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Cranberry Apple and Banana Bread

This Cranberry Apple and Banana Bread (sometimes called Cranapana Bread) is a very easy-to-make quick bread that incorporates a few seasonal ingredients into a traditional banana bread.

With all the baking and cooking that goes on this time of the year, a seasonal, easy banana bread recipe is much appreciated. And this is one super easy recipe! Use your food processor to lightly chop the fresh cranberries and apples, mix the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and fold in the cranberries and apples. Tuck it into a bread pan and DONE!

Apple, Cranberry and Banana bread on a rack with scattered cranberries.

And truthfully, you don’t really need to chop the cranberries if you want to leave them whole. That’s totally up to you. It does result in bread with more bright red berries. And while cranberries are tart, the tartness is completely balanced by the sweeter banana and apple. It is a nice contrast of sweet and tart.

Cranberry, Apple and Banana Bread on a cooling rack with scattered cranberries.

Make Cranberry Apple Banana Bread Mini-Loaves For Easy Giving

One of the great things about any quick bread, including this cranberry banana bread quick bread, is that it is easily adaptable to being baked in mini-loaf pans. I use 2 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ mini loaf pans for easy gifts and reduce the baking time to 35-40 minutes.

Cranberry, Apple and Banana mini loaves in plastic bags with scattered cranberries.

Make-Ahead Directions

You can mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients the night before, but keep them separate. Make sure they are at room temperature before you combine them and then add the banana, cranberry, and apple. This is a great way to have a fresh loaf of Apple, Banana Cranberry Bread first thing in the morning without having to wake up too early to do all the mixing!

Let’s Talk Bananas

Very ripe bananas are ideal for baking because they are sweeter and easier to mash than their less-ripe counterparts. They add natural sweetness, moisture, and banana flavor to the muffins. Frozen bananas work great too! Just thaw them and preserve all their liquid for mashing with the bananas.

Heavily speckled, even black bananas are the best for baking. As bananas ripen, they become sweeter as starch turns into sugar. Additionally, the softer they are, the more moisture they bring to the recipe. Unless your bananas are moldy, there is no such thing as a ‘too ripe’ banana for baking.

Ripe bananas on a counter.

If your bananas are not quite ripe enough, there are a few methods you can use to speed up the ripening process:

  • Paper Bag Method: This is a widely known method to ripen bananas. Place the bananas in a paper bag and fold the bag loosely to close it. The bananas release ethylene gas naturally, which is trapped in the bag and helps them ripen faster. You can also add an apple or a ripe banana to the bag to increase the amount of ethylene gas. Check daily, as they can ripen faster than you think.
  •  Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Place unpeeled bananas on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15-30 minutes, or until the banana skin is dark and the bananas are soft. This method might not provide the same taste as naturally ripened bananas. Still, it will make them soft and sweet, suitable for baking.
  •  Microwave Method: If you’re in a rush, use the microwave. However, this method is more about making bananas soft than truly ripening them. Pierce the banana peel a few times with a fork or knife and microwave it on a plate for 30-second intervals, checking in between. Be cautious, though, as the texture and flavor might not be as developed as with other methods.

Remember, these methods do not perfectly mimic the process of natural ripening, which allows the sugars in the bananas to develop over time, contributing to a richer, sweeter flavor. These are, however, good quick fixes when you need to bake with ripe bananas immediately.

Use Fresh, Frozen or Dried Cranberries

This easy cranberry banana quick bread recipe accommodates substitutions well

  • Substitute frozen cranberries, but don’t thaw them before you add them. You may need a few more minutes in the oven…just use your cake tester.
  • Substitute 6 ounces of dried cranberries.

Storing Your Cranberry Apple Banana Bread

  • Store this delicious cranberry banana bread in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
  • Store it in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for up to three days.
  • Once your Cranberry Apple and Banana Bread bread is at room temperature, wrap it in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or a freezer ziplock bag. If you use a ziplock bag, make sure that you get out as much air as possible. For the best-tasting bread, don’t store it in the freezer for longer than six months.

Looking for Other Similar Recipes?

Sliced Cranberry Apple Banana bread on a cooling rack, with fresh cranberries sprinkled around.

Cranberry Apple Banana Bread

This Cranberry Apple and Banana Bread (sometimes called Cranapana Bread) is a very easy-to-make quick bread that incorporates a few seasonal ingredients into a traditional banana bread.
4.71 from 17 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Baking Recipes + Tips
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 230 kcal


  • 1 1/2/ cups whole fresh cranberries
  • 1 apple
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or regular milk
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large ripe banana mashed


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Peel and core apple.
  • Chop apples along with cranberries. I've found the easiest way is to toss them both in the bowl of a food processor and pulse them approximately 15 – 20 times.
  • Combine dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Combine milk, eggs, and oil
  • Add milk mixture and mashed banana and mix until just combined.
  • Gently fold in the chopped cranberry and apples.
  • Grease a 9" by 5" loaf pan or three 2 1/2" by 5 1/2" loaf pans.
  • Spoon the batter into the pans
  • Bake the large pan for 55-60 minutes or the smaller pans for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
  • Let your cranberry apple banana bread cool completely on a wire rack before removing it from the pans.
  • This bread will keep in the fridge for 7 days, assuming it doesn't get gobbled up beforehand!


Serving: 1gCalories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 346mgFiber: 2gSugar: 22g
Keyword apple, banana, bread, cranberry
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Sliced Cranberry, Apple and Banana Bread on a cooling rack with scattered cranberries.
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  1. My second batch is in the oven and they look heavenly. Making and freezing for Thanksgiving neighbor gifts next week! Love your bric-a-brac decor! Hunting that down to package them!

  2. 5 stars
    They had fresh cranberries at the store, so I had to get some. This was a fun and so tasty bread to make with them. Bring on all the cranberry treats!

  3. The only problem with this bread is how I want to eat the whole thing all at once!!! Delicious! I used King Arthur gluten free baking mix and instead of cranberries, used the Thanksgiving leftover homemade cranberry sauce (which has nice chunks of cranberries in it) and reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup. Oh my word is it good! Thank you for this new holiday favorite!

    1. Hi Erica,

      I’m so glad you shared how you altered the recipe! I will add your suggestions to the post for readers who also want to go gluten free. Is the gluten free baking mix a cup for cup substituion? And any idea how much of the cranberry sauce you used?

      I know you wrote this two weeks ago, so you may not remember. I totally unplugged for the week of Christmas, so I’m just getting back to work.

      Happy New Year!


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