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Horizontal image of a jar full of preserved cherries in syrup topped with a stick of cinnamon and star anise.

Homemade Maraschino Cherries

  • Author: Felicia Lim
  • Total Time: 3 days, 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


A sweet topping for any dessert, these homemade maraschino cherries are tart yet sweet, and flavored with citrus and spices.


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 large lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup juice)
  • 1 large navel orange, peeled and juiced (about 1/2 cup juice)
  • 1 pound whole fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted (Bing, Rainier, Black)


  1. Combine the water, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, star anise pod, lemon juice, orange juice, and orange peel in a large skillet. Heat the skillet over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and allow the ingredients to gently simmer until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cherries, and let the mixture simmer on low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced enough to the consistency of a thin syrup.
  4. Once the syrup is ready, immediately pour the mixture into a large, heatproof bowl. Allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once cooled, remove and dispose of the spices and citrus peel. Transfer the ingredients to a clean large glass jar or airtight container and cover tightly. Place the jar or container in the refrigerator and let them soak for at least three days before consuming.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Fruit
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Condiment

Keywords: maraschino, cherries