Okay, so I love a good cranberry orange bread. You know those giant cran orange muffins at the grocery store? LOVE THOSE. So I made my own, dairy-free version. And then Thanksgiving came around and I really wanted to make a cranberry orange loaf with a cranberry swirl. Talk about festive.
This loaf is easy to get together – seriously, don’t let the homemade cranberry sauce deter you. It’s vegan. And it’s sweetened with just the right amount of coconut sugar – my favorite unrefined, low GI sweetener. For this loaf, you’ll make the cranberry sauce, and then get to work on the easy quick bread batter. If you decide to use fresh squeezed orange juice, zest your oranges before you cut them in half.
When it comes to adding your batter and cranberry sauce to the loaf pan, remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s what makes this so easy! You’ll just plop spoonfuls of batter and cranberry sauce into the pan and then swirl it all together with a chopstick (or knife). You’ll have way more batter than sauce, so opt for big spoonfuls of batter and little spoonfuls of cranberry sauce. I found that this loaf baked fast for me, so keep that in mind. Happy baking!
Vegan Orange Cranberry Swirl Bread
Makes one 9×5″ loaf
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
Zest from one orange
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
4 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temp
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest from two oranges
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1.) Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with olive oil. In a small saucepan, make your cranberry sauce by combining fresh cranberries, orange juice, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and orange zest. Cook on medium heat until cranberries have burst (I like to mash mine with a fork along the way) and sauce has thickened a bit. For a less chunky cranberry sauce, blend the sauce in a blender or food processor (I didn’t do this). Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
2.) In another small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal, orange juice, and water; set aside to thicken. Grab a medium bowl and stir together the coconut sugar, coconut oil, almond milk, applesauce, vanilla, and orange zest; set aside.
3.) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add all of the liquid ingredients, including the flaxseed meal mixture, and gently mix until no flour pockets remain.
4.) Begin spooning your batter and cranberry sauce into your prepared loaf pan, alternating between the two. You will have much more batter than cranberry sauce, so drop smaller spoonfuls of the cranberry sauce so you don’t run out (I like to make sure I have plenty to spoon onto the top of the loaf). Once you’ve added all of your batter and sauce, use a chopstick or knife to swirl the two together. Be sure you insert your chopstick all the way to the bottom of the pan for a more even swirl.
5.) Bake your loaf at 350°F for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with slight crumbs. Allow your loaf to rest in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Gently remove the loaf by running a knife along the edges, tilting your pan, and using a spatula or knife to shimmy the loaf out, careful not to ruin the pretty swirl on top. Enjoy warm or let cool!