image of diagonal vegan cranberry coconut sourdough babka

Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka

I really wanted to make a seasonal showstopper this year for the holiday season. When I first made this and took it out of the oven, I was like YES. This Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka is lofty. It’s the perfect showstopper because not only does it show off a gorgeous dark red swirl – it has so much height!

I wasn’t quite sure if I would be able to fit the whole thing into one loaf pan, but it worked out amazingly! And baked through completely! There’s nothing more stunning. I also think a coconut streusel is the perfect topping…it’s like toasty snow.

And I love winter. So cozy. This loaf is so fluffy and snowy on top, the perfect complement. Then when you slice into it, it’s a stunning cranberry swirl. Hello holidays.

image of horizontal vegan cranberry coconut babka

My favorite thing about this recipe is how simple the ingredients are. It’s so pure! There are not a million ingredients but the final product definitely looks like it was complicated. You can feel good about the simplicity of ingredients that goes into this lovely babka.

Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka: Recipe details

The sweet dough in this Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka is 100% naturally-leavened with sourdough. To make it super easy, this recipe uses a stand mixer/kneading process in the beginning, then allows for a long rise before continuing.

But if you’re a die-hard sourdough technique supporter, this dough can also be made using a classic stretch & fold method (stretch and folding every hour for the first couple of hours, then allowing to bulk rise the rest of the 8 hours). I’ve had the same success in both ways, so the option is there if you enjoy that process more.

image of sliced vegan cranberry coconut sourdough babka close up

This dough is enough for two smaller babkas – a ton is folded under the swirl you see on top! That’s what really gives this loaf the height! This babka ends up being over 6-inches tall. But for those of you who would rather have more traditional, shorter babkas, you can definitely separate the dough and make two smaller babkas (see the recipe notes for more details).

If you make this recipe, please comment and rate the recipe below! I love hearing from you all. Also, you can tag me on Instagram @higheralchemybaking with your bake!

image of vegan cranberry coconut sourdough babka for recipe

Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka

This simple-ingredient Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka is perfect for the winter season! Topped with a sweet, decadent coconut streusel and filled with a simple & tangy cranberry filling, this babka will keep you coming back for more. Makes 1 large loaf.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 22 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 d
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 16 servings
Calories 315 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 9×5-inch loaf pan

Ingredients
  

for the vegan sweet dough

  • 400 mL (14 oz.) coconut milk (canned; shake it really well before opening!)
  • 50g mature sourdough starter
  • 70g granulated sugar
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 350g bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

for the cranberry filling

  • 340g fresh cranberries
  • 125g granulated sugar

for the coconut streusel

  • 35g unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 45g all-purpose flour
  • 65g powdered sugar
  • 10g granulated sugar
  • 50g solid coconut oil

Instructions
 

  • Make the vegan sweet dough by combining all of its ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. With a dough hook, mix at a low-medium or medium speed for about 8 minutes – until the dough is soft and supple. Oil a clean bowl, shape the dough casually into a ball, put it in the bowl and cover. Set in a warm place until doubled in size (about 8 hours).
  • Now make the cranberry filling. Combine the cranberries and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. We want to cook out as much liquid as possible, so low and slow is best. The filling will be really thick and dense. Allow it to cool completely then place in the fridge until the morning.
  • After the dough has risen, place it in the fridge overnight (12-14 hours).
  • In the morning, line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with oil. Set aside. Pull out your dough and your cranberry filling from the fridge.
  • On a floured work surface, roll out your dough into a 12×16 inch rectangle. With your hands, break up the cranberry filling evenly over the top of the dough. It will be very dense and congealed but will loosen up as you work with it. Spread the filling evenly with an offset spatula to a half-inch to inch from the edges of the dough.
    image of cranberry filling spread on vegan sweet dough
  • With the long side facing you, roll up the dough so you have a 16-inch cylinder. Gently pinch the seam down into the dough and place the roll seam-side down.
    image of rolled up sweet dough for vegan cranberry coconut sourdough babka
  • With a sharp knife (I usually use a sharp serrated knife), slice the dough cylinder along the middle, all the way through.
    image of preparation of babka swirl step
  • Then face the two dough pieces up so you see the filling. Squeeze the ends together lightly. Then in the center of each, place one over the other.
    image of folded cranberry babka swirl for recipe
  • Keep placing one strand over the other, then the other strand over the other, continuing & alternating so you have an even twist. Gently squeeze the ends together.
    image of sweet dough prep for cranberry babka recipe
  • Put the prepared loaf pan, centered, width-wise, and above the twist. This way, you can easily lift underneath the twist with both hands to match the width of the pan. Tuck the sides of the twist underneath while placing into the pan. There should be a lot extra to put under the twist, which will give us the height we want.
    image of unbaked pre-proof vegan cranberry coconut sourdough babka
  • Cover with a bag and set in a warm place to proof for 3 hours. There may not be any striking change in size, but you may notice some slightly larger fermentation bubbles forming in the thicker areas of the dough (see the picture below).
    image of proofed babka for vegan cranberry coconut sourdough babka recipe
  • In the last 20 minutes of your proof, preheat the oven to 350F and set your oven rack to the lower third. In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients of the coconut streusel, then add the coconut oil. Mix with a small spoon until balls of streusel form. Some of the streusel will be dry bits that didn’t ball up and that’s okay.
  • Sprinkle all of the streusel on top of the babka. Some will fall in the cracks on the side, but don’t worry – that’s where all the yummy bites are. Place the loaf pan on a sheet pan to catch any streusel goodies that fall during baking.
    image of streusel-topped vegan cranberry coconut sourdough babka recipe before baked, in loaf pan
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, then cover with tin foil to prevent the coconut in the streusel from browning too much. Bake for another hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 200F. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the un-papered edges of the pan. Remove the babka to a cooling rack and let it cool for about an hour. Yum!
  • Keeps for 3-4 days at room temperature in a sealed container or bag.

Notes

To divide the dough into two and make two smaller babkas you’ll have to roll out each dough separately and shape each one into its own cylinder. Then slice and twist each one and place into two separate 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch loaf pans. They won’t have as much excess twist to fold under the dough. They will take a shorter time to bake, about 45-60 minutes. For the best results, bake until the internal temperature reaches 200F. These smaller in height babkas are more common in most recipes…I just prefer a voluptuously tall loaf because it’s such a stunner.
Some of the dough may be pale on top after baking but it is still baked through! If you absolutely hate the idea of small pale parts of the top peeking through, you can brush the babka with plant-based milk (vegan option) or egg wash (non-vegan option) right before topping it with the streusel and sticking it in the oven.
For a less processed version, you can use raw sugar and stone-milled flour. The babka will be less white but still very beautiful!

Let me know what you think of my recipe in the comments below! And if you love vegan recipes, check out my other vegan recipes!

4 thoughts on “Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka

  1. 5 stars
    Outstanding…love the crumb and the texture…my favorite part is the streusel lol. Recipe was easy to follow…and gorgeous color. Thank you, #Chef_Jens_Kitchen

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