[W]henever I need to recalibrate my brain in the kitchen, I look towards the oven and towards the fruit bowl. The oven is my base, my rock, my familiar place. My fruit bowl inevitably has an embarrassing amount of near rotten bananas in it because… I mean, who doesn’t buy a weird amount of bananas every single time they visit the grocery? That can’t be just me.
Banana bread. Familiar, simple, and sweet. It’s my first base.
I’ve spent the week writing recipes for my Brunch cookbook and I feel like aaaallll of my food ideas have been poured onto those pages for the future. Let’s just go back to first base, just to rest a bit.
It would be fair to say that this month is a crush of madness. We all do a pretty fair job of acting like we’ve got our heads on straight, but I know what’s up. I also know how many rotting bananas you have in your fruit bowl… so, there’s no escaping this bread. Embrace the simplicity. Add cranberries. It’s festive and appropriate.
Sidenote: on this Sunday’s list post we’re going to need to talk about the last episode of the Serial Podcast because EXCUSE ME WHAT!?
Let’s take a deep breath and relax into this banana bread. This won’t be a stresser at all!
Flour, spices, and salt and sifted well. Fluffy flour. No lumps.
The thing is… why add butter when you can add BROWNED butter. It’s nutty, fragrant, and has an alluring, almost caramelized flavor. Also… it’s butter. WIN.
Mashed bananas plus brown sugar. We’re whisking in the eggs, yogurt, and butter as well.
We’re really onto something here. Trust me.
Stirred together: flour and spices plus all that banana goodness.
In with the cranberry gems.
This is the festive part. The bells and whistles.
All this batter in this humble loaf pan. It’s a lot of batter for a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Consider this one tasty loaf of banana bread and 2 banana bread muffins.
Crumble topping for days. As it should be forever and ever.
This bread is everything right. Moist and soft. Perfect for breakfast and snacking. Studded with tart cranberry and topped with crunchy topping. I happen to think you should make a loaf this weekend, and catch up on the Serial podcast. We have much to discuss and lots of bread to eat.Print
Brown Butter Banana Cranberry Bread
Sweet, moist banana bread studded with tart fresh cranberries.
For the Bread
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup mashed banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups whole fresh cranberries
For the Crumble
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper leaving about two inches of parchment paper to hang over two sides of the loaf pan. Parchment paper will make the loaf much easier to remove from the pan.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts. When the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown. Swirl the pan as the butter cooks. When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the flame and transfer the butter to a small bowl. Taking the butter out of the hot saucepan will stop the butter from overcooking and burning. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and yogurt. When butter has cooled, whisk in the browned butter.
- Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour. Fold together ingredients, but try not to over stir. Fold in the cranberries.
- To make the crumble, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan. The pan will be very full. Leave out a spoonful of batter if you’re worried about the bread baking over. Make a few muffins with the scooped out batter. Bake the loaf for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Bread will last 4 days, well wrapped at room temperature. This loaf also freezes well.
Have you ever made this in mini-loaf pans (Christmas gifts)? Is it still key to line with parchment, mainly because of the crumble topping, I suppose?? If you had to tip the pan to release the bread, it would all fall off, yes??
I made this for my department’s holiday party baking competition and WON! Amazing recipe. Everyone called it “the fancy banana bread.” And boy, was it fancy. Thanks, Joy!
(Side technical baking note: I had to leave this in my oven, set at 350, for significantly longer than the recipe states. Probably an extra 20 minutes or so, for a total of 1 hr 20 mins (ish). I’m pretty sure it’s my dumb oven’s fault, but, just thought I’d mention for anyone else who attempts this heavenly bread.)
Jennifer M from Oakville, ON
This is an amazing alternative to our usual ‘go-to’ banana bread recipe. I only have frozen cranberries. Question – do i simply throw them in frozen, or let them thaw first (I know the answer for frozen blueberries as they are mush when thawed, but didn’t know if this was the same for cranberries). Awaiting your response and then I’ll get going with making this recipe! Thank you!
Yes, defrost and drain them.
I have cranberries in the freezer that were fresh when I froze them. Would frozen cranberries work?
Yes, just defrost them and drain them.
When do you add the cranberries and are they left whole?
No, I chopped them coarsely
Made this into 6 reg. sized muffins and one mini loaf. I added chopped walnuts when I added the cranberries, because why not? :)
Let me just say, the batter alone was so delish and it was so hard not to pour spoonfuls into my mouth! These are baking now and I cannot even wait to have them with some coffee.
This bread is simply heavenly (even if I didn’t have yogurt and had to use sour cream in its place and despite the fact that we are in temporary housing and I didn’t have a loaf pan so I used an 8×8 baking dish). Thank you for this amazing recipe!
Didn’t have a loaf pan (sorry, amateur baker here!) so I made muffins. Didn’t have cranberries, but I had dried cherries. So I used those instead. With the improvisations it still turned out delicious. Thank-you so much for the recipe. Will be making again.
All I know is that this baking is making my apartment smell amazing right now. Cant wait to taste it!
LEE @ Modern Granola
Mmm this looks so moist and delicious and festive!
I adore your easy bread recipes. I made this bread on Sunday morning. I caught my husband walking into the kitchen later in the morning, stating, “Dammit! Why do you have to make such great bread?” I guess the kiddos saved him enough that he was on his 3rd trip. Sorry…but I blamed you…I said “It all Joy the Baker’s fault. Her recipes are always so good.” Thank you!
I love your recipes and this one looks great as well. I don’t have any yogurt on hand but I do have almond milk – do you think it’s OK to sub? or skip altogether? Thank you!