These ridiculously good Chocolate Cherry Brownies combine the richness of chocolate with the sweetness of cherries. A classic flavour combination that works every time. These gooey, fudgy brownies will have you sneaking a second before you know it!
Brownies, bars and slices are hands down a favourite treat in our household. I liken my girls to a flock of seagulls at the seaside when brownies are in the house! The minute they get a whiff of Salted Caramel Brownies, Dark Chocolate Walnut Blondies or Chocolate Raspberry Crumble Bars ... they come running!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Chocolate factor. Using both melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder in the brownies makes these brownies next level decadent
- Year-round. When cherries go out of season, then just use tinned cherries. There's no stopping you from eating these all year long!
- Quick and easy to make. These chocolate cherry brownies really don't take long to make at all. Bonus when you have a chocolate craving!
- Perfect for all occasions. Bring to a picnic, serve at afternoon tea or top with ice cream for an end of meal dessert - these brownies are versatile for any occasion.
Chocolate cherry brownies
- Chocolate: Use as good a quality dark chocolate as you can get. When heroing an ingredient it really will make the difference. My preference is 70% dark chocolate.
- Butter: unsalted is best but if you use salted then omit the salt later on.
- Sugar: granulated or caster sugar - either will do.
- Eggs & Vanilla Extract: The eggs bind the ingredients together but also adds fudginess and richness to the brownies and the extract adds more flavour
- Dry ingredients: Plain Flour, Cocoa Powder, baking powder and salt. It's best to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder over natural cocoa powder as it helps in producing fudgier brownies. You can read more about the two different types of Cocoa Powder from an interesting article written by Cooks Illustrated.
- Cherries: Tinned Pitted Black Cherries and Fresh Cherries are both used. You can use just tinned, just fresh or even frozen cherries if you like.
- Cherry Juice & Powdered Icing Sugar: The juice is saved from the tin of black cherries, and when mixed in with the icing sugar and makes the most beautifully coloured glaze that tastes great too.
The process of making chocolate and cherry brownies is lovely and simple, so let's see how we make them.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
1. Preheat oven and prepare pan. Turn the oven on to 180°C (350°F) and line a 23cm (9-inch) square baking pan with parchment paper (this will make it easier for you to remove the brownies once cooled)
2. Melt the chocolate and butter. I use a bain-marie to melt these two ingredients. Simply place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bottom doesn’t touch though. (Image 1). Stir continuously until the chocolate has fully melted. (Image 2)
TIP: You can use the microwave for this step if you’d pref. Heat the butter and chocolate in 20-second increments in the microwave, stirring in between each burst. Continue until all the chocolate and butter has melted.
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together until it's visibly paler and thicker. I use an electric stand mixer but feel free to use a handheld electric whisk or whisk by hand. (Image 3)
Add chocolate. Whilst still whisking, add in the melted chocolate and whisk until combined.
4. Sift in dry ingredients and add cherries. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt (Image 4)
Add cherries. Strain the tinned cherries, reserving the juice. Add the cherries to the batter. (Image 5) and fold through gently with a rubber spatula until a few streaks remain. Don’t over mix otherwise you might deflate the eggs.
5. Pour into the pan and bake. Pour batter into a square baking pan lined with greaseproof paper and smooth out with an offset spatular. (Image 6)
Add fresh cherries. Dot the whole or halved fresh cherries over the top of the batter, gently pushing them in slightly. (Image 7). Bake for 22 minutes until set around the edges but a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remember - the brownie will continue to bake when it’s out of the oven. (Image 8)
1. Whisk the cherry glaze. Add the reserved cherry juice and powdered icing sugar together to make a glaze with drip consistency (Image 9). Drizzle glaze all over your brownies, before or after you cut them into squares.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar till pale. We really want to incorporate lots of air into the eggs and sugar as this helps form a shiny crust.
- Fold the dry ingredients gently. You don't want to knock out that lovely air in the whisked eggs.
- Don't over bake. Really keep an eye on them in the oven. If you bake them for too long then the brownie will turn cakey, rather than have that soft interior.
Frequently asked questions
Whether you use dark at 70% or dark at 90% or even milk chocolate... your brownies will still turn out delicious. It’s a personal preference. I go in the middle with 70% as I find the sweetness of the sugar balances out the darkness of the chocolate. At 90%, the chocolate becomes too bitter for me.
You can use milk chocolate also but it will add to the sweetness. (No surprises that my kids' favourite brownies are those made with milk chocolate!
There are two different camps in the world of brownies: cakey vs fudgy. The difference between the two is the ratio of fat to flour. Team cakey will have more flour and Team fudgy, less flour. There’s no right or wrong way. Depends on what you fancy on the day I guess.
Bake time has a major impact on end result, if you underbake the brownies then they’ll be way TOO gooey in the centre. Overbake them and they turn cakey.
How to find that fine balance? Use the toothpick method. Insert the toothpick into the centre of the brownie when you think it should be done. When pulled out it should have a few moist crumbs stuck to it. Also, the brownie will continue to bake until it cools down.
Tip 1: Let them cool down completely and then refrigerate to set.
Tip 2: Cut with a hot, sharp knife. Dip the knife into hot water and then carefully wipe dry before slicing. For every cut, dip the knife into the water.
Yes of course. Any way of getting that amazing cherry flavour into a brownie is a bonus!! There’s no need to thaw the cherries before using them. Just throw them straight in from the freezer. Make note though that you’ll have to increase the cooking time a bit as the frozen cherries will add moisture to the batter as they thaw whilst baking.
How to store and freeze
To store: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
To freeze: Brownies freeze for up to 3 months. Wrap the squares individually in baking paper and then store them in an airtight container. Thaw a square overnight in the fridge and bring to room temp or microwave to make warm before serving.
Tools you’ll need
- 23cm (9-inch) square baking pan: Ther perfect size for these brownies. Use a 20cm (8-inch) square baking pan if you like but the brownies will be quite a bit thicker and your baking time will need to be increased.
- Hand-held beaters: Whipping air into the eggs and sugar is key to get the brownie top.
More chocolate and cherry recipes
If you tried these Chocolate Cherry Brownies or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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This post was originally published in July 2019 but has been updated with new photos and content.
Chocolate Cherry Brownies Recipe
Chocolate cherry brownies
- 230 g unsalted butter
- 200 g dark chocolate 70%, chopped
- 200 g caster sugar (superfine)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 45 g cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 425 g pitted black cherries, strained, separate the juice and cherries
- 110 g fresh cherries, pitted, and halved or whole
- 40 g dark chocolate chips, optional
- 30-45 ml cherry juice , from tin of black cherries
- 180 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted
Chocolate cherry brownies
- Preheat oven and prepare pan. Turn the oven on to 180°C (350°F) and line a 23cm (9-inch) square baking pan with parchment paper (this will make it easier for you to remove the brownies once cooled)
- Melt the chocolate and butter. Set a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water making sure not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Place the butter and chocolate into the bowl and stir until melted. Remove bowl from the saucepan and set to one side for the chocolate to cool slightly. Alternatively, place in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 10-second intervals stirring between bursts until melted.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar. In a medium bowl, using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg, sugar and vanilla extract on high speed until pale and fluffy, for about 3 minutes. This step can be done by hand- it might take a while though to achieve that pale yellow fluffy consistency that you are after!Add chocolate. Whilst continuing to whisk on low, slowly pour in the melted chocolate then mix until just combined
- Sift in dry ingredients and add cherries. Then sift into the mixing bowl the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl. Fold through until a few flour streaks remain.
- Add cherries. Strain the tinned cherries, reserving the juice. Add the cherries to the batter. and fold through gently with a rubber spatula. Don’t over mix otherwise you might deflate the eggs.
- Pour into pan, add fresh cherries and bake. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth flat with an offset spatula. Distribute fresh cherries over the top. Bake for 22-27 minutes until set around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cook for 5 more minutes if a more set centre is preferred.Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes. Use the parchment paper sling to gently lift the brownie out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool before cutting.
- Make the glaze. Stir the powdered icing sugar and 2 tablespoon of the cherry juice leftover from the tinned cherries and mix until combined. If the glaze is too thick, add a teaspoon of juice at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the chocolate brownies and serve! Enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.