Alanna’s Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

Say hello to my new daily breakfast. I’ve made this loaf twice in the last two weeks and have been enjoying a slice in the morning ever since. It’s lightly sweet, nutty, seedy, wonderfully wholesome and dense.

I’ve been craving a dark seedy “bread” like this ever since we spent time in the Netherlands this past summer. So when I flipped through Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s new book Alternative Baker, this recipe immediately jumped out to me.

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

There’s a lot going on in this loaf – walnuts, pepitas, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, psyllium husks and pumpkin puree among a few other things. Once I gathered everything, I was surprised how easily this came together. In the headnote, Alana says “At first glance, the recipe seems impossible, as though it shouldn’t work; but mix it all up, let it rest for a few hours and bake it and you’ll soon find yourself as hooked as I am.”

I was definitely praying to the baking gods that I wouldn’t mess this up, but I followed her instructions exactly and it came out great. Both times 🙂

Alternative Baker

If you’re gluten free, this book is a must-have. If you’re like me and enjoy experimenting with funny flours – it’s a must-have for you too. It’s packed with gorgeous baking recipes that use teff, buckwheat, coconut, chestnut and amaranth flours, just to name a few. Although it’s not vegan, there are a few vegan recipes and also some suggested substitutions like how to make pie and tart crusts with coconut oil.

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

The surprising thing about this loaf is that it doesn’t rise – you pack the mixture into a loaf pan and shape it so that it domes on top. Bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until it’s deeply brown. This is best thinly sliced and toasted. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I’ve also frozen individual slices.

I suggest following this recipe exactly as written!

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

Next, I have my eye on this vegan Coconut Cream and Raspberry Tart – yum!

Alternative Baker

5.0 from 7 reviews
Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf
Recipe from Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Reprinted with permission.
Serves: makes 1 loaf
  • 1½ cups (175 g) raw walnut halves
  • 1 cup (140 g) raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2¾ cups (250 g) GF old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup (145g) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (90 g) flaxseeds
  • ⅓ cup (30 g) psyllium husks
  • ¼ cup (40 g) chia seeds
  • 2 tsp (9 g) fine sea salt
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 (15-oz) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup water (235 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) sunflower oil (or light olive oil)
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F (165°C). Spread the walnuts and pumpkin seeds on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, shuffling the pan occasionally, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the oats, cranberries, flaxseeds, psyllium husks, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to combine. Stir in the hot walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Add the pumpkin puree, water, maple syrup and sunflower oil and stir well with a sturdy wooden spoon or your hands to make sure the "dough" is moistened throughout and evenly distributed.
  3. Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan on all sides with parchment paper and scrape the dough into the prepared pan, packing it in and rounding it slightly on top; it won't rise in the oven. Cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2-8 hours.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the loaf for 1 hour and 15 minutes; it will be deeply bronzed on top and feel firm to the touch. (Note: the first time I made this I took it out a little early - don't do that - let it cook the whole time even thought the outside will be very dark). Let cool completely, at least 2 hours. The bread is best sliced fairly thinly and toasted well. It will keep, refrigerated airtight, for up to 2 weeks.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Carol from on said:

    What could I use in place of oil? I usually use applesauce but what in place of that too please?

    • I think this might be to dry without a bit of oil…

      • Elle on said:

        It has oil. Last ingredient.

  2. Natalie from on said:

    Oooh yum, this looks like such a good autumnal loaf, and a fun way to incorporate pumpkin into a cake without it being wall to wall pumpkin spice

    – Natalie

  3. Peta from on said:

    oh my goodness!! That looks insanely good, I think I’m going to have to have a go and also get the book! Thank you for sharing lovely.

    Peta x

  4. kristine on said:

    can I use ground psyllium husk? Does it have to be whole?

  5. Adriana on said:

    I wonder about the psyllum husks, I don’t find them where I live. I am no expert but I read some recipes that use them as kind of a binder. Would they do the same here? Would it be a problem to skip them? The loaf looks so good with that amount of nuts and seeds, but I wouldn’t have the psyllum to try it 😕

    • Hi Adriana, yes I they’re necessary here as a binder, I’m thinking this would not work without them. You can always buy them online! (I have this kind: I’ve had my jar stored in my fridge for months.

      • Elle on said:

        Also available at Trader Joe’s.

  6. Steph Peterson on said:

    This looks amazingly delicious! Could I replace the water with milk though? Also I have a tree but allergy so would have to sub something for the walnuts. Would simply more pumpkin seeds work, or is there something else you suggest? (Maybe peanuts or sunflower seeds? What would work best? Any other suggestions would be awesome!!)

    • Hmm… sunflower seeds might work? It’s going to be a very very seedy bread, but I think peanuts might not be the greatest here. I’d just use the water, no need for milk.

  7. Laurel from on said:

    I have made something similar, but hope to try this version! Psyllium is great for holding gluten-free experiments together.

  8. Caitlin from on said:

    This looks unreal in the very best way! I’m drooling just looking at this post and I can’t wait to give it a try this weekend! I’ve never made a bread recipe with pumpkin seeds before but I love the idea of it!

  9. Becky on said:

    What kind of taste do psyllium husks have? That part does not sound appetizing, but I assume they don’t have much flavor?

    • Hi Becky, you can’t taste them in this bread, they just act as a binder.

  10. Jane on said:

    Is there another binder you might suggest? Psyllium husks can be an irritant to some digestive tracts.

    • I’m not sure, eggs might work, but I haven’t tried another binder so I can’t say for sure…

  11. Nathalie on said:

    I love it and the kiddos love it 🙂 It’s great that it lasts soo long in the fridge too. Thanks for the recipe.

    • I’m so glad you all loved it! I also froze some individual slices and that worked really well – delicious out of the toaster.

  12. Shilpa on said:

    So good! Thank you. I made some ghee to go on top and it tasted grand.

  13. Beth Ann on said:

    This is just incredible! Have gotten many compliments from willing tasters!

    • I’m so glad! I’m pretty smitten with it too 🙂

  14. DENISE on said:

    Do you think I could use fresh cranberries? I’m not fond of the dried ones. I’ve never been able to find them unsweetened.

    • I haven’t tried it so I really can’t say – it might throw off the moisture ratio here.

  15. Chevon on said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I love it. I used coconut oil instead of sunflower.

  16. Fiona Mackay on said:

    Love it! This cake is just soooooh delicious! I did have to make a few changes (very sorry!) only because I did not have a couple of ingredients to hand inc pumpkin. Used dried dates instead and red goji berries, as was out of dried cranberries. Kept in oven for given time – was tempted to take out early as top did look really, really black. But, held my nerve and did exactly as Janine advisedd (thanks Janine!) and stuck to time. This cake looks great cut, is slightly sticky and tastes gorgeous.

  17. Nancy on said:

    What are the calorie count and nutrients?

  18. Vi Dang on said:

    I read that you get more nutritional benefits from flaxseeds when they are ground.

  19. Kristi on said:

    I made this the first time today–doubled it in fact, so I hope we love it as much as I expect to! Since my pans are 8.5×4.5, I divided between 3 pans. And I used avocado oil. They are resting now before baking! I wonder if I should reduce cooking time at all since my pans are a bit smaller?

    • Hi Kristi, the avocado oil shouldn’t make a difference. Because of the pan size, I would probably bake them a little less but not much less. Maybe check around the 50 minute mark?

  20. Shirley on said:

    delicious! and hearty. I put a strawberry chia jam on top and that made this all the more scrumptious. thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

  21. ANNE BROOKES on said:

    I will try this soon but will ground the flax seeds because otherwise they will have no nutrient value and just pass through the digestive tract and out the same way they came in.

  22. Joyce on said:

    Looks delicious and I have it sitting on my counter ready to enter the oven in a few hours. My concern is that 400 degrees seems awfully hot to bake this. Any input??

    • I’ve made this at least 3 times and have not had any issues with the oven temp. The top becomes very browned (just like the photos) and it concerned me the first time, but once I cut in it was perfect. I would not recommend under-baking this one.

      • Joyce on said:

        Thank you Jeanine for your quick response

  23. Kaitlyn on said:

    This is the best!!
    I’m obsessed with your recipes…. I better get the cook book
    Thank you!

  24. Olga on said:

    I made this bread with fresh cranberries & dark chocolate chips. Came out very tasty. I next want to experiment replacing the oats, which can be a problem for some of us, with perhaps soaked buckwheat groats and/or teff grain.

    • Hi Olga, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Let me know how it goes with the other grains!

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