Sour Cherry: Your New Healthy Baking Superfruit

By: admin   On: 5 July 2024 

Sour Cherry: Your New Healthy Baking Superfruit Sour Cherry: Your New Healthy Baking Superfruit

Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and a complex taste, dried sour cherry offers a tangy twist on the usual line-up of dried fruits. Sour Cherry Baking?

Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and that oh-so-perfect tangy taste, sour cherries offer a delightful twist on the usual line-up of dried fruits. They add not just a pop of vibrant colour but also an irresistible complexity of flavour. The cherry on the top? These little superfruits are not just about flavour, they also deliver in the nutrient department too.

What are Sour Cherries?

Sour cherries are a vibrant little fruit that pack quite the punch when it comes to flavour as well as nutrition. Unlike their sweet cousins, sour cherries have an unmistakable sharpness, yet they still retain that familiar cherry flavour. Scientifically known as Prunus cerasus, they are usually harvested when they're a radiant shade of red—telling you they're ripe and ready for the picking. Incredibly versatile, they are a particularly useful ingredient in all kinds of baking.

Is sour cherry the same as Morello cherry?

Not all sour cherries are Morello cherries, but all Morello cherries are sour. The term "sour cherry" is the umbrella name for all varieties that have that tangy taste we love in our baked goodies, while Morello cherries are a specific type of sour cherry with their own unique features. They're often darker, almost a deep purplish hue when ripe. Their flavour is rich and not overly acidic.

Are sour cherries and tart cherries the same thing?

Yes, sour cherries and tart cherries are the same thing. Just interchangeable terms.

Are dried sour cherries the same as dried cherries?

Absolutely not! When you see "dried cherries" on a label, it could mean any old cherry has been dehydrated, but "dried sour cherries" are the ones we are focusing on here today. The difference in taste is quite noticeable – while regular dried cherries might be sweeter and more mellow, the sour ones bring that distinctive, tart zing yet are still unmistakeably cherry. As opposed to cranberry, for instance.

Are Sour Cherries Good for Your Health?

Just what is it that makes sour cherries so super?

Sour cherries are not just a delightfully tangy addition to pastries and pies but they are also brimming with nutritional benefits. Full of vitamins, they've also got a hefty helping of fibre and essential minerals to keep you in tip-top condition. But that's not all — it's the cherries' rich supply of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, that really sets them apart. These compounds do wonders for reducing inflammation and warding off chronic diseases.

Let's take a closer look at the nutritional line-up of sour cherries.

Vitamins in sour cherries

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps keep your eyes sharp as it's vital for good eyesight, especially in low light. Also, it plays a role in maintaining your immune system, safeguarding you against everything from the sniffles to more serious illnesses. Additionally, it keeps the skin smooth and cells healthy.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C also provides support for your immune system fighting off intruders like pesky colds and helping wounds heal up faster. It's good for your skin, too, promoting collagen production to keep your complexion smooth and youthful. Vitamin C is also a key player in absorbing iron, crucial for those energetic days and keeping anaemia at bay.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is best know for the role it plays in supporting skin health, helping it stay hydrated and repairing damaged skin to keep you looking radiant. But that's not all; it also has a part to plays in maintaining a healthy immune system too. So, it's not just for keeping your skin glowing; it's helping you dodge those colds and flus!

Vitamin K

Vital for blood clotting, Vitamin K is the body’s quick-response repair guy when you get a cut. It also plays a crucial role in keeping your bones dense and strong. In fact, it's a big deal for warding off osteoporosis and making sure you can stay active and unbreakable for years to come.

Minerals in sour cherries


Potassium helps control the balance of fluids in your body and ensures your muscles work as they should, by maintaining nerve function and helping muscle contractions. Working in direct relation to sodium, potassium can help to keep blood pressure within a healthy range.


Magnesium, is a major multitasker, supporting hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body. It helps convert food into energy, create new proteins from amino acids, and even helps with the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Ever get a muscle cramp? That could be your body telling you it needs more magnesium! Plus, this mineral plays a role in DNA repair and replication, providing a critical line of defence for your overall health.


Think of calcium as the backbone of your health. Literally. It's the nutrient that gives your bones and teeth their strength and structure. But its job doesn't end there; calcium is also crucial for blood clotting and helping your heart, muscles, and nerves function correctly.


Iron is the mineral you need for keeping your energy levels up and avoiding fatigue. It's essential for producing haemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body. Without enough iron, your cells could starve for oxygen, leaving you feeling sluggish. Plus, it supports a healthy immune system.

Antioxidant power of sour cherries


Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that give sour cherries (and other fruits like blueberries and raspberries) their vibrant red, blue, and purple colours. What are they good for? They're fabulous at fending off damaging free radicals and oxidative stress, which can play a role in aging and various diseases. They can help support your heart health, act as anti-inflammatories, and protect your immune system. Plus, they might even help improve your memory and give you an edge in maintaining brain health as you age.


Quercetin is a natural pigment found right alongside anthocyanins in many fruits, vegetables, and grains. More than just a splash of colour, it’s a powerful antioxidant flavonoid. Research suggests it could help reduce the risk of certain health conditions, support heart health, and even provide allergy relief. It may also help to protect neurons from oxidative stress.


Melatonin might be most famous as your body's sleep regulator—it's like nature's nightcap telling your brain that it's time to hit the hay. It helps maintain your circadian rhythms, ensuring that your sleep-wake cycles stay in harmony with the natural world. And during sleep, it goes to work supporting cell repair and growth, which is crucial for overall health.


Catechins are good for promoting heart health and supporting blood flow. They're not just good for the heart; they've got a reputation for helping to rev up your metabolism, too.

Fibre content of sour cherries

Like most fruit, sour cherries are also full of fibre for healthy digestion, improved cholesterol levels and blood sugar control. Plus, fibre keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time, making it a crucial component of weight management.

Is sour cherry anti-inflammatory?

Yes, as mentioned before, the anthocyanins in sour cherries have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. Additionally, other antioxidants found in sour cherries such as quercetin and catechins also contribute to their anti-inflammatory effects.

Are dried sour cherries as healthy as fresh sour cherries?

Absolutely, dried sour cherries bring a lot to the table in terms of nutrition and health benefits, much like their fresh counterparts. In the drying process, while there's some loss of vitamin C due to its sensitivity to heat and air, most other nutrients become more concentrated. As a result, dried sour cherries can pack a more potent dose of vitamins and antioxidants by weight compared to fresh ones. Just keep in mind that dried fruits are also more calorie-dense — a little goes a long way!

Baking with Dried Sour Cherries

Let's talk about tossing some dried sour cherries into the mix. Not just tiny pockets of tangy flavour, they help retain moisture and bring a lovely chewiness to your bakes.

What flavours pair well with dried sour cherry?

Dried sour cherries are super versatile and they play nicely with a wide range of flavours.


The classic combo. Whether it's a dark and rich or a creamy milk chocolate, cherries are its best friend.


For a subtle and sweet contrast, add vanilla to the mix. It's like a warm hug for those sour cherries.


Think cherry almond cake – nutty, sweet, and utterly irresistible.

Citrus fruits

Brighten up the tartness with some zesty lemon or orange.

Cinnamon and spices

Warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves cosy up perfectly to the fruit's tartness.


Surprise! Rosemary or thyme can add an unexpected savoury note that complements the fruit's flavour.


Want to go gourmet? Pair these cherries with creamy cheeses like brie or goat cheese for a slightly sweet savoury treat.

Tips for baking with sour cherries

Here are a few tips for getting the most from your dried sour cherries.

To prevent sinking

Cherries, and other dried fruit, are notorious for sinking to the bottom of your bakes. Toss them lightly in flour to keep them separated and suspended evenly throughout your mix.

Consider rehydrating

If you want them plump and juicy, consider rehydrating your dried sour cherries in warm water or juice for about 30 minutes before baking. Just remember to drain them well!

Balance that acidity

Balancing flavours is key. Since sour cherries are, well sour, ensure your recipe has enough sweetness to balance it out.

To chop or not

Depending on the recipe, you might leave the cherries whole for a burst of flavour, or chop them up for a more subtle distribution.

Don't be heavy handed

Sour cherries can be quite potent, so be mindful of the amount. Start with less as you can always add more.

Proper storage

Keep leftover dried sour cherries in an airtight container to maintain their chewiness and flavour. This way, they're always ready for your next batch of cookies or scones.

As we have seen, with their complex flavour profile, sour cherries not only uplift your baked goods but also add a nutritional boost. Just don't forget to handle with a light touch as a little can go a long way. So keep baking, keep experimenting, and most importantly, keep enjoying every bite!

Have you tried our organic sour cherries? Just another great product from our range of healthy baking ingredients.