Holiday and Special Occasions: Christmas: 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.

Author: Cherry Marketing Institute, adapted by CalorieKing
Date: December 26, 2012

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

Serves: 16 person(s)
Yield: 16 x slices (or 1 loaf)

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


    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.
  Recipe Makeover

    285.71 g 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

  Traditional Recipe

    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 350ºF. 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.

Nutritional Information
(Per Serving)

Calories:167 cals298 cals
Kilojoules:699 kJ1,247 kJ
Fat6.0 g14.5 g
Carbohydrates25.6 g40.0 g
Protein3.3 g3.6 g
Cholesterol23.0 mg54.0 mg
Sodium114 mg164 mg
Saturated Fat1.3 g7.7 g
Fiber1.4 g1.0 g
Calcium20.0 mg18.0 mg
Total Sugars14.0 g26.0 g

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