Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

This Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake is rich and chocolatey, fruity and fresh with a soft and tender crumb. Topped with a lighter cherry yoghurt frosting and chocolate dipped cherries for the best vegan and gluten-free loaf cake.

I am loving all the cherry recipes this season and while we near the end of August and Autumn approaches, I have a few summery recipes left to share this year. This Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake being one of them. This cake is so easy to make and like most of my recipes, comes together in one bowl using one whisk and baked in one pan. It is light, spongey, so delicious and dangerously moreish.

A loaf of Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake with a slice out
Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake

Why will I love this Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake?

This cake is really special, it is:

  • Light, spongey, tender and moist
  • Fruity, fresh and zingy
  • Chocolate and rich
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • Made with wholesome vegan and gluten-free ingredients
  • It’s easy to make gluten-free
  • Topped with a lighter yoghurt-based frosting
  • Naturally packed with fresh fruits but easily made with dried fruits
  • A real showstopper for parties and gatherings

If you already love this Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

Slices of Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake
Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake

What ingredients do I need?

This recipe is similar to my Vegan Lemon and Blueberry Loaf Cake as I love it so much, so here is what we need:

  • Cherries: fresh cherries are best when they are in season for this cake and see below for fruity swaps. I love my cherry pitter; it makes removing the stones so much easier and quicker.
  • Thick dairy-free yoghurt: I always use coconut yoghurt (from Cocos Organic) for my baking as the ingredients are really simple and it’s the creamiest yoghurt out there. Natural or vanilla are best here or use another dairy-free Greek-style yoghurt.
  • Plant-based milk: any dairy-free milk is great here like oat, almond, soya or coconut (from the carton).
  • Olive oil: use a light olive oil, sunflower oil or melted and cooled coconut oil.
  • Caster sugar: for the lighter coloured and texture sponge, use white caster sugar (organic if you can) but golden caster or coconut sugar are also great.
  • Lemon juice: this helps bind the batter as it mixes with the milk to curdle and form a buttermilk, known for its binding properties.
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour.
  • Plain flour: or you can use gluten-free plain flour that is 1:1 for baking and contains xanthan gum. You could also use wholemeal or spelt flour for a heartier loaf cake.
  • Almond flour: or finely ground almonds add so much flavour and texture to this cake. If you are avoiding almonds or nuts, use more plain flour or use ground up sunflower seeds (add them to a blender and process till really fine but stop before they become creamy like seed butter).
  • Baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt: for rise and flavour.
  • Dark chocolate: chop up the chocolate into chunks to add so much chocolatey goodness into every slice. I use the Dark Pink Himalayan Salt Chocolate from Divine Chocolate but any chocolate is great here. Make sure it’s dairy-free but you can use vegan milk chocolates, too.

As for the frosting and topping this is really easy:

  • Whole cherries: for decorating, keep the cherries whole and with stalks on.
  • Dark chocolate: as above, use the same chocolate. This time the chocolate is melted for the cherries to dip into.
  • Thick dairy-free yoghurt: as above, coconut is my favourite. It needs to be really thick as this acts as the frosting.
  • Cherry jam: or cherry compote. If you don’t have cherry, you can use another berry for the colour and flavour, just note that this will change the overall flavour.

How do I make this Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake?

You can make this cake in a few steps:

  • Pit the cherries and toss in flour: and keep to one side for folding into the cake batter.
  • Whisk together all the wet ingredients: till smooth.
  • Add in the dry ingredients: and whisk again to a thick batter.
  • Fold in the cherries and chocolate: and then pour into a lined loaf tin.
  • Bake for 44 to 46 minutes until risen and golden: and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool fully before frosting: firstly in the tin then after 10 minutes, lift out onto a wire rack.
  • Dip the cherries in the melted chocolate: and allow to firm up in the fridge.
  • Stir together the yoghurt and jam: for the frosting.
  • Spread the frosting over the cake: and decorate with the chocolate-dipped cherries and more chocolate.
  • Slice the cake: and enjoy with tea or coffee.
A slice of Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake with a fork
Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake

How long will this keep?

Once frosted, keep this Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Or, you can freeze the unfrosted cake for up 1 to month, wrapped well. Allow to defrost at room temperature before decorating as above.

Is this loaf cake gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes, this cake is easily gluten-free if you use your favourite gluten-free flour that you’d normally use for baking. To make this nut-free, swap the ground almonds for more flour or for homemade sunflower seed meal/grind. Also check that your yoghurt, milk and chocolate are free from nuts/gluten, as needed.

Can I use other fruits or use dried fruits?

Yes, you can swap the cherries for berries like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Or, to keep this a cherry cake, use dried cherries. I wouldn’t use cherries from a tin as they have a lot more moisture in them which could result in a soggy cake.

A Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake on a metal wire rack
Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake

I love this loaf cake, what else can I make?

I hope you are going to love this Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake and for more ideas, how about my:

Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake is rich and chocolatey, fruity and fresh with a soft and tender crumb. Topped with a lighter cherry yoghurt frosting and chocolate dipped cherries for the best vegan and gluten-free loaf cake.


    For the Loaf:
  • 150g cherries, pitted weight
  • 120g thick dairy-free yoghurt
  • 120ml plant-based milk
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 180g + 1 tsp plain/GF plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g almond flour (or ground almonds)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 60g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • For the Frosting:
  • 15 whole cherries (from the fridge)
  • 30g dark chocolate, chopped small
  • 150g thick dairy-free yoghurt e.g. coconut
  • 2 tbsp cherry jam
  • Extra chocolate, if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the cherries in half and toss them in 1 tsp of flour. Leave to one side.
  3. Into a large mixing bowl, add the yoghurt, milk, oil, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla essence. Whisk till smooth.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add the almond flour and salt. Whisk to a thick batter.
  5. Fold in the cherries and most of the chocolate and spoon into the tin. Smooth over the top and garnish with the remaining chopped chocolate.
  6. Bake for 44-46 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean. Cover the loaf with foil after 30 minutes, if it is browning too much. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then lift out the tin to cool fully on a wire rack.
  7. Melt the 30g of chocolate and then dip in the cherries, one by one. Allow the excess to drip off and place on a parchment lined plate. Allow to set for a few minutes (transfer to the fridge if needed).
  8. Stir together the yoghurt and cherry jam and spread over the cooled cherry loaf. Decorate with the chocolate covered cherries and extra chocolate.
  9. Enjoy straight away or keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can freeze the un-frosted loaf for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw and decorate as above.
Landscape photo of Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake
Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this cake, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With choc cherry loaf cake love x

  1. Ines Kallmeyer says:

    Sounds delicious but 180 degrees C is not 160 F. It looked very low to bake anything so I used a converter – 180 C is 356 F. I’m going to try out the recipe.

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