Cherry Nut Loaf
When cherry season arrives, you must plan to make this Cherry Nut Loaf with fresh cherries and toasted walnuts. You could almost call it dessert!
Cherries. Fresh, ripe and wonderful cherries. Sweet, succulent and gorgeous cherries; a love so strong that years ago I gave into this being not just cherry season but embracing that my fingertips will be stained crimson and my apron will be splattered as if Jackson Pollack was my sous chef season.
It’s all good. I love them sweet, sour and bing. Their pits are the pits but that won’t stop me. And using them in this Cherry Nut Loaf resulted in perfection. Warm with a bit of butter for breakfast was my favorite…every morning until they were gone!
Each year when fresh cherries flood the local markets I am determined to find new and wonderful ways to use them. In years past I’ve been lucky; this Cherry Ricotta Pie is amazing and a cherry version of the Sidecar Cocktail is not just tasty but gorgeous.
My own yearly effort includes making maraschino cherries; eschewing the more plastic pink orbs from the grocery.
I was itching to use a new ceramic loaf pan that I got for Mother’s Day (my kids now find gifts easy; photo props work every time!), the transition from a cake to a loaf pan was easy enough and the results for this Cherry Nut Loaf were fabulous.
A pound cake that is dense and moist but not overly sweet that is filled with nuts and fruit; it’s already on my favorites list for seasons to come.
I still recall vividly the trip to Washington, D.C. many years ago for the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. The trees are gorgeous and their aroma fills the spring air with an intoxicating scent.
That experience cultivated in planting a cherry tree upon our return to our home in North Carolina and I continued that tradition in the home I just sold. Sadly, that ‘cherry’ tree turned out to be a crab apple tree (a nursery mistake) but a girl can still dream and I’m hoping the next place will have the space to continue that tradition.
The excitement of the first blossoms heralding spring is a memorable experience on its’ own but the abundance of fresh cherries during the summer become the real icing on the cake…or maybe I should say cherries in the pie!
The recipe I discovered for this load of cherries and nuts called for maraschino cherries but I chose to use fresh, chopped sweet cherries. Without them I would probably next use the maraschino cherries I made last year; I’ve got about a cup left and it’s time to make a new batch.
But still, use fresh cherries if you can. I know there will be a repeat performance of this recipe; it was terrific. Not too sweet and filled with big chunks of cherries and toasted walnuts; actually I would say it was perfect!
PIN IT! ‘Cherry Nut Loaf’
Cherry Nut Loaf
- 2 sticks of butter 1/2 lb, softened
- 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup plain or honey Greek yogurt I am a slave to Greek Gods Yogurt with Honey
- 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts toasted and cooled
- 1 cup cherries halved (fresh, maraschino, from cans or jars...they all work!)
- Heat oven to 350F. Generously butter a large loaf pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy; add the eggs one at a time and blend well.
- Add the yogurt and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Combine the flour and baking powder; add to the wet mixture and blend just until moist.
- Fold in the walnuts and cherries. Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour (cake tester should come out clean).
- Run a knife around the outer edge and allow to cool in the loaf pan on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and remove slices as needed.
Can I use dry cherries? ?
Sure, I would hydrate them a bit before baking to insure they don’t dry out more. Just put in a pan and cover with water. Heat to a simmer, turn off heat and let them steep for about 10 minutes. Drain. Should be fine!
Can I use frozen cherries.
Sure, I think they would work just fine.
I love cherries and baking with them adds such great flavor. I’m so glad it’s cherry season again!
Me too Laura…now if only I could find some pitless cherries! 🙂
Oooh! Love cherry season, B! And, your Cherry Nut Loaf looks divine! I’m a Michigan native and always enjoyed going up to Traverse and indulging in everything cherry! Last year, the cherry crops were zip-zilch due to early heat wave then cold snap. Cannot wait to get in the kitchen to play with some tart cherries…my absolute fave. Cannot wait to share my Tart Cherry Cobbler recipe on the blog. The secret is in the buttery biscuit crumble…sort of a combo of biscuits and a buttery crumbled sugar cookie! Still love how you make your own maraschino cherries! Pinning… xo
mmmm i can just imagine having a slice for breakfast with a cuppa………yummmm…! will be a defo when cherries are back in season 🙂
I was lucky to get a slice; it was devoured by friends and family. Next loaf I’m hiding. 🙂
I have to wait till the 4th of July for my neighbors sour cherries to be ready, and girl it is my favorite time of year. This isn’t a bad time either as I am now in the race to eat up all of the remaining jars of jam that we haven’t gotten around to eating yet. This cherry nut loaf looks amazing.
I remember those cherries and especially remember the fabulous maraschino cherries I made with the ones you so kindly gave to me. Need help picking let me know!
wow looks fabulous. I love that it uses yoghurt! 🙂
I rarely ever buy sour cream any more using yogurt instead. And I have to admit, I’m smitten with Honey yogurt and it was great in this dish.
This looks so delicious, Barb! I love the cherries and walnuts, and I bet the yogurt keeps it very moist! Great recipe, thanks for sharing.
Super moist. My current living situation is complicated while I figure out where I want to live or if I want to buy new or used. So I prepare dishes where I’m living with friends but have to go to my daughter’s where I’ve got my studio to get photos. There was a couple of unforeseen delays with this bread and no one was more surprised than me that 3 days after making it how moist it still was!
Thank you for saving my soul with the recipe. Your loaf pictures drove me crazy !
I guess that’s good then right? And you are most welcome!
Barb, I love cherries, too! Let me know if you find any good cherry trees and we can go raid them! We used to have a cherry tree, but sadly it died. I always go the the farmers market and buy pie cherries for the freezer.
I wish Abbe…though I see Sprouts has cherries on sale this week so I might be raiding them!
Beautiful, Barb! Love the image of your Jackson Pollack splattered apron! Cherry blossom season has passed here and it was stunning – such a pretty time of year. But now we have glorious cherries and I’m happy.
I’m sure my cherries were trucked in from the lowlands but I could not wait; we won’t have any local cherries for another month at least and I was craving them bad. Now if they could just finesse some pit free ones huh? 🙂
I love cherries, what a delicious loaf!
Barbara, I must make your maraschino cherry recipe! And use them in this cake. It is one of my favorites. I love the idea of a loaf pan, and your kids made a great choice-your pan is gorgeous. Thanks for the shout out!
Thank you for the recipe Elle; it flat out disappeared which means I have to make another. I love sharing but I wanted more than 1 slice!
Ah, I am so glad that I added a Stone Fruit Dessert board to my pinterest page! Done! I adore cherries and just saw the first piles of them at the market though still too early and too expensive. Cherry season in France is July and I wait desperately every year for the season to roll around. What is better than cherries? And round and round it goes – from Elle to you and now to me! I want this delcious bread!
It’s a bit early here too but I saw them and could not resist; besides I needed to get some more maraschino ones going for summer drinks. With you. 😉
I’ve only been to Washington once for cherry blossom time. I’m dying to go to Japan for it one day. 🙂
I love your cherry nut loaf. How did I miss the maraschino cherry making? 🙂
I don’t know…how did you? They are so good Maureen; not as bright red for sure but so much better. SO much.
Great looking loaf! I’m so waiting for cherries to be abundant in our stores. I’m seeing some, but they’re kinda outrageously priced at the moment. Love the recipe – thanks.
Gorgeous loaf!!! I cannot get enough cherries right now.
It’s still a bit early here but they will soon flood the market and I’m ready!! Cherry jam this year for sure so I can quit paying $5/jar at the grocery for my favorite brand.
So pretty and looks delicious!
Thank you Mimi!
Like you, Barb, I adore cherries and have done since childhood. This nut loaf looks and sounds delicious. I wonder if dried whole cherries would work?
I think they would be fine Lizzy; I might re-hydrate them a bit first if it were me though but other than that? I say yes!
The cherry blossom festival in DC has been on my bucket list for a long time…someday. I always look forward to cherry season and am bookmarking this bread for when it hits!
*Their pits are the pits* Love that line. Aren’t cherry blossoms the prettiest! Your cherry nut loaf look so good Barb. I think this is the first recipe for a cherry loaf I’ve seen that calls for Greek Yogurt.
I was a bit worried that the Greek yogurt with honey would be too much…but it’s what I had on hand and it was fantastic! And yes, they are; just love those trees.