Seriously, Christmas morning is probably my favorite time of the year. My family loves to make it last as long as possible (meaning: we don’t like to rip open all of our gifts and be done in five minutes). Since my brother and I are both adults but have no kids of our own, that means sleeping in a little bit, sipping coffee while we open our stockings, having a quick snack/bite of brunch, then digging into our presents with a cold mimosa.
Seriously. What could be better than that?
This year will be my first Christmas hosting my brother and his fianceé (sans parents…they’re off gallavanting in the Bahamas), and I’m more than a little excited. Since my brother lives in Portland, Oregon, we generally only see each other once a year. This year Patrick and I flew out there in June, and now Jack and Michayla are flying here for Christmas. Two times in one year is something I could definitely get used to. They’re in the middle of wedding planning, and I can’t wait to sit and look at all of Michayla’s Pinterest boards and offer her all the unsolicited advice. (Unsolicited advice is my specialty!)
Since I’m planning on cooking a big Christmas dinner (with these favorite recipes), we’ll need a brunch that’s hearty but not so filling that we need an nap immediately after. I also want recipes that are low maintenance + easy to prep beforehand so I’m not slaving away in the kitchen when I should be refilling my mimosa. On the menu: this easy-to-make-ahead cranberry apple bread, a tofu scramble (veggies chopped the night before), and….mimosas. Ok fine mimosas are the entreè and everything else is just a side dish. Tis’ the season!
This cranberry-apple bread is the perfect combo of healthy and treat: the coconut sugar makes it MUCH less sweet than traditional versions, and the fiber in the apple/cranberry combo make it satisfying. You could make the batter a day or two before, freeze + cover in the loaf pan, then just add 5-10 minutes to the baking time. Or make the day before and briefly reheat in the oven before topping with Earth Balance. Yum!
Vegan Cranberry Apple Bread
For the bread:
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other nondairy milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped apple (ok to leave the skin on)
- 1 cup fresh cranberries halved
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour unbleached
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 3 tablespoons melted Earth Balance or other vegan butter
For the bread:
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk almond milk, applesauce, coconut sugar, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside 1/4 cup of this mix.
- Add bowl of dry ingredients (minus the 1/4 you set aside) to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Toss apples and cranberries with the 1/4 cup of dry ingredients you set aside, then add to batter. Stir to combine.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
For the topping:
- Stir all topping ingredients together until combined. Crumble topping over batter.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make sure to check out my holiday home tour from yesterday, and stay tuned for my Christmas capsule outfit Friday. Happy baking!