Banana bread variant embodies holiday season

Since my last column entry was all about quick breads, I thought it would be appropriate to share one of our family favourite recipes.

I am certain that we all have made a banana bread in our lifetimes, but this one embraces the spirit of the season by including cranberries and pistachio nuts.

Cranberry Pistachio Banana Bread

Makes 2 loaves

“The half slice of banana on the top of the loaf gives this loaf a unique recognizable presentation”


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (approximately 4-6)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cranberries, roughly chopped, thawed if frozen
  • 1.5 (one and one half) cups shelled salted pistachio nuts, left whole
  • 1 yellow banana, sliced in half lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two standard bread loaf pans by spraying with baking spray.
Beat the butter and both sugars together with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined, approximately 2 minutes.
Turn the speed to med-low and add 1 egg at a time until all 4 eggs are completely blended in. Stir in the mashed bananas.
In a large separate bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and stir to combine.
Add the cranberries and pistachios to this dry mixture to coat them with flour.
Add the wet egg/sugar/banana mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined.
Do not overmix.
Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and smooth out until even.
Place half of the yellow banana (cut side down) on the batter in each of the pans and bake for approximately 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Chef Dez is a chef, writer, and host. Visit him at
Write to him at or P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6R4