Maple Cranberry Banana Bread

Dear World: I’ve found the best banana bread recipe. No, seriously, I have! I know, I know, food bloggers try to convince you all the time that what they’ve made is the best thing ever. Hear me out.

This recipe is adapted from Sweet and Savory Tooth, the blog I had this month for Secret Recipe Club. The recipe was one of my top contenders for that post, but in the end I made Pecan Praline Bars.

Something about this bread kept calling to me. I purposely let bananas go black on the counter top just so I could make it. Then, as I dug through the pantry for all the ingredients, one of my impulse King Arthur Flour purchases, Maple Flav-R-Bites, jumped out while I was trying to ferret out the walnuts. (The state of my pantry is a post for another time…)

I have these Flav-R-Bites in cinnamon too. I’ve used them in quick breads with great success in the past, so as I piled ingredients on the counter, I tossed the Maple flav-r-bites next to the walnuts.

This is the best banana bread ever because the maple flavor mellows out the banana flavor so that you’re simply left with a buttery, Autumnal breakfast bread. This, my friends, is banana bread for when you aren’t in love with bananas.

I’ve never been a huge fan of banana bread. After a day or two, I find the overly sweet banana taste to be overwhelming, and I give up on eating the rest of the loaf.

I can tell you that James and I managed to eat this entire loaf by ourselves inside of a week. It keeps in the fridge incredibly well. I found myself in the fridge a couple of times a day, tearing off bits of a slice straight from the ziploc bag.

The walnuts and cranberries add just enough texture to make Maple Cranberry Banana Bread a hearty and toothsome breakfast. Or elevenses. Or 4 o’clocks. Whenever you need a sweet little pick-me-up.

Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated, nor was it solicited by King Arthur Flour. I truly enjoy their products and purchase them on a regular basis.

Where links to Amazon are provided, they are affiliate links. This means that if you later purchase something from Amazon after getting there via the link I provided, I get a few cents from Amazon’s profit on what you purchased.


    • says

      Hey Christina, to get the specific maple flav-r-bites I used, you’d need to order them from King Arthur Flour (or if you live near Norwich, VT, they have a brick and mortar store). I order from them quite regularly – even 25 lb bags of flour. Even with shipping, the flour is cheaper that way, and they have so many other fun baking stuff, it’s kind of like my guilty pleasure store. Order the jammy bits too, and I swear it’s worth your while.

    • says

      Jen, they add SO much to the bread. I don’t think I’ll ever make banana bread again without adding some sort of dried fruit, but cranberries are definitely a winner.

  1. says

    I love banana bread but I’m allergic to bananas, so… yes. It’s just unfortunate. And these maple flavor bites?! Oh my word. I wish it weren’t so expensive to ships stuff overseas or I would be ordering those right now! Your bread looks fantastic and I’m sure it really is the best. :)

    • says

      Erin, that’s a total bummer about bananas. But you know what? I’ve used mango puree in place of mashed bananas with great success. I’ve also combined mango and maple together before (in muffins, they’re here on the site) and it’s a fabulous combo! I bet Maple Cranberry Mango Bread would work just fine, and be allergy free for you. Since shipping’s an issue, maybe lower the brown sugar amount to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 or 1/8 a cup of maple syrup to get that maple flavor? You’d have to play with it, maybe add some additional flour, but I’m sure it could work. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment :)

  2. says

    Really?! I’ve tried so many things in place of bananas without luck. Thanks for your suggestion! I’ve actually never had mango. I’ll have to go out and get one. And lowering the sugar would be something that’d happen anyway. I’d take out most of it and use maple syrup. It sounds risky, but I’ve gotten pretty good subbing honey and maple syrup for sugar. :) Thanks for your response… this is probably one of the most thoughtful responses I’ve ever gotten. Subscribing now!

    • says

      Sommer, I’m telling you – this has changed my mind about banana bread forevermore. I love those flav-r-bites from King Arthur Flour. They’re just fab.

  3. says

    Mmm elevenses, now you’re talking. ;-) This bread looks fabulous! I’m not sure I can do the maple flav-r-bites since KAF processes all their non-flour stuff with peanuts/nuts, but I bet I can hit up the maple guy at the farmer’s market for something similar. Since I can’t add the walnuts though, what would you suggest I add instead?

    • says

      Tracy, I think sunflower seeds or hazelnuts would definitely fill in quite nicely for the walnuts here. Have a look at what I told Erin in terms of subbing in maple syrup.

  4. says

    I adore banana bread of all sorts. I can’t wait to try this – the cooler the weather gets, the more I want to spend all day baking and eating.

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