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
- Combine the brown sugar, cranberries, water, butter, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan.
- 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).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Position an oven rack in the middle.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.