Cherries Jubilee

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Cherries Jubilee is a wonderful, fancy dessert recipe to serve when you’re entertaining guests.

Cherries Jubilee served over ice cream

I first served this recipe many years ago at our neighborhood’s gourmet club when we shared in a wonderful New Year’s Eve feast. My task on that evening was to bring a festive dessert. And my choice was to bring this Cherries Jubilee. It was the perfect dessert for celebrating (I mean… you light the sauce on fire right before serving!), and everyone loved it!

About Cherries Jubilee:

Cherries Jubilee was thought to have made its first appearance as a dessert in the late 1800’s as a treat created for Queen Victoria. Its popularity in America soared in the 1950’s and 60’s with housewives who wanted to impress their dinner guests with a flaming dessert. Count me in as a “housewife” who was out to impress my friends!

Cherries Jubilee Prep

flaming Cherries Jubilee

How to make Cherries Jubilee:

The recipe (found in an old Bon Appetit magazine) had a few ingredients that I knew I might have to hunt high and low for… frozen sweet cherries, cherry juice, arrowroot, and kirsch. I made a quick call to my local grocery store to inquire about these very ingredients. The clerk told me that they didn’t carry any of them except for arrowroot. Great. I decided to go to the store anyways to get the other stuff I needed, and low and behold, they carried all of the ingredients I needed except for kirsch. After a quick chat with the manager (haha), I was off to Beverages and More to find my kirsch (clear cherry brandy).

Dried cherries, cherry juice, sugar and a scraped vanilla bean boiled down to make a wonderful sauce that was thickened with powdered arrowroot. Cherries and orange peel were added in the end to make a lovely orange-scented chunky cherry sauce.  When the big dessert moment arrived, I heated the kirsch in a small pan, lit it on fire, and asked my husband to drizzle the flaming kirsch into the cherries! The flame lingered for a bit until it burned out on its own. Then it was time to serve up the cherries!

Cherries Jubilee served over ice cream

Another gal in our group brought a wonderfully rich European Chocolate Truffle Cake, and I brought some Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Some people ate the cake with cherries on top, and other preferred the ice cream with a spoonful of the Cherries Jubilee!  Others had both. YUMMY!

Cherries Jubilee served over ice cream

 The cake was terribly rich and gooey and chocolatey, the ice cream was super decadent, and the cherries were the perfect complement to both. I recommend this as a flaming great dessert to have when you want to impress your guests!

Here are a few more fun dessert recipes to consider:

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Cherries Jubilee

A flaming good dessert!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 488kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cherries jubilee


  • 16 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon cherry juice, divided
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup thin, matchstick-size strips orange peel (cut off the white pith)
  • 1/3 cup kirsch (clear cherry brandy)
  • 1 quart vanilla or cherry-vanilla swirl ice cream


  • Place a sieve or strainer over a bowl. Add the thawed cherries and let drain. Pour the drained juices into a heavy medium skillet (set the cherries aside). Mix 2 cups of the cherry juice, dried cherries and sugar into the same skillet. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean; the add the bean. Boil the sauce until it is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.
  • Mix the arrowroot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cherry juice in a small bowl. Whisk into the sauce. Boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the drained cherries and orange peel.
  • When ready to serve, heat the kirsch in a skillet over low heat (don't use a nonstick skillet). Remove from heat. Very carefully ignite the kirsch with match. Carefully pour the flaming kirsch into the sauce. Scoop ice cream into bowls. Spoon the sauce over the ice cream and serve.


  • *Arrowroot is a white powder that can usually be found in the baking aisle of your supermarket.
  • *Kirsch can be found at larger supermarkets and liquor stores.
  • *If you are preparing this recipe DAIRY FREE, use a non-dairy ice cream for serving. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 553mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 1071IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 1mg
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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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