This vegan cranberry orange bread is oil-free, sweet, and easy to make for a festive treat. It’s full of zesty little cranberries, sweet orange juice, and gets a little crunch from the pumpkin seeds. The icing drizzle is optional, but it makes it look a little more elegant and it’s super tasty.
How to Make a Vegan Cranberry Bread
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C), either grease or line a 5x9 loaf pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, sugar, orange zest, fresh orange juice, dairy-free milk, and vanilla.
In a large bowl, whisk the whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix them together. I like to stop when everything is almost combined and fold in the cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
Pour the mixture into a prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
When the loaf is completely cooled, whisk together ½ cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Then drizzle the icing over the top of the loaf.
Substitutions for Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread
- Raw pumpkin seeds can be substituted for any chopped nut
- 1 cup of whole-wheat flour can be substituted with 1 cup of all-purpose flour for a lighter bread (in texture) without adjusting for the liquid in the recipe. I haven’t tested substituting both cups of flour with all-purpose flour.
Tips for Baking Vegan Orange Cranberry Bread
- When zesting your orange, a micro-plane works well; be sure to only remove the bright orange skin, not the white pith underneath.
- If your baking soda and/or baking powder clumps, sift it so it evenly distributes in the dry ingredients.
- Oven temperatures can be inaccurate. An inexpensive oven thermometer can help you know your oven's actual temperature. These are very helpful in preventing baking mishaps due to unreliable oven temperatures.
- Wait on icing the loaf until you are ready to serve.
- If transporting the bread, plastic wrap will stick to the icing. If you do need to use plastic wrap, I haven't tried this but I've read you can use toothpicks to tent the plastic wrap so it doesn't touch the bread. Then take out the toothpicks before serving.
- Measuring a ½ cup of powdered sugar by volume can yield different results for some people because of how packed the fluffy powder is. So I would recommend looking for the right consistency when making your icing. Add more powdered sugar if it's too runny, add more milk if it's too dry (a little goes a long way).
- You want the icing to be thick to set up on your bread, if it's too thin it will just melt into the bread. It needs to be spoonable, but not run off your spoon like soup, but not too thick. Similar to Elmer’s glue consistency. Probably not the best analogy for food, but I hope it helps with the visual!
- Store at room temperature covered for 1 day or refrigerate for up to a week.
- The bread can also be frozen unglazed or glazed for up to 3 months.
- I like to slice leftovers and freeze the individual slices. To do this line a baking tray that will fit in your freezer with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Place the slices on the tray (not touching each other) and freeze overnight. Then transfer the frozen slices to a freezer bag or container. Now they're frozen individually! When ready to consume, thaw the desired amount in the refrigerator.
This wasn’t intentional, but the vegan cranberry loaf has some festive holiday colors. Green from the pumpkin seeds, red from the cranberries, and white from the glaze. I just thought pumpkin seeds and cranberries sounded good and the drizzle would dress up the loaf. How festive!
I hope you enjoy the recipe for vegan cranberry orange bread!
More Vegan Desserts
- Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
- Vegan Pumpkin Muffins (No Oil)
- Chocolate covered Cookie Dough Bites
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
- Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
- Vegan Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Originally published on December 20, 2019, updated on December 14, 2021.Print
Vegan oil-free orange cranberry bread popping with fresh cranberries, a delightful crunch from pumpkin seeds, and drizzled with a sugary glaze. Very festive for the holidays!
- ¾ cup (150 g) raw cane sugar
- ½ cup (123 g) unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice
- Zest of one orange
- ¾ cup (180 ml) dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (266 g) whole-wheat flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (95 g) fresh cranberries (small ones halved and large ones quartered)
- ⅓ cup (50 g) raw shelled pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- 1 ½-2 tablespoons orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C), grease, or line a 5x9 inch (14x23 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, sugar, orange zest, fresh orange juice, dairy-free milk, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- In a large bowl whisk together the whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix, stopping halfway through (to help prevent over-mixing), and fold in the cranberries and ⅓ cup shelled pumpkin seeds.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and promptly place the loaf pan in the oven.
- Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean and the top springs back (mine takes about 50 minutes).
- Let the bread cool completely, then whisk together ½ cup of powdered sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons of orange juice. Drizzle over the bread.
- Store covered at room temperature for 1 day, refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Spoon the flour out of the bag and into the measuring cup, then level off with the back of a knife. Flour can settle and compact while in storage, scooping it out ensures the cup of flour is not too tightly packed. Too much flour in the recipe can result in dry cranberry bread.
The icing should be the consistency of Elmer's glue (not the best analogy for food but hopefully helpful). Depending on how packed the powdered sugar is, measuring it by volume and not weight can vary from one person to another. So look for consistency, not too runny and not too thick. You should be able to spoon it on the bread but not able to pour it easily. If it's too thin add more powdered sugar, too thick add just a smidge of milk or juice.
Raw cane sugar can be substituted for granulated sugar.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45-55 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: holiday cranberry bread, oil-free holiday vegan cranberry bread, vegan holiday bread