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Make this casual summer dessert with fresh cherries for the most delicious and creamy baked fruit custard you’ll ever taste!

This simple French classic, Cherry Clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-tee), is traditionally made with black cherries, but any sweet cherry will do. Pitted cherries are baked in a rich flan-like batter until the sugary crisp top is golden and the custard is set — ooh-la-la!

cherry clafoutis with two serving spoons and a serving missing from the pan.

Cherry season (June and July in my area) means I’ll be taking advantage of an abundance of fresh cherries I picked up at the market and baking all kinds of yummy cherry desserts!

Armed with a beautiful sack of fresh Bing cherries, I always face the dilemma: Should I bake a pie or cobbler, or perhaps chocolate cherry quick bread?

So many wonderful choices, but this time I settled on the classic and simple French dessert, Cherry Clafoutis, and it was superb!

Except for the fresh cherries, the other ingredient for this recipe are always available in my pantry, so grab some fresh cherries and go make clafoutis!

ingredients for cherry clafoutis on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Cherry Clafoutis Recipe

  • Fresh cherries — I use sweet cherries (dark Bing cherries) because they are plentiful in my area. Rainier cherries would also be delicious, I think, but they are a little pricey. In a pinch, use frozen cherries.
  • Eggs — Eggs make the custard smooth and rich, so be sure they are large. I haven’t experimented with egg substitutes in this recipe, but I imagine they should work.
  • All-purpose flour — This is the thickening agent for the custard and unlike most baking, you won’t need a leaving agent (baking powder, etc.).
  • Granulated sugar — Sugar is used in the custard batter and for the top crispy layer.
  • Milk and heavy cream — For the richest results, use a mix of 3 parts whole milk and 1 part heavy cream, or use all milk.
  • Extracts — I like a mix of both vanilla extract and almond extract, but if you only have vanilla on hand, use that. Almond flavor is a delicious complement to cherries, though!
  • Powdered sugar — Use a couple of tablespoons — or more if you like a heavy dusting — to sprinkle on the warm clafoutis.
bing cherries in a white colander on a tea towel on a counter.

How to make Cherry Clafoutis

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

pitting cherries and placing them in a buttered baking dish for cherry clafoutis.

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.

As you pit each cherry, place it in a well-buttered baking dish until you have a single layer that completely covers the bottom.

tip

pouring custard batter over cherries in a baking dish; sprinkling sugar on top of the custard before baking cherry clafoutis.

STEP 2 | Blend the batter

Next, prepare the batter by literally dumping all the ingredients into the bowl of a blender! I like to first blend together the eggs and sugar, and then add the remaining ingredients — but you can just dump and blend if you like.

Then, add the flour, milk, and flavorings — both vanilla and almond extracts — and process the batter a few seconds until it smooth.

Pour the batter over the cherries in the baking dish. Truly, there’s nothing hard about making this cherry clafoutis recipe!

STEP 3 | Sprinkle more sugar

You can always leave this step off, but I love the thin caramelized, sugary crisp top you get by sprinkling a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar over the batter before you pop it into the oven.

cherry clafoutis cooling on a wire rack; dusting powdered sugar through a fine mesh strainer..

STEP 4 | Bake

Bake the clafoutis in the preheated 375-degree oven until the custard is set, about 30 to 35 minutes. The tip of a knife should come out mostly clean when inserted in the center and the top should not look wet.

A very slight jiggle is okay — the custard will be creamier if it is not over baked! Also, around the edges, the top may crack a bit, but that’s just fine, too.

STEP 5 | Cool and garnish

Transfer the baking dish from the oven to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes or so. The last step is crowning the dessert with powdered sugar — a small fine mesh strainer is perfect for dusting powdered sugar on top!

Now, this delicious cherry clafoutis is all ready to enjoy! Cherry clafoutis can be served warm, at room temperature, or even chilled and eaten the next day. Bon Appétit!

cherry clafoutis sprinkled with powdered sugar with two fresh cherries on top sitting on a table.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use other fruits to make clafoutis?

Well, yes and no. When you substitute other fruit for the cherries in clafoutis, it actually becomes Flaugnarde, a baked fruit flan. Whole cherries in the clafoutis don’t release a lot of juices during cooking (which would alter the texture of the dish).

So, when other fruits are used in this same recipe — like plums, peaches, pears, apricots, or even berries — it becomes an equally delicious Flaugnarde.

Can you use frozen cherries in clafoutis?

Frozen cherries can most definitely be substituted, and there’s no need to thaw them first. Just add them to the buttered pan and bake as directed.

Isn’t traditional clafoutis baked with cherries and their pits?

This is indeed true, and some say that baking the cherry pits adds more depth of flavor, but unknowingly biting into a pit could result in a broken tooth. I say leave them out — this dessert is still delicious.

Serving suggestions

A dollop of freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream is always a nice touch alongside warm Cherry Clafoutis. You may even want to pit a few extra cherries to garnish each serving.

And, if you like mini desserts this recipe can also be prepared in individual ramekins, just decrease the baking time by 10 minutes or so.

a half eaten serving of cherry clafoutis on a plate with a gold spoon.

Behind the recipe: French Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis originated from the Limousin region of France a couple of centuries ago. The name comes from the verb, clafir, meaning to fill. Cherries are arranged in a buttered dish that is then filled with a batter of eggs, milk, sugar, and flour.

In some versions, a thin layer of the batter is poured into the dish and baked until firm before adding the cherries and remaining batter on top.

Traditionally, the clafoutis was baked with the cherry pits for the release of an almond-y flavor. I prefer adding almond extract for no broken teeth!

Fun Fact: Clafoutis de Cerezas was introduced to American cooks in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1970.

Other French-inspired desserts:

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cherry clafoutis with two serving spoons and a serving missing from the pan.

Cherry Clafoutis

Pitted cherries are baked in a rich flan-like batter until the sugary crisp top is golden and the custard is set — ooh-la-la!
3.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Sweets
Cuisine French
Servings 6 servings
Calories 257 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 cups fresh sweet cherries stemmed and pitted
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Liberally coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 11-inch casserole dish with the softened butter.
  • Stem and pit the cherries, then place them in a single layer in the baking dish.
  • Combine remaining ingredients, except for the extra 3 tablespoons sugar, in a blender until smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the ramekins, then sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon sugar.
  • Bake until the custard is set, about 35 minutes.
  • Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then dust the top with sifted powdered sugar. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Notes

  • If you like mini desserts this recipe can also be prepared in individual ramekins, just decrease the baking time by 10 minutes or so.
  • Don’t own a cherry pitter? There are several methods out there for pitting cherries, but this method using an empty wine bottle and a sturdy chopstick seems to be the best option.

Nutrition

Serving: 6servingsCalories: 257kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 7gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 79mgFiber: 2gSugar: 33g
Keyword cherry, Clafoutis
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.

10 Comments

  1. I love clafoutis and never realized how easy they are! I’m totally making this soon – yum!

  2. I’ve been practicing my pronunciation, so I’m ready to enjoy this lovely dessert 😉 Love those cherries, for sure!

  3. Mmm, love love LOVE cherries! They are one of my favorite fruits and I’m so happy that cherry season has arrived. 🙂

    1. I think fresh will work best, but if using frozen, definitely let them thaw and drain off any moisture before using. Let me know how that works if you do try it…thanks!

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