Cranberry Orange Banana Bread
Y’all might remember the Great Banana Bread Explosion of 2020, when everyone was bored in their homes with too much time and too little yeast, and wanted to show the internet that they could bake something practically foolproof. And really, that’s the beauty of banana bread. It’s so hard to mess up! What I personally love about it is the versatility. Long-time followers of this blog may recall my Piña Colada Banana Bread, my First Saturday in May Banana Bread, or the festively autumnal Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread. Well, I’m back on my BS with YET ANOTHER flavor: Cranberry Orange Banana Bread.
I got the idea for this recipe after having too many craisins in my cabinet and some leftover Orange Liqueur (sans Liquor). I wanted to showcase them both since cranberry and orange are classic festive flavors, and my first thought was to chuck them in a banana bread. Did the fact that I was slowly filling my freezer with “too soft to eat but I feel bad throwing them away” bananas? Perhaps. But I’m glad that I did, because this cranberry orange banana bread ended up being exactly what I needed to get into the fall spirit.
You start by making the orange liqueur base at the above link. If you don’t have the ingredients for it, you could always use real orange liqueur, but of course that involves alcohol. I wouldn’t recommend using orange juice, personally, as it has a higher acidity and sugar content and would make the bread overly sweet. After it’s made, soak the craisins in it to rehydrate them, then make the batter and fold them into it. You can even add chopped nuts or chocolate chunks into the batter along with them to add an extra crunch or hint of sweetness. Once you get the hang of my basic banana bread recipe, there’s no end to the ways you can customize it!
If you can’t get enough of cranberry and orange, check out my Cranberry Brie Bombs or Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies. Of course I love all of the fresh fruit and bright colors that summer brings, but there’s something so comforting about the deep red of the fall/winter cranberry. It feels like the holidays are right around the corner, even if they feel weird this year because of COVID. What’s your favorite way to enjoy the humble cranberry? Let me know in the comments below! Until then, here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living.
Cranberry Orange Banana Bread
- 9×5" loaf pan
- 1 cup craisins
- 1 cup Liquorless Orange Liqueur
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, softened)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3 overripe bananas (mashed)
- 2 eggs
- Soak the craisins in the Liquorless Orange Liqueur overnight in the fridge in a covered bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5" loaf tin and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light in color, about 3 minutes. Add the bananas and eggs and mix again for around 2 minutes. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until well-incorporated. Fold in the cranberries (and add any leftover liquid), then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice and enjoy with a mug of tea on a cool autumn morning!