Recipe: Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseed

The holidays are a bustling, busy time! When you have guests in town, playing host can be time consuming and stressful. So, it’s always helpful to have meals partially or fully prepared ahead of time to cut down on time spent in the kitchen. These cranberry-nut mini loaves with flaxseed are an excellent solution for breakfast that can be made before your guests arrive.

Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseed

Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseed

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 3/4 hours (including cooling time)
Serves: 24
Level: Moderate

This tender, flavorful version of a holiday staple is made more wholesome with whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds. You can easily double the recipe if you are making these baby loaves as gifts.


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 oranges
  • Orange juice, if needed
  • 1/3 cup whole flaxseeds, (see Ingredient note)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans (2 ounces), divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat three 6-by-3-inch mini-loaf pans (2-cup capacity) with cooking spray.
  2. Pulse cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Grate orange zest to measure 2 tablespoons. Squeeze juice, adding orange juice, if necessary, to measure 3/4 cup.
  3. Grind flaxseeds into coarse meal in a clean dry coffee grinder or blender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to blend.
  4. Whisk egg, sugar, oil, vanilla and the orange zest and juice in a medium bowl. Add to the flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in cranberries and 1/4 cup nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the loaves with the remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Place the pans on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake the loaves until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges and turn the loaves out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing or wrapping.


Ingredient Note: Renowned for their nutritional benefits—fiber, lignans (phytochemicals associated with reduced risk of cancer) and omega-3 fatty acids—flaxseeds also contribute a delicious nutty taste to baked goods.

Flaxseeds can be found in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. The seeds must be ground for your body to take advantage of the nutrients. Ground seeds are highly perishable, so grind them just before using. Store whole flaxseeds in the refrigerator or freezer.

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