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Sweetened only with dates, whole wheat bread with cranberries, orange juice/zest and walnuts. Vegan coconut glaze is optional but is so scrumptious & easy to make.


I’m not much of a delicate dessert baker but rather a quick bread chef. Breads are easier to make healthy, therefore make a perfect snack. Especially if you, like me, are living a dream and got a kid or two.:)

I’ve got a few under my belt by now (breads and kids) – Skinny Pumpkin Bread, Whole Wheat Banana Bread, Roasted Banana Bread with Avocado & Chia, and even Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Now, this ah-mazing cranberry orange bread – full of fruit, berries, and nuts. So scrumptious looking and aromatic. And did I tell you it’s processed sugars free?! Sweet dates, fragrant orange, tart cranberries and then drizzled with vegan coconut glaze. I died. And the texture reminded me of an Italian Panettone/Russian Paskha. I died again.


The idea for this bread came from one of my friends on Instagram. She mentioned her mom makes it every year for Christmas but with white flour and sugar. So, here we go… The process of ditching those two (Sorry, mom).

Flour. I used white whole wheat flour but I know many of you do not have it. Substitute half all purpose white, half all purpose whole wheat. Note, your bread will rise a tiny bit less than in the photos, and be a bit more dense. Alternatively, you can use pastry whole wheat flour.


Sugar. No sugar. After making cranberry chia jam with dates for thumbprint cookies, I realized the power of dates and why my 3 old adores them. They are full of sugar! Natural one though. So, I soaked them in orange juice and then pureed in a blender. The result is the bomb dot com. Seriously, I couldn’t believe how sweet this bread is just with dates!

Buttermilk. It makes this bread moist and fluffy. You don’t have to buy it for this recipe. I’m all for shortcuts and savings. To make 3/4 cup of buttermilk – add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 3/4 cup milk, stir and use in 5 minutes. I used cow’s milk. It won’t be as thick as buttermilk rather somewhat curdled.


Glaze. Just because everyone seems to love frosting, icing and glaze, and because I never glazed anything, one sleepless night I found this amazing vegan frosting from Detoxinista. Whoa, was it ever fun to make a mess! Now I really start to dig my 3 year old!

Glaze is totally optional and your bread will be moist and delicious without it. And please don’t be intimidated by the long list of Instructions. It’s just 3 bowls and I promise the recipe is super easy to make!!!

Healthy Glazed Cranberry Orange Bread

Healthy Glazed Cranberry Orange Bread


  • 1 cup dates, pitted & chopped (packed)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, unsweetened
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 + 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour*
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)
  • For Glaze (optional):
  • Source: Detoxinista
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup almond milk, warm
  • 3 tbsp honey (or liquid stevia, to taste)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour or finely ground coconut flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow dish soak dates with orange juice while getting other ingredients ready.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg for 30 seconds. Add buttermilk, coconut oil, vanilla extract and orange zest. Stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix until no lumps are visible.
  5. In a powerful blender, small food processor or Magic Bullet puree soaked dates with orange juice. Small pieces of dates will be left. Add to the bowl with egg/buttermilk/etc. mixture. Stir to combine. Add flour/baking powder+soda mix and gently mix. Gently fold in cranberries and walnuts, and give a couple more stirs. Let the liquid absorb the flour, then stir again. Over mixing will result in dense and tough bread, so be careful.
  6. Transfer into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean.
  7. Remove bread from the oven and transfer onto a cooling rack to cool off. If you leave the bread in the pan, it will continue baking resulting in dry bread.
  8. Glazing (optional): While bread is baking, you can prepare the glaze. Combine all ingredients in a blender/small food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Make sure bread is completely cool before applying the glaze. Transfer glaze to a sandwich size Ziploc bag, cut off the tip and pipe it in your favourite pattern. Get creative. Alternatively, you could just take spatula and smother it on top of the loaf.:)
  9. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


I used white whole wheat flour but I know many of you do not have it. Substitute half white, half whole wheat. Note, your bread will rise a tiny bit less than in the photos, and be a bit more dense. Alternatively, you can use pastry whole wheat flour.To make 3/4 cup of buttermilk - add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 3/4 cup milk, stir and use in 5 minutes.


Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 12 slices

Amount Per Serving = 1 slice:
Calories: 276.5
Total Fat: 15.8 g
Cholesterol: 16.8 mg
Sodium: 15.8 mg
Total Carbs: 32.1 g
Sugars: 15.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g
Protein: 4.6 g
WW Points+: 8

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.


    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Thanks, Mike. I think that’s as close as you can get to healthy icing. Detoxinista gets the credit though.:)

  1. Minoo

    And your husband’s colleague ate the other 30% 🙂 which was soooo yummy…
    Thanks Olena! I’ll definitely give it a shot.

    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      A loaf with some tea or coffee this time of the year. What could be better?! I’ll check out your keks.:)

  2. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner

    I love that your healthy spin on this bread didn’t sacrafice anything. Meaning it still looks gorgeous and tasty (unlike how some other healthy recipes can be). Love the cranberry and orange combo. 🙂

    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      You truly would never think this bread is not a killer of your waistline.:) Thank you, Tina!

  3. Ilona @ IlonaPaperPassion

    I will definitely make this bread, it looks delicious. I am coming to your blog for awhile now and I really like it… I always come back. I read that you are from Ukraine… I was born and raised in Poland, lived in US and now I am in Canada. I will visit Vancouver someday

  4. Lana

    I made this recipe and it is as wonderful as everyone wants it to be. I was also surprised by how sweet it was with just dates, great idea!

    • Olena

      Yay. I was waiting for someone to make this bread. I love everything about it. It reminds me of the pound cake in texture and the flavours are delish. Glad you liked it!



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