Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze

My grandma used to make the best cherry bread.

I’d given anything to watch her make it and write down what she did.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

But since that will never happen, I had about 17 emails up and back dialoguing with my mom about how she thought grandma made it.

My mom pieced together some of her own notes and a recipe from a 1948 cookbook that she thinks is what my grandma used. After reading it all over and brainstorming about this bread on multiple 8-mile runs, I made a few tweaks and finally made it. 

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Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

It’s soft, sweet, and an easy quickbread to make. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, baby or bridal showers, and would be so pretty for a brunch.

I know my grandma didn’t use an electric mixer, and since she would have made it by hand, so did I.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

I have a feeling she used shortening, but I know the word shortening causes immediate clicking off the page by most modern bakers, so I went with a little canola oil instead.

I was tempted to add buttermilk or Greek yogurt to the batter because I do swear by them for keeping things lighter, softer, and moister, but I know my grandma wouldn’t have used them, so they were out.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

I used one 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries. Look for them where ice cream toppings are sold. Before adding the cherries to the batter, give them a rough chop on your cutting board and sprinkle them with a little flour. It helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking.

I baked the bread in two 8×4-inch loaf pans. You could probably get away with one 9×5 pan but I find things get a little too browned around the edges before the center fully cooks through in large loaf pans. My mom made the recipe as 4 mini loaves with good luck, and I’m sure muffins would work. If you start tinkering with the pan sizes, you’ll have to start tinkering with the baking times.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

My grandma didn’t glaze her bread, and it didn’t need it. But I couldn’t resist reserving a bit of the cherry juice and making a cherry-almond glaze.

There’s almond extract in the bread and also more in the glaze. It wonderfully complements the cherries and shouldn’t be missed. Look for it next to vanilla extract in the baking aisle. If you love almond extract or are wondering what to do with the rest of the vial, make this cake. It’s unique and a keeper.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

My seven year old inhaled this sweet, soft bread and her slices were flooded with glaze. You can never have too much pink. Or glaze.

My grandma loved pink and it was her favorite color. I have a feeling she would have been thrilled seeing all this pink.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

Print Recipe

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze

This is a soft, sweet, and easy quickbread to make. It's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, baby or bridal showers, and would be so pretty for a brunch. I baked the bread in two 8x4-inch pans, although you can experiment with muffins, mini loaves, or 1 big loaf. The glaze is optional but adds so much extra cherry flavor and I highly recommend it. Both the bread and glaze contain almond extract, which is a perfect complement to cherries. Make sure to read the recipe carefully about dividing the jar of cherries (cherries are chopped and tossed with flour, some juice is added with the wet ingredients, and 1/4 cup juice is reserved for the glaze). The bread is inspired by my grandma's bread and childhood memories.

Yield: two 8x4-inch loaves

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: about 40 minutes

Total Time: about 75 minutes, for cooling

Ingredients:

Cherry Bread
one 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
cherry juice, reserve 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cherry-Almond Glaze
1/4 cup reserved cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
about 1 1/2 cups+ confectioners' sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8x4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray or lightly grease and flour the pans; set aside. Recipe may be baked in one 9x5 pan, as 4 mini loaves, or as muffins, although I have not tested it that way. Adjust baking time accordingly.
  2. Cherry Bread - Remove cherries from jar and place on a cutting board. Roughly chop them.
  3. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour (prevents them from sinking during baking) and toss to coat evenly; set cutting board aside. Set jar with the cherry juice aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, optional salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.
  5. In a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, combine eggs, oil, all the cherry juice from the jar except 1/4 cup to be reserved for the glaze, almond extract, vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
  6. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine; don't overmix. Batter will be very thick.
  7. Lightly fold in the chopped cherries.
  8. Turn batter out into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops lightly with a spatula. Strategically place a few cherries on top for visual appeal.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until bread is domed, set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow bread to cool in pans on top of a wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing and allowing to finish cooling completely on rack. While bread cools, make the glaze.
  10. Cherry-Almond Glaze - In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup reserved cherry juice, almond extract, about 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and whisk to combine until smooth and satiny. Add sugar until desired consistency is reached. Glaze the bread prior to serving. After the photos were done, I glazed much more liberally, spreading the glaze like butter on the interior of the slices. Bread will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Do not glaze bread until ready to serve if you plan on storing long-term.
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