Newfoundland Cherry Cake

Posted on Nov 25 2012 - 4:26pm by Barry C. Parsons

Newfoundland Cherry Cake is a big local favourite especially during the Holidays. The secret in this recipe is undiluted evaporated milk for added richness.

Newfoundland Cherry Cake

Newfoundland Cherry Cake

Newfoundland Cherry Cake is a must to have on hand in the freezer or for Holiday gift giving.

Back to Christmas baking with a perennial favourite, Newfoundland Cherry Cake .

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 for Newfoundland Cherry Cake; 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.

If you like this cake you will probably also recognize our very popular recipe for Apricot Raisin Cake.

And for even more Newfoundland favourite Christmas Cake recipes click here.

Originally posted on December 3, 2007.

4.5 from 4 reviews
Newfoundland Style Cherry Cake – a traditional Christmas favorite
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Newfoundland Cherry Cake is a big local favourite especially during the Holidays. The secret in this recipe is undiluted evaporated milk for added richness.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 1 large cake or 2 smaller loaves
  • 1 pound chopped glace cherries + ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup lukewarm, undiluted evaporated milk
  1. Rinse the cherries in a colander to remove any syrup that they may have been stored in. Pat them day between layers of paper towels.This step helps prevent the cherries sinking into the batter as well. Depending on their size, cut them into halves or quarters and set aside for later. They will get tossed in ¼ cup of flour later but not until just before they are folded into the batter.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar well.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  5. Sift together the 3 cups of flour and baking powder.
  6. Fold dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the lukewarm milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. As a general rule, I add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the milk in 2 portions.
  7. Fold in the chopped glace cherries that have been tossed at the last minute in the ¼ cup flour.
  8. Bake in greased and floured spring form pan, tube pan or 2 loaf pans, lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes - 1 hour depending upon the size of your pan.
  9. Baking times vary greatly on this recipe so rely on the toothpick test to ensure that it is properly baked. When a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, its done. Be careful not to go past this stage or the cake will be dry.
  10. Let the cake cool in the pan/s for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.



84 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    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

  2. Barry C. Parsons November 11, 2009 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    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.

  3. Anonymous December 27, 2010 at 6:43 am - Reply

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

  4. Barry C. Parsons December 27, 2010 at 10:56 am - Reply

    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.

  5. Anonymous June 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm - Reply

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

  6. Barry C. Parsons June 22, 2011 at 9:03 am - Reply

    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.

  7. Amanda August 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm - Reply

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

  8. Anonymous October 4, 2011 at 12:12 am - Reply

    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

  9. Barry C. Parsons October 4, 2011 at 9:59 am - Reply

    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.

  10. Anonymous December 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm - Reply

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

  11. Barry C. Parsons December 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Probably not necessary.

  12. Maria December 17, 2011 at 1:10 am - Reply

    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!

  13. Anonymous December 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm - Reply

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

  14. Dan December 21, 2011 at 6:08 am - Reply

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

  15. Corina December 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    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.

  16. Barry C. Parsons December 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Just grease and flour the pans instead of using parchment.

  17. Kearney December 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    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

  18. Lynn from BC November 17, 2012 at 4:55 am - Reply

    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 9×5 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.

  19. Barry C. Parsons November 17, 2012 at 10:25 am - Reply

    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.

  20. Lynn from BC November 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    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.


  21. Barry C. Parsons November 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    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.

  22. Anonymous November 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm - Reply

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

  23. Barry C. Parsons November 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    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.

  24. Anonymous November 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    a new favourite

  25. Anonymous November 29, 2012 at 12:04 am - Reply

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

  26. Barry C. Parsons November 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm - Reply

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

  27. Tina December 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    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!


  28. Barry C. Parsons December 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    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.

  29. Anonymous December 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    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.

  30. Anonymous November 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Great recipe! A Cherry In Every Bite!! Yummy 🙂

  31. Anonymous November 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    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

  32. Barry C. Parsons November 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm - Reply

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

  33. prs December 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    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?

  34. Barry C. Parsons December 7, 2013 at 11:19 am - Reply

    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.

  35. Kim October 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Thanks Barry, this is my son’s favourite dessert of “all time” (he is 7). I will be making this for years to come. Love everything I’ve made from your site!

  36. Pauline November 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I just put two of these cherry cakes in the oven and realized I hadn’t added the extracts! Darn – I thought I had copied the recipe wrong, but when I checked it wasn’t included in the instructions, not sure how they will turn out.

    • Barry C. Parsons November 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      Oops, I was reformatting the recipe and omitted a line by mistake.

  37. Wes November 26, 2014 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    How do you store them once baked Wrapped in Saran Wrap, and frozen? I made 3 and they look wonderful. Can’t wait to taste however am thinking aging a day or two is a good idea.

    I am hoping to serve them as part of our Christmas Baking at Christmas parties.


    • Barry C. Parsons December 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      That’s exactly how I store them. Several layers of plastic is best I find.

  38. June December 2, 2014 at 6:05 am - Reply

    This is my first time trying this recipe. It seems like 1 1/2 cups of butter is a lot. What do you think?

    • Barry C. Parsons December 2, 2014 at 8:22 am - Reply

      It is a realtively large recipe abd the amount of butter ensures that it keeps a moist and delicious texture. You risk a dry cake if you play with that amount.

  39. PeggyPilgrim December 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Do you have recipe for icing for this Cherry Cake!

    • Barry C. Parsons December 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      Was there a specific type of frosting that you were looking for?

  40. JenniferD December 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I am so glad this recipe made your top 25 – I had not yet discovered it on your site.

    Just today, I was telling my mum I really miss my grandma’s light fruitcake at this time of year (well, who am I kidding – I could eat it any time at all. She was so awesome, and so was her cake! Heh!).

    This cherry cake sounds very, very close to my great-grandmother’s — so I will definitely be baking this soon!!

    Thank you, Barry! 🙂

  41. Mo December 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I noticed the instructions say 325 but in the comments you mentioned 350. What’s the best cooking temp for this cake?

    • Barry C. Parsons December 12, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

      I generally do it at 325, especially as a whole cake or in larger pans.

  42. JenniferD December 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry. I have fond memories of a very similar cake, which my great grandmother used to make. I am going to give your recipe a try, however I have one question:

    In step 5, you have written: “I add the dry ingredients in e portions” What are the actual # of portions (where the ‘e’ reads)?

    Thanks, and best,


    • Barry C. Parsons December 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      It is supposed to be 3. Fixed now. Odd that nobody noticed that typo before,

  43. Collette December 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Followed this Recipe, used the 3 foil pans and baked 1 hr 5 min at 325. Did the toothpick test. Bottom of cake was white. 1 hr Later I cut one open and it was half raw. Now putting the 3 back in oven crossing fingers I can salvage it. Next time I will bake in metal bread/loaf pan .

    • Barry C. Parsons December 24, 2014 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Sounds like your oven temperature is off to me. I don’t understand how the middle was raw if it passed the toothpick test.

  44. Roxanne December 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Going to try this recipe now! I will return to let you know how it turned out 🙂 Been looking forever for a cherry cake recipe that don’t turn out dry! I have tried everything and they always seem dry to me. I hope this one works!

    • Barry C. Parsons December 24, 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

      It’s the best I’ve ever tried.

      • Roxanne December 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm - Reply I tried this recipe and it was THE BEST I HAVE EVER MADE! I have tried many recipes for cherry cake and they have all turned out dry. This one was moist and super delicious! As a matter of fact I am now making my 3rd one! Everyone loves it so much that I had to make more. I have passed the recipe onto my mother who has also been looking for a great recipe for cherry cake. Thank you so much for posting this! It will continue to be a family favorite here in my house for many years to come!

  45. Lynn Belbin December 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    I first started baking your Cherry Cake in 2012, after finding the recipe on your site. I love Cherry Cake and I have made.. and tasted.. MANY! None can compare!
    It is Deelicious! I have baked lots of them at Xmas, in fact I have 2 in the oven as I write this note. Thank You for such an excellent is definitely a keeper!! Yummy….

    • Barry C. Parsons December 31, 2014 at 11:44 am - Reply

      That’s a great review of this recipe. I’m like you, I’ve sampled many cherry cake recipes but this one is the best!

  46. JenniferD December 29, 2014 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry!! I wanted to let you know that I made this recipe, as part of my holiday baking this year. It was a big hit – so thank you!!

    I do have one question — i used a standard-sized loaf pan. Quite a bit of the batter bubbled over during cooking, even though there was about an inch of space between top of batter, and edge of pan. (I thought I had enough room. Heh!!) Do you usually make two loaves with this recipe? What are the best sized pans to use, and how filled should they be?


    • JenniferD January 7, 2015 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Hi Barry. I posted a question on 29th Dec., so thought I would check back concerning pan sizes. Would love to hear your input before I make the recipe again. Thanks so much, and sorry to trouble you!

    • Barry C. Parsons January 7, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

      I do make two loaves out of this recipe. They are not terribly large pans, just standard size. I sometimes make them in disposable aluminum loaf pans and can sometimes get 3 smaller loaves which is great for giving as gifts but watch your baking time. They will bake up faster.

  47. Northern Girl December 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    My cousin made this cake for Christmas and it was super delicious!!! I am planning on making it today!!

    • Barry C. Parsons December 31, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

      This recipe has consistently great reviews. Hope you enjoy baking it yourself.

  48. Gill January 6, 2015 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I just made this a few days ago… used a tube pan and it turned out perfect, and it’s delicious! Thanks

    • Barry C. Parsons January 7, 2015 at 11:36 am - Reply

      So glad you enjoyed it. So many people raved about this recipe this past Holiday season. It is a keeper.

  49. Lisa January 10, 2015 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I’ve never been a big fan of cherry cake – but this one is awesome! So good that I had to make two this past Christmas because my husband and I ate the first one before Chriatmas even arrived, LOL! It is delicious!!

    • Barry C. Parsons January 10, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

      The exact same thing happened at our house Lisa…and much more quickly than Spouse and I would like to admit. 🙂

  50. Helen bendik July 16, 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I would like to have this receive book. With your favorite recipes. Where do I buy it? Helen

  51. Nan October 4, 2015 at 11:42 am - Reply

    hi Barry
    I’m about to make this but wondered if I needed to rinse and dry the cherries then coat in flour to avoid sinking or just coat the sticky glacé cherries directly in flour to the mix?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Barry C. Parsons October 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      I’ve only recently seen this done, on a UK baking show actually but it does make some sense to me. We just never did it when I grew up baking. I’m planning to try that method myself though next time.

  52. Nicole October 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Hi, can I use margarine instead of butter?

    • Barry C. Parsons November 4, 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Your choice but when it comes to baking, my motto has always been “butter is better”. NEVER use soft spreadable margarine for baking though, that’s asking for trouble.

  53. Sarah November 22, 2015 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    This is so close to the recipe that I”m looking for! Except the one that I used to make out of my mom cook book (can’t get it now) used creamcheese in the batter as well. If I can’t find it I’ll go back to this one, but I am so looking forward to that cake.

    • Barry C. Parsons December 1, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      There’s a Cherry Pecan Cake here that uses that batter. You could just omit the pecans if you like and use glace cherries instead of the maraschinos.

  54. Sandy J December 23, 2015 at 12:44 am - Reply

    If not using the Almond Extract would you use 4 tsp of vanilla or something less?

  55. Deb December 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I think my post got lost. I wanted to know what size are the aluminum disposable pans that you use, Barry. I have two sizes and not sure which ones to use.

  56. Elizabeth February 24, 2016 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    the 1st time I made the cherry cake I mixed it by hand, it turned out great. When I made it again I used a stand mixer, the cake took 1 hour and 30 minutes to bake. Once baked it was too sweet and crumbly. What could have caused this problem?

    • Barry C. Parsons February 29, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      I think you may have made an error with the sugar amount. I’ve never experienced this in the many times I’ve made it.

  57. Susan March 7, 2016 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    I have made this twice in the past couple of weeks. Absolutely wonderful! I bake it in my bundt pan; the first time, I did not grease and flour enough, so it stuck (but still tasted great!). I also (out of laziness) did not cut the cherries the first time – much better the second time.

    I make a lot of both dark and light Christmas cake, but this will definitely be on the table for Christmas brunch – and I will continue to make it year round!!

  58. moreen frenette March 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Want to make this cake ,can I use hard block margarine instead of butterr, thanks for sharing

    • Barry C. Parsons April 8, 2016 at 5:35 am - Reply

      Butter is always better for baking. I never use anything but the real thing.

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