Homemade Glacé Cherries

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These Homemade Glacé Cherries are a labour of love but once you taste the difference between these and the pillar box red variety you can get in the supermarket then you won’t look back.

A cupcake on a cake stand next to some glacé cherries

If there is one member of the household who is thrilled that our kitchen is constantly filled these days with blackberries, damsons, crab apples and cherries it’s Wesley. I have spoken before about his obsession with pears but his fruit addiction is now getting out of control. I can’t turn my back on a bowl of freshly picked fruit without piquing his interest and five minutes later finding him batting them all over the kitchen floor.

Yesterday, after a bounteous yield of crab apples was happily soaking up the sun streaming in from the window, I was called into the kitchen by the sound of an energetic animal bouncing something around on the tiles which never spells goods news. I walked in to find Billy Buddy enthusiastically chasing round a poor crab apple. How did he get hold of that, there’s no way the puppy can get anywhere near our kitchen counter? I looked round the corner to see Wesley looking on forlornly as his hard worn apple had been rudely swiped by the puppy. He learnt the hard way that it’s not nice when someone else steals your fruit.

Unfortunately for Wesley his fruit supply is about to be cut short. From this week all furry little creatures are being banned from any food preparation areas, which is a sad little side effect of now opening my kitchen up as a business. I will feel very nostalgic for the days when my steadfast kitchen companion is fast asleep stretched across the full length of my counter as I’m in full on baking mode, flour and sugar flying across him blissfully unaware. I will especially miss the times when I am chopping onions in his vicinity and his eyes start blinking, full of confusion as to why they are now pouring with water. I am ashamed to say this is something that will never fail to make me laugh, as well as the time that he pounced up on the side as I was juicing some lemons. A cat with lemon juice in his eye produces a very sour look.

Thank goodness then that I just about managed to ward Wesley off these glacé cherries during the entire length of this candying process. These cherries, like Monday’s salt beef have been a bit of a labour of love. I started them weeks ago and only now are they finally ready to be presented to the world, having ascended from a lovely healthy fruit to pretty much just sugar.

I have been really keen to make glacé cherries for some time now as I always thought the cherriness of the commercially made versions was somehow lost in the candying. These homemade glacé cherries are a world away from anything you might have had before, they don’t have the brilliant postbox red colour but instead command an alluring burgundy. Their texture is also much more dense and fudgey; I can imagine them being the secret ingredient of the world’s best brownie.

The amount of cherries I’ve suggested in the recipe below is completely at mercy as to how many cherries you actually have. If you are gathering cherries specifically for this recipe then 450g is the best place to start but this recipe is easy to scale up. The more cherries you have the further they will go. They are especially wonderful in this Gluten-Free Cherry Cake but if you only have a few then feel free to sequester them away from snack venturing fingers and save for only the most reverential of cocktails, the most exquisite of cupcakes and to adorn only the most luxurious trifle. Although I often get into the habit of being a bit too precious about them, the last thing I want is to save them and save them until they are spoilt and no longer as prizeworthy as they currently are. One thing I know for certain, they are nowhere near any sneaky little cream coloured paws.

Homemade Glacé Cherries

Homemade Glacé Cherries

A luxurious cherry for all your baking needs
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 450
Calories: 7kcal


  • 450 g cherries stalks removed and stoned
  • 570 ml boiling water
  • 750 g granulated sugar


Day 1

  • Place the cherries in a large pan with the boiling water and cook until the fruit is just tender.
  • Drain the cherries but reserve 425ml of the liquid. Put the cherries into a heatproof bowl.
  • Pour the liquid back into the saucepan with 250g of the sugar. Stir over a gentle heat to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and pour the syrup over the cherries.
  • Cover the bowl and leave to soak for 24 hours.

Day 2

  • Strain the syrup into a large saucepan and return the fruit to the bowl.
  • Add 60g of sugar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for a couple of minutes making sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Pour the syrup back over the cherries, cover and leave for another 24 hours.

Day 3-7

  • Repeat Day 2

Day 8

  • Times are a-changing. Strain the syrup into a large saucepan but this time add 85g of the sugar into the saucepan.
  • Cook over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved then add the cherries and bring to a boil.
  • Turn down to a simmer for 3 minutes, then pour the fruit and syrup back into the heatproof bowl, cover and leave to stand for 2 days.

Day 10

  • Repeat Day 8, but only add the remaining 55g sugar and then leaving for 4 days.

Day 14

  • The syrup should have now turned very thick and heavy, if not, repeat Day 10. Otherwise, drain the fruit, place on a wire rack and leave in a warm dry place until no longer sticky. They should be ready after a couple of days.


Recipe from The Cook's Scrapbook by Reader's Digest


Calories: 7kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!

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  1. Joe Simner says

    Made these last year and they came out amazing. Doing them again this year with 2 batches and both batches the syrup has solidified, is there any way of making it back into a syrup again?

    • At what point has the syrup solidified? It’s possibly because the sugar came to too high a temperature so has turned into a sort of hardened caramel. You should just be able to re-melt it.

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe. We had so many cherries this year we decided to give it a go. Just finished the first batch and they are brilliant. Much better than shop bought ones and no food colouring! They are still a little sticky. Do they need to be dried out completely before storing? The ones we get in the shops are very sticky so not sure. Many thanks! Sarah and Mark

    • It’s a pleasure! They are perfect way to use up cherries! If I am keeping them in a larder or pantry then I dry them out completely. I often don’t bother and just keep them in the fridge – that way they keep almost indefinitely!!

  3. Hi, I am about to attempt this next week but am needing to do other fruits as well – apricot, peach, pineapple and pears. Years ago we use to get the absolute best glacé fruit in Australia that was all Australian made but the factory closed down and now we are struggling to find anything decent that doesn’t taste metallic… time to try my hand at it… Have you tried to glacé these fruits and do you know if it would be done the same?

    • Hi Amy, it’s the exact same process for the apricots, peach and pineapples as for the cherries. I haven’t tried it with pears though but give it a go! However, you must make sure the fruit is ripe but firm. Anything squishy wouldn’t survive the process. Good luck and let me know how it goes!!

  4. 5 stars
    Fantastic detailed recipe . I am now making my second batch. The first batch will be used in my Christmas cakes (sorry to use the Christmas word in July!) and the batch currently under production will be enrobed in dark Valrhona chocolate. Thanks Georgina 🙂

    • 5 stars
      Forgot to say – up to now the left over syrup I’ve used in porridge and over vanilla ice cream BUT huge thank you for the other ideas – cherry vinaigrette this evening I reckon!

    • Georgina Hartley says

      That’s amazing that you’re getting your Christmas prep in!! Mmm glace cherries in chocolate!! You’re welcome for the syrup ideas. I love to use the whole recipe so nothing goes to waste!!

  5. 5 stars
    I just finished these today and got them into a sterilized jar. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. They taste amazing and I cannot wait to bake with them.

  6. Clare Charlesworth says

    Hi Georgina

    I’m on day 10 and the cherries already taste amazing, I can’t wait for the final tasting!

    I just wondered if it’s worth drying them in my dehydrator or is it better for them to be air-dried?

    Alwo, could the leftover syrup be used when making ice cream? I wondered if I could add some to a batch of vanilla ice cream at the final freeze stage?

    Thanks for a wonderful recipe.


    • Georgina Hartley says

      Hi Clare, if you have a dehydrator then that would definitely be the way to go! Oh yes add it into the ice cream that would be delicious!! You are most welcome!

      • Hello Georgina – roughly how many minutes do the cherries take to be cooked till tender in Day 1? I am planning ahead for when the cherries are in the shops here in the UK in about a month.

      • Hi Daniel, sorry I didn’t see your question at first. It doesn’t take long to initially cook the cherries – about 15 minutes.

  7. Cathy Fielding says

    Hello from Los Angeles! Since it is currently December, I’m experimenting making these using frozen cherries. It will be interesting to see how these turn out. BTW…love your blog!

    • Hi Cathy, let me know how you get on with them! And thank you!!

      • Hi Georgina!
        Well, today is January 1st, and the cherries are finished. Finally! They came out beautifully, and because I used frozen pitted whole cherries I was able to skip the initial boiling of the fruit, and simply covered the thawed fruit with the simple syrup. From there I followed the instructions to a “T”. I wish I was able to post photos here, but alas… I can, however steer you to Instagram, where I did post photos of the finished cherries. Thank you for helping me learn this wonderful new skill!


      • They look great!! You are most welcome!

  8. Can I use unrefined sugar or does it have to be white granulated?

  9. Joanna Wilczoch says

    I have been trying to perfect a maraschino cherry recipe for a couple years and this is exactly the post I needed. Made tons last year and kept them in jars with the syrup (I added some maraschino cherry liquor and almond extract at the end) and they are still awesome. Excited for another cherry season! Thank you for this recipe!

  10. Susie Pedersen says

    Hi I have a lot of sweet Bing and Rainier Cherries ,is it okay to use these to make maraschino cherries? Thanks!

  11. Susie Pedersen says

    I was wondering if I can use fresh bing cherries or Rainier cherries? I have a lot of cherries and I need something to do with them LOL

  12. Hello

    How long do the cherries last once glanced

    And what is the best why to stored them??……..I need to make about 40kg!!

    • Hi Maree – oh my goodness, 40kg!! In order to make the cherries last as long as possible then you really need to dry them naturally at the end of Step 14 in a sterile environment for about 10 days, previous commentators have suggested a not switched on oven, although that might be difficult with 40kg. Then after they are completely dried I store mine is sterilised jars. That way they will last quite a long time (maybe up to 6 months), although I always try to use mine up within about two months.

  13. Hi, I’m planning on following this recipe for Christmas and I was just wondering if brandy could some how be involved?If so, where and how? That would be a nice topping for the trifle…

    • That sounds a lovely idea. You could add the brandy at whatever stage you wanted. You could use brandy instead of the boiling water in step 1 so that the brandy permeates throughout. Or you could just add a few tablespoons of brandy on day 8 and day 10 whilst you are boiling the syrup with the sugar. The brandy should be very easy to incorporate and quite flexible however you choose to use it. Whatever you do, you must not waste that cherry brandy syrup at the end though which would be amazing!! Let me know if you do give it a go and how your trifle turns out!

      • I did something similar to what Fluffy was wondering about. i used these cherries for my Christmas fruitcake and used the cherry syrup + rum, port, and bourbon to baste my cakes. I just got a text from my brother that this was the best fruitcake ever. And you are right, Georgina, there is no comparison to the storebougt fake fruitcake fruit and homemade glaced cherries.

      • I love the idea of using the leftover syrup to baste the cakes Sounds wonderful Christen!!

  14. I love your blog and have been very excited to try this. I have just done Day 7 and as it cools the syrup seems to be solidifying into a giant boiled sweet. It’s not rock solid, rather it’s a bit pliable. Help! Is there anything I can do to rescue it?

    • Hi Maria, I’m not sure why that would have happened. Maybe the temperature of your kitchen is affecting the syrup. The soaking cherries need to be kept somewhere cool and dry. Hopefully you can still strain the cherries out. The good news is that on Day 8 you change the syrup anyway by adding more sugar and heating it back up so that should make the syrup more liquidy. If your cherries are stuck in the syrup then heat up the whole thing and fish the cherries out as soon as they become loose and then carry on with the instructions of Day 8.

  15. Lesley Shneier says

    Hello Georgina, I just made these cherries and they are delicious! Thanks so much for your clear instructions. I added some of the leftover liquid to the pan juices from lamb chops then poured the deliciously sticky sauce over the chops. Wow! They tasted terrific, and got rave reviews from the family!

    I just bought more cherries to make another batch. Can I use the liquid leftover from the first batch or should I start from scratch? Thanks.

    • Hi Lesley, that’s great! You could use the liquid leftover from the first batch but I always like to start afresh. There are so many uses for the leftover cherry syrup that I think it is a bit of a bonus at the end of the recipe. Take a look at my download which you can access beneath the recipe which gives some more ideas how you can use the syrup. Although poured over lamb chops seems like an amazing idea!!

  16. Hello Georgina. This looked so fun that I decided to go for it! And they will be great for the Christmas fruitcake I want to make this month. I just completed the first day of this recipe. I wanted to make a lot so I’ll have some to give away so i quadrupled the recipe. My question is: while they are soaking for 24 hours should they be in the refrigerator? My thought is that the cold may slow down the absorption of the sugar and that the sugar itself would be enough to keep them preserved at room temperature. Do you agree?

    Thank you – Ian

    • Hi Ian, that’s great – I bet they will be very well received! Yes, I completely agree, I don’t bother about refrigerating the cherries whilst they are soaking. If they are just left in a cool part of the kitchen then they will be grand. Good luck!

  17. Annelise Grace says

    Hi Georgina, these look amazing and I look forward to trying this recipe. I’m wondering how long the glace cherries would keep?
    Thanks for your advice, Annelise

    • Hi Annelise, I recently updated the format of this recipe and unfortunately lost all the comments on this topic. However, if stored correctly in sterilised jars the cherries should keep for up to 6 months or maybe even longer. One of the commenters suggested that the cherries should dry naturally after you have completed day 14 at room temperature in a sterile environment for about 10 days (a not switched on oven is perfect) then sterilise a couple of jars to store your cherries in until they are needed.

  18. Rhoda Potter says

    Are they pitted first, or do you cook them with the pits? Will sour cherries work? I’m a bit over-run with Carmine Jewel cherries from my back yard tree at the moment.
    Regards, Rhoda

    • Hi Rhoda, yes you pit them at the beginning and then cook them without the pits. Sour cherries will definitely work, obviously it will be a different flavour profile but they will be amazing!

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