Naturally Sweetened Chocolate Cranberry Wreath

Chocolate cranberry wreath

Naturally sweetened dessert? Yes please! This delicious Chocolate Cranberry Wreath is a delicious snack or decadent breakfast. 

This recipe is from the archives. I first made it in 2015 and it has always been one of the most popular recipes on the site. I took it off when I reformatted my site in 2017 and have not had a chance to re-photograph it. No time like the present!

This treat is sweetened only with maple syrup, bananas, and dates. Don’t get me wrong, these all still provide sweetness, but the dates also provide some fibre. It’s also a showstopper and so beautiful to look at!

Give it a try 🙂 

Sliced chocolate cranberry wreath bread

Naturally Sweetened Chocolate Cranberry Wreath

Print Recipe
Serves: ~12 Cooking Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy alternative
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 egg (can replace with 1/4 cup more mashed banana!)
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana or apple sauce
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter

  • Chocolate Filling:
  • 1 cup packed dates
  • 1/3 cup hot water (from the soaking liquid)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (1-2 tablespoons reserved for topping)



In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flours and salt.


Heat the milk until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Add the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy and activated.


Whisk in the egg, mashed banana, maple syrup, and coconut oil. 

Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix to combine before kneading for 5-10 minutes or until the dough comes together into a smooth and elastic ball. Add flour a tbsp at a time if too wet, or add water if too dry - the dough should stick slightly to the bottom of the bowl but clear the sides.


Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough inside turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours in a warm spot until doubled in size.


Filling: Soak the dates in boiling water to soften for about 5 minutes. Remove 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid from the dates and drain the rest.


Using a food processor, combine the dates, salt, and cocoa powder and process until the dates have broken down

. Add the water and process until smooth.


Roll out the risen dough into a rectangle (~25x50cm). Smooth the date-cocoa paste over the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border. Scatter the dough with cranberries (leaving a couple tablespoons for the topping).


Using the long edge, roll the dough into a log. Slice in half length-wise. Twist the 2 strands around each other gently. Once twisted, bring the ends together to form a circle and pinch ends together to seal. Scatter with reserved cranberries.


Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm spot for ~1 hour.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for ~35-30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before brushing maple syrup overtop to give it a shine.


You can serve this plain or with a dollop of whipped cream (I used coconut whipped cream - see notes).


To make coconut whipped cream, refrigerate a can of whole fat coconut milk for 1-2 hours. Open can and scoop out thick white cream leaving the water in the can. Whip just like you would cream with a touch of maple syrup until combined.

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