Cherry Bread is an easy quick bread that you can serve as a snack cake or breakfast treat. It’s made with fresh cherries just like our Homemade Cherry Cake, but don’t worry – if you can’t find fresh, you can make this bread with dried cherries or even frozen cherries so you can make it all year round.
I love when I find fresh cherries at the store. The season is short (usually late spring to mid-summer), so it’s always special to buy a big batch and then use them to make all kinds of baked goods like quick bread, cakes, muffins, cherry crumb bars and this easy fresh cherry bread. Or why not try this Simple Yogurt Bread recipe if you have leftover yogurt in your fridge.
Well, that is if we can resist eating all of the cherries straight from the bag. It’s a good idea to hide them if you plan to bake with them. At our house, they will disappear in no time if they are left out.
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Fresh Cherry Bread
If you can only make one thing with the cherries you find, it should be this bread. It’s easy to make with just a few ingredients, and the cherries are the star. Every bite has a sweet and tart flavor.
I love this bread with fresh fruit, but you can make it with dried or frozen cherries, too. That means you don’t have to wait for cherry season. You can make it whenever you want a soft, delicious sweet bread bursting with cherry flavor.
- All-purpose flour: Is best used in this recipe, it helps keep the cherries from sinking to the bottom
- Granulated sugar : Adds sweetness and flavour to the bread.
- Baking powder: It’s a leavening which helps the batter to rise.
- Salt: Flavours the bread.
- Cold butter: It helps with leavening, moisture and adds flavour.
- 2% milk: It will help hydrate the dry ingredients and also adds flavour.
- Large eggs: They help to bind the recipe together.
- Vanilla: A flavour enhancer.
- Pitted cherries cut in half: I used fresh dark sweet cherries for this recipe, but frozen or even dried will work also.
Fresh cherries: There are over 1000 varieties of cherries – so many I can’t name them all! The availability will depend on where you are from, so I suggest picking one that you enjoy eating. Some are sweeter, while others are more tart.
Frozen cherries: If you want to use frozen ones, thaw them first, drain the excess liquid, and pat them dry. You want them dry, so you don’t have extra liquid in your bread.
Dry cherries: Yes, you can even make dried cherry bread. Depending on how large they are, you might want to roughly chop them first. Also, you can add them straight to the batter, but if they are very chewy, I recommend soaking them first and then pat them dry. This will plump them up. You can do this in water or try a liqueur if you would like a boozy kick.
How to Prevent Loaves from Sinking
- Make sure that the loaf stays in the oven for the right amount of time. Don’t follow the suggested baking time blindly. You want to make sure that the loaf creates a nice rounded dome on top and to be sure it’s baked, test it with a toothpick. Place the toothpick in the centre of the bread and if it comes out dry, with minimal to no crumbs attached to it then your bread is ready!
- Leavening Agents aka: Baking Powder and Baking Soda. If your leavening agents are expired your loaf won’t be able to grow and it will probably sink. Make sure to test your leavening agents before using them if you think they might be outdated.
To test them: Mix a teaspoon of baking powder with a bit of hot water, if it bubbles then it’s ready to be used. For the baking soda, mix one teaspoon with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. It should produce bubbles.
- Don’t overmix your batter. If you mix it too much you can add too much air to the batter which will create air bubbles inside the loaf and it will collapse in the oven, or you might work it so much that it starts creating too much gluten which will give your bread a rubbery consistency.
- Make sure that your oven is at the right temperature. Every oven is slightly different, get to know your oven’s temperatures and remember to leave the oven door closed until the loaf has reached its final shape. You don’t want the heat getting out every time you open the oven. It will make your loaf collapse.
Once you have your cherries, it’s time to make the bread. You will need to grease and flour a loaf pan and pre-heat the oven.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a whisk, add the chopped butter and mix to form a coarse crumbly mixture. Remove and set aside 3/4 of a cup of this mixture – you will use it for the crumble topping. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. It’s okay if the batter is a little lumpy.
Fold in the cherries and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping over the top and bake the bread for about an hour.
Leave the bread in the pan until it’s cooled, and then turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Once cooled, slice and serve your delicious cherry bread. Or, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and it will keep at room temperature for two to three days. Or freeze it for up to three months.
More Quick Bread Recipes with Fruit
Ready to make more delicious easy bread recipes? Here are two more classic recipes with fruit you might like to try, too.
- Blueberry Bread is soft, moist, and delicious with a pat of warm butter.
- Everyone needs a great Banana Bread recipe.. or 2! Double Chocolate Banana Bread brings together two of the best ingredients! Chocolate and Bananas!
Pour a hot cup of coffee to enjoy with your homemade bread. It’s wonderful as a snack cake in the afternoon. Or slice and serve it with warm butter and honey for breakfast. Enjoy!
Homemade Cherry Bread Recipe
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup butter (cold cut into pieces)
- ¾ cup milk (I used 2 %)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 cups cherries (pitted and cut in half)
- Pre-heat oven to 375F (190C). Grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, add the butter and mix to form a crumbly mixture. Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture (this is your crumb topping) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl with a fork or whisk beat together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Add it to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula just until combined. The batter should be a little lumpy. Do not over mix.
- Fold in the cherries and transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. Let cool in the loaf pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!