20 Cherry Dessert Recipes To Celebrate National Cherry Month

According to Foodimentary, February is National Cherry Month. This might seem a bit early considering the cherry trees in Washington D.C. won't start blooming until the end of March, according to the Cherry Blossom Watch. However, it makes total sense when you consider that we celebrate the birthday of a certain, cherry tree-chopping first president this month. In any case, we think National Cherry Month is a wonderful excuse to brighten up wintry, February days with our favorite cherry-filled and cherry-flavored recipes. Plus, many of these desserts can pull double-duty as Valentine's Day treats.

We gathered 20 of our sweetest and most delicious cherry recipes, including cakes, pastries, and even a pretty, pink, cherry drink. Many of these recipes use maraschino cherries, the bright-red, candied fruits that are easy to find in jars at grocery stores, and conveniently have the pits already removed. If you want to use fresh cherries in recipes like clafoutis or Black Forest Cake, Spruce Eats has a few tricks for easily removing those pits. Frozen cherries, dried cherries, and canned, cherry pie filling are also options in these recipes, so it's easy to make fun cherry treats to celebrate this month. 

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are not only lovely to look at, they're full of cherry flavor. The chocolate cupcakes are made from scratch — so much more delicious than a boxed mix and yet easy to prepare. The fluffy frosting is cherry pink thanks to maraschino cherry juice mixed into the buttercream, and it gets swirled on the cupcake with a whole cherry on top. If possible, choose maraschino cherries with the stems still attached for the prettiest presentation. The cupcakes are perfect for a party, or just to treat yourself. 

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Classic Shirley Temple

This pretty, red mocktail has been a favorite of kids (and grown-up kids) for over 90 years! It was created and named for the famous child star by a Beverly Hills bartender in 1930, according to USA Today.  A Shirley Temple consists of ginger ale or lemon-lime soda like 7-Up (or a blend of the two) with a splash of grenadine syrup to give it that beautiful color. The drink is served over ice and garnished with plenty of maraschino cherries. Our recipe also includes a squeeze of lime juice to balance the sweetness. Make it an adult Shirley Temple by adding vodka, or swap the grenadine for cherry liqueur. 

Recipe: Classic Shirley Temple

Mini Cherry Pies

Two ingredients — just two! That's all that's needed to make these cute and ridiculously delicious, individual cherry pies. The recipe makes 12 servings, thank goodness, because you know you're going to want more than just one. Pick up a package of refrigerated pie dough and some canned cherry pie filling, and pull out your muffin pan. (Of course, if you have a favorite pie crust dough recipe you can always make your own.) The dough is cut into circles, then tucked into the pan to be filled with cherries. They bake up in only 15 minutes, and once cool can be served with a generous dollop of whipped cream. 

Recipe: Mini Cherry Pies

Black Forest Cake

For cherry dessert lovers it doesn't get much better than a decadent Black Forest Cake, made of dark chocolate cake layers brushed with cherry syrup, layers of whipped cream, and sweetened cherries. For a boozier cake, take a tip from Mary Berry's recipe and use Kirsch liqueur-soaked cherries in the layers, or even just brush the cake with the liqueur. The cake is finished with whipped cream spread around the outside and topped with whole cherries and chocolate shavings. It's a really stunning and special dessert to celebrate National Cherry Month!

Recipe: Black Forest Cake

Brandied Cherries

If you love to have fun garnishes on hand for cocktails and desserts, then you should really try making your own, homemade boozy cherries. The Spruce Eats shares that cherries soaked in a spiced syrup with a splash of liqueur stay good in the fridge for up to a week, and they're delicious used in drinks like a classic Manhattan or to spoon over ice cream and cake. This recipe uses easy-to-find frozen cherries, and takes only about 10 minutes from start to finish. The type (and cost) of brandy you use is up to you!

Recipe: Brandied Cherries

15-Minute Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Craving something cherry-sweet but short on time? This dessert takes only 15 minutes from start to finish because it cooks up in the microwave! Fresh or frozen cherries are tossed with sugar and cinnamon, then spread over the bottom of a baking dish. A quick and easy cake mixture, blended together with a hand or stand mixer is spread over the cherries. After a short cooking time in the microwave, the cake is done: Invert it onto a serving platter and finish it with whipped cream and more cherries. P.S.: No one has to know the cake is this easy. Let your guests think you spent all day in the kitchen!

Recipe: 15-Minute Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Cherry Claufoutis

This elegant dish is surprisingly easy to make and can be served for dessert or as part of Sunday brunch. According to The Local Palate, clafoutis is a recipe from southern France that has been served there at least as far back as the 1800s. Consisting of batter and cherries, it bakes up with a custardy texture that's lightly sweetened and simple enough that the cherry flavor really shines through. In our recipe the batter comes together in just 15 minutes, and after baking the clafoutis can be served warm or at room temperature with a little powdered sugar over the top.  

Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis

Mini Cherry Jell-O Parfaits

This recipe is perfect for when you want something sweet but not too heavy. Plus, these parfaits can be made in advance to have on hand for dessert or to set out for guests. Choose cherry-flavored Jell-O mix to make the parfaits, and cherries for the topping too: fresh or frozen cherries, maraschino cherries, or even a spoonful of cherry pie filling. These treats get their two-toned look from a layer of Jell-O followed by a layer of Jell-O blended with Cool Whip.

Recipe: Mini Cherry Jell-O Parfaits

3-Ingredient Chocolate Cherry Cake

Grab a box of chocolate cake mix and a can of cherry pie filling, and you're only 30 minutes away from an out-of-this-world treat! It's as easy as whisking the cake mix up with a couple of eggs, then folding in the cherries. The cake is soft and tasty enough to enjoy all on its own, but you can make it even more exquisite by frosting it with a chocolate buttercream frosting and decorating the top with extra cherries. 

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Chocolate Cherry Cake

Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding

Sweet, salty, and drizzled in caramel: This recipe has all the comfort food bases covered! In this fruit and nut bread pudding cubes of French bread soak up an eggy batter made with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a generous sprinkling of dried cherries and chopped pecans. After baking the top has a crunchy texture while underneath it's soft and custard-like. A quick caramel topping comes together in less than 10 minutes, and makes a wonderful sauce to drizzle over warm slices of bread pudding. It's a decadent breakfast/brunch dish and a fine dessert, too.

Recipe: Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding


If you love "Great British Bake Off"-style creative dessert challenges, you'll have a lot of fun assembling a cassata. According to Eater, cassata is a traditional cake of Sicily, Italy and is often made to celebrate Easter. It consists of sponge cake pieces layered with fruit and chocolate chip-filled ricotta, wrapped in a band of pistachio marzipan, and decorated with candied cherries. Make your cassata even more cherry-rific by adding extra cherries to the filling and decoration. Eater says the sponge cake can also be brushed with cherry liqueur or maraschino cherry juice while assembling. Mangia!

Recipe: Cassata

Copycat Cherry PopTarts

If you regularly stock up on boxes of Pop-Tarts, you should give this homemade version a try! One word of warning though: They're so delicious that you may decide to never buy the boxed version again. Copycat Pop-Tarts are made from a buttery pastry dough that's rolled out and filled with cherry pie filling. Once sealed, they bake up in only 20 minutes. Add your favorite colors and sprinkles to a simple powdered sugar glaze for the tops. The only lengthy part of the recipe is letting the dough chill before rolling and slicing, and you can always make it in advance: Keep the dough well-wrapped in the fridge for 1-2 days until you're ready to use it. 

Recipe: Copycat Cherry Pop-Tarts

Black Forest Cheesecake

This is a dessert for cherry lovers and chocolate lovers alike: a rich and creamy Black Forest Cheesecake. Though it requires overnight refrigeration, it's an easy cake to assemble and packs a lot of sweetness and flavor into every bite. The cherry pie filling is blended with Kirsch cherry liqueur, and the crust for this cake is made from Oreo cookies. The cheese cake filling goes over the cookie base with an opening in the center where all of those Kirsch-soaked cherries will go. The final indulgence is a firm layer of chocolate ganache over the top. And now we are dying to have a bite!

Recipe: Black Forest Cheesecake

Banana Split Cupcakes

Admittedly there are a lot of flavors going on inside a classic banana split sundae, but you'd have to agree that one of the best parts are the cherries on top! These cupcakes cleverly incorporate fresh banana into the cupcake batter. More toppings go on over the buttercream, like chocolate sauce, sprinkles, banana chips — and cherries! You can choose fresh cherries with stems attached or syrupy maraschino cherries just like you'd get at the ice cream shop. May we suggest stirring a little of the maraschino juice into the frosting for pink color and an extra dose of cherry in these sweet treats. 

Recipe: Banana Split Cupcakes

3-Ingredient Cherry Cobbler

Cobblers are one of the easiest and tastiest ways to enjoy fruit for dessert: A dish of sweetened fruit baked with biscuity topping. In this easy, three-ingredient recipe, shortcut ingredients brings the cobbler together even faster — by blending boxed white cake mix with butter. (If you'd rather make your crumble topping from scratch, the recipe has directions for that, too.) This topping is spread over cherry pie filling spread out in a baking dish, then baked until golden. Serve it with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. 

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Cherry Cobbler

Piecaken Cupcakes

Here's a chance to incorporate some Piecaken-style fun, and lots of cherry flavor, into easy cupcakes. If you haven't heard of Piecaken, The New York Times shares that it was created by New York City chef Zac Young, and incorporates pie and cake into one, massive, three-tiered dessert. Our recipe takes a nod from Young's dessert by adding scoops of cherry pie to the center of chocolaty cupcakes, then finishing them with chocolate frosting and maraschino cherries. Because the recipe uses boxed cake mix, frozen cherry pie, and pre-made frosting, you'll be able to try these Piecaken cupcakes without having to spend all day in the kitchen.

Recipe: Piecaken Cupcakes

Pineapple Cherry Crisp

An easy to assemble cherry treat made with stuff that's probably already in the pantry? Perfect! The crisp part of this recipe is made with oats, flour, brown sugar, butter, and spices. Layer the crisp mixture in a pan along with canned pineapple chunks and sweet maraschino cherries. (Frozen or fresh cherries can be used instead if you'd rather.) In just 30 minutes the crisp is baked, and begging to be paired with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Recipe: Pineapple Cherry Crisp

Buttery Cherry Bars

Tender crust, soft cake, and sweet cherries come together in one dessert, and the slices are delicious as an afternoon snack or late-night nosh. This recipe calls for butter and basic pantry ingredients to make first the base and then the batter that goes over the top. A generous amount of pitted sweet cherries rest in the batter, and become juicy and even sweeter after baking. If fresh cherries aren't available at your store, frozen sweet cherries can also be used to make these buttery bars. 

Recipe: Buttery Cherry Bars

Spicy Cherry Chutney

Chutneys are perfect if you like your sweet balanced with savory and spicy flavors. Masterclass shares that chutney is an Indian condiment and can be made with any number of combinations of fruit, veggies, spices, sugar, and vinegar. In our simple recipe, sweet cherries get a long simmer with crushed red pepper, jalapeño, and balsamic vinegar to make a thick and flavorful jam-like mixture. It's absolutely delicious served with crostini and cheese: Harry And David recommends brie as an ideal pairing with cherry dishes like this one. 

Recipe: Spicy Cherry Chutney


According to Serious Eats, ambrosia is an old-fashioned treat that has evolved over the centuries from a dish of just oranges and coconut to this fluffy, creamy version. Maraschino cherries, orange segments, crushed pineapple, coconut, pecans, and mini marshmallows are combined with sour cream — and that's it! It's one of the simplest desserts to make. With fruity, sweet, and slightly tangy flavors in every bite it's no wonder it got the name "ambrosia," which means food of the gods. The fruits are in fairly equal proportion in this recipe, but feel free to make it more cherry-heavy to celebrate National Cherry Month! 

Recipe: Ambrosia