Christmas Bread

Christmas Bread

Cherries, bananas and macadamia nuts are a perfect trio in this holiday quick bread. And, the calories are slashed with this Recipe Makeover!

Per serving: 167 calories, 6g fat, 23mg cholesterol, and 14g sugars.

Saves: 131 calories, 8.5g fat, 31mg cholesterol, and 12g sugars.


3 stars 3 stars 3 stars (23 ratings made) Rate
Serves: 16 person(s) Change

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hr
Extra Time: 20 mins
(for cooling)

Yield: 16 x slices (or 1 loaf)

Heart-Friendly Recipe Low Sodium Recipe Diabetes-Friendly Recipe Low-Carb Recipe

About this Recipe Makeover

Quick breads can be a delicious addition to brunch or holiday meal. However, many quick breads use high calorie ingredients as illustrated in the traditional recipe.

Christmas Bread is a healthier made-over recipe. To make it even lower in calories, cholesterol, carbs, and sugars, we further adapted it by replacing maraschino cherries with dried cherries, and butter with low-cholesterol vegetable spread.

Ingredients Convert to Metric Show Makeover Show Traditional

  • 10 oz dried cherries, deseeded *
  • 2 Tbsp cherry juice *
  • 1/3 cup low-cholesterol vegetable spread, softened
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts
  • 1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350F. Coarsely chop cherries; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, put butter, brown sugar, eggs, and cherry juice. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well mixed. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with mashed bananas, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in cherries and nuts.

Lightly spray a 9x5x3-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake in a preheated oven 1 hour, or until golden brown and wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. When cooled, wrap in plastic wrap or store in a tightly covered container.


* If desired, replace dried cherries and 2 Tbsp. cherry juice with a 10-oz. jar maraschino cherries (use the maraschino juice in the recipe).

Can serve bread with nonfat or low-fat cream cheese, if desired.

Serving suggestions are not included in the nutritional analysis.


For holiday gifts, wrap homemade loaves in colorful gift bags or wrapping paper with bows.

Thanks to Cherry Marketing Institute, adapted by CalorieKing