My Cherry Loaf Cake Recipe is one of my favourite summer cake recipes, a great way to showcase the fresh, local cherries that are in season. Of course, you can make Cherry Loaf Cake all year round with imported cherries, but I always think local cherries taste better. I’m a big fan of eating local, seasonal food because it’s not only better for the environment, it’s better for your health as well.
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My Cherry Loaf Cake recipe is super easy to make and only takes a few minutes to throw together. It does take about 45 minutes to bake, but once you have made it a few times (and believe me, you will) you can just leave it to its own devices during most of that time. I do recommend checking the cake regularly just to make sure it’s not cooking too fast, especially the first couple of times you make it. Oven temperatures vary so radically, even when you check them regularly with an oven thermometer as I do.
You do need to let the cake cool completely before glazing it. The cake is delicious without too, but I love the flavour and colour the glaze adds. Either way, be sure to let the cake cool before you slice it.
Why Use Yogurt in Baking?
Using yogurt makes for a really moist and tender cake as well as adding a bit of goodness. I use less sugar than normal in this loaf cake because most flavoured yogurts contain a lot of sugar as it is. Cherry yogurt is fantastic in this recipe, but if you can’t get that flavour, plain or vanilla yogurt works really well too. The cherry flavour isn’t as intense if you don’t use a flavoured yogurt, but the cake is still lovely.
How to Pit Cherries
There’s nothing like the wonderful flavour of sweet cherries in this Cherry Loaf Cake recipe. A little hint – it’s really important to pit cherries properly. My husband doesn’t like fresh cherries due to an unfortunate cherry pie incident in France many years ago. Some traditional French cooks believe that cherries have a better flavour if you cook them with the pits in, and the person who had made the fateful pie was definitely of that persuasion. Even though it was years ago, my husband still can’t forget the horror of biting into a mouthful of cherry pits.
One of the other reasons some cooks may be reluctant to pit cherries is that it is a fiddly, messy job. I’m not a naturally co-ordinated person so trying to pit cherries in the past was not a lot of fun. Buying this Oxo cherry pitter was one of the best kitchen gadget decisions I ever made. It makes the job so much easier, although there is usually still a little bit of cherry juice flying around, despite the wonderful splatter guard, so be sure to wear an apron you are not too worried about. (Cherry juice can stain clothes.) I actually find using the cherry pitter quite satisfying and therapeutic. Like shelling peas or preparing fresh beans, it’s somehow very relaxing.
How to Serve Cherry Loaf Cake
I love loaf cakes for so many reasons – they are portable, as easy to make as quick breads, keep well, and are incredibly handy to have in sitting in a pretty cake stand on the side ready for unexpected guests. There is something so comforting about having this bright and cheerful Cherry Loaf Cake on hand, ready to offer anyone who looks in need of a slice of cake, or even just as a little treat for myself.
Serve the loaf cake plain with a tea, coffee or glass of milk, or dress it up for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. Slices of Cherry Loaf Cake are also lovely served on a cake stand as part of Afternoon Tea.
Cherry Loaf Cake – Printable Recipe
Cherry Loaf Cake Recipe
- 1½ cups plain flour plus a little extra for coating the cherries Plain flour is also known as all-purpose flour.
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cherry yogurt
- ¾ cup granulated or caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup mild olive oil not extra-virgin
- 1 cup cherries That is about 12 to 14 cherries.
- For the glaze
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
- about 1 tablespoon water
- a drop of pink food colouring optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C or 165°C for fan ovens, Gas Mark 4).
- Grease or line a 2 lb (8½ x 4¼x 2½ inch) loaf pan.
- Remove the pits from the cherries and cut each one in half.
- Put the cherries in a small bowl, sprinkle a little of the extra flour over top (about 1 teaspoon) and toss gently.
- Sift the 1½ cups flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
- Stir in the sugar. Set the dry ingredients aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, vanilla and oil.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in two additions, whisking between additions.
- Beat gently until the batter is relatively smooth.
- Gently fold in the flour coated cherries.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing the cake and placing it on a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cake is cold, prepare the glaze.
- Place the icing sugar in a small bowl and whisk in the maraschino cherry juice.
- Gradually whisk in the water, a bit at at time, until a smooth, drizzle-able consistency is reached.
- Whisk in the food colouring, if using.
- Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper underneath the rack the cake cooled on and drizzle the glaze over the cake.
- Allow the glaze to set before slicing and serving the cake.