Chocolate Cranberry Breakfast Cake (vegan)

Before I left town for Thanksgiving, I had to use up all my leftovers from Friendsgiving.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Chocolate Breakfast Cake (vegan) // The Pancake Princess

The day of my flight, the cranberry sauce was the only thing left mostly untouched in the fridge, and I just couldn’t leave it without dumping it into a cake. I was originally thinking some kind of buttermilk crumb cake, but then went with…chocolate.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Chocolate Breakfast Cake (vegan) // The Pancake Princess



Of course.

Textually, this is more of a muffin than cake (it IS adapted from my favorite no-sugar muffins), but I baked it in a 9-inch cake pan so it seems like I must call it cake. Calling it breakfast cake seems like the right compromise since it’s pretty much healthy enough to eat for breakfast–there’s no refined sugar in the cake batter itself, just in the added chocolate chips and cranberry sauce (and obviously if you sprinkle powdered sugar on top, that’s sugar). The cake is perfectly tender, chocolatey and muffin-like: it’s not the type to weigh you down–just fuel you with lots of energy for shopping 😉

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Chocolate Breakfast Cake (vegan) // The Pancake Princess

I feel like I’ve talked about this like a muffin so much, next time I want to make it in a jumbo muffin pan. That would be perfection.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Chocolate Breakfast Cake (vegan) // The Pancake Princess

My Thanksgiving was filled with tons of family and cooking, veggie goodness, skyping with Erik, delicious pies and general silliness. I’m so thankful.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Chocolate Breakfast Cake (vegan) // The Pancake Princess

How was your Thanksgiving? More importantly, what are you eating and/or doing today?

Cranberry Chocolate Cake


  • 1.5 cups dates, chopped and pitted
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan)
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce (the chunky, homemade kind)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch pan.

Place the dates and water in a small saucepan, uncovered, over high heat. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, add the baking soda. Mixture will foam up; reduce the heat to medium or medium high if mixture starts to foam over. After a minute or two, the dates should begin to break down. Use a wooden spoon to stir/mash up the dates a little. Let simmer for another five minutes or so until the dates break down into a paste-like mixture. Add an additional splash of water if the mixture starts to look dry before the dates have completely broken down. Once dates are a stir-able mass, set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the date paste, vanilla, milk, bananas, oil and peanut butter and stir until well combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and swirl in the cranberry sauce. Bake for 35 minutes. Cake is done when fork comes out relatively clean (aside from melted chocolate) and top springs back lightly when touched.

Serve dusted lightly with powdered sugar, if desired. I'm thinking a melted drizzle of peanut butter on top would also be duh-licious.

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15 thoughts on “Chocolate Cranberry Breakfast Cake (vegan)

  1. Pingback: 10 Healthy Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Meat Free

  2. The Wimpy Vegetarian

    Oh what a stellar idea for cranberry sauce!! We traveled too – to Atlanta for Thanksgiving. It was a really nice trip, but it’s always so good to be back home in my own kitchen. I’m pinning this one – my husband would LOVE it (and so would I).

    1. erika Post author

      Ooh that sounds fun! And I know how you feel–I loooove traveling but it’s always a relief to get back to my ingredients and utensils and everything. I love that your husband would love this!

  3. Kelly

    This looks wonderful Erika! What a great and creative way to use up your leftover cranberry sauce. So glad to hear that your Thanksgiving was filled with lots of yummy goodness too and hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend :)

  4. Irina @ wandercrush

    Brilliant, Erika! It makes me wonder why this isn’t an established post-Thanksgiving staple yet… this is easily as viable as turkey soup and sandwiches. Interesting addition of peanut butter, too.

    Also, I got a tin of 6 cookies from the Momofuku Milk Bar stall at Union Square Holiday Market…ate the cornflake chocolate marshmallow one already and thought of you! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (sounds like you did!).

  5. The Vegan 8

    Looks so delicious Erika! Of course it caught my eye because it is chocolate! Really, is there any better way than to use up leftover cranberry sauce than in a cake?….I think not :) I seriously LOVE how healthy it is too. Totally guilt-free to eat this for breakfast…..heck, lunch sounds like a great idea too. Happy Thanksgiving!


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