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My Cherry Bread is bursting with fresh, sweet Bing cherries and chunks of dark chocolate and is so deliciously decadent, no one will ever guess how easy it is to make!

Together, cherries and dark chocolate create a natural affinity — so it’s no wonder this fresh Cherry Bread is so darn good!

a slice of cherry bread on a serving plate with a fork and cherries.

Sweet breakfast breads are my weakness. On any given Saturday, give me a scone, a warm cinnamon roll, or a slice of quick bread (especially like today’s recipe) with my cup of coffee, and I’m perfectly satisfied.

This cherry loaf is topped with a simple vanilla glaze, and is soft and tender from using buttermilk in the batter. With juicy cherries and chocolate in every bite, it makes a lovely cherry dessert, too!

Have leftover cherries? You may also enjoy making my Cherry Potpies or this super easy Rustic Cherry Tart. Both are fantastic!

bing cherries in a white colander on a tea towel on a counter.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Cherry Bread recipe

  • Fresh cherries — Bing cherries are easily found in most grocery stores through the end of August and are deliciously sweet this time of year. Frozen cherries may also be used, but thaw them first, drain off any liquid, and pat them dry before using.
  • Buttermilk — The buttermilk in the batter helps keep this bread moist without it becoming soggy, even with the fresh cherries. If you don’t have any on hand, see my tip below for an easy substitute.
  • All-purpose flour — Use all-purpose flour or whatever gluten free alternative you normally use.
  • Leavening agents — You’ll need a bit of salt, baking soda, and baking powder to make the bread rise, just be sure your baking powder is fresh so it works properly in the recipe.
  • Chocolate chunks — These are found in the baking aisle alongside the other chocolate chips. If you can’t find them, substitute dark chocolate chips instead.
  • Sugar — I use granulated white sugar to sweeten this quick bread, but you may use pure cane sugar as well.
  • Vanilla extractAlmond extract is a good substitute for the vanilla, or you may use half of each to give the bread or the glaze an interesting flavor boost.
  • Powdered sugar — Mixed with a little milk and vanilla, powdered sugar makes a delicious glaze for any type of quick bread!

tips

  • Out of buttermilk? Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a one cup measure, add milk to fill it to the top, then let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before adding to the batter.
  • No powdered sugar in the pantry? You can make your own powdered sugar at home. Divide the amount of powdered sugar you need in half, then add that amount of granulated sugar to a blender. Process on high until you have a fluffy powder, then use immediately.

How to make Cherry Quick Bread recipe

The most prep time for this recipe is pitting the cherries, but even that is quick and easy when you own a nifty cherry pitter — it’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!

using a cherry pitter; chopped cherries on a cutting board.

STEP 1 | Pit the cherries

Place the cherries in a colander and rinse under cool running water. Remove the stems, then place each cherry in the pitter and align the stem side up. Squeeze the pitter and the stone will shoot through the end.

I like to slice each cherry in half (I think it makes the bread easier to slice later), but you may also leave them whole.

STEP 2 | Prepare the loaf pan

Go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While that is heating up, cut a piece of parchment paper big enough to fit into the bottom of the pan and overlap the two long sides of the pan by an inch or two.

Lightly spray your loaf pan lightly with cooking spray. Press the parchment into the pan, then flip it over so that the sprayed side is up. If you happen to have small binder clips, use those to secure the paper to the pan.

whisking together dry ingredients for cherry bread in a glass bowl.

STEP 3 | Measure dry and wet ingredients

Grab two mixing bowls — one large and one medium bowl.

In the large bowl, measure out the flour by using the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with a knife. Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt and whisk it all together.

mixing together wet ingredients for cherry bread in a glass bowl.

In the smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk and baking soda. Next, add the egg, oil, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

combining wet and dry ingredients in a single bowl for cherry bread.

STEP 4 | Make the batter

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then all at once pour in the wet mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the flour into the liquid. Only stir long enough to ensure all the dry ingredients are incorporated — don’t overmix!

pouring a bowl of chocolate chunks and chopped cherries into a bowl of batter for cherry chocolate bread.

STEP 5 | Fold in chocolate and cherries

Add the chocolate and cherries to the bowl with the batter. Again, fold them in gently, being careful not to over mix.

tip

  • Before adding the cherries to the batter, it’s always a good idea to drain any collected juices. That will keep them from sinking to the bottom and from making the batter turn pink when folding in the cherries.

cherry bread batter in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper; lifting a loaf of cherry bread out of a loaf pan.

STEP 6 | Bake

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the quick bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

ingredients for making a glaze for cherry bread on a counter.

STEP 7 | Make a glaze

In a small bowl, combine a cup of powdered sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (depending on desired consistency) and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Drizzle or pour the glaze over the bread once it has completely cooled. 

cherry bread on a wire cooling rack over a plate with glaze dripping off the sides of the bread.

Frequently asked questions

What is quick bread?

Quick bread refers to any type of bread that is made without adding yeast — a sweet or savory loaf, scones, biscuits, etc. Even though a quick bread can take more than an hour to make, it’s still a faster and easier process than baking with yeast.

How should I store cherry bread?

Normally, I would recommend storing quick bread at room temperature, but I suggest refrigerating this cherry bread because of the fruit.

Can you freeze cherry bread?

Absolutely! If you do plan to bake the bread ahead of time and freeze it, hold off on adding the glaze until you’re ready to thaw and serve. Cherry bread will keep in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

a loaf of cherry bread with chocolate chunks on a white plate with a slice laying to the side.

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

a slice of cherry bread on a serving plate with a fork and cherries.

Cherry Bread with Chocolate Chunks

Together, cherries and dark chocolate create a natural affinity — so it’s no wonder this fresh Cherry Bread is so darn good!
4.27 from 46 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Quick Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 339 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Bing cherries pitted and halved
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with a light coating of cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to fit the bottom and up two sides of the pan. Place the paper in the pan and press to coat with the spray. Turn the paper over and return to the pan with the sprayed side up; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk with the baking soda. Add the egg, canola oil, and vanilla and stir until combined.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the cherries and chocolate chunks, being careful not to over mix.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan by lifting up on the sides of the parchment paper. Cool completely before glazing.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (depending on desired consistency) and the vanilla, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled bread. 

Notes

  • Before adding the cherries to the batter, it’s always a good idea to drain any collected juices. That will keep them from sinking to the bottom and from making the batter turn pink when folding in the cherries.
  • Out of buttermilk? Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a one cup measure, add milk to fill it to the top, then let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before adding to the batter.
  • No powdered sugar in the pantry? You can make your own powdered sugar at homeDivide the amount of powdered sugar you need in half, then add that amount of granulated sugar to a blender. Process on high until you have a fluffy powder, then use immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 339kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 409mgFiber: 2gSugar: 37g
Keyword bread, cherry, chocolate, quick bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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