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How to make Cherry Cordials

You can make classic Cherry Cordials at home. Cherries, Kirschwasser, and dark chocolate come together for the ultimate candy treat. Learn how to make the real cordial-syrup filling.

learn how to make cherry cordials

When you bite into a true Cherry Cordial candy you get the snap of real chocolate and a burst of sweet and slightly boozy syrup.

Admittedly, this is a bit of a fussy recipe. Homemade candy will take a little time and attention to get it just right. But, if you’re going to put the time in to make these gems from scratch, you might as well use real chocolate and create the oozy syrupy center that sets this candy apart.

But, if you really want to take a little bit of a shortcut, you can skip the chocolate tempering process by using “candy melts” or “coating chocolate”. I think real chocolate is worth the extra work, but I’m not the recipe police, so take the shortcut if you are so inclined!

Tips for making real Cherry Cordials at home:

  • Soak the cherries in liquor and make the fondant the day before making the candies.
  • The alcohol in the Kirschwasser is what turns the fondant into a syrup. If you don’t want to use alcohol, add 1/4 teaspoon Invertase to the fondant. The invertase will break down the crystals in the fondant, turning it into a syrup just like the alcohol does.
  • Try to wait 2-3 days before serving the Cherry Cordials. This time is needed for the fondant to become a syrup.
  • I truly believe the candies taste best made with real chocolate. But the chocolate must be “tempered” for the best texture. If you want a shortcut, you can use “candy coating” or “coating chocolate” which does not need to be tempered.

Watch the recipe video to see how to make Cherry Cordials:

cherry cordials
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4.85 from 151 reviews

Cherry Cordials Recipe

You can make classic Cherry Cordials at home. Cherries, Kirschwasser, and dark chocolate come together for the ultimate candy treat.
Prep Time2 hours
Bake Time10 minutes
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
36 candies


  • 16 oz maraschino cherries (with stems)
  • 4 oz Kirschwasser (½ cup (see note))
  • 16 oz granulated sugar (2 cups)
  • 4 oz water (½ cup)
  • 3 oz light corn syrup (¼ cup)
  • 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate


  • Drain 16 oz maraschino cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Place the cherries back in the jar and pour 4 oz Kirschwasser over the cherries. Close the jar and set it aside for at least 12 hours, or overnight.
  • Have a food processor set up near the stove. Combine 16 oz granulated sugar, reserved maraschino cherry liquid,4 oz water and 3 oz light corn syrup in a saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Do not stir the syrup once it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium high. Dip a pastry brush in water to clean any splatters from the sides of the pan. Place a thermometer into the syrup and boil until the temperature reaches 240 °F.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the syrup into the food processor. Rinse the thermometer to remove any sugar crystals and set the thermometer into the syrup. Do not disturb the syrup as it cools.
  • Allow the syrup to cool to 120 °F. Remove the thermometer. Process the syrup for 3-4 minutes until it thickens and becomes opaque.
  • Pour the fondant into a microwave safe container. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of water over the fondant to cover the surface. This will prevent it from forming a crust. Cover the container and set aside for several hours or overnight.
  • Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Drain the cherries and blot them dry with paper towels.
  • Warm the fondant in the microwave in 20 second increments until it is a little warmer than body temperature and loosens up enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon. Don't let the fondant get warmer than 160 °F or you'll loose the crystals.
  • Use the stem to lift a cherry and dip it into the fondant, covering the cherry up to the stem. Hold the cherry over the bowl to allow the excess fondant to drip back into the bowl. Set the cherry onto one of the lined sheet pans. Continue dipping all the cherries. You may need to rewarm the fondant if it becomes too thick to dip. You can sprinkle a few drops of water to loosen up the fondant if needed. Don't add too much water or the fondant won't stick to the cherries. Set the cherries aside to dry while you temper the chocolate. Visit this post to see how to temper chocolate.
  • Lift a cherry by the stem and dip it into the chocolate, covering all the fondant and going a little up the base of the stem. Hold the cherry over the bowl to allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.
  • Set the cherry onto the other lined sheet pan. Continue dipping all the cherries. Allow the chocolate set completely before packing the cherries into a covered container. Store at room temperature. The fondant layer needs a couple of days to melt and become the cordial syrup. Wait at least 2 days before serving


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The Kirschwasser not only adds the “cordial” to the candy, but it also turns the fondant into a syrup. If you don’t want to use alcohol, add 1/4 teaspoon Invertase to the fondant. The invertase will break down the crystals in the fondant, turning it into a syrup just like the alcohol does.


Serving: 1each | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Make Cherry Cordials at home for a special treat. Real dark chocolate, Kirschwasser and cherries make a perfect Cherry Cordial with a syrupy center.  #candy #how to #video #homemade #liquor #boozy #maraschino #real #classic
Recipe Rating


Friday 25th of August 2023

Note quite sure what I'm doing wrong compared to others, but my fondant mixture is a sticky pink mess, close to a consistency you would get before making a hard candy. It won't work in the food processor, I've nearly burned the engine out on it, so I can't get it opaque. Did too much water cook off it as it got to 240? Something else?  

Eileen Gray

Friday 25th of August 2023

If it's hardening up too much the temp may have gone over the soft ball stage. Once the syrup is at temp it needs to come off the heat immediately. Did you watch the video to see how the syrup looks when it comes off the stove and runs in the processor?


Saturday 12th of August 2023

FONDONT: I follow the instructions to the boiling to the cooling to the food processor to putting the 2 tablespoons of water. Everything seem like it was going great then when I heated the fondant up for 20 seconds, and I dip the cherries perfect but then the fondant stayed on the cherries, and I let them dry. Unfortunately, when I picked the cherry up, all of the fondant came off. What did I do wrong that would cause that I normally do the fondant with corn syrup, powdered sugar, condensed sweetened milk, and then I wrap them so I saved myself by doing that, but I really would like to try it your way.

Eileen Gray

Sunday 13th of August 2023

I'm not sure if you're asking a question.


Sunday 18th of December 2022

Mine taste strongly of alcohol, will the flavor mellow as they age?

Liz webb

Thursday 15th of December 2022

I made my fondant this evening’s I brought the temperature up to 240. I did not stir it once it started boiling and immediately put it into the food processor and cleaned my thermometer off before putting it in the food processor and allowed it to cool to 120. I started the food processor for initially four minutes and did not feel that it was opaque so I ran it for several minutes more. I finally got to wear, appeared to look like an opaque but it wasn’t near as white as yours, I went ahead and put it in a bowl and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons water on it and it’s in the fridge now I don’t think it’s as thick as it’s supposed to be. Any suggestions? I had red one lady said hurts, got too thick well mine was like cherry Jell-O when it was first started very cherry colored and very transparent. I now have kind of a pink what looks to be like a thicker set Jell-O, but definitely not like yours where it looks more like the consistency of pudding. If it’s not set up by tomorrow, I’m gonna go buy another jar of cordials so I can get the juice and wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions trying to get these done and let the alcohol do it’s thing so I can have them for Christmas

Liz webb

Monday 12th of December 2022

I read your other responses but still have questions, I am ordering the invertase tonight from Amazon from the link on your site, is that added into the fondant after it has cooled , do I stir it in just after pouring into microwave safe container. Also once the cherries have had the liquid removed and put back into the jar if I am understanding there will be nothing added, so I am assuming that eliminates the 12 hour wait time since I am not using alcohol

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

I would add the invertase when you reheat the fondant for dipping the cherries (step 7). Yes, if you are not using the alcohol you can skip the 12 hour wait. But you do need to give the fondant an overnight rest to get it to set properly.