Cherries Jubilee With Frozen Cherries


I love cherries. This recipe is for Cherries Jubilee with frozen cherries but you could definitely use fresh if you are in a pinch and need to make a recipe. The difference is the frozen brings up the sauces consistency and makes it much easier to get a smooth consistency without lumps or clumps. Subtle improvement, but greatly appreciated by me.


Cherries jubilee is a longstanding, well-loved and exceptionally delicious dessert. Using frozen cherries that have been defrosted, this recipe can be ready in 15 minutes. Flambéing is entirely optional.

close up of cherries jubilee

Cherries Jubilee is a dessert made from cherries and liqueur (Kirsch). The cherries are cooked into a thick sauce which is flambéed (optional) when the alcohol is added.

The original recipe is credited to Auguste Escoffier, who prepared this dessert for one of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations.

Like most recipes, there are many variations in existence. I’m presenting my version, which uses frozen cherries to make a sumptuous cherry laden sauce worthy of serving a multitude of ways, not just with ice cream.

Cherries jubilee in a tea cup with pancakes on a plate next to it


For such a fancy sounding dessert, cherries jubilee is very easy.

In fact, since frozen cherries come with stones and stalks removed, this recipe is particularly easy to make. And it is a versatile recipe:

  • It is not essential to add any alcohol to this recipe, so it is easy to adapt for children and for those who choose not to consume alcohol
  • Similarly, it is not imperative to flambé the cherries. This step can be averted if the prospect of setting light to food is a little daunting (though I urge you to read on to discover more about the process before you rule it out)

Note: The taste of cherries jubilee is very slightly different if they are not flambéd. Expect a more pronounced and complex alcohol taste if you decide against flaming the cherries and a fresher taste if you do.

What Is Cherries Jubilee?

Cherries jubilee is an old-school treat. In the late 1800s, Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebration — her 50th year as queen — needed a dessert, and chef Auguste Escoffier rose to the occasion, creating cherries jubilee! 

Cherries jubilee is a simple dessert. It’s just cherries, sugar, and alcohol. It’s cooked down into a syrup and flambéd to deepen its flavor. Then, it’s drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Cheap, easy, delicious! 

What You Need To Make Cherries Jubilee

  • Measuring cups and Spoons
  • Large skillet
  • Long match or lighter

How Do You Make Cherries Jubilee?

It takes about ten minutes! Here is how you make cherries jubilee

  1. Combine your cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large skillet over medium heat. Let it cook for about 5-8 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes syrupy.
  2. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully pour in your liquor.
  3. Return the skillet to the heat and carefully ignite the alcohol with your long match or lighter.
  4. Gently swirl the cherries in the pan until the flame subsides. This will take about 45 seconds.
  5. Serve the cherries immediately over vanilla ice cream.
A close up of cherries jubilee spooned over vanilla ice cream.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Cherries Jubilee

  • If you cannot find fresh cherries, you can use frozen cherries for this recipe. Fruit is frozen when they are at their ripest, so you know they will still be delicious.
  • Be sure to remove the pan from the heat before adding the kirsch or rum. If the pan is too hot, the alcohol might ignite before you’re ready and at a safe distance.
  • Keep a lid for the skillet nearby. If the flames seem too large, just cover the pan and the fire will extinguish.
  • If you are uncomfortable igniting the alcohol, you can simply simmer the cherries for a few minutes after you add the rum or kirsch to burn off the alcohol.
  • If you want to make this without alcohol, you can replace it with an equal amount of cherry or orange juice.
  • Try serving this with my easy homemade vanilla ice cream!

How Do I Store Cherries Jubilee?

This recipe is best when it’s served directly out of the pan on ice cream. However, you can cool the leftovers, cover them, and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can eat it cold, or you can rewarm it in a pan.


First of all, a little honesty. As a person who once very nearly set a kitchen on fire during a deep-frying incident, I think hard before undertaking any fire-related activities these days.

However, after reading up on the process of flambéing food safely, I decided to give it a go for this cherries jubilee recipe. I’m glad I did, because, when done in a safe and controlled way, it’s not a scary procedure at all.

It is not essential to flambé the cherries – they taste fine and dandy after the Kirsch has been added and cooked for a few moments on the heat. But here are a few guidelines/ considerations to take note of if you are contemplating the final flambé step of the recipe:

  • Use a shallow pan with a long handle and low sides. Do not attempt to flambé in a high sided saucepan or a dutch oven – you run the risk of burning yourself as you attempt to light the alcohol deep inside the pan
  • Always take your pan off the heat before pouring in the alcohol. This is especially important if using a gas hob. Once off the heat the alcohol can be safely poured into the pan without the risk that it unexpectedly ignites
  • Before igniting, ensure that the pan is placed in an open space away from flamable objects such as cupboards, curtains etc. If the flames grow high then they will not be able to set light to anything if they are in an open space
  • Keep a pan lid to hand – if the flames get too much, slide the lid onto the pan and wait for them to die down
  • Always measure the alcohol out into a small jug or bowl and pour into the pan using this. Never pour directly from the bottle into the pan as it is easy to misjudge or accidentally pour too much in, which will result in a fierce flame when lit
  • For safety, measure the alcohol out before igniting your lighter – a full bottle of alcohol and a naked flame is not a safe combination
  • A long-handled lighter is the safest way to ingnite the alcohol. Do not use a short match or a cigarette lighter- you run the risk of burning your hand
  • The more alcohol that a recipe calls for, the more flames can be expected when a dish is flambéd. If you feel nervous, pour in just a little alcohol whilst you are getting to grips with this skill

This cherries jubilee recipe contains 2 tablespoons of Kirsch. This is enough to cause a mild flame rather than high flames, so it’s an ideal introductory flambé dish to try out. It burns for around 30 seconds, and then both the flames and the noise of the alcohol flaming die down quickly.

(Polite notice: These are my guidelines but this list of safety precautions is not exhaustive and I am not a fire safety expert. The decision to flambé is yours alone and taken at your own risk).



As easy as this cherries jubilee recipe may seem there are some important guidance notes for me to share with you

  • Don’t forget to collect the liquid from the cherries as they defrost. It should be around the 150ml mark. If your cherries produced less liquid just add a splash of water or a little more orange juice if the final sauce is too thick
  • Once the liquid goes onto the heat it is imperative to stir in constantly. If not stirred then the cornflour will turn the sauce lumpy
  • As the liquid cooks, it will gradually thicken, turning dark in the process and, as the raw cornflour cooks, the sauce will lose its opaque appearance. Stop cooking when the sauce is deliciously thick
  • Once the cherries are added, bring the sauce up to boiling-point before adding the alcohol. Igniting the alcohol is easier if the sauce is piping hot as it quickly warms the alcohol through
  • Adhere to the safety guidelines to flambéing safely and only complete this stage if you actually want to do so. It is by no means compulsory. Trust me, those cherries are delicious with or without alcohol and with or without the flaming
  • Above all else, if you intend to flambé this dessert ensure that you do so in a calm environment. And do not undertake this step if you are under the influence of alcohol


Can I reheat leftovers?

Leftovers should be cooled, covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can either be eaten cold or can be warmed through in a pan, stirring frequently.

Is this suitable for vegan and gluten-free diets

No animal or dairy products are used, so it is 100% vegan without modifications needed.

This cherries jubilee recipe is also naturally gluten-free. It is however, always wise to check the packaging of cornflour since, although it is a gluten-free product, cross-contact can occur in some manufacturing plants. Read the box label to clarify this issue if necessary.

Can I use it as a pie filling?

Yes, you can use cherries jubilee as a pie or crumble filling. Just make as instructed and let cool completely. Never pile warm cherries into raw pastry as it will melt and ruin the dough


By far my favourite way to serve cherries jubilee is with English style pancakes and vanilla ice cream. I’ve loved this combination for a great many years.

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