Make a brunch or breakfast meeting exceptional by serving a cherry coffee cake with fresh fruit instead of streusel. This yeast based coffee cake with a vanilla glaze will make your morning extra special.
Can’t decide between a cinnamon roll or a coffee cake, wait until you try this fruit filled breakfast cake.🍒
I’ve found that some coffee cakes can be a little dry, but with butter and eggs in the batter and juicy cherries on top, there’s nothing dry about this breakfast cake. While I’m calling this a coffee cake, I recently served it for dessert. It’s not overly sweet so I like the addition of a simple vanilla glaze on top.
The yeast batter makes it similar to a cinnamon roll. If you use a shallow baking dish, like a pyrex 9 x 13, the dough might rise up to the top and could drip over while baking. Place a baking sheet underneath to prevent this.
Normally the best part of a coffee cake is the streusel, so I’m surprised how much I like this fruit version. Even my peach coffee cake has streusel! I do love cherries so that might be why this is such a favorite in our house.
You won’t find any cherry pie filling in this delicious coffee cake, instead just fresh cherries and raspberries.
If you’re a fan of raspberries, add them along with the cherries to this coffee cake, they are totally optional. Raspberries, while fabulous fresh can be a little tart when purchased at the grocery, so if they’re not super sweet, leave them out.
While you don’t have to add a glaze to this recipe, a simple vanilla glaze adds just enough sweetness.
This is best served warm right out of the oven but will still be good the next day.
Why you’ll love it
- Wonderful yeast dough without having to knead the dough
- Sweet cherries are scrumptious
- It makes enough to feed a crowd
- It’s super moist
Ingredients you’ll need
- Pantry items – milk, brown sugar, butter, eggs, flour, cream, vanilla and salt.
- Yeast– I use instant in most recipes, but either will work
- Cherries – fresh or frozen, if using frozen, let them thaw before adding
- Raspberries – only use if you have sweet berries
- Turbinado or Demerara sugar – this is a sugar with larger granules. You could also substitute brown sugar
- Powdered sugar – this is for the glaze
PRO TIP: Use the largest baking pan, glass or metal and place a cookie sheet underneath it in case it rises above the top and spills over.
How to make a fresh cherry coffee cake
Step 1: Warm the milk, brown sugar and butter in the microwave, and while warm and NOT hot, add the yeast.
Step 2: Add the milk mixture along with whisked eggs to the flour and gently combine. Let rise until doubled about an hour. The batter will be sticky.
Step 3: Add fruit to the top of the batter and sprinkle with turbinado sugar and melted butter.
Step 4: Bake at 350º for 30 minutes then lower the temperature to 325º and bake an additional 10 minutes. Place a cookie sheet under the pan when baking in case it spills over.
Step 5: While warm, drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze.
This makes a very large coffee cake that’s great for feeding a crowd or taking to a breakfast meeting.
What’s the difference between Active and Instant yeast
Instant yeast does not need to be proofed first so you can add it directly to the flour. The particles are smaller which allows it to dissolve quicker. This results in a shorter rising time.
Active yeast needs to be proofed before adding to the recipe. You just add it to a small bowl of warm water and wait about 5 minutes until it gets foamy.
You can use them interchangeable but the rise time will be longer if using Active yeast.
FAQs and tips
If you’re going to freeze it, I would suggest freezing before adding the glaze. Let it thaw to room temperature, wrap in aluminum foil and warm in the oven. Remove and while warm add the glaze.
You can use frozen or fresh cherries. Frozen cherries retain their shape and flavor so you can hardly tell the difference in this recipe.
Either type of yeast will work. The rising time may be longer if using Active yeast.
If you love cherries, you’ll want to try these recipes
More breakfast treats
Adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book
Cherry Coffee Cake
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 10 tablespoons butter
- 2 packets active dry yeast 4 ½ teaspoons
- 3 eggs
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups cherries pitted and halved
- 1 cup raspberries fresh
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Lightly grease and flour a 9 X 13 inch baking pan.
- Gently heat milk, brown sugar and 10 tablespoons butter in the microwave, it should feel warm to the touch but not hot. When the butter has almost melted, add the yeast and let the mixture stand. The yeast should get foamy.
- Whisk eggs lightly. Measure the flour and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the eggs and the milk mixture over the flour and gently stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, mixing just until the wet ingredients are incorporated. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, it will be sticky. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the pan.
- Place the pan in a warm spot and let rise for an hour or until doubled in height, or refrigerate until you are ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Evenly distribute the fruit over the dough then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Melt 4 tablespoons butter and drizzle it over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and lower the temperature to 325º and bake for 8-10 minutes. The top should be golden brown.
- While the cake is baking, whisk together the glaze and drizzle over warm coffee cake.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- To get a great rise from the dough, try heating up some water in a microwave and placing the pan of dough in the warm microwave to rise. The steam and heat from the water is a great place for dough to rise.
- If the raspberries are sour, use more cherries, or leave out the raspberries and just use cherries.
- You can use frozen cherries, let them thaw before adding.
- This can be frozen after it has cooled. Freeze before adding the glaze. Add the glaze right before serving.
- You can use either Active or Instant yeast, if using Active, it may take longer to rise.
- Place a cookie sheet under the baking pan to prevent any spillage.