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Cherry Almond Wreath

I usually serve this spectacular coffee cake on a silver tray with a small artificial poinsettia blossoms and leaves in the center. My daughter and I enjoy making specialty breads like this one and find they make excellent Christmas gives for family and friends. —Gwen Roffler, Grassy Butte, North Dakota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    20 servings


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped red and green candied cherries
  • GLAZE:
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk and water. Add the eggs, butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest, cardamom and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, beat butter, flour, sugar, extract and lemon zest. Stir in almonds and cherries. Refrigerate.
  • Punch dough down. Turn on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 30-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Crumble filling over rectangle to within 1/2 in. of edges.
  • Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. With scissors, cut lengthwise down the middle of the roll; carefully turn cut sides up. Loosely twist strips around each other, keeping cut sides up. Shape into a ring and pinch ends together. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm coffee cake. Cool completely.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 194 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 34mg cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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  • 2124arizona
    Jun 23, 2017

    This holiday bread is really special. It bakes up so nice.

  • tcavman15
    Dec 29, 2016

    I, too, have been making this for 30 years, from Sunset magazine. It's well worth the effort to make. I've used finely chopped sliced almonds when I didn't have the slivered almonds the original recipe calls for, and that worked fine. Also, I've used candied fruitcake fruit mix instead of the candied cherries, because my son's not a fan of cherries, and that works ok too.

  • erinshea1982
    Aug 18, 2016

    This is amazing!!! It's a beautiful presentation! Will def impress! But, the real lasting impression is the flavor and soft texture of this wonderful bread!

  • annlee0204
    Nov 4, 2012

    I have been making this recipe, originally from a Sunset magaine, for about thirty years. It is absolutely delicious and makes quite an impression when decorated with glacée cherries to form little holly leaves and berries. It also is more impressive when the space in the center is larger to make it look more like a wreath. It is delicious warm or cold.