Fruit and Nut Loaf

A tasty quick bread with wheat bran and walnuts. Slice it for freezing and take it out in the morning for school snacks or a coffee break. I started with a recipe for Trail Mix Loaf from the fabulous cookbook Mostly Muffins by Jean Pare. I adjusted the recipe to include more walnuts and used dried cranberries as the fruit instead of raisins and apricots. I also swapped out some of the oil for ground flax seed. It doesn’t rise much, probably because of the whole wheat, but it is very moist and flavourful.

Fruit and Nut Loaf

Based on the Trail Mix Loaf from Mostly Muffins by Jean Pare, this quick loaf is great for snacks, coffee breaks and even works as a "healthy" dessert. The walnuts add crunch and the dates and cranberries add sweetness and tartness respectively, while wheat bran and a bit of ground flaxseed bump up the nutrition.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Snacks
Keyword: Baking, Dried Fruit, Whole Wheat
Servings: 10 slices


  • 1 Loaf Pan 9x5x3


  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup See Notes, below.
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats See Notes, below.
  • 1/4 cup natural wheat bran

Dry Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk See Notes, below.
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Fruit & Nuts

  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup medium unsweetened coconut


  • In a medium heatproof bowl, combine boiling water and maple syrups. Add rolled oats and wheat bran. Stir gently to combine then let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat over to 350F.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  • Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add to the oat and bran mixture and stir to combine. Add this whole mixture to the well in the bowl of dry ingredients.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. See Notes, below.
  • Let rest in pan for 15-20 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not slice until it is completely cooled or the slices will break. If desired, freeze individual slices on a baking sheet then store in a freezer bag.


  • The original recipe used molasses instead of maple syrup. Either will work here. 
  • The original recipe called for quick cooking oats but I only had traditional rolled oats but they worked well.
  • If you do not have buttermilk, you can sour regular milk using lemon juice or white vinegar. As recommended in Mostly Muffins, add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a measuring cup. Add enough milk to make one cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can adjust as needed to scale up or down. For this recipe, I added about 3/4 tsp of lemon juice then filled my measuring cup to 1/4 cup. 
  • The original recipe suggests a baking time of 50 minutes but I find that to be too long. My oven might run hot, but I would keep an eye on the loaf and check it at about the 40-minute mark. 

Fruit and Nut Loaf, sliced to show the cranberries, dates and walnuts it contains.

Image of walnuts:  Illustration 92151009 © Nataliia Golovanova |

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