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Loaf of banana bread with lemon icing

Banana Bread With Dried Cranberries, Pecans and Lemon Glaze

  • Author: Michal Martinek
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf bread, serves 6–8 1x
  • Cuisine: American


Dense and moist banana bread made with dried cranberries, pecans and topped with a lemon glaze. 


  • 1 cup (135 g) brown sugar
  • 2 cups (200 g) dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) water
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted cold butter, cut into ½-inch (2 cm) cubes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • ¾ cup (70 g) chopped pecans
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups (200 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Lemon glaze (optional)
  • 1¼ cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Combine the brown sugar, cranberries, water, butter, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and butter dissolve. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, then pour into a large bowl, and let cool for minimum 20 minutes. (You can do this step 1 day ahead and store the mixture, covered, in the refrigerator).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Position an oven rack in the middle.
  4. Lightly grease or spray a loaf or bread pan (see Notes for size info) with butter or neutral oil. Line it with a piece of parchment paper, making sure it hangs about 2”/5 cm above the edge of the pan. (This helps with lifting the bread out after baking).
  5. Mash the banana with a fork in a small bowl, or on a cutting board, and add it to the cranberry mixture. Add the pecans and egg. Stir to combine.
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into the bowl with the cranberry-banana mixture. Mix until combined and there’s no flour visible, but be careful not to over-mix.
  7. Transfer the batter into the bread pan, smooth the top. Bake in the oven until golden brown and a cake tester or a small knife inserted in the middle, comes out clean, about 50–60 minutes. (Baking time will depend on the size of your baking pan—for bread & loaf pans, start testing 45 minutes into baking).
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pan, set on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Slice and serve.
  9. To make the lemon glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl, add the lemon juice, and whisk vigorously with a whisk or spoon, until smooth and glossy, about 5 minutes. 
  10. Pour the glaze evenly over the top of the cooled bread, letting it come down the sides. Let the glaze firm up, then slice and serve.
  11. Store the bread, covered, in a cool, dry space for up to 3 days. You can freeze the unglazed bread, sliced or whole, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months.


1. Here are the different baking pans you can use to make this Banana bread:

  • Pullman loaf pan: 9 x 4 x 4″ (that’s what I used to make and photograph this recipe) – the bread will be higher with straight sides.
  • Bread pan: 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75″ – the bread will be wider and lower
  • Mini loaf pan: 5.75 x 3 x 2″ – in the past, I used 3 mini loaf pans (each filled two-thirds up the pan). The baking time will be shorter—start testing 20 minutes into baking. These make great gifts.
  • Muffin tins: medium size – fill each two-thirds up the tin. The baking time will be shorter—start testing 20 minutes into baking. 

2. Other nuts you can use: walnuts or pistachios.

3. Other dried fruit you can use: raisins, cherries, blueberries, currants.