Thanksgiving Recipes


Banana Cranberry Bread


Banana Cranberry Bread

The comfort of banana bread and the holiday taste of cranberries come together in this delicious recipe.


If you think bread is only for sandwiches, you must be missing out on holiday breads. Pumpkin, zucchini, banana nut, and other breads are the best ways to “ruin your appetite” before dinner (according to Mom!). They are also great for snacks, breakfast, and just about anytime.

Why Bread Is Amazing!

One of the things I love about bread is all the possibilities it has. You can make it sweet like Mexican conchas or savory like Italian focaccia.

(I can personally vouch for focaccia bread. I had a friend who liked it my bread so much, he traded a video game for a freshly made loaf!)

You can eat it with breakfast, lunch or dessert. You can serve it with cream cheese, fruit, meats, vegetables, nut butter, hummus, olive oil or whatever else you want.

You can also customize your bread by adding other good stuff. Exciting ingredients like fruits, nuts, herbs and cheeses can also create flavor explosions in your mouth.

The best part about making bread is that you don’t have to be an expert to make great tasting bread. Just take a look at this delicious Thanksgiving-inspired recipe!

Our Banana Cranberry Bread Recipe

cranberries for banana cranberry bread - A basket of fresh cranberries overflowing
The flavor of cranberry makes this banana cranberry bread something different.

©Julia Metkalova/Shutterstock.com

What I really like about this banana cranberry bread is that it takes a timeless favorite and reinvents it for the holidays with a fruity, seasonal twist.

Like soda bread, banana bread is considered a quick bread. It uses baking soda and baking powder as leavening instead of yeast.

Since banana bread doesn’t have to rest before you cook it, it’s a lot more convenient to bake on a day like Thanksgiving, when you’ve got a lot going on in the kitchen!

Banana Cranberry Bread wrapped in parchment paper and a string
Banana Cranberry Bread is a great gift!

©Fiery Phoenix/Shutterstock.com

A Cornucopia of Flavor

This banana cranberry bread recipe has a lot going for it. It’s got more sugar than usual, but that’s okay! This bread is almost like a cake, but without the frostings and layers cakes are famous for

Cranberries can be pretty tart, so this banana bread has a bit of a zing to it! You can use serve this in place of cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving meal, or make it the day after with the leftovers.

If you have the time and want to be extra fancy, try making your cranberry sauce from scratch. It’s really easy, and homemade cranberry sauce has a fresh, fruity flavor you won’t find in a can. But it’s Thanksgiving, so you’re totally forgiven for buying a can of Ocean Spray.

Another thing this recipe does is play with texture. You’ve got the bread, and chunks of cranberry goodness mixed in. There’s also walnuts, which add a bit of protein and a nice, hearty crunch.

Finally, the bread is spiced up with some seasonally appropriate cinnamon and nutmeg.

When to Serve Banana Cranberry Bread

Bread can be pretty filling, so if you have little kids at the table, you might want to serve it as a snack before or after the meal, so they don’t fill up on it.

Because it’s pretty sweet, you could also try serving this as a healthier alternative to pie.

If you want a fun breakfast idea, try slicing it and spreading apple jelly or apple jam on it. The slightly tart apple is a great flavor combination.

However you slice it, this banana cranberry bread is sure to be a hit this Thanksgiving. As a snack, a side dish, or breakfast the next day, there’s no wrong way to enjoy this bread!

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Banana Cranberry Bread

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  • Author: MomsWhoThink
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2½ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, and mix in bananas, cranberry sauce, milk, and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually blend flour mixture into the banana mixture.
  5. Fold in walnuts.
  6. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, and cool completely.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 60
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