These sweet cherry filled buns (vatrushki) are soft and fluffy. They kind of melt in your mouth and you won't be able to stop at just one.

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Vatrushka buns are very popular in Russia and Ukraine. Vatrushki are soft sweet buns that are typically filled with farmers cheese, but I had cherries so I used ’em. These cherry filled buns were fun to create and you won’t believe how fluffy they are! They aren’t difficult to make but there is a good amount of rising time involved so get started early in the day.

My husband and son ate an entire pan between the two of them; well, technically they saved 1 for me ;). These are best when they are warm from the oven. They kind of melt in your mouth and you won’t be able to stop at just one.

Tips for working with yeast doughs:

A good rule of thumb is never to let the dough or yeast get too hot during the rising process or you will kill the yeast. I try not to let the mixture get warmer than 100˚. This means your milk can’t be too hot and your proofing oven temperature can’t be above 100˚F or you will ruin the dough. I’ve done it and I’d love to save you the same heartache. P.S. If it’s warm outside, you can let your dough rise outdoors in the shade.

Cherry Filled Buns Recipe:

1 cup warm milk (about 100˚F, not hot!)
1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
4 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting *measured correctly
1 egg, room temp (take it out of the fridge at the start of the recipe)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg , beaten with fork (for egg wash)

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns

For the Simple Cherry Filling:

1 lb sweet red cherries, pitted
1/4 cup granulated sugar (1/2 tsp for each bun)

Crumb Topping Ingredients:

4 Tbsp butter, cold, diced
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose Flour

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-2

How to Make Cherry Filled Buns – Vatrushki: 

Preheat the oven to 360˚F at step 8.
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add 1 cup warm milk and sprinkle the top with 1/2 Tbsp yeast and let sit 5-7 minutes for the yeast to activate.

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-3

2. Stir in 1/2 cup flour and 2 Tbsp sugar and whisk until blended, then let rise in a warm 100˚F oven for 20 minutes (or at room temp 30-45 mins).

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-9

3. Whisk in 1 egg, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Now using the dough hook, add remaining 2 3/4 cups  flour, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate between each addition. Add the last bit of flour slowly. You know the dough is perfect when it is no longer sticking to the walls of the mixer. Do not add more flour past this point.

Note: not all flour is created equal so add flour until it’s not sticking to the mixing bowl. Continue mixing your dough with the dough hook on low speed 15 minutes.

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-10

4. Cover your mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm 100˚F oven for 1 hour (or at room temp 2 hours) . Be patient and your dough should triple in volume.

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-11

5. Transfer the dough to a good non-stick surface and cut it in half. Working with one piece at a time, cut each piece in half, then in half again. Repeat with the rest of the dough to make a total of 16 pieces from the entire dough. Shape the dough into balls.

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-5

6. Butter a baking dish (either 2 round cake pans, or one (9×13) rimmed baking pan). Place balls of dough ,evenly spaced in your baking dish(es). Push a narrow drinking glass or a small ramekin over the center of each dough round to make a well in the center.

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-4

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-6

7. Place 4 cherries into each well and sprinkle each bun with 1/2 tsp sugar. Let rise in a warm 100˚ oven for 20 minutes until they look puffy (30-45 minutes at room temp).

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-12

8. Make the Crumb Mixture: Combine crumb mixture ingredients in a medium bowl and use a pastry cutter or rub together with your fingers until small crumbs form.

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-13

9. Brush the buns with egg wash and sprinkle the tops generously with the crumb mixture. Bake at 360˚F for 20-22 min or until tops are golden brown.

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns-14

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns (old Russian recipe). So soft; they melt in your mouth @natashaskitchen

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns (old Russian recipe). So soft; they melt in your mouth @natashaskitchen

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns (old Russian recipe). So soft; they melt in your mouth @natashaskitchen

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Sweet Cherry Filled Buns (Vatrushki Recipe)

5 from 25 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
These sweet cherry filled buns (vatrushki) are soft and fluffy. They kind of melt in your mouth and you won't be able to stop at just one.
Vatrushka buns are very popular in Russia and Ukraine. Vatrushki are soft sweet buns that are typically filled with farmers cheese, but I had cherries so I used 'em. These were fun to create and you won't believe how fluffy they are! These are best when they are warm from the oven. They kind of melt in your mouth and you won't be able to stop at just one.
Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 42 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 16 buns

Yeast Buns Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm milk, about 100˚F, not hot!
  • 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
  • 1 egg, room temp (take it out of the fridge at the start of the recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten with fork (for egg wash)

For the Simple Cherry Filling:

  • 1 lb sweet red cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp for each bun

Crumb Topping Ingredients:

Instructions

How to Make Cherry Vatrushki: Preheat the oven to 360˚F at step 8.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add 1 cup warm milk and sprinkle the top with 1/2 Tbsp yeast and let sit 5-7 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup flour and 2 Tbsp sugar and whisk until blended, then let rise in a warm 100˚F oven for 20 minutes (or at room temp 30-45 mins).
  • Whisk in 1 egg, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Now using the dough hook, add remaining 2 3/4 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate between each addition. Add the last bit of flour slowly. You know the dough is perfect when it is no longer sticking to the walls of the mixer. Do not add more flour past this point. Note: not all flour is created equal so add flour until it's not sticking to the mixing bowl. Continue mixing your dough with the dough hook on low speed 15 minutes.
  • Cover your mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm 100˚F oven for 1 hour (or at room temp 2 hours) . Be patient and your dough should triple in volume.
  • Transfer the dough to a good non-stick surface and cut it in half. Working with one piece at a time, cut each piece in half, then in half again. Repeat with the rest of the dough to make a total of 16 pieces from the entire dough. Shape the dough into balls.
  • Butter a baking dish (either 2 round cake pans, or one (9x13) rimmed baking pan). Place balls of dough ,evenly spaced in your baking dish(es). Push a narrow drinking glass or a small ramekin over the center of each dough round to make a well in the center.
  • Place 4 cherries into each well and sprinkle each bun with 1/2 tsp sugar. Let rise in a warm 100˚ oven for 20 minutes until they look puffy (30-45 minutes at room temp).
  • Make the Crumb Mixture: Combine crumb mixture ingredients in a medium bowl and use a pastry cutter or rub together with your fingers until small crumbs form.
  • Brush the buns with egg wash and sprinkle the tops generously with the crumb mixture. Bake at 360˚F for 20-22 min or until tops are golden brown.

Notes

Tips for working with yeast doughs: a good rule of thumb is never to let the dough or yeast get too hot during the rising process or you will kill the yeast. I try not to let the mixture get warmer than 100˚. This means your milk can't be too hot and your proofing oven temperature can't be above 100˚F or you will ruin the dough. I've done it and I'd love to save you the same heartache. P.S. If it's warm outside, you can let your dough rise outdoors in the shade.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Sweet Cherry Filled Buns, Vatrushki
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $

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Sweet Cherry Filled Buns (old Russian recipe). So soft; they melt in your mouth @natashaskitchen

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Maria Cecilia Lacosta
    November 10, 2023

    Hi Natasha,
    I’m wondering, am I able to use rapid rise instant yeast instead🤔? And how would that work though?
    Please help😬
    Thank You🙏🏼

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 12, 2023

      Hi Maria, I haven’t tested that yet to advise.

      Reply

  • Michele
    July 11, 2023

    Natasha, can you share the cheese filling recipe you would use? I love cheese danish, this recipe looks much easier to adapt.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 11, 2023

      Hi Michele! One of my readers, Lora shared her version of the cheese filling:
      1/2 pound farmer’s cheese
      1 egg
      2 tbs sugar
      2 tbs sour cream
      1 tsp vanilla.
      You can also reference my cheese danish recipe if that helps.

      Reply

  • Alina
    August 13, 2022

    My stand mixer bowl broke so I ended up kneading the dough by hand and used a little more flour, not sure if it’s because a lot of it was sticking to my hands but I think I had to add about an extra 3/4 cup of flour…dough turned out beautiful and fluffy and didn’t take too much time to knead (maybe 5 min?) but I also used farm fresh blueberries instead and they turned out so perfect and fluffy….

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 15, 2022

      That’s wonderful, Alina! I’m so glad they turned out for you.

      Reply

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