Classic Cherries Jubilee Recipe

5 from 9 votes
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Cherries jubilee isn’t just a show-stopping dessert display but also an incredibly delicious way to improve your ice cream. This recipe is simple and quick to make, with the only real difficulty being lighting the cherries properly.

For more great cherry recipes, why not try some Chocolate Cherry Squares, or make a Cherry Poppy Seed Loaf Cake instead?

Cherries jubilee over vanilla ice cream garnished with mint

Classic Cherries Jubilee Recipe

Cherries jubilee really only requires three things – good cherries, good brandy, and the confidence to light them all on fire. I know, I’m asking a lot of you but trust me, when you nail this, you’ll feel like a chef at a five-star restaurant!

The use of a little bit of almond extract in this recipe really takes it to a whole new level, giving it that subtle almond flavor so that it contrasts beautifully with the sweet, intense flavor of the cherries.

ingredients for cherries jubilee

Classic Cherries Jubilee Ingredients

Check out the recipe card at the very bottom of the page for the exact amounts needed for this recipe.

  • Dark sweet cherries (rinsed and pitted)
  • White sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Almond extract
  • Brandy
  • Vanilla ice cream
cooked cherries jubilee

How To Make Classic Cherries Jubilee

  • Serve your ice cream in bowls and stick them in the freezer
  • Put the cherries and sugar in a large lidded saucepan in one layer
  • Sprinkle lemon juice over the top and then stir to mix
  • Cook on medium-low heat with the lid on for 5 minutes or until the sugar totally dissolves.
  • Remove the lid and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring to prevent burning
  • Once the cherries have softened, remove from the heat and stir in the extracts, plus the brandy, and warm up again on the stove
  • Light the cherries with a lighter, shake the pan gently, and swirl the cherries until the blue flame goes out
  • Spoon the cherries over the prepared ice cream
vanilla ice cream in compotes

How To Properly Light Your Cherries

The only way to properly enjoy cherries jubilee is to light it up in a big, dramatic fire using a lighter.

This isn’t just for show; while it is super impressive, it also serves a great purpose in helping to burn off some of the alcohol in the brandy. If you didn’t do this, your cherries jubilee would taste alcoholic and a little bit fiery.

While it is ironic that lighting something on fire makes it taste less fiery, lighting up cherries jubilee should not be done without proper preparation.

Get yourself one of those long candle lighters or the type used to light stovetop burners. With the pan completely still on the stove and your face away from the pan, light it and then swirl the cherries in the sauce around the pan, being careful to avoid catching anything on fire.

If you are concerned about fires, make sure to keep some kind of fire prevention tools like a fire blanket or fire extinguisher on hand just in case.

However, it burns itself out pretty quickly, so once it’s done, you can go ahead and serve.

cherries jubilee served over ice cream in a compote and garnished with mint

What Kind Of Cherries To Use For Cherries Jubilee?

Cherries jubilee can honestly be made with any cherries you have on hand, but you should try and go for some fresh, dark, and sweet cherries if you can find them.

If you have a farmer’s market, ask them what cherries would be best for making cherries jubilee. You can try sour cherries in this, but expect a much tangier end result.

Try to stick to the darker, almost syrupy cherries, as they will work best.

Looking for more delicious Dessert recipes? Try these out:

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!




Nothing uses up a bounty of fresh cherries like Cherries Jubilee! The easy yet impressive dessert is a classic, simply cook then spoon over vanilla ice cream.
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Classic Cherries Jubilee Recipe

Nothing uses up a bounty of fresh cherries like Cherries Jubilee! The easy yet impressive dessert is a classic, simply cook then spoon over vanilla ice cream.
5 from 9 votes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 pound dark sweet cherries rinsed and pitted SEE NOTES
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup brandy warmed
  • 4 servings vanilla ice cream


  • Prepare your bowls of ice cream first then place in the freezer. Once the cherries are done, they have to be spooned over the ice cream immediately.
  • Place the cherries and sugar in a large lidded saucepan so that they are all in one layer. Sprinkle the lemon juice over top, then stir to mix in.
  • Place the lid on top and cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium-high and cook for another 5-6 minutes, stirring to prevent them from burning, until the cherries have released their juices and have softened.
  • Remove the cherries from the heat, and stir in the cherry extract. Pour in the warm brandy, then return to the stove. Wait 15 seconds for the pan to heat up more, then ignite with a long lighter.
  • Gently shake the pan, swirling the cherries, until the blue flame has extinguished itself, around 30 seconds or so.
  • Spoon the cherries over the prepared bowls of ice cream.

Recipe Notes

  • You can also use frozen pitted cherries

Nutrition Information

Calories: 1082kcal, Carbohydrates: 164g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 213mg, Potassium: 561mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 157g, Vitamin A: 1113IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 341mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. marilyn says

    Love the recipe, however, I noticed that you mention in the instructions to use cherry extract. I think you might have meant almond extract as that is the ingredient mentioned in the recipe.

    Thanks again for the wonderful recipe.

  2. Jillian says

    I just made this tonight because I had a big bag of cherries I really needed to use before they went back, especially since a bag of cherries can easily run you $30 (I wish I was kidding). This recipe was so simple, so tasty and one I will be making again and again and again. I also love that it was a really easy recipe to make with my 6 year old. She LOVES helping in the kitchen. Awesome recipe, total slam dunk. Highly recommend you try this while cherries are still in season.5 stars

  3. goody says

    2 fiber, and 157 grams of sugar?? Really?? I’m hoping that isn’t for 1 serving?

    • Jillian says

      Hi Goody, the nutrition information you mentioned is based on the serving size Karlynn has listed, which in this case is 4 servings. Right above the ingredients list her serving size is always listed. If you are wanting to change the amount of servings you want to use, she has a handy dandy little converter which will do it for you so you don’t have to worry about doing the math. Hope this helps!5 stars

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