dessert Fall gluten-free loaves snacks

Gluten-Free Cranberry Walnut Loaf

October 26, 2014

I think everyone has things in life that will forever remind them of their grandparents. Maybe it’s a smell, a song or a picture. For me, the taste of walnuts will always flood me with memories of my Grandma Lee.

Gluten-Free baking at its finest with this delicious and seasonal Cranberry Walnut Loaf. Without fail my grandmother always had a big bowl of walnuts in her living room. They were in the shells and you had to crack them with her nut crackers to eat them. I remember spending hours sitting on her big comfy couches cracking away to get to the nuts. It began my love affair with walnuts.

My grandmother was a very special lady. She is the matriarch, the ultimate independent woman and spurred a line of “don’t-mess-with-me” females. She is to thank for all the sassiness flowing through my veins.

The women in my family all contain bits and pieces of her that are expressed in different ways. She was such a powerful force that she already has two great-grandchildren named after her. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of her, either through some characteristic of hers that I’ve inherited or the walnut cracker and bowl that sits out on my coffee table.

Gluten-Free baking at its finest with this delicious and seasonal Cranberry Walnut Loaf. The other day I was brainstorming recipe ideas when my eye caught the nut cracker (which btw still has leftover shells in it from when she was alive…I’m sentimental!) and I knew immediately I needed a recipe using walnuts. Then I remembered how she always had cranberry juice in her home and it was the only juice I would ever drink!

I guess lately I’ve been feeling particularly nostalgic for the time I had with my grandmother. I have a lot of things on my plate right now that I know she would handle with ease if she were in my position. In many ways I am trying to channel some of her strength and wit to manage the craziness that is my life at the moment.

Gluten-Free baking at its finest with this delicious and seasonal Cranberry Walnut Loaf. This recipe may be lighter on the gluten and dairy than she would have liked but I think my grandma would be proud of it nonetheless. This loaf’s for you Grandma Lee!


Gluten-Free Cranberry Walnut Loaf

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x


  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used the blend from my Healthy Breakfast eCookbook)*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • optional: 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar or brown sugar to offset tartness of cranberries, if desired**


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with coconut oil or nonstick spray of choice.
  3. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl combine almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and eggs. Add in coconut palm sugar if using.
  5. Add wet mix to dry and stir to combine.
  6. Stir in walnuts and cranberries. Reserve a few walnuts for sprinkling on top.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is browned and springs back when lightly poked.
  8. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes.
  9. Using a butter knife, cut around the edges of the pan to loosen the loaf.
  10. Turn over and remove loaf from pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. Will keep for up to 3 days, sealed.

*Can substitute whole wheat flour.
**I like the tartness of fresh cranberries but if you want to offset the flavour slightly feel free to add in an additional 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar or brown sugar.

Gluten-Free baking at its finest with this delicious and seasonal Cranberry Walnut Loaf. What reminds you of your grandparents? Did they have a big influence in or on your life?


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    October 26, 2014 at 5:25 am

    So that’s where sassy D get’s it from. I think sweet tea with sugar cubes remind me of my grandparents- my grandma has whole walnut too- although (can’t believe I’m admitting this), when Niki and I visited Iran as kids, we went to the backyard and used bricks to crack them open.

    Wow, for a country that claims to have invented half the world, they couldn’t provide a nut cracker.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 5:31 am

    This looks delicious Davida & I’m sure your grandma would be very proud of you- she seems like a special woman! I lost my grandfather in 2002 but not a day goes by that I don’t remember him- one thing that especially reminds me of him is papaya. Despite my dislike for that particular fruit, I remember him eating it every single night without fail- it was his equivalent to “An apple a day” ;)!

  • Reply
    Pip {Cherries & Chisme}
    October 26, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Such a lovely post! She sounds like an awesome lady.
    Milky sweet tea (which I detest!) always reminds me of my Grandpa, that and cycling as he would always be seen on his bike going through the village with tools strapped across the handlebars on the way to his allotment up until he was in his 90s 🙂

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    October 26, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Very sweet post. I miss my grandma so much. I have many moments where I wish she could have been a part of too. This bread looks so festive, I can’t wait to make it! I’m new to GF flour. Any store bought brand you recommend just so I can have it in my cupboard? Have a great Sunday 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    October 26, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Yummo… I love cranberries. I haven’t had any this year, yet. I’m on the lookout, though. Spaghetti and meatballs always remind me of my grandma- she made the best!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Great post. Great looking recipe. Hope things ease up for you.

    Food is so strongly tied to memories. When I think about it, I can taste the big Hershey bar with almonds that my grandfather kept in the freezer. I won’t eat ar regular sized Hershey bar with almonds. Only the big ones. And only frozen.


    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 26, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Thank you, love! It’s been a crazy week but in a good way. I just know my Grandma would have been a total champ about everything. Trying to channel her as best as I can! And just so you know, I keep bars of dark chocolate in the freezer. My Mom does it and I adopted it too 🙂

  • Reply
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma
    October 26, 2014 at 11:04 am

    This is definitely something I’ll be making this holiday season! Looks delicious! I can see this becoming a thanksgiving staple for us.

  • Reply
    Emily @ Sweets and Beets
    October 26, 2014 at 11:31 am

    That looks so amazing — I love guilt-free baked goods. Also, I don’t know about everyone else, but there comes a point in fall/winter when I transition from pumpkin-everything to cranberry-everything. This will be perfect!! =)

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    October 26, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Your grandmother sounds like such an awesome person! My grandmothers passed away when I was 6 and 10, so I’m sad I didn’t get to know them longer. I will always associated the Toronto Blue Jays with my grandma on my dad’s side (she was obsessed), and sweet potato casserole (with a pecan and brown sugar crumble topping) with my grandma on my mom’s side.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    This was a beautiful read lovely. I was really close to my Gran who we lost at the start of this year. I too am reminded of her all the time in what I do and things around me. My thoughtful nature comes from her. She was the kind of lady who would send you newspaper and magazine cuttings of all the things she thought you would love 🙂
    Recipe looks awesome too lady. Walnuts and cranberries are an awesome mix!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Awwww thank you, love! I can totally tell you inherited her thoughtful nature! Hope all is well in Aus! I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA. Hoping to catch up on your new life soon! xoxo

      • Reply
        October 27, 2014 at 4:12 am

        Don’t be silly lady – life is b to the busayyyy! xxx

  • Reply
    October 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I love this because I get the nostalgic feelings and the thoughts of knowing that a grandma could handle all the things going on. Sweet memories of your grandma!!!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    October 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    What a nice tribute to your grandma! I was really close with my grandma, and miss her so much since she passed away. So many foods constantly remind me of her!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2014 at 1:04 am

    I LOVE your idea of using fresh cranberries! I was originally thinking of making a very similar quickbread this weekend, but was only considering using the dried cranberries I had on hand. I think I might wait until it’s time to purchase fresh ones and try out a very similar recipe! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply
    Sarah PIe
    October 27, 2014 at 9:03 am

    What a sweet way to remember your grandmother, I’m sure she would be proud of all you have accomplished, even if you feel things are hectic.

    Side note, I’m totally jealous that you have fresh cranberries already! I’ve been prowling the stores here but they aren’t out yet.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    My grandparents are honestly probably the biggest influence on my life. Like I literally would be no where without them. I owe them absolutely everything and love them so freaking much. Plus they are insanely cool. Like when I told my grandmother I was going off my BC a couple years ago because I thought I was gaining weight from it (no I was gaining weight because I NEEDED to gain weight lol) and she said, “please be careful, I’m not ready to be a grandmother yet.” I had to remind her she was a grandmother… she just replied “I forget I’m not your mother sometimes!”. THE CUTEST.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I think I might email this recipe to my mother as a *hint, hint, nudge, nudge!* Haha. Ocean Spray is based on Cape Cod and we have a cranberry bog down the street from our house so needless to say, cranberries are big for us!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 28, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      Ummmmm that’s amazing! How did I not know this? Next time I’m in cape cod I need to go there! Cranberry obsessed 🙂

  • Reply
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth
    October 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I remember my grandmother every time I drink a cup of coffee (so every morning at least). She’s a huge coffee drinker but she’s also really forgetful, so she’s forever leaving half drunk cups of coffee all around the house. I remember sneaking a couple sips of coffee from one of those forgotten cups at like 10 or 11 and HATING it. Oh, how times have changes LOL

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      This was an AMAZING story! I love your grandma. She sounds like a hoot!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    October 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Such a wonderful homage to Grandma Lee!! She sounds like one heck of a woman, just like you 🙂
    Congee and dim sum and some church songs remind me of my grandparents. That’s probably easy to understand… 😉

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    October 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I’ve been wanting to remake more family recipes lately, and this is great inspiration! Your grandma sounds like a very special lady with excellent taste in food 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 28, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      Aw thank you, hun! She was a force to be reckoned with 😉

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    October 28, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Orange juice always reminds me of my grandad – when I slept over at their house, I used to sneak into my grandads bedroom and pinch the glass of OJ beside his bed. He would then wake up a short time later and chase me around the house yelling ‘who stole my orange juice!’ And then giving me big hugs and tickles when he found me! 🙂
    Thanks for asking the question, I haven’t thought about this in quite some time and it has brought a huge smile to my face today!

  • Reply
    athletic avocado
    October 29, 2014 at 7:08 am

    this looks delicious! im a huge fan of cranberries so this is perfect!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    At long last, we come to the delicious, wonderful, aromatic, and apparently nostalgic loaf of Cranberry Walnut Bread. Score! Your grandma sounds awesome, although maybe you should do something with those leftovers walnut shells because hygiene. Plus, how am I supposed to use grandma’s nut cracker with her nuts still in it. Awkward.

    All my grandmothers passed a while back, although I have very fond memories, and I even have my grandmother’s potato masher and cheese grater. I use them all the time. It’s no wonder I love spuds and cheese. 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 29, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      I’m taking you to all-you-can-eat poutine! Get ready…

  • Reply
    January 17, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Question! when it says 1/4cup coconut oil, melted….does that mean you measure out 1/4 cup and THEN melt? I always get confused when it says something like that.


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