Dense, fudgy, chewy, chocolate cherry brownies! These decadent brownies are a delicious combination of fresh, juicy cherries and chocolate!
I like to take advantage of seasonal fruit because I think they make desserts fresher and full of flavor. Like these Strawberry Cups, this amazing fresh Blueberry pie, this fresh Strawberry Charlotte Cake, Lemon Pomegranate Cake, Apple Streusel Muffins, Apple Rose Tart with Dulce De Leche, Kolokithopita Greek Pumpkin Hand Pies, and Chocolate Pomegranate Bark.
I think all these desserts have a more intense flavor because of the fresh fruit that’s in them.
That’s why I wanted to experiment making something with chocolate and fresh cherries. I really love the combination! They both pair so well together! This recipe is adapted from my Classic Homemade Brownies from Scratch and I think it’s great!
What do these brownies taste like?
These brownies are so good! The fresh cherries make them really moist inside! I think they’re a perfect combination of sweet and tart!
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
The ribbon stage technique. These brownies are made using an incredible technique known as the ribbon stage! Basically, you beat the eggs and sugar together until everything doubles in volume and looks like thick cake batter. This technique gives the brownies the most wonderful texture and thickness!
Intense Chocolate Flavor. The combination of melted chocolate in the batter with extra chunks on top results in really ooey, gooey, chewy brownies!
Super simple recipe. These brownies are so easy to make, they’re practically foolproof and so much better than store-bought!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHERRY BROWNIES
Flour & baking powder: I use all-purpose flour as well as some baking powder.
Cherries: I use fresh sweet cherries called Regina, but you could use any variety, really!
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: I use Dutch-process cocoa powder, because it has a more intense flavor, but you could use natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
Chocolate: I use good quality dark or baking chocolate both in the batter and on the top of it. You can also use bittersweet chocolate.
Sugar & salt: I use brown sugar which gives a nice mild caramel flavor and it also helps make the brownies moist. You could definitely use white sugar, instead. Salt always enhances the brownies.
Cognac: I use a small amount to soak the cherries in.
Coffee Powder: I use a little bit of coffee because it boosts the chocolate flavor, but you don’t taste the coffee at all!
Eggs: I use 3 whole eggs.
ADD-INS & VARIATIONS
Here are a few ideas to take these chocolate cherry brownies to a whole new level!
- After you pour the batter into the pan, you can add a few more cherries on the top.
- For a nice texture, you could add some chopped walnuts, pecans, or your favorite nuts.
- Instead of dark chocolate chunks on top, why not add some crushed Oreo cookies or mint chocolate candies?
- I really love these brownies when I drizzle some luscious homemade chocolate syrup on top!
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHERRY BROWNIES
Remove the stems and pits from the cherries. I use a metal cherry/olive pitter to do this, but if you don’t have one, you can use a straw or wooden skewer. Just push it through where the stem was until the pit pops out. Alternatively, you could use a knife to cut all around the cherry, then twist both halves open and remove the pit with your fingers or the tip of the knife. It’s a bit messy, but it works! Just make sure you do it over a bowl and wear gloves so you don’t stain your fingers. After you put the pitted cherries in a bowl, add the cognac and stir. Let the cherries soak in the cognac for a few minutes.
To a medium saucepan, add 4 oz / 125 g of the chocolate, the butter, coffee powder, and half of the cocoa powder. Melt everything over medium heat and whisk continuously so as not to burn the chocolate. Keep whisking until everything has melted.
Sift the remaining cocoa powder with the flour and baking soda.
In another bowl, add the eggs, salt and sugar and beat for 10 minutes on medium-high speed. The mixture should look like thick cake batter, like in the picture above.
To the eggs, add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until it’s well combined.
STEPS 6 & 7
Gently fold in the dry ingredients until you don’t see any more white streaks.
Drain the cherries and then fold them into the batter.
Pour the batter into a baking pan that’s lined with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly on top.
Add the remaining chopped chocolate all over the top. If you want, you could add some more chopped cherries, too.
Then bake! You don’t want to overbake them, though! After the allotted baking time, insert a toothpick in the center and make sure there are a few moist crumbs on it.
TIPS FOR THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHERRY BROWNIES
Measuring the ingredients
For best results, make sure you measure the flour and all the ingredients properly or use a digital scale for accuracy and consistent results.
Be careful not to overmix the batter. You really need to be gentle when you fold everything so you won’t deflate the egg mixture, which will help give these brownies lift and make them fluffy and moist.
Baking Pan Size
Make sure you use the right pan size otherwise your brownies will either be too thin, or too thick. For this recipe, I used a 9 X 9 inch square baking pan (23.5 X 23.5 cm), but you could use an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan (20 X 20 cm) (they’ll just be a little thicker). Also keep in mind that the pan size also determines the overall baking time, as well.
I would suggest not overbaking these brownies as they tend to get really dry and cakelike. I like to bake them until there are a few moist crumbs on a toothpick inserted in the middle (see picture tutorial above). That way they remain fudgy. Generally speaking, the longer you bake them, the cakier and drier they become.
Cutting the brownies
Don’t be tempted to remove them from the pan when you take them out of the oven as they will most likely fall apart! Let them cool in the pan completely first, before attempting to cut them. After they come to room temperature, use the overhanging parchment paper to lift them out of the pan. For nice, even cuts, I like to cut off the edges first and then cut them into 9 equal squares. This ensures you get nice even pieces.
Because there is fresh fruit in these brownies, I store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. If using dried cherries, I’m pretty sure you could store them a bit longer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Luckily, there are lots of different cherry varieties in Greece. For this recipe, I use fresh Regina cherries, which are really sweet with a slight tang. However, you could also use any variety of fresh cherries. You could also use canned cherries, but I would drain them first. Dried cherries would make these brownies a bit chewier, too! If using dried cherries, I’d chop them up first before adding them to the batter. If you want boozier brownies, soak the dried cherries in some brandy or cognac (or your favorite liquor) before adding them to the batter!
Frozen cherries are an option, too. I would thaw and drain them first, though.
Try and use the best chocolate you can get, it really makes all the difference. For this recipe, I use couverture chocolate (baking chocolate) with 72% cocoa solids.
For me, Dutch-process cocoa powder is best as it’s more intense, but natural cocoa powder works fine, too! If you’d like to learn the difference between Dutch-process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder, read my post about it here!
The easiest way to remove the brownies from the pan without them falling apart, is to line the pan with parchment paper with about 2 ½ inches hanging over the side. That way, you can lift the whole thing out at once without breaking.
Don’t be tempted to remove them from the pan when you take them out of the oven as they will most likely fall apart! So, let them cool in the pan completely first, before attempting to cut them. After they come to room temperature, use the overhanging parchment paper to lift them out of the pan. For nice, even cuts, I like to cut off the edges first and then cut them into 9 equal squares. This ensures you get nice even pieces.
They will easily last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but they don’t usually last that long in our house!
Yes! These brownies freeze really well! Just wrap individual brownie squares in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer-safe container. They can be frozen for up to about 3 months. To thaw, just put them in the refrigerator overnight.
Let me know how these Chocolate Cherry Brownies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
Chocolate Cherry Brownies
- 9×9 inch (23.5 x 23.5 cm) pan
- 9.5 oz . 250 g fresh cherries (about 30), pitted
- 1 tablespoon cognac
- ½ cup (113 g / 4 oz) unsalted butter
- 4 oz (125 g) good quality dark, bittersweet, or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I use couverture chocolate with 72% cocoa solids) + 2 oz (60 g) extra
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- ½ cup (60 g / 2 oz) unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted & divided (or you could use natural unsweetened cocoa powder, instead)
- 1 cup (127 g / 4.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup brown or white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- Grease and line a pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- Put the pitted cherries in a bowl, add the cognac and stir. Set aside.
- To a medium saucepan, add 4 oz / 125 g of the chocolate, the butter, coffee powder, and half of the cocoa powder. Melt everything over medium heat and whisk continuously so as not to burn the chocolate. Keep whisking until everything has melted.
- Sift the remaining cocoa powder with the flour and baking soda.
- In another bowl, add the eggs, salt and sugar and beat with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) for 10 minutes on medium-high speed. The mixture should look like thick cake batter.
- To the eggs, add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until it’s well combined.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients until you don’t see any more white streaks.
- Drain the cherries and then fold them into the batter.
- Pour the batter into a baking pan that’s lined with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly on top.
- Add the remaining chopped chocolate all over the top. If you want, you could add some more chopped cherries, too.
- Bake for about 15- 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. The longer you bake them, the drier and cakier they'll be.
- Allow it to cool completely to room temperature, then lift out of the pan. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.