These easy fresh cherry muffins are moist and full of flavor! Filled with fresh cherries and almonds they are perfect for breakfast or dinner. Delicious made with either sweet or sour cherries.
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One of the best things about summer is eating and cooking with fresh summer fruit. Everyone in my family has a favorite fruit – the kids love strawberries, I love blueberries and my husband loves cherries.
When I buy cherries at the store my husband just washes them and eats them straight out of the bag. He has been known to polish off an entire bag of cherries in one sitting! But sometimes I manage to keep some to use for baking, like in these fresh cherry muffins.
Blueberry muffins are more traditional, but once you try these fresh cherry muffins you will be sold. These moist muffins are excellent with dinner or as a breakfast treat. They are loaded with fruit and studded with almonds for a little crunch. You can make these muffins with either sweet cherries or with sour cherries, both are delicious.
How to Pit Cherries
One thing that makes cherry muffins a little more complicated to bake than blueberry muffins is that you need to pit the cherries. There is no such thing as seedless cherries. The ideal way to pit cherries is with a cherry pitter which pushes the seed out and keeps the cherry intact.
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Since we eat a lot of cherries I own a cherry pitter. But don’t worry – there are plenty of good alternatives that you probably already own and can use instead of a dedicated cherry pitter. Here are some ideas:
- Pastry Tip – these are the perfect size for pitting cherries. Just push the pastry tip through the cherry until the seed pops out the other side.
- Paper Clip – unfold the paperclip and use the loop in the end of the clip to push the cherry pit out.
- Chopstick or Metal Straw – these are perfectly sized tools for poking the seeds out of the cherries.
No matter what you use it is quite likely that it will get messy. Cherry juice will end up getting spattered around and seeds will fly across the room unexpectedly. But after a few minutes you will have a bunch of cherries with the seeds removed, ready for baking.
How to Make Cherry Muffins
Once you have the cherries pitted and chopped making these cherry muffins is quick and easy. Like all muffins the key is to mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl – combining the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice and sugar.
Then combine the wet ingredients – eggs, buttermilk, almond extract and butter in another bowl and stir to combine.
Finally combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until the batter is just moist. Over mixing the muffins is easy to do but will result in muffins that are not as moist and light as they should be. When it comes to mixing less is more!
The final step is to gently fold the cherries and almonds into the batter mixing them in as little as possible. If you mix the cherries too much not only do you risk over mixing the muffins but the batter will also probably turn pinkish from the juicy cherries.
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This recipe makes quite a few muffins – 24 if you are using standard size muffin pans and half that if you have jumbo muffin tins. You can also bake them in mini muffins tins to make 36 mini muffins.
There are a couple easy substitutions you can make to the recipe if desired. If my son who has a dairy allergy was home from college I would use almond milk instead of buttermilk and replace the butter with cooking oil. Both of those substitutions would make the recipe a little less fluffy, but the muffins still taste delicious.
I used almond extract in the recipe because the almond blends beautifully with the cherries. But if you don’t have almond extract you can substitute with vanilla extract instead.
Can I Use Frozen Cherries?
This recipe will work fine with frozen cherries. Don’t thaw the cherries before adding them to the batter, just stir them in and bake as directed. If you thaw the cherries your muffins will become quite pink.
Topping the Cherry Muffins
I made a simple vanilla frosting by combining milk and powdered sugar and drizzling it over these muffins. That makes the muffins more appropriate for dessert than for breakfast. Another tasty idea is to top the muffins with slivered almonds. That enhances the almond flavor and gives them a little bit of crunch on top.
What to Serve With Cherry Muffins
These fresh cherry muffins are a great side dish for many occasions. They are a delicious breakfast treat or perfect on the brunch table. They go well with an egg dish like spinach fritatta and make a great accompaniment for a dinner as well. So take advantage of fresh summer cherries and whip up some muffins this week.
- 3 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons of almond extract
- 1 cup of melted butter, cooled
- 2 cups of cherries, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup almonds, chopped
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pit and chop the cherries. Chop the almonds.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, sugar.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, almond extract, and melted
butter. Mix well.
- Gently pour in dry ingredients to wet ingredients bowl, mix well, but do NOT OVER MIX.
- Gently fold in cherries and almond, stirring until just combined.
- Add the batter to greased muffin tins. The batter will fill 10-12 jumbo muffin tins, 20-24 regular sized muffin tins or 36 mini muffin tins.
- Bake at 425 for five minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes for jumbo muffins and 13-14 minutes for cupcake sized muffins and 8-10 minutes for mini muffins.
- Wait for muffins to cool to add glaze. Mix milk and powdered sugar until smooth, then drizzle over muffins.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 22 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 40mg Sodium: 260mg Carbohydrates: 27g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g