Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease and flour one 9x5-inch pan or two 2# coffee cans.
In a large bowl combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and water. Beat just till mixed. In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients then add to first mixture. Stir in sweet potatoes then nuts and cranberries. Spoon in mixture to pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Makes 1 loaf OR two 2-lb. coffee cans.