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The Speckled Palate
July 5, 2017

Fresh Cherry Quick Bread

Last Updated on

Fresh Cherry Quick Bread makes the PERFECT breakfast or sweet treat in the summertime! Easy to make and prepare, this dairy free quick bread is destined to become a classic. Makes 1 loaf.

A loaf of Cherry Quick bread, on a blue and white towel

I never ate a fresh cherry until last summer, and it was all out of laziness.

I know. My laziness knows no bounds.

Let’s be real: Pitting cherries is a time-consuming task, and it’s messy to boot.

Since I love lots of other fruits, I just never took the time to give fresh cherries a go. After all, my favorite fruits require little-to-no hands on time, and I like it that way. #lazy

In fact, the only reason I tried cherries last summer was because my friend was pitting them for our children. (Because she’s the good friend in this crowd.) And if Lady A is going to eat something, I want to know what it tastes like, too.

Once I bit into it, I knew I’d made a mistake in never trying fresh cherries before, and I quickly went about remedying that.

Other cherry recipes we love in the summertime: Cherry Bourbon SlushCherry Overnight Oats / Cherry Lemonade MargaritasMini White Chocolate-Cherry Bundt Cakes (Instant Pot Cake)Honeysuckle Cherry Smash / Dr Pepper® Cherry Cupcakes with Grenadine Whipped Cream

Close up of sliced bread

Fresh Cherry Quick Bread Essentials

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Overhead image of cherry-studded bread

How to make Cherry Bread

Preheat the oven, and spray a loaf pan with nonstick baking spray. (If you want to do this without the baking spray, you can line your loaf pan in parchment paper. It’s kind of a pain, but it can be done!)

If you haven’t already, pit and dice the cherries. Place ’em in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients. This means you’re throwing in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Whisk ’em together, and set aside.

(Sorry, I know we’re using a lot of bowls. I promise it’s worth the hassle.)

Fresh Cherry Quick Bread is sliced on a marble cutting board, surrounded by a lemon and other cherries

Mix the wet ingredients.

In another glass bowl, measure out the melted coconut oil and granulated sugar for the quick bread. Using a hand mixer, cream them together.

What does it mean to cream oil and sugar together? This is a method where you essentially mix the oil and sugar together really well. They’ll look light and fluffy once you’ve finished creaming them together.

Once the oil and sugar have been creamed together, you can add the egg. Beat the egg into the mixture until just incorporated, and then add the vanilla and applesauce. Mix ’em some more, then in goes the lemon zest and lemon juice. Blend them together until smooth.

Overhead image of Fresh Cherry Quick Bread on a towel

Mix up the batter and bake.

Now, it’s time for the cherries to go into the dry ingredients.

Sloooooooowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to stir until they’re just combined.

Once the batter is together, pour it into the prepared loaf pan. Decorate the top with additional halved cherries before transferring to the oven.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Once out of the oven, let the loaf cool before slicing and enjoying!

Close up of a sliced loaf of Fresh Cherry Quick Bread, head on

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you try this fruit bread recipe?

The fresh cherries add a brightness to this quick bread and a lovely sweetness without being saccharine. And that’s a win in my book, as we should all know by now that saccharine sweets aren’t my jam.

Lemon zest and juice add gorgeous, acidic notes, balancing out the natural sweetness of the cherries beautifully.

And this bread? It’s fluffy and light as all get out. The crust that forms on the outside has the loveliest crunch and mouth feel.

I want to eat this daily for breakfast.

Honestly, that’s something we should ALL do since it’s cherry season!

What’s the easiest way to pit cherries?

Cherries, as previously mentioned, are a hassle to pit and prepare. However, they’re worth the hassle!

A cherry pitter will make your life a lot easier if you make lots of dishes with cherries during the summer months.

Why do you use applesauce in your recipe?

I use applesauce to add a little bit more moisture without adding additional fat. This is something I started doing years ago in an attempt to cut some of the fat out of recipes that seemed a little too decadent. (It tends to work well for baked goods, in my experience, so long as you don’t replace all the fat with applesauce!)

That said, if you’d rather use oil in place of the applesauce or don’t have applesauce on hand, you can, and there shouldn’t be much of a difference in the final texture or flavor.

I don’t like the taste of coconut oil. What can I use in its place?

Coconut oil can give the bread a slight coconut taste. If that’s not your jam, you can use canola or vegetable oil instead.

If you’re not dairy free or serving people who eat a dairy free diet, you can substitute butter in its place, too.

Pinterest image of Fresh Cherry Quick Bread, shown from above, sliced, and with text

Other summertime brunch recipes:

Now who’s ready for a slice or two of this fresh cherry bread?

Scroll on down to learn how you can make it for yourself!

Fresh Cherry Quick Bread
Yield: 1 loaf bread

Fresh Cherry Quick Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Fresh Cherry Quick Bread makes the PERFECT breakfast or sweet treat in the summertime! Easy to make and prepare, this quick bread is destined to become a classic recipe. The pitted, fresh cherries are highlighted and balanced with lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Between the crunchy crust, the bread's fluffy texture and the cherry-lemon flavors that sing inside the baked good, Fresh Cherry Quick Bread is sure to become a new favorite!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup cherries, fresh, pitted and diced, plus extra halves for the top of the bread
  • 1 ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick baking spray, then set aside.
  2. Pit and dice the cherries, then place in a glass bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large glass bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Whisk together until combined, then set aside.
  4. In another large glass bowl, cream together the melted coconut oil and granulated sugar using a hand mixer.
  5. Once the coconut oil and sugar are a smooth mixture, crack the egg into the mixture.
  6. Pour in the vanilla and applesauce to the wet ingredients, too. Beat with the hand mixer until combined.
  7. Add the lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and mix with the hand mixer until combined.
  8. Toss the pitted and diced cherries in the dry ingredients.
  9. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, gently stirring with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  10. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use the additional halved cherry to decorate the top of the loaf, then transfer to the oven.
  11. Bake at 375°F for 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Let the loaf cool for 15-30 minutes, then remove from the loaf pan, and slice.
  13. Enjoy at room temperature or toasted!

Notes

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10 slices

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 194 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 19mg Sodium: 132mg Carbohydrates: 31g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Do you like fresh cherries?

Would you like a slice of this lemony, cherry-y quick bread?

The photos and recipe for this Fresh Cherry Quick Bread were originally published on July 5, 2017. The text of this blog post was updated on July 22, 2019.

12 Comments

  1. Anna Hinman

    I can never get enough of cherries in the summer! I need to freeze some so I can make this bread anytime! It looks amazing!

  2. Jen

    My husband is obsessed with cherries so you know that I’m making this for him! Looks delicious!

  3. Michelle @ The Complete Savorist

    I have never had or never thought of making cherry bread…it’s a must now, this looks perfect.

  4. Krista

    You had me at fresh and cherry! YUM!

  5. Joanie @ One Dish Kitchen

    This looks perfectly delicious and I LOVE those big, beautiful cherries!

  6. Julia

    I LOVE baked goods with cherries, and this bread looks like perfection! Such lovely texture and I bet it’s just the perfect amount of sweet. I’m thinking this is perfect for all my afternoon snacking needs 😉

  7. carrie @ frugal foodie mama

    I happen to have some fresh cherries in my fridge right now! I think I know what I will be baking up this weekend. 😉

  8. Catalina @ Peas & Peonies

    Yummy! I want this!

  9. Stephanie

    Why does it call for applesauce in the recipe? Please reply back to me.

    • Erin

      Hi Stephanie. I use applesauce in this recipe to add a little bit more moisture without adding additional oil/fat. This is something I started doing years ago in an attempt to cut some of the fat out of recipes that seemed a little too decadent. (It tends to work well for baked goods, in my experience, so long as you don’t replace all the fat with applesauce!)

      That said, if you’d rather use oil in place of the applesauce (or don’t have applesauce on hand), you can, and there shouldn’t be much of a difference in the final texture or flavor. Happy baking!

  10. Jim Newby

    Can you use can pears instead of cherries
    Thanks

    • Erin

      Hi Jim. Pears sound like they would be DELICIOUS in this bread, though I’m not sure how they would affect the texture. Since pears have more liquid, they might end up making the final bread a little too wet. That said, it would probably still be delicious!

      If you give this a try, please let me know how it turns out. And since you’ve asked this question, I’m thinking I need to develop a fresh pear quick bread recipe for the fall, huh?

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