Cut bread into cubes. Place half of the bread cubes in a buttered 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.
Cut the cream cheese into 1 inch cubes and layer on top of bread cubes in dish.
Top with thawed cherries (and juice) and then remaining bread cubes.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract till completely combined.
Pour egg mixture over bread mixture.
Press bread down into the liquid to make sure everything gets absorbed.
Cover pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven to 350° F.
Bake casserole, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle top with granulated sugar and bake until top is golden brown and mixture is set in the center, about 25-30 minutes.