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Cherry Clafoutis

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Cherry clafoutis, made famous by Julia Child, is a simple French custard dish, that's easier to make than pancakes! A fuss-free versatile recipe, you can make this year round with frozen or fresh cherries.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Close up of a pan of cherry clafoutis with a serving missing.

What is it about custard? Whether I’m making a buttermilk quiche, microwave lemon curd, or chocolate peanut butter ice cream, there’s just something about its smooth, creamy texture that I can’t get enough of.

I love making cherry clafoutis! The custard takes only minutes to assemble and is a terrific way to showcase fresh cherries in summer or frozen cherries in cooler months. My version of this rustic French treat is lightly sweetened and includes a hint of almond extract.

If you’re unfamiliar, clafoutis is a classic dessert in which fruit, traditionally cherries, and a flan-like egg batter are baked together. As the clafoutis bakes, the edges puff up around the fruit and turn golden. Essentially an egg custard with flour added to hold its shape, this cherry clafoutis recipe is smooth, creamy, and loaded with fruit!

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

✔️ Cherry clafoutis is easier to make than pancakes.
✔️ Most of the time is spent hands-off.
✔️ You can serve it for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert!

Ingredients To Make Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredient Notes

  • Almond Extract: Adds a subtle, nutty flavor that complements the cherries since almonds and cherries are both members of the Rosaceae family, which includes many fruiting plants.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure to the clafoutis.
  • Butter: Adds richness and moisture to the batter and helps create a slightly crispy edge when used to grease the baking dish.
  • Eggs: The backbone of the custard, eggs also help the clafoutis rise slightly as it bakes.
  • Frozen or Fresh Cherries: The star ingredient! Traditional clafoutis recipes often use cherries with the pits still in. The pits are said to release a subtle almond-like flavor during baking, enhancing the overall taste. However, this can make the clafoutis more challenging to eat, as diners must navigate around the pits. Using pitted cherries makes the clafoutis easier to eat and more convenient for serving, especially if you have children or guests. The choice is yours!
  • Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and balances the sweetness.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the clafoutis and helps caramelize the top.
  • Vanilla: Adds a warm, sweet flavor that complements the cherries and the almond extract.
  • Whole Milk: Provides moisture and helps to create the custard-like consistency of the clafoutis.

It’s important to note that when making substitutions in recipes, the texture and flavor may be slightly different. However, these substitutes are the best options for changing the original recipe.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Almond Extract: Substitute with an equal amount of vanilla extract or Amaretto.
  • Frozen or Fresh Cherries: For a different flavor profile, use other fruits such as plums, apricots, or blueberries. Rhubarb is also great!
  • Salt: Use sea salt or kosher salt in the same quantity for a slight variation in flavor.
  • Vanilla: Replace with an equal amount of almond or another flavor extract, such as orange or lemon.

Recipe Variations

Try any of the following for a twist on this cherry clafoutis recipe:

  • Chocolate Chips: Sprinkle chocolate chips over the cherries after pouring in the batter.
  • Citrus Zest: Whisk lemon or orange zest into the batter for a fresh, citrusy flavor.
  • Coconut: Sprinkle shredded coconut over the cherries before adding the batter.
  • Coconut Milk: Use coconut milk and dairy-free butter to make dairy-free clafoutis.
  • Cream Cheese: Dollop pieces of softened cream cheese into the batter before baking.
  • Different Fruit: Replace cherries with plums, apricots, or peaches for a different fruit clafoutis.
  • Dried Fruit: Soak dried cherries or cranberries in warm water or liqueur and use them instead of fresh or frozen cherries.
  • Liqueur: Soak the cherries in a tablespoon of Amaretto, kirsch, brandy, or Grand Marnier before adding to the batter.
  • Mixed Berries: Combine cherries with other berries for a mixed berry clafoutis.
  • Nuts: Sprinkle slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts over the top before baking.
  • Spices: Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the batter for a warm, spiced variation.

Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of this post, or scroll to the bottom to see the PRINTABLE recipe card with ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

How To Make Cherry Clafoutis

Process shots 1 & 2.

STEP 1: Use your hands to butter a baking dish.

STEP 2: Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the milk and whisk smooth.

Process shots 3 & 4.

STEP 3: Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract to the bowl. Whisk everything together to a smooth batter.

STEP 4: Add ¾ cup of batter to the buttered dish and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The pre-baked bottom helps the cherries sit in place.

Process shots 5 & 6.

STEP 5: Pour the remaining custard over the pre-baked bottom layer.

STEP 6: Arrange the cherries in the dish and bake for 60 to 65 minutes (frozen cherries) or 45 to 50 minutes (fresh cherries). The clafoutis is done when the edges are puffy and golden and the middle is wobbly but not wet.

Expert Tips

1. You can use pitted or un-pitted cherries. Let people know if you leave the pits in! Broken teeth are not fun.
2. To easily pit cherries, push the stones out and through using the tip of a metal straw.
3. The custard will deflate almost immediately after you remove it from the oven. This is normal!

Recipe Notes

  • It’s common to dust powdered sugar over clafoutis for garnish. This is optional.
  • Clafoutis is best eaten warm after baking but can be served hot or cold.

Storage & Reheating

  • Once cool, wrap the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap, and store the cherry clafoutis in the fridge for up to two days.
  • To reheat, microwave on half power for 20 to 30 seconds.
A pan of cherry clafoutis with a portion removed.

Did you make this cherry clafoutis? Please rate the recipe and tell me how it went in the comments below. Also, stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more delicious food and recipes!

Printable Recipe Card

Close up of a pan of cherry clafoutis with a serving missing.

Cherry Clafoutis

Author: Kelly Neil
Cherry clafoutis, made famous by Julia Child, is a simple French custard dish, that's easier to make than pancakes! A fuss-free versatile recipe, you can make this year round with frozen or fresh cherries.
4.68 from 25 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfast & Brunch
Cuisine French
Servings 8 servings
Calories 177 kcal

Special Equipment

  • 1 9-inch (23-cm) round or square baking dish
  • Measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
  • 1 Medium-large mixing bowl
  • 1 Whisk
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams.

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cherries , pitted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Use your hands to grease a 9-inch (23-cm) round or square baking dish with the butter.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the milk to the flour and whisk well to combine.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk everything together until a smooth batter forms.
  • Pour ¾ cup (190ml) of the batter into the bottom of the buttered dish. Place the dish in the oven and bake it for 8 to 10 minutes or until set.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and carefully pour in the remaining batter. Scatter the cherries evenly around the dish. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes (frozen cherries) or 45 to 50 minutes (fresh cherries). The clafoutis is done when the edges are puffy and golden and the middle is wobbly but not wet.
  • Remove the clafoutis from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Spoon or slice, and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • It’s common to add a dusting of powdered sugar to clafoutis for garnish. This is totally optional.
  • Clafoutis is best eaten warm after baking, but can be served hot or cold.
  • Once cool, wrap the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap, and store the cherry clafoutis in the fridge for up to two days.
  • To re-heat, microwave on half power for 20 to 30 seconds.

Nutrition

Serving: 113gCalories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 123mgPotassium: 207mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 232IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @kellyneildotcom or tag #kellyneil!

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18 Comments

  1. This is on my to-make list this year! Growing up with six cherry trees in BC it literally pains me to pay the sky high Alberta prices for cherries though 🙁

    Gah, yours looks mouth watering though. Maybe we'll splurge

    1. Sara, hi! And yes! I made the strawberry one in the pictures with halved frozen strawberries and it was perfect so frozen cherries should work just fine! Happy baking. 🙂

      1. You don’t have to do anything! Just add them to the baking dish as per the recipe instructions. They’ll thaw very quickly in the oven.🥰

  2. This looks delicious. I’ve never made clafoutis before but, I have so many cherries right now so I’m adding this to my list.

  3. What a gorgeous clafoutis! The lip (can we call it a crust?) is wonderfully puffed and browned too – it looks spectacular. I’ve always loved the fact that clafoutis is one of the few cooked desserts that uses sweet cherries to great effect, and with them coming into season right now, I’m looking forward to making this. Cheers!

  4. What a beautiful clafoutis! I didn’t realize that it is quite non-fussy to make. I probably will pit my cherries because I don’t trust my 2 year old to spit the pits out. Thank you for this recipe.

  5. I used to make a version of this all the time! We called it ‘puff pancake’. This cherry version looks out of this world and I appreciate the tip for skipping the powdered sugar. 🙂

  6. I did the cherry and then decided to try it with peaches. Slightly different process as the peaches go on the baked bottom before pouring the batter.

  7. 5 stars
    In the interest of using things up rather than wasting anything, I substituted a cup of leftover eggnog for the milk, sugar and extracts. It turned out great and I felt so clever, like Jamie Oliver with one of his 5 ingredient recipes. I used some pitted cherries that I had in the freezer from the summer, and baked the whole thing up in a ceramic deep-dish pie pan. It made a lovely dessert and will be a treat for breakfast tomorrow. This is a very flexible recipe and I can think of a lot of different fruit options that would work well, including fresh or canned apricots or pears, fresh plums, or even dried apricots poached to reconstitute before adding to the clafoutis batter. My usual recipe (in a book I could not find) includes a bit of ground almonds in the batter. Some grated citrus zest would not be unwelcome either.

    1. I absolutely adore all of these ideas Ann! I’ve made this recipe with fresh peaches, as well as frozen wild blueberries, and both were terrific. Adding ground almonds makes perfect sense with these flavors too. So glad you enjoyed it!💓

  8. 5 stars
    i’ve made this 3 times in a month. 1.5 times the ingredients fills a 9×13″ pan nicely. a very good recipe. foolproof!

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