Pecan Cranberry Bread

Ring in the season with Pecan Cranberry Bread. A whole wheat quick bread studded with tangy cranberries, warming cinnamon, and sweetened with a combination of pure maple syrup and whole oranges. Everyone will want some, but you won’t want to share!

Overhead shot of a loaf of quick bread studded with candied oranges.

Eggless Quick Bread

That’s right. In this healthy cranberry orange bread, there are no eggs. We use either ground flax or ground chia seeds instead.

That, plus the fact that we don’t use milk, makes this a vegan quick bread. But shhhh! No one will know. Promise! It’s that good.

Omitting eggs (and butter) allows us to drop the cholesterol content to zero. Many people with heart disease are sensitive to cholesterol, though some are not. Read about the eggs and cholesterol debate here. Those modifications also make this a low fat bread!

Make the optional Candied Orange garnish

Making the candied orange slices was easy. I wouldn’t even say “making them” because it’s not really.

Simply slice an orange as thin as you can across the segments. Take 3 slices and toss them with granulated sugar. Place them on top of the cranberry pecan bread batter, before you bake it. Done!

If you have a really large orange you might only get 2 slices on. I used a navel orange in the pictures.

You’ll probably want to take them off before you serve the bread. Even though they’re pretty, and covered in sugar, they’re pretty bitter.

If you want to do a more traditional candied orange for the top, that’s totally fine, too! You’ll have to either buy them or plan ahead of time since they can take quite a while to make, plus drying time. Try this Candied Orange Sliced recipe from Oven Tales. If you do that, you don’t have to remove them before you eat the bread, because they won’t be bitter (because they’ll have more sugar!).

Put the whole orange in your pecan cranberry bread

Most orange cranberry bread recipes use orange juice, and sometimes orange zest for the orange flavor. In our version, we cut the orange segments out and puree them all up for extra fiber that isn’t usually in quick breads. If you want to use orange juice, go for it, but maybe consider a juice with pulp for some extra fiber. The bread won’t be pulpy, I promise!

Tray of sliced quick bread, one with butter and cinnamon sprinkled on.

This bread is perfect at room temperature, but amazing when warmed or toasted!

More healthy holiday recipes

If you try our Pecan Cranberry Bread, let us know in the comments!

Overhead shot of a loaf of quick bread studded with candied oranges.
5 from 1 vote

Pecan Cranberry Bread

Ring in the season with this whole wheat quick bread studded with tangy cranberries, and sweetened with a combination of pure maple syrup and whole oranges.

Course Bread, Holiday
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 148 kcal
Author Laura Yautz


  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flax or Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 large Oranges (zest and segments only)
  • 1/2 cup 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce (enough to make 2 cups liquid total)
  • 1 cup Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Combine flour, ground flax or chia, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.

  3. Zest the oranges. Set the zest aside.

  4. Using a sharp knife, cut away as much of the pith (white part) as you can from the oranges and cut out the segments. See a demo here:

  5. Add orange segments to a blender, and blend at high speed until very smooth.

  6. Pour into a liquid measuring cup, and add the maple syrup. Add enough applesauce to make 2 cups total. If the orange juice and maple syrup already total 2 cups or more, do not add any applesauce.

  7. To the dry ingredients, add the orange zest and all the liquid ingredients. Mix well.

  8. Pulse cranberries in the blender for a quick chop.

  9. Fold cranberries and pecans into batter until just combined.

  10. Pour batter into greased bread pan.

    Optional garnish: Slice 3 thin slices of an orange, and coat in granulated sugar. Place side by side on top of the bread batter. (While these are edible, they are a little bitter – I recommend removing them before eating.)

  11. Bake for about 65 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before removing.

Nutrition Facts
Pecan Cranberry Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 148 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 100mg4%
Potassium 157mg4%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tray of sliced quick bread, one with butter and cinnamon sprinkled on. Text overlay: Pecan Cranberry Bread, whole wheat, low sugar.

4 thoughts on “Pecan Cranberry Bread

  • November 17, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Would love to do this without 1/2 cup of sugar. Any thoughts for a substitution?

    • November 23, 2022 at 11:02 pm

      Hi Lori, I haven’t tried it with any other sweetener, but I would try another dry/powder sweetener like maple sugar if you can get it. Otherwise, I think you could use a wet sweetener like maple syrup, honey, or even date syrup, but you would want to probably cut out the applesauce or just bake it longer.

      If you make it without the sugar, I’d love to hear what you did and how it turned out!

    • January 9, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Cranberries are still in season! Enjoy!


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