This post was created as in partnership with Imperial Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Rich, chocolatey and studded with fresh cherries, these Cherry Brownies are perfect for the cherry chocolate lover in your life! If you enjoy Black Forest Cake, you are sure to love these brownies!

An image of cherry brownies next to fresh cherries.

Table of Contents
  1. What You'll Need
  2. How to Make Cherry Brownies
  3. Recipe FAQ's
  4. Tips for Success
  5. Serving Ideas
  6. Storage and Freezing Instructions
  7. More Brownie Recipes

I look forward to cherry season all year! They are one of our favorite fruits - so juicy, tart, and sweet. We usually just eat our fresh cherries out of hand rather than baking with them because I generally prefer tart cherries for baking, but I wanted to try making these cherry brownies with some of the first fresh cherries of the season this year and I loved how they turned out!

I have made cherry brownies in the past by swirling in a can of cherry pie filling, but it made the brownies a bit too cakey for me. Instead, using fresh cherries results in a very unique brownie that is still fudgy and dense with chewy, sweet pieces of cherry baked into it.

Every time you bite into them you get that mix of fruit and chocolate that is so delicious! If you have had dried cherries covered in dark chocolate, it's very much like that but in brownie form.

If you love cherry dessert mash-ups, be sure to also check out our Black Forest Cheesecake, Cherry Pie Bars, and Cherry Crisp Cake!

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Bittersweet chocolate - You could use semisweet chocolate here as well. Bittersweet chocolate has slightly less sugar and slightly more cocoa powder so it gives a deeper flavor, but for baking they are usually interchangeable.
  • Salted butter
  • Unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • Sugar - You'll use both granulated sugar and brown sugar in these brownies for the best depth of flavor without sacrificing the crackly top from too much moisture.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour - Just enough to give the brownies some structure without making them too cake-like.
  • Salt
  • Chocolate chips - There is already plenty of chocolate in these brownies, so you could skip the semisweet chocolate chips if you wanted to but we love the extra richness they give to the brownies.
  • Fresh cherries - I used fresh dark cherries for these brownies, but any sweet cherry will work.
Cherry brownies ingredients in separate bowls.

How to Make Cherry Brownies

  1. Melt butter and chocolate. Combine these two ingredients in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl and heat them in 20 second intervals, stirring between each burst of heat, until melted and smooth. Add cocoa powder and whisk together to combine.
  1. Whisk in sugars and eggs. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, then whisk well to combine. The mixture will be gritty, but that's totally okay. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract using some muscle power to really beat in those eggs. That's the secret to the shiny, crackly top on the brownies. This can also be done with a hand mixer.
  1. Fold in flour and salt. Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon to stir this in. It's okay if there are a few streaks of flour remaining.
  2. Add cherries and chocolate chips. Fold in the pitted and halved cherries and chocolate chips. I like to reserve a few cherry halves for pressing into the top of the brownie batter just to make it look pretty.
  1. Spread in pan. Line a 9x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper so it's easier to remove the brownies and cut them cleanly when they are done. Spread the brownie batter into the prepared pan and press a few reserved cherry half or chocolate chips into the batter.
  2. Bake. Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree F preheated oven until a toothpick or skewer comes out with just a few crumbs. Be careful not to overbake the brownies so they stay nice and fudgy.
  1. Cool then cut. Once the brownies have cooled completely, lift them out of the baking dish using the parchment paper sling and slice them into 16 squares.
Cherry brownies cut into sixteen squares.

Be sure to visit Imperial Sugar's site for the FULL RECIPE and instructions.

Recipe FAQ's

Can I use frozen cherries?

Yes, you can use frozen cherries if fresh cherries aren't in season or otherwise unavailable, although you will have the best results with fresh cherries.

Can I make this recipe with maraschino cherries?

Sure! They have a different taste and texture than dark sweet cherries, but there is no reason why maraschino cherries wouldn't work in these brownies.

Can these be made gluten-free?

Yes! Just swap your favorite gluten-free baking flour replacement with the all-purpose flour in this recipe and you will have delicious gluten-free cherry brownies.

Tips for Success

  • Don't overbake. The biggest mistake I see most people make when making brownies is to overbake them. You aren't actually looking for a toothpick to come out clean, which will indicate the brownies are overbaked and likely dry. Instead, you want some crumbs sticking to the tester. If it's wet from batter, keep baking the brownies for a couple minutes longer, but try to remove the brownies from the oven while they are still moist inside.
  • Let the brownies cool completely. It's painful to wait for the brownies to cool, but it not only makes it easier to cut them but the flavor develops more so they taste better once they have had a chance to cool completely. You can always rewarm in the microwave for a few seconds before enjoying if you like warm brownies.
  • Slice with a plastic knife. If you haven't already heard this trick, it really does work well! A plastic knife will result in cleaner cuts than a regular knife, so it can be helpful to keep some on hand for slicing your brownies.

Serving Ideas

Of course these brownies are insanely delicious all on their own or with a tall glass of cold milk. But they also make a fantastic base for a brownie sundae with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some homemade whipped cream, and some hot fudge or chocolate syrup drizzled on top.

You can also use these brownies to make a trifle by layering it with pudding or whipped cream and fresh fruit in a trifle dish. Or bake them thin in a 9x13-inch pan, then sandwich some ice cream between two of the thin brownie squares for cherry brownie ice cream sandwiches!

Storage and Freezing Instructions

Store the cooled brownies in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the brownies for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter for a few hours before enjoying.

Be sure to stop by Imperial Sugar's site for the FULL RECIPE. I have partnered with them now for a few years and love their products for my baking needs!

More Brownie Recipes

Stacked cherry brownies next to fresh cherries in front of a bowl of cherries and a jar of milk.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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