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Banana-Cranberry-Walnut Bread

When the bananas on the counter are turning black and no one wants them anymore, don't throw them away. Instead, peel them and toss them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for that moment when the banana bread craving hits. Feel free to switch out cranberries for blueberries or pecans for walnuts or add chocolate chips. 

Course Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword banana, bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 8
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet created this recipe by evaluating recipes from Joy the Baker, Smitten Kitchen and Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 frozen overripe bananas
  • perfectly ripe banana  to slice on the top
  • 1/3 cup salted butter melted and slightly cooled (I don't usually buy salted butter, so I just added a dash of salt, just a little under 1/8 tsp., to make it a salted butter)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 farm fresh egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour I did not have any a-p flour, so I used self-rising flour and just omitted the baking soda, which worked out perfectly, but use whatever you have
  • 1/2 cup dried organic cranberries
  • 1 cup walnut pieces and halves

Instructions

  1. Take the plastic bags of frozen bananas from the freezer and allow to defrost. I left mine in the sink, as the bags will get quite wet from condensation. As the bananas defrost, an amber-colored water will accumulate in the bags...and this is what is the trick to moist bread, so keep that water!
  2. Dump the frozen bananas and their juice in a big bowl and mash with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Mix in melted butter and stir well. Add the sugar, beaten egg, vanilla and the spices to combine. If you are using all-purpose flour, sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in thoroughly. Add the flour (a-p or self-rising) and mix until combined. Add the cranberries and walnuts and stir just until incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Take the ripe banana and slice on the bias. Decoratively place sliced banana pieces on top of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean from the center. (My bread took about 70 minutes.)
  4. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Take a butter knife and run it around the edges to ensure it will come out of the pan. Remove from the pan, turn right-side up and let cool completely.
  5. Slice and serve.
  6. This bread is great leftover with a schmear of cream cheese!