Chocolate & Cherry Yeast Bread {Soft & Sweet}

Impress your family with this easy-to-follow Chocolate Cherry Bread recipe. A soft, sweet, and oh-so-delicious treat perfect for breakfast or a midday snack.

sliced loaf of bread with dried cherries and chocolate swirl.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s a fantastic twist on traditional bread, with its sweet flavor profile.
  • You get to use some of your favorite ingredients – chocolate and cherries!
  • The final product is versatile. It can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, or even for dessert.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on counter.

You’ll need the following for this sweet loaf:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Instant yeast
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Dried cherries
  • Another egg (for topping)
  • Sparkling or pearl sugar (for topping)
  • Stand mixer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap

🍴Instructions

Step One: make dough

dough in mixer with cherries and chocolate added.

Start by warming up the water, milk, and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup for 90 seconds on a low setting.

Once that’s done, it’s time to bring together all the dough ingredients (except the chocolate chips and cherries) in a large mixing bowl or your bread machine bucket. Knead until everything’s well-combined. Yes, the dough may seem quite wet initially, but don’t worry, it will become tighter as you knead.

Once the dough becomes smooth and stretchy, gently mix in the cherries and chocolate chips.

Step Two: first rise

dough in bowl before and after rising.

Move the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and let it rise for an hour in a warm place. You’re aiming for the dough to double in size.

Step three: divide and shape

balls of dough in loaf pan before and after rising.

After the dough has risen, divide it into 8 equal parts. Shape them into round balls and place them in your loaf pan, arranged in two layers. Cover with a plastic wrap greased well and leave it to rise again at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350°F with the rack positioned in the center as the dough nears the end of the rising time.

Brush the dough with beaten egg and sprinkle it with sparkling sugar or pearl sugar.

Step Four

bread before and after baking.

Now bake for 35-45 minutes. You’re looking for a beautiful golden-brown color. Check if it’s done by measuring the internal temperature, which should be around 195°F.

Once baked, take it out of the oven, run a butter knife along the edge of the loaf to loosen it, and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

🥫 Storage instructions

Once the bread has completely cooled, you can slice it, wrap it well and freeze it for up to one month. To serve, defrost it in the microwave and warm it slightly in the oven.

🔍 FAQs

Can I use fresh cherries instead of dried ones?

Yes, you can, but dried cherries are better because they won’t add extra moisture to the dough.

What if I don’t have a stand mixer or bread machine?

The dough is quite sticky and hard to knead by hand. But you can try. Spray your hands well with cooking spray beforehand. 😊

Can I make this into rolls?

Yes, and they are delicious. You’ll need 2 baking sheets unless you have an extra large one.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Pay attention to your dough’s consistency. It should form a ball but remain sticky.
  • Make sure you allow the bread to cool completely before storing it to prevent it from getting soggy.
  • Using an instant-read thermometer can help ensure the bread is perfectly baked

📘 more sweet brioche-based Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

  • Hot chocolate
  • A strong cup of coffee
  • A glass of milk
  • Fruit jams or preserves
finished sliced loaf.

📖 Here’s the recipe

close up view of sugar topped bread with swirled chocolate.

Chocolate Cherry Bread

A soft, sweet, yeasted bread that's perfect for breakfast or snacking. Spread with butter and serve with hot chocolate for the coziest winter breakfast.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 25 minutes
Serving Size 10 servings

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or bread machine
  • 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pan

Ingredients 

For the Dough

  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cherries roughly chopped

To top the buns

  • 1 egg beaten
  • Sparking or pearl sugar

Instructions 

  • Place the water, milk, and butter in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave on low for 90 seconds.
  • Add all the dough ingredients, except the cherries chocolate chips, to a large mixing bowl or to the bucket of your bread machine, and knead. This dough is difficult to to knead by hand, but does well in a stand mixer or bread machine on the dough cycle. The dough will seem very wet at first, but should tighten up as it kneads. You are looking for a sticky dough that still forms a ball. It will stick to the sides but should still hold its shape. If it seems more like a batter, add more flour a tablespoon at a time.
  • When the dough is smooth and elastic, add the cherries chocolate chips and gently knead to mix them throughout. If you are using a bread machine to knead, this means you will need to pay attention to the timer and add them when about 1-2 minutes remain on the knead cycle.
  • Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk. (See notes for help with melty chocolate)
  • Turn out onto a countertop or cutting board and divide into 8 pieces. Gently shape into round balls. If the dough sticks to your hands, try spraying your hands with cooking spray. Place into a loaf pan with four on the bottom and 5 on the top. Cover with heavily greased plastic wrap and allow to rise at warm room temperature for 45 minutes. They will rise and touch each other to create a soft, pull apart loaf. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350℉ with the rack in the center.
  • Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until the loaf is very golden brown. The internal temperature should be around 195. Remove from the oven and gently run a butter knife alongside the edge of the loaf. Turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

The chocolate will melt as the dough rises, and you shape it, creating a swirl.  Use a light touch or it will knead into the bread.  If you want the chips to keep their shape, refrigerate the dough, covered after it has risen so that the chocolate firms up.
An instant-read thermometer is very helpful for this recipe; the bread will look dark before it is fully baked through.
You can shape this like a standard sandwich loaf but I find that shaping into balls helps keep the chocolate swirl better.
Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4mg
Chocolate & Cherry Yeast Bread {Soft & Sweet}

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