Cherries Jubilee

Cherries jubilee is the easiest classic dessert you'll ever make and is one of my favorites around the holidays. This simple dessert comes together in just 15 minutes and is a great way to add a little something extra to your celebration dessert line up!
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves: 8 servings
Tall glass filled with ice cream and cherries jubilee

This cherries jubilee recipe is an old-fashioned, boozy dessert topping made with sautéed fresh ripe cherries, sugar, and spirits. Ladle this easy cherry sauce over some creamy vanilla ice cream, serve with angel food cake, or spread it over a cheesecake. This is the perfect dessert to make for dinner guests or any celebration!Tall glass filled with ice cream and cherries jubilee

When I first heard of cherries jubilee, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like it. I mean boozy cherries can sometimes just taste like medicine, but it was a surprisingly delicious dessert! Cherries with a hint of rum flavor in the sweet cherry syrup. Sweet and tart, hot and cold, a bright, fun, and easy dessert! It’s now a family tradition to flambé a dessert on New Year’s Eve.

Cherry Jubilee Ingredientsbowls of ingredients for cherries jubilee on a table

Cherries – If you are able to find fresh cherries in season, late spring around here, then those are a great choice for this dessert. Traditionally the original recipe is made with sour cherries, but those can be harder to find fresh. I opted for frozen cherries because they are easy to find when cherries aren’t in season. Frozen cherries are picked and flash-frozen to preserve the fresh seasonal flavor. Sour Cherries, sweet cherries, and bing cherries will all work for this recipe. It would be fun to use many varieties together!

Kirsch and Rum – The alcohol in this recipe is necessary if you want to flambé it. That is the only way to achieve the delightful ending with the beautiful flames in the sauté pan. The kirsch is a cherry liqueur made from distilling morello cherries, originating in Germany. Rum is a liquor made from distilling sugarcane molasses. Both highlight the cherry and caramel sugar flavors in this dessert.

Lemon juice – The acid of the lemon brightens the flavor of the cherry and brightens the color, keeping it a vibrant red. It balances the sweet sauce of sugar and sweet alcohol. Orange juice or another citrus could be used in place of lemon juice.

How to Make Cherries Jubilee

  1. If you’re using fresh cherries, remove the pits with a cherry pitter.using a cherry pitter to remove the pit from cherries
  2. Add the cherries, brown sugar, and lemon juice to a large pan and begin cooking over medium heat. Stir occasionally while the cherries start to release their juices and the sugar begins to dissolve.hand pouring a bowl of lemon juice into a pot with cherries
  3. Once the cherries have created a syrup, add the kirsch and rum to the pan.hand pouring a bowl of rum into a pot with cherries
  4. Ignite the cherries with a long lighter or long fireplace match, to keep your hand further from the flame.long lighter flambéing cherries in a pan
  5. Gently shake the pan while the flame burns, exposing more of the alcohol to the flame. Keep the cherries moving gently (don’t splash them out), until the flame extinguishes itself.pan of cherries jubilee on a stove
  6. Stir together and immediately spoon the cherries and syrup over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve.spoon adding cherries jubilee to a scoop of ice cream
  7. It’s best served immediately after making, but leftover cherry jubilee can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Tips for Flambéing

The flames ignite quickly and can get pretty high. Please prepare your space and clear any flammable things around the cooktop before igniting the cherries. After the large flame dies down, there will be a smaller flame closer to the surface that will continue to burn for a few more seconds. Shake or stir the pan to expose more of the alcohol to the flame.

The longer the flame burns the more of the raw alcohol flavor will cook off and the sugars will caramelize and the entertainment will last a little longer! The flame will eventually extinguish when there is no more alcohol to burn. First and foremost please plan ahead and take safety precautions when working with fire. Nothing ruins a party like a burn on your hand or a kitchen fire.cherries jubilee in a large saucepan resting on a table

FAQ

Where did cherries jubilee originate?

This dessert was created by French chef Auguste Escoffier for Queen Victoria, for her Diamond Jubilee in the late 1800s. It is definitely a dessert for a party! This dessert even has its own day, National Cherries Jubilee Day is September 24th. I guess that’s a great day to make it too!

What is cherry jubilee made of?

Cherries jubilee is traditionally made with cherries, sugar, sometimes lemon juice, rum, and Kirsch, which is a type of cherry brandy. It’s often served on top of ice cream as a fun party dessert.

Can you make other types of jubilee?

You could use any fruit to flambé, this dessert reminds me of bananas foster and crepe Suzette, which entails sautéing fruit with alcohol and then lighting it with a flame and letting the alcohol cook off. They are a lot of fun to make for a crowd. Often restaurants will serve a flambé dessert table side so the guest can experience the cooking process and eat it while it’s still hot over cold ice cream.

Can I leave the alcohol out?

Yes, I know that when serving this dessert to children the addition of alcohol is questionable. When the cherries are flambéd it does cook off most of the alcohol but technically, not all of it. You can leave the alcohol out and substitute 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of orange juice, apple juice, or cherry juice if you can find it. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and just let the cherries cook in the syrup until softened, the sugar dissolves and the syrup reduces a little.

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Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
Tall glass filled with ice cream and cherries jubilee

Cherries Jubilee

Cherries jubilee is the easiest classic dessert you'll ever make and is one of my favorites around the holidays. This simple dessert comes together in just 15 minutes and is a great way to add a little something extra to your celebration dessert line up!
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Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves: 8 servings
Calories: 192kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (16 ounces) cherries fresh or frozen and pitted
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) kirsch cherry liquor
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) dark rum
  • vanilla ice cream for serving

Equipment

  • 1 Large saucepan
  • 1 long lighter or match

Instructions

  • If you're using fresh cherries, remove the pits with a cherry pitter.
  • Add the cherries, brown sugar, and lemon juice to a large pan and begin cooking over medium heat. Stir occasionally while the cherries start to release their juices and the sugar begins to dissolve.
  • Once the cherries have created a syrup, add the kirsch and rum to the pan.
  • Ignite the cherries with a long lighter or long fireplace match, to keep your hand further from the flame.
  • Gently shake the pan while the flame burns, exposing more of the alcohol to the flame. Keep the cherries moving gently (don’t splash them out), until the flame extinguishes itself.
  • Stir together and immediately spoon the cherries and syrup over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve.
  • It's best served immediately after making, but leftover cherry jubilee can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Notes

  1. You can leave the alcohol out and substitute 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup of orange juice, apple juice, or cherry juice if you can find it. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and just let the cherries cook in the syrup until softened, the sugar dissolves and the syrup reduces a little.
  2. Please prepare your space and clear any flammable things around the cooktop before igniting the cherries. After the large flame dies down, there will be a smaller flame closer to the surface that will continue to burn for a few more seconds. Shake or stir the pan to expose more of the alcohol to the flame.
  3. The longer the flame burns the more of the raw alcohol flavor will cook off and the sugars will caramelize and the entertainment will last a little longer! The flame will eventually extinguish when there is no more alcohol to burn. First and foremost please plan ahead and take safety precautions when working with fire. Nothing ruins a party like a burn on your hand or a kitchen fire.
  4. Fresh or frozen cherries will work for this. Frozen cherries are picked at the peak of ripeness and flash-frozen to preserve the fresh seasonal flavor. Sour Cherries, sweet cherries, and bing cherries will all work for this recipe. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2ounces | Calories: 192kcal (10%) | Carbohydrates: 31g (10%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 4g (6%) | Saturated Fat: 2g (10%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg (5%) | Sodium: 30mg (1%) | Potassium: 214mg (6%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 28g (31%) | Vitamin A: 175IU (4%) | Vitamin C: 6mg (7%) | Calcium: 61mg (6%) | Iron: 0.3mg (2%)
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