Christmas in July!

It’s that time of year, folks! The time when families come together that can’t get away during the school/work/winter months, and when I bring out a warm recipe just for “the holidays!”

Well, it sounds nice, right? I mean, it wasn’t necessarily my plan, but it sure does SOUND like a great idea. I once visited some extended family in a gorgeous Adobe-style home, and I remember most that they were celebrating ‘Christmas in July.’ I’d never heard of such things at the tender age of 11, but they assured me it was the only time of year they could all get away to meet. Hey, any time I see a Christmas tree bedecked with presents, I’m willing to believe WHATEVER YOU SAY!

And so, I present you with a lovely piece of Christmas bread on this hot July day. I promise your tastebuds will thank you for the seasonal mistake. ;-)

Cheery Cherry Blueberry Christmas Bread.

(If nothing else, my pals in Australia appreciate this timely winter recipe, right?!)

After you drag your dripping self out of the pool, you sit back in a cabana chair. If you’re like me, sitting still is a rarity, and instead of relaxing thoughts, you’re hit with ideas at mind-whizzing speed. In one particular case, it was, “What should I make with the leftover pie filling?” … followed by, “How should I use up the leftover sour cream?” Next up, “Hey, I wonder if I can use ‘em both at the SAME TIME?”

Fast-forward to typing ingredients at, and finding this recipe among the yielded results. It sounded perfect, but I was ever-so-stumped. When/where was I to use the sour cream, egg, sugar, and almond extract? Was I supposed to combine it with the pie filling? Was I just too dumb to make this bread??

So I asked friends for advice. Almost unanimously, my friends suggested they would combine with the pie filling. I was all set to bake, yet something distracted me, and I’m forever thankful for it. In the time where I was away, my friend Miriam suggested that the recipe sounded like a German pastry she’d made several times before, and that I was to combine the sour cream, etc. and DRIZZLE it over the pie filling. She even researched further and found the same recipe (by the same baker!) on a different website here!

Hooray! The day was saved, and so was my Christmas Bread! I don’t know why I didn’t think to look further for the same recipe elsewhere, but I wasn’t surprised in the least that it showed up at Taste of Home. Me & ToH are practically best friends, after all. We work together every night in the kitchen, and sometimes even more often! ;-)

Cheery Cherry Blueberry Christmas Bread.
(Creamy, dreamy, drizzly topping that was ALMOST LOST in the recipe mistake.
And trust me, this isn’t a part you’ll want to miss out on!)

You might also notice that there is some serious blueberry action going on in my bread. Well, that’s because I used half a can of both cherry AND blueberry fillings for a different recipe, so I was looking to use ‘em both up. I figured I could do a half-substitution, and things would taste even better. I was definitely NOT WRONG!

Cheery Cherry Blueberry Christmas Bread.
(Gratuitous blueberry shot.)

Cheery Cherry Blueberry Christmas Bread
(recipe modified slightly from Robyn Wegelin, submitted to Taste of Home)

  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) Hot Roll Mix
  • 1/2 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 can (21 oz. blueberry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter

Using the directions on the back of the box, prepare the Hot Roll Mix. Once the mixture is a loose ball, turn it out onto a floured surface and cover with the bowl. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Spritz a jellyroll pan (10″x15″x1″ pan) with PAM spray; set aside. Remove bowl from dough, and roll into a rough 10″x15″ rectangle, adding more flour as needed to keep from sticking. Press dough into the prepared pan, coaxing it up the sides. Cover with a damp dishtowel and let rise in a warm place* about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

(*Tip: I always rise bread in my bathroom. With the heater on, the tiny space is ideal for keeping my bread moist while rising, and I find that I have larger, softer bread, too.)

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine cherry & blueberry pie fillings together in a bowl; stir well. Uncover the bread, and spoon filling over, spreading to within 1/2″ of the edges.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, egg, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and almond extract. Drizzle this topping over the fruit filling, covering the entire bread.

In another small bowl, combine the flour & sugar; whisk well. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until it resembles a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this crumble topping over the drizzled bread.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bread edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Serves 20. Store leftovers in the refrigerator unless you like fuzzy fruit! ;-)

Cheery Cherry Blueberry Christmas Bread.

As a sidenote, I want to point out that my RSS feed is now fixed (top right), and you can now follow me in the reader program of your choice. You’re also welcome to follow me on FaceBook & Twitter. In addition, you can now also subscribe to my posts by entering your email above (just under the ‘About Me’ section), and you’ll be the first to catch my latest updates! As always, thanks for reading! :-)

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9 comments on “Christmas in July!

  1. Louisa on said:

    Beautiful Christmas bread Nicole and your cookies look amazing!!

  2. Rising bread in your bathroom is GENIUS. I am trying that next time. Thanks for the recipe & the tip! :)

    • Nicole/Life's a Batch on said:

      Yep, that’s the way I’ve been doing it for the past two years. The moist heat really seems to be better than the dry heat of my kitchen. :-)

  3. YEAH! So happy to hear that your RSS feed is now fixed! I’m there for sure. As for this gorgeous looking cake…I don’t know how your family sleeps at night with all your delicious baking going on in the kitchen. This looks wonderful and I’d serve it anytime of the year.

    • Nicole/Life's a Batch on said:

      Thanks, Paula! It definitely was delicious, and I’m sure it would be perfect with ANY pie filling you have on hand. :-)

  4. So sad :( Just tried to subscribe to your RSS feed and received the following:
    This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below

    Thought you would like to know in case you didn’t already Nicole.

  5. This might not work for you depending on whether your oven is in use for other things at the same time – but I always use the oven to allow dough items to rise.

    I just put a bowl of warm or hot water in a small oven safe dish on the bottom rack and then turn the oven on to the “warm” setting for about a half hour. This is something I do while I’m making the dough. Then I turn the oven off and put the dough inside and let it rise according to the recipe directions.

    The oven creates a nice warm, humid atmosphere similar to a retarder or proofer [a metal and glass box with shelves for trays and a bowl well with a heating element on the bottom] which is what bakeries use for their bread & pastry doughs.

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Welcome to Life’s a Batch!
I’m Nicole, and I’m glad you’ve stopped by my little corner of the web! I’m a former Air Force wife whose passions are baking, cookie-making, and photo-taking… all to the benefit of my loves – my family! C’mon in to…read more.


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