Vegan Cranberry Walnut Bread is crafted from a medley of ingredients, including all-purpose flour, oat milk (or other plant milk), unsweetened applesauce, aromatic ground cinnamon, and the richness of coconut oil. You’ll relish the sweet harmony of dried cranberries and the hearty crunch of chopped walnuts in every tender, dairy-free, egg-free slice.
I adore Cranberry Walnut Bread for its perfect blend of sweet and nutty flavors. The burst of tartness from the cranberries and the satisfying crunch of walnuts create a symphony of textures. Knowing it’s egg-free and dairy-free, with coconut oil, applesauce, and a hint of cinnamon, makes each slice a guilt-free indulgence that warms both my heart and taste buds.
Vegan baking is one of my most enjoyable - yet frustrating - hobbies. It can honeslty be a bit of mystery science. And sometimes a reliable vegan baked-goods recipe fails, even after baking it succuessfully multiple time. Even for me! My favorite and most reliable vegan baked goods that I can really count on time after time are yummy pumpkin cookies and banana cookies. I love making this devil's food chocolate bundt cake and these vegan chocolate cake brownies are to die for!
The dilemma with most vegan quickbread recipes is that they don’t rise high enough to reach the top of the loaf pan – unless you put more batter in. In which case the middle of the loaf will be doughy and heavy. This recipe will not make a super high loaf but it will make a super delicious, moist, perfectly textured loaf!
Ingredients needed to make vegan cranberry walnut bread
- all-purpose flour – It’s really important that you sift the flour before measuring or that you use the “lighten” method. (See below). Otherwise, you will have a heavy, dry loaf.
- baking powder – Baking powder is the only leavening ingredient used in this recipe. Make sure yours is super fresh for the best results.
- coconut sugar
- ground cinnamon and salt
- melted coconut oil – You could use another type of cooking oil. I find that coconut oil works best for this recipe because when cooled, coconut oil begins to solidify and will help keep the eggless cranberry bread together when cooled. You can use virgin or refined coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil has a slight coconut flavor – but I don’t notice it in this recipe. If the flavor of coconut bothers you then use refined coconut oil.
- oat milk – or any other plant milk of your choice. I like oat milk for its creamy texture and neutral flavor.
- unsweetened applesauce
- vanilla extract
- chopped walnuts – You can substitute pecans if that is your preference.
- dried cranberries – Use Craisins dried cranberries if you’d like yours a little bit sweetened.
How to make vegan cranberry walnut bread
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
Steps 1 and 2: Prepare for the recipe
Preheat oven to 350° F. It’s important that the oven is preheated before you put the loaf in the oven to bake. This is part of the vegan baking mystery I’ve solved. You want to make sure that your oven is ready to go when the ingredients are ready.
Use vegetable shortening to grease a 5” x 9” loaf pan. Or you can line the pan with parchment paper. Make sure a little bit of parchment paper sticks up on the sides.
Melt the coconut oil before mixing the ingredients. I melt mine in the microwave. If your room temperature is warm enough you could probably set it on the stovetop while the oven is preheating and it will be plenty melted.
You might need to re-melt the coconut oil if, when you mix it with the wet ingredients, the other ingredients are too cold and the oil begins to harden. I just put the entire bowl of wet ingredients in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Chop the walnuts if you did not buy them pre-chopped. I like to use this handy chopper. It’s small enough to hide in the corner of my cabinet when I’m not using it and does not require electricity to use. Just give it a quick pull and your nuts are chopped!
Step 3: The dry ingredients
You need to make sure to measure the flour correctly before mixing it with the other dry ingredients. If you just cram the measuring cup into the bag of flour and measure it that way, you may measure too much flour and your quick bread loaf will be hard, dry, and dense. It’s best to measure by sifting the flour first and then spooning it into the measuring cup.
You can also “lighten” the flour by stirring the top layer of flour around in its container. Use another smaller measuring cup or spoon to lift the lightened flour from the container and shake it into the measuring cup. When the flour has been measured a little bit over the top, use a knife to quickly swipe away the excess. Yes, you will lose some flour doing this, but your cranberry walnut bread will have a better texture.
Add the properly measured flour to a medium-sized bowl, along with the coconut sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir to evenly distribute. It’s important that the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed together before you add them to the wet ingredients so that you don’t overmix and overdevelop the gluten resulting in a less than tender loaf.
Step 4: The Wet Ingredients
In a larger bowl, combine the plant milk, applesauce, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. If the coconut oil begins to solidify in the cold milk and cold applesauce, heat the wet ingredients for about 30-60 seconds in the microwave. (See the photo above in step one.)
The measurement for the plant milk is 10 tablespoons. That probably seems like a weird amount. I tried this recipe many times, trying to make an easier measurement for you. Unfortunately, ten tablespoons of plant milk is exactly what this recipe needs! If it makes it any easier, ten tablespoons of liquid is one-half cup (measured in a measuring cup made for liquids) plus two more tablespoons. Just measure it that way!
As with the dry ingredients, you want to make sure that the wet ingredients have been thoroughly mixed before combining them with the dry ingredients.
Step 5: Combine the dry and wet ingredients
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine until just mixed. Do not overmix! Fold in the chopped walnuts and cranberries. We are almost ready to bake!
Steps 6 and 7: Let’s bake this vegan cranberry walnut bread!
Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top so that the batter is nice and even. Hopefully, your oven has been preheated (another bit of the vegan baking mystery science). This batter needs to be baked shortly after it has been combined.
Bake the cranberry walnut bread for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Check at 40 minutes! My bread is always done at 40 minutes. My recipe tester said hers needed a little more time. So check at 40 and then even a couple of minutes afterward.
Final step: Cooling and serving
It might be tempting to serve this warm fragrant loaf right out of the oven, but you will be sad when it falls apart into a thousand crumbly (but delicious) pieces.
Allow the baked loaf to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. Then continue to cool on a cooling rack until it’s completely cooled to get the best (held together) slice. Or, if you are like me, be patient for 20 minutes, and then go ahead and cut a piece to enjoy and let the crumbs fall where they may!
This vegan cranberry walnut loaf is best served the same day it’s made – or perhaps the next morning. It can be stored in the fridge if tightly covered for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
The printable recipe card
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Cranberry Walnut Bread, Vegan
- 2 cups all purpose flour sifted before measuring, see blog post
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted, see notes
- 10 Tablespoons oat milk see notes
- ⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts see notes
- ½ cup dried cranberries see notes
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease well or line a 5” x 9” loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the coconut oil and chop the walnuts if you did not buy them pre-chopped.
- Sift or lighten the flour before measuring it (See the blog post) and then add it to a medium bowl, along with the coconut sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir to evenly distribute. Set aside.2 cups all purpose flour, 1 Tablespoon baking powder, ¾ cup coconut sugar, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, combine the plant milk, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. If the coconut oil begins to solidify in the cold milk and cold applesauce, heat everything for about 30-60 seconds in the microwave.¼ cup coconut oil, 10 Tablespoons oat milk, ⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine until just mixed. Do not overmix! Fold in the chopped walnuts and cranberries.½ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup dried cranberries
- Pour into the prepared loaf pan and spread until even.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Check at 40 minutes!
- Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Best served the same day. Can be stored in the fridge if tightly covered for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.