Old-fashioned cherry nut loaf

A retro treat for today’s tea parties (or….breakfasts)!

When I was a kid, my mom seemed to make this loaf primarily at Christmastime so I associate it with all sorts of happy, festive feelings. I recall she often used a combination of red and green maraschino cherries, so her loaves were extra-vibrant for the holiday season! This updated version is a semi-faithful recreation of my mom’s recipe, which is why I used regular maraschino cherries. I would, however, highly recommend using some of the great artisanal cocktail cherries that are available today as a slightly healthier alternative. The loaf has a nice dense texture that makes it very satisfying and while the slices are delicious ‘as is’, they’re even more fabulous when toasted and topped with a little butter.


  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter
  • 1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) almond extract
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) cherry juice from jar of maraschinos
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) milk
  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) maraschino cherries (stems/pits removed if needed)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped toasted walnuts



  • Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8 x 4 inch (20 cm x 10 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add egg and beat well.
  • Combine cherry juice and milk and set aside.
  • Blend together flour, baking powder and salt; add one-third of this mixture to the butter mixture and stir to blend.
  • Add half the milk mixture to the butter and flour, stir until well-blended.
  • Add another one-third of the flour mixture to the bowl and stir to blend.
  • Add the rest of the milk and blend in, then add remaining flour and stir until just incorporated.
  • Add the cherries and walnuts and stir gently until mixed in.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 55 – 65 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool 5 minutes in pan then turn out onto a wire rack. Loaf should be no more than lukewarm before slicing otherwise it may fall apart.
  • Well-wrapped, the loaf can be kept at room temperature for three days or sliced and frozen for up to 3 months.

Makes 1 loaf.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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