This old fashioned recipe for Cherry Bread is loaded with pecans and maraschino cherries. It’s moist and tender, easy to make, and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.
And now here’s one more—an equally as delightful Cherry Bread with Pecans.
There’s no need to wait for cherry season to enjoy this bread, because we’ll make it with jarred maraschino cherries. They add the perfect amount of sweetness and cherry flavor to this easy quick bread.
We’ll also add chopped pecans for crunch. They pair so nicely with the cherries, though you can use walnuts or omit them if you prefer.
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Top tips for making cherry bread
- Drain the maraschino cherries well. This allows the batter to stay yellow and create that beautiful contrast between the bread and the cherries.
- The bread is best enjoyed within a few days of making it. It starts to dry out after that.
- Don’t have buttermilk? You can make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice with a scant cup of milk to create 1 cup of homemade buttermilk.
- A 10-oz jar of maraschino cherries is the star here. Save the juice for making shirley temples or cocktails!
- Chopped pecans add crunch. I buy them already toasted for even better flavor.
- We’ll cream butter and sugar together to create a light texture for the bread.
- Eggs add lift and richness.
- Vanilla extract enhances the cherry flavor.
- We’ll alternate adding the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) with the buttermilk to create the batter. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own using milk and an acid (such as vinegar and lemon juice).
How to make Cherry Bread with maraschino cherries
Drain the maraschino cherries well. Chop into quarters (it doesn’t have to be perfect!).
Then, place softened butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) until light and fluffy. This process gives the bread a light and fluffy texture.
Add the eggs and beat to combine.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, alternating between each one and stirring in between each addition.
Stir in the chopped cherries and pecans.
Transfer the mixture to a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. (I line mine with a parchment paper sling so it’s easy to take out.)
Bake for 50–60 minutes at 350°F, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the Cherry Bread cool before slicing.
Can I make Cherry Bread ahead of time?
This cherry loaf can be made a day or two in advance. Let it cool completely, then cover tightly. Slice it when you’re ready to serve it.
You can freeze cherry bread for up to 3 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then slide into a resealable freezer bag. This gives it three layers of protection against freezer burn!
Defrost the cherry bread overnight at room temperature.
You can easily customize Cherry Bread. Here are a few ideas.
- Use chopped walnuts in place of pecans.
- Replace the pecans with chocolate chips for a chocolate cherry bread (YUM!).
- Omit the nuts if you prefer.
- Substitute the vanilla extract with ½ teaspoon almond extract. Cherries and almonds are a classic flavor combination!
- If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice + a scant cup of milk to create 1 cup of homemade buttermilk.
- Add a pink powdered sugar glaze on top: 1 cup of powdered sugar + 1 tablespoon of maraschino cherry juice. Whisk to combine and pour over the cooled bread. You can substitute milk for the cherry juice if you want a white glaze.
Using other types of cherries
Want to make this recipe with fresh cherries or dried cherries? You can do that, too!
For fresh cherries, replace the maraschino cherries with 1.5 cups of pitted and quartered fresh cherries.
For dried cherries, replace the maraschino cherries with 1 cup of dried cherries that have been roughly chopped.
More quick bread recipes
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Cherry Bread with Maraschino Cherries
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 9×5-inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper.
- Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, stirring as you go. Stir in the vanilla.
- Stir in the chopped cherries and chopped pecans. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the bread completely.