It's the last few days of Cherry season here in Michigan. I'd feel quite sad ordinarily 'cause we are huge Cherry fans but, thankfully, in this lovely state of ours - one fruit season may end but others continue. Thankfully, we can still satisfy our summer fruit cravings with blueberries and blackberries which are currently in full swing and will continue on until August.
Before fresh Cherries become so expensive again, I thought I'd better make some more yummy recipes using this juicy and flavorful fruit. Have you tried our Cherry Clafoutis yet?
We sure love muffins and loaf cakes so why not try cherries in them? I have used this recipe successfully with sweet-tart cranberries and they were so good so am sure it would work well with Cherries, too. You can definitely use fresh cherries like I did - can you see how yummy the muffins look with the lovely deep bright red (almost like deep violet) color of the fresh cherries? Sweet or tart cherries both work fine but perhaps the latter is better because it would provide a delicious contrast with the sweet bananas and chocolate. Dried Cherries would be great, too!
So before the season is finally over, why not grab a cupful of fresh or dried Cherries and try this delicious muffins or bake it into a loaf cake instead! Enjoy the summer!
1 cup plus 3 Tbsp sugar (I use white)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs (room temp)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup banana, mashed (about 1 1/2 bananas - you can use 2 bananas if you prefer)
1/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 cup sweet or tart, fresh or dried Cherries (if using fresh - wash, remove pits and then chop)
1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips or broken pieces of one chocolate Bar (dark preferred!)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder, salt). I use a whisk to mix all the ingredients together. Set aside.
If you have a food processor, mash or puree the bananas in it. This is what I do to make it easier to blend the bananas in. If not you can mash the bananas by hand.
In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, crack the eggs and beat lightly just until combined. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients (yogurt, banana, oil, vanilla). Beat in medium speed until it's smooth and there are no big banana lumps, roughly 1-2 minutes. If you mash the bananas in the food processor, there's no need to use an electric mixer. You can mix the wet ingredients by hand.
Combine the wet with the dry until well-blended. Fold in the Cherries and the chocolate chips/pieces.
Divide evenly into a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Fill each cup until nearly full. This will ensure you have the perfect muffin domes as you can see in the photos. Bake at 400 for about 18-22 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Oven heating/temperatures vary so adjust the time accordingly.
Leave it to cool a bit in the muffin pan for about 5-7 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. The muffins may feel soft when you lift them up but don't worry they will harden as they cool down.
If making a Loaf Cake instead, preheat the oven to 350F. Place the batter in greased loaf tin and then bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Since this is low-fat (doesn't have much oil), I usually just leave it on the tin placed on a wire rack to cool completely to make sure it doesn't break apart when I remove it.
The muffins come out really tasty and moist even after you have left them standing for a few hours.
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