I don’t think it gets any more festive than this beautiful bread for my Crazy for Cranberry event.
Similar to a quick bread, this loaf is moist and dense, with a lovely soft crumb (you might not even realize it’s grain-free!) and sweet aroma, thanks to the addition of a little mahlab. (Mahlab makes so many things a little more special; I talk more about it here.)
This loaf has a subtle coconut flavor that mellows over time (side note: this bread gets better and better as it sits in the fridge for a few days) or if the bread is toasted (side note two: toasting this bread is amazing; it takes an already delicious bread and makes it spectacular – no need even to butter it!).
If you’re worried about this bread being tart, put your fears to rest. It’s a sweet bread (but not overly so), with pleasant tart bursts of cranberry flavor that nicely offset the nutty crunch of pecans. I find that dried cranberries are used more frequently than fresh cranberries in baked goods, which is why I like using fresh here – it’s a fun change.
Once you’ve made this bread once, beware! When it’s gone, you will certainly want to make it again as soon as possible (as in, the next time you head into the kitchen). During the holiday season, this quick bread is one of the few things that I make over and over. It’s a hit with everyone (adults and kids alike), and because it’s nutrient-dense, it works for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.
But the fact that it can keep for up to a week in the fridge totally seals the deal for me.
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, plus more to grease the loaf pan
- ¾ cup (115 g) coconut sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2⅓ cups (195 g) almond meal
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground mahlab
- 1 cup (115 g) toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (110 g) whole fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over all 4 sides, and grease the paper with coconut oil.
- Use a handheld electric mixer to beat together the coconut sugar and coconut oil in a large bowl, then beat in the eggs, and finally the vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Beat in the almond meal, baking soda, salt, and mahlab.
- Toss the pecans, cranberries, and coconut flour together to coat in a large bowl, and then fold them (along with any excess coconut flour) into the batter.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes, and then turn the heat down to 325F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. (When finished, a wooden pick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean or with just a couple crumbs.)
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then use the parchment paper to pull the loaf out. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
- If there is any bread left the second day, store the leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 1 week.