Dec 15, 2010

How to Make Candied Cherries

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Hey guys! So I’m throwing this out there in case anyone ends up in my position during the fury of holiday baking season. And by “my position” I mean feeling the desperate pull to make one of those glorious holiday recipes that call for kitschy little candied cherries, but it’s the only dang ingredient you don’t have, and you’d rather sew your head to the carpet than get back into the car and head out to the store with all those holiday crazies one more time. I give you How to Make Candied Cherries.

Now, to be fair, this tip will only save you if you already have a jar of maraschino cherries rolling around in your fridge. But since maraschino cherries can outlive all of us, even Cher, perhaps you have some left over from a hankering for ice cream sundaes, Shirley Temples, or a love affair with Manhattans (ooh, call me sometime). But hey, even if you don’t have a jar, maybe you’ll pick one up, because really, what’s better than getting two uses from one crazy, hypercolored food product? Also, not to sound like Andy Rooney or anything, but have you noticed how expensive a thing of ready-made candied cherries is these days?! And half of it will probably just go to waste!

Now where’s my cane and crossword puzzle?


Candied Cherries

This is a full recipe that will yield about 8-9 ounces of candied cherries. It’s easily scaled up or down, even if you just need a tiny amount for a recipe.

Makes about 1 cup (8 to 9 ounces)

1 16-ounce jar maraschino cherries
3/4 cup sugar

Drain the cherries, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. Combine the reserved juice and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the cherries, and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour, until the cherries are slightly shriveled and firm to the touch. Remove from the heat, uncover the pan, and let cool completely.

When the cherries have cooled, remove them to paper toweling (leaving the syrup behind, your recipe doesn’t call for it) and pat dry. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to six months.

32 Comments

  • Thanks so much for the recipe…You are so right!!! i was debating about buying them at the market…Now i don't have to… i can make them at home cause i have a jar of cherries…Happy holidays…love your blog!!!…e*

  • etolie–Yes! I knew I couldn't be the only one. Happy Holidays!

  • We live in Boquete, Panama and it is impossible to find everything for Christmas fruit cake and balls. Candied cherries we cannot find anywhere nor candied pineapple, but I did find a recipe for candied pineapple from fresh pineapple which are plentiful here. Thanks for the cherries recipe. You saved my Christmas.

    • Oh, my. High praise of the first order! Thank you. And you are so very welcome. xo

  • I can’t believe I actually found exactly what I was looking for!!!! Now I just have to try it out!

  • I love you I love you I love you…… for this recipe. I always shy away from the candied cherries because I do not like the red dyes and perservatives but now that supermarkets carry maraschino cherries without colorings or additives I knew I had to try this recipe. And I want to thank you so much because I made a double batch and they are perfect now for my cookies and fruitcakes…… thank you and happy happy holidays!!!!!

  • Thank you Shauna, for putting this recipe on the Internet. So helpful, especially since I could not even find candied cherries in our local supermarket. As soon as I finish typing this, I’m going in to candy my jar of cherries for the cookie recipe I’m using! Thanks, again. :-) JJ

  • Oh, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! JJ

  • Thanks so much for the recipe :) Please tell me how much is 1 16-ounce maraschino cherries in grams?

  • Thanks so much for the recipe :) Please tell me how much is 1 16-ounce maraschino cherries in grams?

  • Thank you so much! It’s impossible to find candied cherries at anytime but Christmas, and I needed some for a fudge recipe! Thank you again!

  • This is wonderful, I keep Maraschino cherries in the fridge and was debating omiting the cherries in my candy recipe because of the cost.

  • Thank you for the candied cherry recipe. You are a life saver! I couldn’t even find candied cherries to buy even if I wanted to spend the money. Now I can proceed with my fruitcake.
    I am wondering if this would work with pineapple too.

  • Thank you! Thank you! Our small town grocery stores don’t carry candied fruit anymore at Christmas time. “People just don’t bake like they used to.” So they want the goodies at our local farmers market. But the nearest large grocery that “might” have candied fruit is 25 miles away. I don’t make that trip real often. I can still try to meet my customers’ requests.

  • I had to post this on Pinterest because I think so many of us have had your same experience! NO MORE TRIPS TO THE STORE!!! CANT I JUST STAY HOME AND BAKE!! Thanks for the insight. I am making these as post! I will post again once I have made them. You are awesome.

  • Thanks so much for this! I just found a jar rolling around in my fridge today. My son has a severe peanut allergy and I was having trouble finding readymade candied cherries for holiday baking that I was sure was peanut free. Now I am currently simmering my own patch. Hp Hop Hooray!

  • Thank you so much for this great tip. My son is allergic to artificial coloring and preservatives, so this recipe is perfect for my festive bread. Thank you again!

  • life saver !!! thank you

  • Its the end of February and I wanted to make fruit cookies, from the food network. They are seasonal in the stores. I happened to find some in the fridge in the garage. Thank you I will make up some cherries soon.

  • SO GLAD I found your site – cannot wait to try these (yes, to buy they are HUGELY expensive!) –but, do you have any idea if this can be done with CANNED PINEAPPLE TIDBITS??

    I would dearly love to know, as candied fruit of any kind is beyond my budget — many thanks!

    • I priced candied cherries 8.99 at winn dixie! You can bet I will make my own

      • Yeah!

    • Now you’ve really got me thinking! It might be worth a shot, I’m thinking starting with the tidbits that come in heavy syrup might make the most sense? If you try it, please report back!

  • […] I decided to make a fruitcake pie. Kevin was more than slightly skeptical. He watched, aghast, as I candied cherries and I candied pineapple. He grimaced as I mixed the candied fruits with sliced dates and pecans and […]

  • These are awesome. I use them to make cherry chocolate chip cookies. Thank you!!!!

  • Wow I always wondered if I could make these from a regular jar of cherries which I always seem to have around. Those little containers of candied cherries they seem to only sell around the holidays are expensive too ! I have one particular cookie that I do every year that calls for chopped up candied cherries and this will solve the problem. I’ll use up that jar of cherries and not have to put out bucks for a container that I’ll only use half of… thanks for the recipe it came out great.

  • Thank you so much for this – I searched 3 grocery stores and couldn’t find candied cherries anywhere. I googled how to make candied cherries in store #3. Now I can make out favorite Christmas cookies. Hooray!

  • Many thanks! The recipe worked beautifully and the cookies were delicious.

  • I’m so excited to find this awesome idea! I thought perhaps it could be done but I’m not very creative. I’ll be trying this soon!

  • I have a Christmas Cake recipe that calls for 16 oz of candied cherries. Do I need to double your recipe and use all of it for this recipe? I usually buy the 1 lb. container, and use all of it. Thank you for posting how to candy them!

    • Yes, I would double the recipe! A 16-ounce container usually contains about 2 cups candied cherries.

  • […] got the how-to recipe on candied cherries from Shauna Sever’s blog, Piece of Cake. Super simple, inexpensive and the cherries came out perfect for the cake! The other ingredients […]

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