Newfoundland Style Cherry Cake - a traditional Christmas favorite

Sunday, November 25, 201234comments

Newfoundland Style Cherry Cake - a traditional Christmas favorite
Newfoundland Style Cherry Cake - a traditional Christmas favorite.
Originally posted on December 3, 2007.

Back to Christmas baking. Another very popular treat at this time of the year is the "Cherry Cake". A moist, dense pound cake with glace cherries and flavored with almond extract, this treat is a universal Christmas favorite in almost every Newfoundland household I know. I can't tell you how many different recipes I've tried over the years; recipes that use cake flour, recipes that use regular flour, recipes that use thick cream, recipes that use whipping cream, recipes that use whole milk, all butter recipes, recipes that combine shortening and butter...I've tried them all and still keep coming back to this standard recipe that I've made for decades. It's hard to imagine a Christmas in our home without it.
This is also a popular gift item from our household. There is a list of standard recipients among friends and family who depend upon their annual fix.

Cream together

1 ½ cups butter
2 cups sugar

Add, one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and fluffy:

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract

Sift together

3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder

Fold dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with

1 cup warm, undiluted evaporated milk

beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Fold in 1 pound halved glace cherries that have been tossed at the last minute in 1/4 cup flour.

Bake in greased and floured springform pan, tube pan or loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes- 1 hour depending upon the size of your pan. Baking times vary greatly on this recipe so rely on the toothpick test to ensure that it is properly baked.
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November 11, 2009 at 4:51 PM

I was wondering for this particular recipe if I could bake it into regular cake pans like a 12 inch round or 10 inch round?? would it still cook properly??
thank you

November 11, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Yes I've done that several times when using this recipe for wedding cakes. This is a large recipe, enough for a 10 inch pan that is about 3 inches deep. Hope this helped, Barry.

December 27, 2010 at 3:43 AM

Is this recipe anything like Auntie Crae's cherry cake? (I love it and would like to give it a whirl...)

December 27, 2010 at 7:56 AM

With no disrespect to the now departed Auntie Crae, this one is better than the cherry cake once found there. Although good, I always found their's to be drier and less rich tasting than this recipe. This recipe has been used in our family for over thity years and I have never found a better one.

June 21, 2011 at 7:33 PM

This looks good! Wondering how many loaves it makes from the one recipe?

June 22, 2011 at 7:03 AM

Using my large loaf pans I get two but if i use disposable aluminum pans then I get three loaves. I prefer them baked in the disposable aluminum pans to be honest; they tend to bake more evenly.

August 18, 2011 at 8:15 PM

So pretty! I love the way the cherries look in this cake. Another must try recipe for me.

October 3, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Hi there, I was wondering if I could use marachino cherries in this recipe instead of the glacceed ones. Thats what my mom always used when I was growning up in her cherry cake and so I guess its nostalgic, If so, how many would I use? Thanks

October 4, 2011 at 7:59 AM

Absolutely.Maraschino cherries are fine, a couple of cups should do. Why not check out this great recipe too. Just omit the nuts if you want.

December 7, 2011 at 3:28 PM

If I use the disposable pans do I still line them with parchment paper

December 7, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Probably not necessary.

December 16, 2011 at 10:10 PM

I made this today and it was Delicious with a capital D.

I love how the recipe makes two loaves because even though this is for Christmas baking, I couldn't resist breaking into it.

I did modify it ever-so slightly, cause I was short on butter. I used 1 1/4 c of butter and 1/4 c of butter flavoured Crisco and it added a nice crispy edge to it. Had to watch it closely once it hit the 40 minute mark, to make sure it didn't burn.

Exactly what I was looking for to use up my Glace Cherries that I'd bought as a garnish for other cookies.

I know it's a Newfoundland recipe, but I remember these from my childhood in PEI.

Merry Christmas! And thanks for a new baking tradition!

December 18, 2011 at 8:59 PM

what size loaf pan and how much do you put in each loaf pan??

December 21, 2011 at 3:08 AM

Im going with the disposable pans too, no parchment? Anything in lieu of? Thanks!

December 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I just made this and used Maraschino cherries - it turned out great. I am replacing my old recipe with this one!

FYI - there should also be a warning on this recipe to eat dinner before you bake this cake.

December 24, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Just grease and flour the pans instead of using parchment.

December 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I'm so excited to try this! My boyfriend loves cherry cake and I want him to have something as a dessert after Christmas dinner tomorrow.... I'll let you know how much he loves it

Lynn from BC
November 17, 2012 at 1:55 AM

I am looking for a deelicious Cherry Pound Cake Recipe and this one sounds perfect. I want to make it for my 87 year old father for Xmas. We are from Nfld and we all love Cherry Cake.
If I use my 9x5 pans ( 2 of them ) how long should the cakes bake? Oven Temperature?
Do you recommend greasing the pans and dusting with with flour or lining with parchment?
I am anxious to bake (and eat) this cake..... Thanks.

November 17, 2012 at 7:25 AM

Hi Lynn,

I bake mine in parchment lined pans. Bake at the temp noted, 350 degrees or if you think your oven runs hot these will bake well at 325 as well. The toothpick test will be your best judge of when they are fully baked.

Lynn from BC
November 19, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Hi Barry ...

I am going to bake my cakes tomorrow. Do you use salted or unsalted butter? I know unsalted butter is recommended for pound cakes, but your recipe just says Butter.
And I see there is no salt in your dry ingredients.
I want to use what you use. Thanks so much.


November 20, 2012 at 10:33 AM

You can use either. I generally use regular salted butter for baking unless it specifically calls for unsalted. When using salted butter in any baking recipe I always omit any salt that is normally included in the recipe.

November 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM

What do you mean by "beginning and ending with the dry ingredients"

November 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Divide the flour mixture in 3 equal portions. Divide the milk in 2 portions. First fold in 1 portion of the flour mix, then milk, then flour, then milk, then the final flour amount. To keep a cake batter stable, it is important to begin and end the folding-in process with the dry ingredients.

November 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM

a new favourite

November 28, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I can't use Almond Extract, because my grandson has serious nut allergies, but he loves cherry cake, any suggestion for substitute?

November 30, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I would just add additional vanilla extract. Many people prefer it that way.

December 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Made this recipe over the weekend. Turned out great and a good easy recipe to follow. I will definitely be making more for Christmas.
I used 3 disposable loaf pans that I laid on a dark cookie sheet. Bottoms got a little more brown than the rest of the cake and the top was quite a bit lighter. Not as pretty as yours pictured which looks evenly browned.
Still my husband polished off nearly one entire loaf by last night. So he enjoyed them as well.
Thanks for a good recipe!


December 3, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The cookie sheet was the problem. Those dark ones always carry too much heat. If using a cookie sheet make sure it's aluminum or just don't use one at all. Glad they turned out well regardless.

December 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I tried doubling it as I didn't know how much it would make, then when I realized how much batter there was I had to split it into two bowls halfway through - that was fun. One batch makes one large ring cake or two big loaf pans or 3 smaller loaf or disposable pans... One of my cans of evaporated milk had gone well past the best before date so I tossed in some left over whipping cream to make up the difference - not a problem.

November 17, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Great recipe! A Cherry In Every Bite!! Yummy :)

November 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

thank you for this site, my father and his family are from baybulls newfoundland, and my mother is fro nova scotia where i was born, this cherry cake will be a hit at my holiday table this year, thank you for bringing me home again:) even thou we are far apart now, this cake will make it feel like mt dad is right here with me

November 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

So nice to hear. Like so many Newfoundlanders, it just wouldn't be Christmas without Cherry Cake.

December 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Hi I'm a Newfoundlander in where else but Fort McMurray, I plan on trying this recipe for my first ever cherry cake. I was thinking about sending a couple to my son in B.C. He usually gets his packages in 2 days, do you think mailing them is a good or bad idea?

December 7, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Should be fine prs. Send them as soon as possible after baking and tell him to pop them in the freezer as soon as he gets them to keep for the Holidays. Merry Christmas.

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