November 29, 2012

Cranberry Orange Almond Loaf

It's almost December and like many other food bloggers, I've already started my holiday baking!

Fresh cranberries are one ingredient that I always try to incorporate in my plans for holiday baked goods and desserts. I love their tartness, especially when combined with other sweet ingredients to balance them out. And even though both are sour, cranberries also seem to pair especially well with citrus flavours like lemon and orange.

For this loaf, I wanted to use the classic combination of fresh cranberries and orange, along with a third flavour: almond.  The bread itself is a soft, delicate loaf made with whole wheat and spelt flour, and studded with juicy cranberries and thinly sliced almonds.

I added orange zest and almond extract to both the loaf itself and the glaze, which is a simple icing sugar glaze made with orange juice. Finally, I used almond milk nog in the batter to add one more touch of holiday flavour!

This is a light and sweet loaf that can be served as either breakfast or dessert.  The loaf itself actually wasn't very sweet, but adding the glaze on top while it's still warm helps to add an extra layer of sweetness that absorbs into the top of each slice.

The almond flavour came through pretty strongly, which made this cake different from most of the other baked goods that I'm used to.  I also loved the sliced almonds throughout the loaf - they added a touch of crunch without being too prominent, really letting the cranberries shine!

This loaf definitely got me excited for the holiday baking season, and I can't wait to make more treats using some of my other favourite holiday ingredients, like gingerbread, eggnog, and candy cane!

Vegan Cranberry Orange Almond Loaf
Adapted from Ripe from Around Here

1 tsp egg replacer + 2 tbsp water (or 1 flax egg)
1 cup light spelt flour (or all-purpose)
1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I used almond nog)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange zest
1.5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare an 8.5x4.5” loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray or lining with parchment paper.

First, make your egg replacer – mix 1 tsp powdered egg replacer with 2 tbsp water and set aside for at least 5 minutes.

Whisk together all dry ingredients (flour through to sugar) in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the non-dairy milk, applesauce, coconut oil, almond and vanilla extracts and orange zest.  Pour the wet ingredients and the egg replacer mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.  Fold in the cranberries, almonds, and cider vinegar.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until the tops are domed, the sides are starting to pull away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Meanwhile, make your glaze by stirring together all ingredients until a thick, smooth glaze forms.  Pour the glaze over the top of the warm loaf and let it drip down the sides (you may want to put newspaper underneath to catch the drippings). Once cool, cut into slices. 

*Note: I would recommend not covering this loaf for the first day, and storing leftovers in the fridge, then warming up pieces as needed (I covered mine with saran wrap at room temperature overnight, and it got a bit mushy). 


  1. i always loved cranberry orange loaves! fresh cranberries are just so magical this time of year. the glaze looks finger licking delicious and i could go for a huge slice of this right now!

    1. Thanks Caitlin - I wish I could send you a huge slice! I love the look of sparkling cranberries as a decoration too

  2. I love the way the glaze dripped down the sides! And how moist the cake is even though it's pretty healthy!

    1. Yes, this was definitely a nice moist cake - my favourite kind! Glazing loaves is always fun :)

  3. I love using fresh cranberries for baking. The tartness is just soo good.

    1. I can see how people could be averse to them if they're too tart without being balanced out, but I'm glad you're one of the fans of tart cranberries!

  4. That glaze looks amazing. Cranberries are my favorite.

    1. Thanks - I didn't realize there were so many cranberry fans reading my blog! I love them in baked goods at this time of year :)

  5. This turned out so pretty and yummy looking!

    1. Thanks - it's always a bonus if you can bake something that both looks and tastes good!

  6. Oh my goodness....drooooooling

  7. Oh yum! This looks perfect for the Christmas season! I love anything with fresh cranberries. Especially something I can enjoy with my tea in the evening. :)

  8. Very nice dense cake with lots of jewels studded in between. So festive!

  9. Oh, it looks so moist and perfect! I love cranberry bread--so perfect for Christmas breakfast. And that glaze! Yum...

  10. I still have a few lingering cranberries from the holidays to use up, I think I'm going to give your recipe a go!



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