These chocolate cherry dessert bites are filled with a luscious (yet surprisingly healthy!) chocolate custard, then topped with cherries and almonds. Fancy enough for a Valentine’s Day dessert or afternoon tea, but easy enough for an any day treat!
They’re essentially mini custard toast bites, with a little extra depth so you can fit a couple chocolate chips in the center of the custard. They get all melty and delicious when baked, and the bread gets perfectly toasted. Then, decorate however you like with cherries and sliced almonds!
Almond Cherry Bread Bites With Chocolate Custard
There’s a lot to love about these bites: how cute they are, the chocolate cherry flavor combo, the fact that they feel decadent but are actually quite nutritious…the list goes on!
You only need 9 ingredients to make these (8 if you leave out the almond extract), and 15 minutes of prep time. Then, you just pop them in the oven and you’ll have toasty, chocolatey bites in no time!
Here’s what you’ll need to make these chocolate cherry dessert bites:
- bread: You’ll need a full loaf of fluffy bread here, because you’ll be cutting square chunks out of the bread. I used french bread (and cut off the crust), but brioche or challah would also work great.
- yogurt: I prefer using thick and creamy Greek yogurt for a lovely custard texture. But any kind of plain or vanilla yogurt works here!
- egg: An egg thickens the custard and allows it to rise.
- cocoa powder: This is what gives the custard its delicious chocolate flavor. I used 100% cacao (unsweetened).
- chocolate chips: Any kind of chocolate chips should work! I used dark chocolate here for richer flavor. If you’re using milk chocolate, you may not need any sweetener (maple syrup/honey). It depends how sweet you want it! If you don’t have chocolate chips, you can chop up a chocolate bar.
- maple syrup (or honey): Just a hint of added sweetness goes a long way here! You don’t need much, especially if you’re using yogurt with added sugars.
- almond extract: This is optional, but highly recommended. It gives the custard a more decadent flavor, and pairs so well with the cherries.
- cherries: I used dark sweet cherries, which can be found either canned or frozen in most grocery stores. But you can use fresh cherries or even maraschino cherries if you prefer.
- almonds: Sliced or chopped almonds get sprinkled on top for a bit of nutty flavor (and a nice decorative flair)!
Can I use frozen cherries?
Yes! I used frozen dark sweet cherries, which can usually be found year-round. Just thaw them in the refrigerator for a few hours before using.
What if I only have pre-sliced bread?
If you only have pre-sliced bread, you can still make these. The well for the custard will just be shallower, and won’t need as much baking time.
What if I don’t have cocoa powder?
If you don’t have any cocoa powder, you can still make this. Just add extra chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar) in with the custard before baking. It won’t be as chocolatey, and the custard will have a yellow color instead of brown, but it’ll still be tasty!
How to Make Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites
Start by cutting the crust off your bread loaf. Then, slice it into 15 evenly-sized cubes about 1.25 inches on each side. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
With a blunt utensil, press down in the center of each bread cube until a deep well is formed. Be careful not to break through the bread!
Next, in a small bowl, mix together egg, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and almond extract. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until it’s fully incorporated.
Then, spoon a small amount of this mixture into each bread cube, leaving a little room. Place two chocolate chips in each custard well and push them down until they’re covered by the custard mixture.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) for about 10 minutes, until the custard is set and the bread cubes are toasted.
Lastly, top each cube with cherries and almonds. Keep it simple or decorate to your heart’s content. They’re best enjoyed warm, so dig in right away!
Other Topping Ideas for Custard Toast Bites
If you’re looking to switch up the toppings on these chocolate dessert bites, here’s some inspiration:
- peanut butter drizzle
- shredded coconut
- crushed graham crackers
Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just treating yourself on a casual Monday, I hope you love these!
(If you try it, I’d love if you shared your thoughts with a rating and comment below!)
Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites with Custard
- 1 loaf bread (Fluffy bread like French, brioche, or challah. Not pre-sliced.)
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 2 tsp maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 3 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (dark or semisweet)
- 1/4 cup dark sweet cherries (or fresh cherries)
- 1/4 cup almonds (sliced or chopped)
- Cut the crust off your bread loaf. Slice it into 15 evenly-sized cubes about 1.25 inches on each side. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Press down in the center of each bread cube with the back of your kitchen knife, creating a deep well. Be careful not to break through the bread.
- Separately, combine egg, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and almond extract in a small bowl. Add cocoa powder and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Spoon a small amount of the custard mixture into each bread cube, leaving a little room. Place 2 chocolate chips in each custard well. Push down until they're covered by the custard mixture.
- Bake at 400ºF (or 205ºC) for 8-10 minutes, until custard is set and bread cubes are toasted.
- Lastly, top each toast bite with cherries and almonds. Serve warm!