Alanna’s Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

This delicious flourless loaf is vegan, gluten free, and packed with nutrients from seeds & nuts. Toast a slice for a hearty breakfast. Recipe from the book Alternative Baker.

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 12 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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Terry rosenthal

    I also question the psyllium husks. Ground? Whole? Tried to fu d info on Alanna’s site but could not find a “contact” link.

    • Terry Rosenthal

      Answer is to use Psyllium Husk … not ground. I made it exactly as printed (other than not grinding my own nutmeg and used avocado oil) and it is excellent! A single loaf will go a long way!

  2. Brandy

    This is such a yummy, hearty, and healthy loaf! I used a cast iron pan vs a loaf pan, and instead of all oats I used 1C oats and 1 2/3C GF buckwheat WOW!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

    • Terry

      She replied!!! Use whole psyllium husk.

  3. Sarah pittman

    Made this yesterday with a few alterations due to not being able to find a couple of things and it was AMAXING!!! Really wish I could get an idea of the nutritional information. Anything you have that you could share on that? Thanks for sharing recipe!

  4. Melissa

    Opposite question as one below… can I use psyllium flakes? When I went grocery shopping for this recipe and found myself standing in front of psyllium husk, psyllium flakes, and ground psyllium, I got so confused! I bought the flakes.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Melissa, apologies for my slow reply! I’m not sure – this one isn’t my recipe and I haven’t worked with psyllium enough to know what the difference would be. You could ping Alanna at

  5. Marie

    I made this a few days ago. It is hands down the best loaf I’ve made. It is dense and heavy but don’t let that fool you. A thin slice goes s long way. It is packed with nutrition! Perfect for breakfast of for a pick me up during the day.
    Thank you for sharing

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Marie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it – I love a thin slice in the morning as well 🙂

  6. Michelle

    Love this bread! Goes with just about everything I make. As somebody who is looking to cut out more gluten and sugars, this has really made a difference to my mornings

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Michelle, I’m glad you’re enjoying the bread! You have me craving a slice now 🙂

  7. Lara

    I can’t wait to try this. One question, I can’t get a canned unsweetened pumpkin purée, do you have a recipe for this?

  8. Olga

    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.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  9. Kaitlyn

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

  10. Joyce

    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??

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      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

        Thank you Jeanine for your quick response


    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.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.