Cherry Clafouti


Cherry clafouti is a traditional French baked dessert made of a sweet batter that’s filled with juicy black cherries. It’s also perfect for brunch or well…anytime.

Adapted from Saveur Magazine | Saveur Cooks Authentic French | Chronicle Books, 1999

If you mix plenty of black cherries into what may be best described as a slightly thick crêpe batter, you will have the makings of clafoutis Limousin, a type of eggy cake from rural south-central France that takes its name from clafir, a dialect word meaning “to fill.” And fill it does—not least because it’s so good that one’s tendency is to ask for seconds and thirds. –Editors of Saveur


Yes, you could leave those pesky little pits in the cherries in keeping with the romanticized notion of imparting an almondy nuance to the cake. Or you could easily pit them. When facing a mountain of cherries whose pits you want to wrest from their place, you’ve got all manner of options, including pricey cherry pitting gadgets, the tip of a sharp paring knife, a bobby pin, a paper clip that’s partly unbent, even a cleverly Macgyvered fork. But you tell us. How do you fish out the pit? Tell us in a comment. And no matter what you do, wear an apron and be ready to wipe purple splatters from the counter.

A cherry clafouti and dishes of cherries, eggs, milk, and sugar.

Cherry Clafouti

A cherry clafouti in a red dish with cherry dish towels
This old-style French cherry clafouti dessert, given to us by Auvergnat grandmother Jean Barbet, calls for unpitted cherries. This is the tradition in the region, not as a labor-saving shortcut, but because the pits are believed to add flavor to the cake. If the idea unsettles you, don't hesitate to use pitted cherries.
Editors of Saveur

Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins
8 servings
205 kcal
4 from 1 vote
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  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk preferably whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sweet cherries stems removed, pitted if desired
  • Confectioners’ sugar if desired


  • To make the cherry clafouti, preheat the oven to 400° F (204°C). Generously butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch baking dish.
  • Add the vanilla, eggs, sugar, milk, kirsch if using, and salt to a blender and blend just a few seconds until combined. Then add the flour and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the batter into the buttered skillet. Scatter the cherries over the batter. Bake until a golden brown crust forms on top and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.
4 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the Saveur Cooks Authentic French cookbook

Want it? Click it.


What is clafouti?

Clafoutis in France, clafouti in anglophone countries, is a traditional baked dessert from France. Usually made with unpitted black cherries, it's really just a sturdy custard filled with fruit. Cherries, yes, but you can really make this dessert with anything in season—plums and blueberries are also quite divine. "Clafouti" means "to fill up" (with cherries, in this case) and it's a dessert that is meant to use up the harvest's excess. So feel free to experiment with any fruit you have too much of.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 205kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 29g (10%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 6g (9%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 145mg (48%)Sodium: 70mg (3%)Potassium: 238mg (7%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 18g (20%)Vitamin A: 352IU (7%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 76mg (8%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Originally published on June 21, 2011

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