Cherry Nut Bread {Pat’s Recipes}


I’m thrilled to be able to share another wonderful recipe from my friend Pat’s collection.

Pat was tickled when she read the wonderful remarks about her Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing, she just loves to be able to share these delicious treats with so many.

After spending hours looking over this stack of tattered and torn papers, stained with time and maybe just a dash of vanilla, I came across a slim piece of paper that was titled, “Cherry Nut Bread.” I was instantly intrigued because I love cherries, and well… bread! Pat loves bread too. I knew this would be a winner.

Cherry Nut Bread {Pat's Recipes}

The recipe is written on the back of an old sales receipt, quickly scribbled down while she chatted on the phone with her long time friend, Barb. Or Bubbs, as Pat calls her, (on account of her bubbly personality). Pat and Barb were the best of friends throughout their child rearing days and would constantly exchange recipes. This Cherry Nut Bread was one of many that passed through the young mother’s hands.

My favorite part of the old recipe is when Pat writes: “Butter, size of egg”

Cherry Nut Bread {Pat's Recipes}

So that’s what I did.

I’d say it was between 3 and 4 tablespoons, but to be on the safe side, I’d stick with 4 tbsp, no such thing as too much butter, right?!

The recipe calls for a small bottle of red cherries. Maraschino Cherries to be exact.

She writes: “Pour juices off into cup and fill with sweet milk.”

This threw me for a loop. First of all, where is the milk going? and what is sweet milk? After some google research, I discovered that sweet milk is an old term for regular milk (usually whole milk). The terms sweet milk and sweet cream were used to differentiate between buttermilk and sour cream.

Cherry Nut Bread {Pat's Recipes}

The solution was to pour the juices off the cherries into a measuring cup, then fill to the 1 cup mark with whole milk.

To be honest, I would not mind drinking that cup of cherry milk! I loved how it turned the batter a light pink color too.

Cherry Nut Bread {Pat's Recipes}

This quick Cherry Nut Bread was sweet and delicious. I can see myself making several mini loaves and passing them out for Christmas this year.

Cherry Nut Bread {Pat's Recipes}

The little burst of cherries throughout the loaf gives the moist bread an even sweeter bite. I used walnuts, as per Pat’s Recipe, but I’m sure any sort of nut would work well with this bread. You could even leave the nuts out if you’re just not a fan of them.

Cherry Nut Bread {Pat's Recipes}

I can’t thank Pat enough for being so generous with her recipes and letting me share them with you all. She has so many great stories to tell with these recipes, and I am trying to get as much out of her as I can before she moves away.

I wonder if I could just adopt her and make her move in with me?

Cherry Nut Bread {Pat’s Recipes}
Serves: makes 1 (8"x4") loaf
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 small bottle (10oz) of Maraschino Cherries
  • Milk
  • ½ cup chopped Walnuts (or any other nut you prefer)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8"x4" loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the butter and brown sugar, beat with a mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Pour the juice from the cherries into a measuring cup, then fill the measuring cup with milk till it reaches the 1 cup mark.
  5. Alternately add the flour mixture and cherry milk to the brown sugar mixture, use a whisk, and stir just until the flour is absorbed, do not over mix.
  6. Chop cherries roughly. Fold the cherries and walnuts into the batter and pour into the prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire rack. If you can, wrap and let sit over night for best results. Enjoy!


  1. Looks great, I’m such a loaf person over a cookie any day!

  2. Oh my…this Cherry Nut Bread looks amazing! Yes, I can drink up that cherry milk too…so pink and gorgeous. 😛 hehe….I’m just as confused with the term “sweet milk” when you first mentioned it. Thank you so much for the clarification. :) I can’t wait to try this recipe out. And yes, it would love lovely to turn them into mini loaf as homemade gifts for Christmas.

    • Thanks Amy, I’m glad I could give everyone a mini lesson on the term “sweet milk”! :)

    • I have a wonderful sugar cookie recipe from my grandmother and it calls for sweet milk and oleo. I had to look both of those up before I made it the first time! But I skip the oleo (margarine) and just use butter.

      • Oh yes, margarine was very big back then. A lot of Pat’s recipes call for margarine, but I just substitute them for butter. :)

        • Karen Hausteen says:

          be careful when you change the margarine to butter though – it is not always the same end result, especially with cookies.
          I have this recipe – from my mother (born in 1927) – she made it often when I was a kiddo growing up – and it is so good! I have to remember not to bake it too long or it gets dry….
          thanks for sharing Pat’s recipes!

  3. I’ve made a bread like this before….sooo good!! Yours is the colors :)

  4. My mother makes this for Christmas every year, it was a recipe passed down-I imagine the same way this one was- from an old friend who passed 25+ years ago, but asked her not to give it to anyone…and to this day she hasn’t given it to me!! Thank you (and Pat) so much for sharing, I can’t wait to make this on my own.

    • That is exactly why I do what I do! I once had a friend who refused to give out her recipes, and I just thought it was a shame because nobody else would be able to make such a good thing. So I made it a point to always share my recipes with others. I’m happy that Pat shares the same philosophy! :)

  5. I couldn’t agree more with the idea of always sharing recipes. I have never understood the idea of not sharing them. I mean, what is gained? I always thought it was the Christian thing to do.
    Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  6. These are the best kind of recipes!!! Ones on the back of sales receipts!

  7. I made this last night and while I REALLY messed it up by not baking it long enough (it fell apart and parts were unbaked) I will still make it again, hopefully with more success. I had to put the pieces back in to bake longer but it still tastes great! I should have known to leave it in longer but …….now I know for next time. It looked beautiful in the pan though.

    • Haha, yes… it’s hard to wait so long for it to bake all the way through. Try testing it with a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean you’re good. If you’re worried it’s browning too much on top, just loosely cover it with foil and bake until it’s done. :) Hope that gets you better results next time!

  8. Am sharing these wonderful vintage recipes of Pat’s on one of my pinterest boards and elsewhere, do tell her.

  9. I have made this many times. I got the recipe from a farm womens cook book. It is delicious. I do not use nuts in it.

  10. My son loves Maraschino Cherries…can’t wait to make this for him. He will love it! Thanks to Pat for sharing with you. What a blessing you have been given!

  11. Denise WYSONG says:

    Oh Shawn, how blessed you are to have inherited such a wonderful gift and how blessed we are that you are sharing!! My sis and I love to try vintage recipes. This bread and the fluffy brown sugar frosting are both on my to-do list. I will be anxiously watching your future posts. Denise

    • Thank you Denise, I really do feel so lucky to have all these wonderful recipes. You can sign up for email updates to know when a new recipe is posted. I’ll be tagging each post with “Pat’s Recipes” so you can know which ones are hers.

  12. And just in time for me to use up these cherries! I’ll have to remember not to use emu eggs, otherwise my arteries will be in trouble. One egg of butter, indeed :)

  13. This is a beautiful bread! I’m thinking of making several mini loaves for my daughter’s bridal shower. I know you mentioned possibly making mini loaves…do you have an idea on cooking time and how many small loaves one batch would make? Thanks in advance!

  14. Hi, I just found out about your blog! I love this recipe… I definitely must give it a try! you’ve been gifted with a treasure by your friend!
    have a lovely evening!

  15. Want to make tonight, but was wondering if you have to use whole milk? I have 1% on hand. Do you think it would make a difference?

  16. What a delight reading your lead-up to the recipe! Appreciate the enlightenment, as well! I’m also a huge fan of all things cherry . . . with a special weakness for cherry coke. So, after envisioning the ingredients, I just knew my maiden attempt at this recipe would include cola! Not sure how much, but it will definitely replace some of the milk. Can’t wait to try it – thanks for lending me inspiration, Shawn!

  17. Thank you for sharing these great recipes! The Fluffy Brown Sugar Frosting is going on a cake very soon and the Cherry Nut Bread will be included as small loaves in our Christmas cookie trays! Please keep sharing Pat’s recipes –

  18. i have had this recipe for over thirty years. My family didn’t like it in loaf shape so I made it in a bundt pan and serve with whipped cream it doesn’t last long in our house.

  19. What a great recipe & kudos on deciphering some of those terms/phrases! We appreciate you mentioning our mini loaf pans to a reader & hope we can help you with all of your future cooking and baking needs!

    Kaela, on behalf of Kitchen & Company

  20. Yevette Brinegar says:

    I grew up with my Grandma making a cherry nut bread that I loved! I never could duplicate her recipe she gave me, the closest I came is when I finally used a boxed nut bread mix and added the maraschino cherries :) I have made the bread since I’ve been on my own using the same mix but have ALWAYS had a time finding the exact brand. This year, I finally found the mix and made my bread only to be disappointed :( Something in the mix has been changed, and not for the better. I am going into my kitchen as soon as I finish here and making this. I have my fingers crossed that it will be as good as hers :) I will let you ( and Pat) know how it turns out…. I have been trying for 26 yrs, lets hope this is the one :)

  21. I have a recipe for cherry nut loaf but will definitely try this one. looks delish. One thing my Mom always made as a walnut loaf and cannot find a recipe for this anywhere. She passed before i could get it from her. :(

  22. Hi Shawn,
    I love this Cherry Nut loaf recipe. It will now be my Christmas morning breakfast tradition.

    Thank so much – Wishing you many blessings.


  23. Thanks for sharing. I have made this recipe for years for Christmas bread but mine has mini choc chips and chopped dates. I find I always have to bake for the 60 mins or it does not slice well. This recipie also works adding cranberries for a sweet and sour bread which doesn’t make you feel quite as quilty eating it.

  24. Victoria Harvey says:

    Can I use frozen cherries instead because maraschino cherries have sulphites in them and I can’t tolerate it?

  25. Thanks for sharing. My mom use to make this as a holiday treat. I continued the tradition, but in a move lost the recipe. I will often add semi sweet chippits to the batter (and will usually use pecans rather than walnuts, but that’s just my personal preference).

  26. Hi there, I made a double loaf tonight but substituted dried cherries soaked in orange juice. I microwaved the cherries and juice for 30 seconds. I added the remaining juice with the milk. I also zested an orange and mixed the zest with the sugar and butter. Yummy!

  27. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for months. However, the hubby got a 13-oz jar of cherries, and I needed to tweak it to make it safe for my nut-and-dairy allergic kiddo. Coconut oil (solid, since even solid at room temperature, it’s similar in texture to softened butter), and I used full-fat coconut milk instead of normal dairy milk. I figured since I wasn’t including the half-cup of nuts, the additional cherries wouldn’t do any harm, and if the cherry juice/milk mixture was more cherry juice than milk, we should be okay.

    It came out really good. I should note that I went ahead and used refined coconut oil to prevent extra coconut flavor. There was little enough coconut milk for it to affect the flavor, I think (the juice from the 13-oz jar came to exactly 3/4 a cup). Naturally, allergic-kid didn’t care for it (despite making a valiant effort to steal the cherries before they made it in the bread–allergies aside, he’s superpicky anyway), but hubby, me, and the baby all approve. It’s going in my permanent recipe book!

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