year keep it easy with dried cranberries.
  • Over-ripe bananas. Keep bananas in your freezer to pull out for this recipe.
  • Walnuts. Chopped or whole, it’s totally up to you. Sub almonds or pecans, if you prefer.
  • Dark Corn Syrup. Dark corn syrup adds a yummy molasses flavor to the bread while helping with texture and moistness. Don’t be tempted to sub!

Can I use fresh or frozen cranberries?

You can use any kind of cranberry for this Cranberry Banana Bread! If you prefer using frozen or fresh rather than dried, you will probably want to double the cranberries and check my tip below for keeping them from staining your batter. Remember that 1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries equals 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.

How do I keep fresh cranberries from staining the batter?

Coating your fresh cranberries in just a bit of flour and folding them in gently on the very last step will give you a perfect, non-stained loaf of cranberry banana bread. This is the same technique I utilize in my Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake, btw.

Adaption ideas

I’m pretty sure that there is no “wrong” kind of banana bread. Not a cranberry fan or don’t have any walnuts on hand? Leave them out…OR…add chocolate or butterscotch chips instead, try adding lemon or orange zest, add a little almond extract, mix in some blueberries, swap the walnuts for pecans, or go tropical with macadamia nuts and shredded coconut… The possibilities are endless! (So don’t you ever throw out those brown bananas. There is banana bread to be made!)

How to make Cranberry Banana Bread

  1. Mash your bananas, of course!
  2. Cream the butter until it is soft & fluffy.
  3. Add your sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and bananas. Stir until everything is combined and smooth.
  4. Slowly add in your dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. If using fresh or frozen cranberries …stir your fresh cranberries in a bit of flour just until they are coated…remove the excess.
  6. Fold in your fresh cranberries and walnuts.
  7. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake.
  8. Make sure to eat the bread warm with a slab of butter!

Can I eat this warm or cold?

Either! I love this bread fresh out of the oven with a slab of butter on it. If stored in the fridge, I would sit it out to allow it to come to room temperature or toast a slice to warm it up before eating it. See my tip below about storage, though.

Cranberry Walnut Bread loaf on a plate

How do I store the Cranberry Banana Nut Bread?

You can store the bread at room temperature for 3-5 days. I recommend storing it in an airtight container to make sure it stays fresh! You can extend the life to a week by storing in a refrigerator. However, banana bread tastes best when it doesn’t hit the fridge. Store it on the counter, when possible.

Is it better to wrap banana bread in foil or plastic wrap?

Both! At least that is what all the old ladies I know swear by—and they are who I trust most when it comes to banana bread. First, wrap the banana bread tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap it tightly in foil (especially if you’re going to freeze it). Keeping the air out will keep it nice and fresh.

Walnut Cranberry Banana Bread

| 12 slices
Prep Time | 10 minutes
Cook Time | 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time | 1 hour 10 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Moist Banana bread studded with cranberries and walnuts in this simple recipe.


  • ½ cup 1 stick butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.
  • Slowly add the sugar, eggs, dark corn syrup, and mashed bananas. Mix until combined and smooth.
  • Gradually add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
  • Add walnuts and cranberries and stir to combine.
  • Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  • Cook for 75-90 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the bread pan to cool completely.


Tip: If using fresh or frozen cranberries, dust the cranberries in flour to prevent them from staining the batter.


Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 138mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 295IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg

NellieBellie Recipe Tester said:

“I made the banana cranberry walnut bread and it turned out great! Only took 70 minutes, very easy to put together, and not too much banana flavor.”

This post was originally published October 31, 2015.

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7 thoughts on “Walnut & Cranberry Banana Bread Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    This is so yummy! The banana-cranberry combo is perfect. Sadly, I couldn’t wait to taste it and a molten lava cranberry destroyed half my tongue. I used pecans since I couldn’t find the walnuts in the freezer. I doubled it so I had 3 smaller loaves and cut 10 minutes off.

  2. Also added raisins and chopped fresh pineapple! Wonderful flavors! Tasted terrify! Easy recipe and not a big mess!

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