Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials
It’s easy to make Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials at home, and so much fun! This sweet treat is a beautiful addition to any holiday table and is perfect for gifting – especially fun for Christmas and Valentine’s Day!
Easy Chocolate Cherry Cordials
This Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials recipe comes from my aunt Patsy’s recipe box. She’s been making this festive little treat ever since I can remember – it’s a longtime family favorite!
This recipe features maraschino cherries wrapped in a buttery fondant-like dough, then dipped in chocolate. It’s like the ones you see in boxes at the store during the Christmas and Valentine’s Day holidays – except this homemade cherry cordial recipe is SO MUCH BETTER!
When you bite into one of these beauties, the chocolate cracks ever so slightly and gives way to a tender, juicy sweet cherry inside. It’s pretty wonderful.
Cordial cherries are actually one of the easiest holiday candy recipes I know. Don’t let their beauty fool you into thinking they’re difficult to make!
This sweet treat makes a beautiful addition to any holiday table and is perfect for gifting – especially fun for Christmas and Valentine’s Day!
What is a Cherry Cordial?
A cherry cordial can refer to two things – a cherry cocktail with warm spices like cardamom and cinnamon, or a confectionary treat with a maraschino cherry tucked inside a chocolate shell.
We’re talking about the dessert in this post, not the drink.
These cherry cordials are maraschino cherries that are wrapped in a buttery dough that softens at room temperature, then encased with a hard chocolate shell. When you bite into them, you get the light crunch of the chocolate shell, the softened fondant, and the sweet, juicy cherry.
Is There Alcohol In A Cherry Cordial?
Many chocolate covered cherry cordial recipes let the maraschino cherries soak in some kind of liqueur first (hence the name “cordial”), but this recipe is alcohol-free, for all to enjoy.
What’s The White Stuff In A Cherry Cordial?
The white stuff is a fondant-like dough that wraps around the cherry. It’s very simple, made with butter and confectioner’s sugar, plus a little corn syrup and salt.
Depending on the temperature of the cherry cordial, the white stuff may or may not be liquidy.
If you eat the cherry cordial straight from the fridge or freezer, the white layer will be solid.
However, if you let the cherry cordial sit out at room temperature for awhile, that white layer becomes lusciously soft. It’s beautiful when it mingles with the sweet cherry’s juice!
Is A Cherry Cordial The Same As a Chocolate Covered Cherry?
Not quite. Cherry cordials are dipped in chocolate but they also feature the sweet fondant that chocolate covered cherries do not.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need just 7 ingredients to make this classic holiday treat at home. Scroll down to the recipe box below for measurements.
- Unsalted butter – Use room temperature butter.
- Light corn syrup – This helps to create the luscious, liquidy texture in the sweet fondant.
- Powdered sugar – Mixed with the corn syrup to create the sweet, pliable fondant.
- Maraschino cherries – If your cherries have stems, remove and discard them. Although, if you wanted to leave the stems on, that would be pretty, too! You can hold onto the stem when you dip the fondant-covered cherries into the melted chocolate. (However cherries without the stems are easier to store.)
- Chocolate – I use a combination of unsweetened chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips to create the chocolate coating. Be sure to use quality chocolate. I like to use the Guittard brand.
- Paraffin – Paraffin (affiliate link) can be found in the baking aisle and helps to stabilize the chocolate coating. It gives that lovely little “crack” when you bite into the treat.
Can I Skip The Paraffin?
I don’t recommend skipping the paraffin, as it adds both a sheen and a stable quality to the chocolate shell on the cordials.
I did experiment with reducing the amount and using other chocolate mixtures without the addition of paraffin. Out of all the variations I tried, I really do like the texture and stability of the small amount of paraffin used in this recipe.
How to Make Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials
Here’s how to make your homemade cherry cordials.
- Make the fondant dough. Mix the butter, corn syrup, salt, and powdered sugar. Knead until completely smooth.
- Drain the cherries. Drain all juice from the maraschino cherries and dry them on a paper towel-lined platter.
- Wrap the cherries. Flatten about a teaspoon of the dough into a circle and shape around the cherry. It’s very easy to work with – our daughters liked to help with this step when they were very young. Repeat with all of the cherries, placing them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
- Chill. Chill the wrapped cherries in the fridge for at least a few hours.
- Melt the chocolate. Heat the chocolate and paraffin using a double boiler (or set a heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water). Stir until the ingredients are about 75% melted. Remove from heat and stir until melted and smooth. This will ensure that the chocolate doesn’t get too hot.
- Dip the cherries. Drop the chilled, wrapped cherries into the melted chocolate. Roll the cherry to cover it completely, lift out with two forks, letting any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Repeat with all cherries.
- Let set. Let the chocolate set completely then enjoy!
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making these chocolate cordial cherries.
- Dry the cherries well. Be sure to drain and dry the cherries with a paper towel before wrapping them in the dough. This helps the dough stick better.
- Chill the dough if needed. If the dough is too soft, place it in the refrigerator to chill for a bit.
- Take care not to burn the chocolate. The key to melting the chocolate is to do it slowly. For the best results, keep the water in the double boiler at a simmer, stir the chocolate frequently, and remove the bowl from the heat once the chocolate is nearly all melted – then keep stirring until it’s completely melted.
Cordial cherries are best served at room temperature.
After sitting at room temperature for awhile, the fondant will soften and the cherries will become juicier. (The bitten-in-half cherry cordial in the photos shows the dough while it was still chilled, so the fondant hadn’t softened and the cherries weren’t as juicy.)
I like to add these to holiday dessert platters and serve them for special meals. They’re perfect for Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and make a beautiful edible gift for a special someone!
How to Store
Chocolate cherry cordials will keep well in the fridge for a few weeks. Once the chocolate has set on the baking sheet, transfer them to an airtight container. Keep chilled until just before serving. Then let them sit out, to come to room temperature before eating.
Can I Freeze Cherry Cordials?
Yes, you can also freeze these. Once the chocolate has set, transfer the cherries to an airtight container. Separate layers with wax paper or parchment paper to prevent them from sticking. Thaw in the fridge or allow them to sit on the counter at room temperature before enjoying.
More Classic Christmas Recipes:
- Ritz Cracker Toffee
- Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge
- Chocolate Caramels
- Oreo Truffles
- Peppermint Bark
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Rocky Road Fudge
- Buttercrunch Toffee
- Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
- Cranberry Christmas Cake with Butter Cream Sauce
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Caramel Corn
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies
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- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- about 60 maraschino cherries, any stems removed
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Guittard)
- a 1" x 2" x 3/4" piece of paraffin, found in the baking aisle *
- In a large bowl, mix the butter, corn syrup, salt, and powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Then knead until completely smooth. If the dough is too soft, place it in the refrigerator to chill for a bit.
- Flatten a slightly mounded teaspoon of dough into a circle and shape it around each cherry. If you have very large cherries, you will probably need to use a bit more dough.
- Place dough wrapped cherries on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
- Drain cherries and place them on a paper towel lined pan to dry. Patsy always uses the cherries without stems. I experimented with both stemmed and stemless. The stemmed cherries take just a tiny bit more time to wrap with the dough, but a bit less time to dip in the chocolate. And they definitely have a different look, making for a really fun presentation. But I usually make mine without stems because they're easier to store.
- Place chocolates and paraffin in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have it). Stirring gently, heat until ingredients are about 75% melted. Remove bowl from heat and set on a kitchen towel on the countertop; continue to stir until completely melted.
- One at a time, drop a chilled dough-wrapped cherry into the melted chocolate. Use two forks to quickly roll the cherry in the chocolate to cover it completely. Lift chocolate covered cherry out of the chocolate by setting it on top of one fork's tines, and then tapping the fork gently on the side of the bowl, letting excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Then scrape the bottom of the fork along the rim of the bowl, removing the final excess chocolate.
- Set chocolate covered cherry on a wax paper or parchment paper lined pan, using a toothpick to gently scrape it onto the wax paper. Repeat the chocolate dipping process until all chocolate covered cherry cordials are created.
These keep well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Or in the freezer long-term, just be sure to chill them on the wax paper lined pan in the refrigerator first. Then transfer to an airtight container and separate layers with wax paper. To ensure juicy cordials when serving, be sure to remove them from the refrigerator or freezer to let them sit at room temperature for awhile. The cherries will get juicier with time, and having them at room temperature makes them juicier, too.
The original recipe that my aunt Patsy uses calls for paraffin. She likes the sheen and the stable quality it gives to the chocolate shell on the cherry cordials, but said she has been reducing the amount she uses over the years. I experimented a bit with reducing the paraffin even more, and using other chocolate mixtures without the addition of paraffin. I really do like the texture and stability of the recipe that I have shared with you here the best, using a smaller amount of paraffin. I also tried a mixture of 1 pound good quality dark chocolate and 2 tablespoons shortening, which still offered a nice sheen - but the chocolate shell was noticeably softer, without the "crack" when you bite into the cherry cordial. Another solution would be to use a mixture of 8 ounces chocolate flavored almond bark and 8 ounces good quality dark chocolate. The almond bark helps to keep the chocolate shell harder, offering some additional stability and a bit of that desirable "crack".
Adapted from my aunt Patsy’s recipe box, originally from her friend and neighbor, Teresa Schiltz.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 60 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published in 2014, and then updated in 2022.