TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 35 min.
MAKES: 6-8 servings


  • 12 cups day-old Italian bread cubes (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) sour cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 716 calories, 24g fat (11g saturated fat), 160mg cholesterol, 474mg sodium, 115g carbohydrate (77g sugars, 3g fiber), 12g protein.


  1. Place 8 cups of the bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and extract until smooth. Stir in cherries and pecans; spoon over bread. Top with remaining bread cubes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, cream, cinnamon and remaining sugar; pour over bread. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  3. For syrup, combine cherries, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in extract. Serve warm over strata. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Cherry Strata in Taste of Home February/March 1998, p18

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MsBeast User ID: 1315211 47720
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2010

"This is a requested family favorite. I am asked to make this every year for our Easter brunch!"

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