Sour Cherry Muffins

 In Blog Posts, Cakes & Cupcakes, Dessert, Recipes

Next time you’re in search of a delicious sour cherry recipe look no further than these sour cherry muffins. Perfect for breakfast, these muffins will having you loving cherry season!

Sour cherry muffin recipe, tart cherry recipe, muffins with cherriesSour cherries, or tart cherries are absolutely amazing – have you ever tried them? They’re a cherry that is closely related to the sweet cherry, but is more tart – or sour – hence it’s name. They also have tons of nutritional benefits, like being high in antioxidants, they can help regulate sleep because of their high melatonin content, and they can be anti-inflammatory.

sour cherries, fresh tart cherriesWhen they’re not in season fresh, they can be found in the freezer section at your local grocery store (the frozen ones usually have the name ‘tart cherries’ on the bag).

I’ve been making these cherry muffins for years, and have had so many readers tell me how much they love them, so I updated the pictures a little and am excited to re-share this recipe with you.

Sour cherry muffins recipe, cherry muffins, muffins made with cherriesSour cherries have a wonderful tart flavor that is second to none. One could use fresh or frozen cherries for this recipe (I’ve used both with the same great results.) I like topping the muffins with a little sanding sugar (I like to use a sanding sugar like this one) because it makes for a delicious sweet and slightly crunchy finish. I also like using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop (like this one) to scoop the batter into the muffin liners, it makes for perfectly even muffins!

Sour cherries muffins recipe, muffins made with tart cherriesThe muffins are marbled throughout with cherries and make such a great breakfast. So the next time you’re looking for a sour cherry recipe, I’d definitely recommend making these sour cherry muffins 🙂

Sour Cherry Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 18
  • ¾ cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • zest of 1 lemon, about 1 heaping tablespoon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups sour cherries (fresh or frozen, make sure the cherries are pitted. 2 cups is about 12 oz cherries)
  • 2 Tbs Sanding Sugar for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan(s) with liners (the batter makes 18 muffins).
  2. In a bowl mix together buttermilk, water, canola oil and egg. Mix well.
  3. Next add the lemon zest, flour, sugar, and baking powder and stir until well incorporated.
  4. Lastly fold in the cherries and stir until just combined.
  5. Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop (or just using a spoon), scoop batter into muffins cups so that each muffin cup is about ¾ full. Sprinkle a little sanding sugar on top of the muffin batter, and then bake for 25 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let rest for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire cooling wrack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.
These muffins freeze/defrost really well. To freeze the muffins allow them to cool completely, then put them in a freezer storage bag or container and freeze. When ready to enjoy, simply remove from the freezer and allow to come to room temperature on the counter, or microwave for a few seconds to speed up the process.

 Perfect for breakfast or a sweet treat, these sour cherry muffins are perfect

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Showing 55 comments
  • Cathy Landolfo

    I made these muffins today. I used a little orange juice on the cherries. I did not have lemon zest. Wonderful recipe!

    • Sweetphi

      Thank you so much! So glad you liked this recipe!!

  • Sarah Critchley

    I have dried tart cherries. Can I use them?

    • Sweetphi

      I don’t think dried cherries would work in this recipe, sorry, you want the moisture in the fresh (or frozen and thawed) cherries

  • Alyssa

    How well does this recipe work without the sugar (or what would be the minimum to add)?

    • Sweetphi

      They would be pretty sour without the sugar, because it’s a recipe that calls for sour cherries. You could use coconut sugar or half the sugar if you’d like 🙂

  • N.Roberts

    This recipe needs work. Ratio of flour to sugar is wrong. There is just too much sugar for the amount of flour specified. It needs salt, baking soda and more baking powder. It also needs more lemon rind. A bit of almond extract would enhance the cherries. The oven temperature is too low. The muffins came out flat and with no color. Second time around with the improvements yielded a better muffin .

    • Sweetphi

      Hi there, thank you for your feedback. I’m wondering if you misread the recipe or something? I, along with many others, have made this recipe countless times as written with excellent results. If you’re using sour cherries and drain them properly, the muffins would be super sour without the sugar…and if you were to increase the oven temperature, you’d end up with a super dry muffin on top and not fully cooked in the middle. Regardless, sorry these didn’t work for you. I love the recommendation of the addition of almond extract – that goes very well with cherries and cranberries to bring out the flavor.

  • Alice

    This is the second time making this recipe! Everyone in my house loves them!!!😍

    • Sweetphi

      So happy to hear that Alice, this is one of my favorites too!

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