These chocolate covered cherries are made with maraschino cherries, a creamy center and plenty of dark chocolate. A homemade version of the classic treat that’s impossible to resist!
Chocolate covered cherries are one of my all time favorite candies, along with rum balls, rocky road fudge and peppermint patties. These dessert recipes make great holiday gifts, party favors, or a snack to satisfy any chocolate craving. These cherries are also perfect for Valentine’s Day along with a homemade heart cake!
My favorite candy store is See’s candy. And every time I go in there, I order chocolate covered cherries, they’re my all time favorite candy. This homemade version is actually easier to make than it looks, and they are SO delicious.
Table of Contents
Chocolate Covered Cherries Ingredients
To make this recipe, you will need maraschino cherries, butter, powdered sugar, and dark chocolate chips or candy melts.
How Do You Make Chocolate Covered Cherries?
Drain the cherries, and reserve some of the cherry juice. Pat the cherries dry with a paper towel. Place the butter, powdered sugar and some of the cherry juice in a large bowl. Use a mixer to beat everything together until a dough forms. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate the fondant mixture. Take teaspoons of the fondant and flatten it into a discs. Place a cherry onto each disc, then wrap the fondant around the cherries to form balls. Freeze the balls until they are firm.
Melt the chocolate chips or candy melts in the microwave. If you use chocolate chips, you’ll want to add a little shortening to thin the melted chocolate. Dip each cherry ball into the chocolate, then place on a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper. After you dip all the balls, drizzle a little melted chocolate on top of each one. Let the cherries sit until the chocolate is firm, then serve and enjoy.
Tips For The Perfect Dessert
- It’s important to make sure the maraschino cherries are completely dry before you wrap them in fondant, otherwise the fondant will not stick.
- This dough can be a little sticky to work with. I recommend either coating your hands in cooking spray, or adding a little bit of powdered sugar to your work surface so that the dough doesn’t adhere to your hands or work space.
- After you wrap the cherries in fondant, make sure to chill them. Otherwise, your cherries might start to melt and lose their round shape.
- I use Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers to dip my cherries in. They melt beautifully, are really easy to work with, and create a shiny thin shell on the cherries. You can also use chocolate chips or another brand of candy melts, but you’ll likely have to add some shortening to thin the chocolate before you start dipping.
- Store the cherries at room temperature after dipping so that the centers stay soft. The centers will never fully liquefy, but they’ll be rich, creamy and delicious regardless.
I personally like my chocolate covered cherries with the stems removed, but you can absolutely leave the stem on if you prefer, it does make for easier dipping!
Other names for chocolate covered cherries include cherry cordials or fondant cherries.
Maraschino cherries are in fact made from real cherries. The real cherries are processed in sugar and dyed which is why they look and taste different than a fresh cherry.
This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can customize some of the ingredients to suit your tastes.
- Chocolate: You can dip your cherries in milk chocolate chips or white chocolate if you prefer.
- Cherries: While I typically use good old fashioned bright red maraschino cherries for this recipe, you can also use luxardo cherries or Italian amarena cherries, which come in sugar syrup.
- Liquor: You can make alcoholic treats by soaking your cherries in brandy, cherry vodka or rum. Let them sit in the liquor for 24 hours, then pat dry and proceed with the recipe.
I love to package these chocolate covered cherries in little gift boxes around the holidays to give to family, friends and teachers. No one can believe that we made them ourselves, and I have to say, I think the homemade version is SO much better than store bought.
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Chocolate Covered Cherries
- 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 16 ounces dark candy melts or chocolate chips if using chocolate chips, you will also need to add 2 teaspoons of shortening to the recipe during the chocolate melting process
- Drain the cherries, reserving 1/4 cup of the cherry juice.
- Place the cherries on paper towels and pat to dry.
- Place the powdered sugar, butter and 3 tablespoons of cherry juice in the bowl of a mixer; beat to combine until the mixture forms a dough.
- If the mixture seems too wet or sticky, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- If mixture is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of cherry juice at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Take two teaspoons of the cherry dough and flatten it into a disc shape.
- Place one cherry onto each disc and wrap the dough around the cherry to form a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, try coating your hands in cooking spray first.
- Place the balls onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and freeze for 20 minutes.
- While the balls are chilling, melt the candy melts by placing them in a microwave safe bowl and cooking them in the microwave for 30 second increments until melted.
- Stir the candy melts until smooth.
- Place one ball on a fork and use the fork to coat the ball in chocolate. Gently tap the fork against the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
- Place each dipped ball onto a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat the process with the remaining balls and candy melts.
- Place some of the melted candy in a resealable bag and snip off one corner of the bag to use as a piping bag.
- Use the piping bag to drizzle melted chocolate over the tops of the dipped cherries.
- Let the chocolate coating harden, then store the cherries at room temperature for up to one week.
- After the cherries are wrapped in fondant, they need to be chilled so that they’re completely firm before they get dipped in chocolate. Otherwise, your cherries might start to melt and lose their round shape.
- I use Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers to dip my cherries in. They melt beautifully, are really easy to work with, and create a shiny thin shell on the cherries.