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.
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.
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!
Vegan Cranberry Coconut Sourdough Babka
- 1 9×5-inch loaf pan
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
- 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.
- 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.
- With a sharp knife (I usually use a sharp serrated knife), slice the dough cylinder along the middle, all the way through.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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!