How to Freeze Cherries

If you want to learn how to freeze cherries, you’re in the right place! All you need are fresh cherries, a handful of tools and 10-20 minutes to prepare and freeze them for optimal freshness. Frozen cherries are great in smoothies, as well as baked goods, and taste like the summer all year long.

Frozen cherries on a sheet pan

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Ever since we purchased our first house, we’ve been freezing stone fruits every summer.

Why? Because I love to have them on hand for my daily smoothies. But also because they taste incredible in baked goods, too.

I’ve used this method to freeze peaches and nectarines. 

A few years back, I discovered it works for cherries, too.

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    Why I love this tutorial:

    Maybe cherries were on sale at the grocery store, and you purchased pounds upon pounds of them on a lark.

    Or maybe you went cherry picking and brought a lot home. (Or maybe you’ve got cherry trees in your yard or neighborhood and are picking as many as you can this time of year!)

    No matter your reason, this tutorial about freezing cherries is bound to be helpful! This tutorial works for the freshest fruit, as well as soft fruits that are about to go bad. (I really like to use the softer ones in items like smoothies and overnight oats.)

    Frozen cherries are excellent to use in so many dishes, including cherry pie, cherry cobbler, cherry bread and more. (Seriously. You could use them in just about any dish that involves cherries.)

    Since we’re freezing ripe cherries at the peak season of their optimal flavor and freshness, you can enjoy summertime sweetness all year long.

    Other favorite cherry recipes to try: Mini White Chocolate-Cherry Bundt Cakes (Instant Pot Cake) | Cherry Smash with Honeysuckle Vodka | Hamburger Sliders with Bacon Cherry Compote | Cherry Lemon Tea | Cherry Cupcakes with Grenadine Whipped Cream

    Looking for more warm weather recipes? Check out my Summer Recipe Index for more ideas.

    A white colander holds fresh cherries

    What you’ll need to freeze cherries: 

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    This is what you’ll need:

    • Fresh cherries — you can freeze the tart cherries or sweeter cherries. You want the cherries to be fresh and firm to where cleaning, pitting and freezing is a total breeze.

    Please note that I have said that you need 2 lbs. of cherries, but this tutorial can be scaled to whatever amount of cherries you have. You just might need more plastic freezer bags if you have more cherries than listed.

    WHAT TYPES OF CHERRIES CAN I FREEZE?

    This tutorial works for Rainier cherries, bing cherries as well as sour cherries.

    Close up of halved cherries on a sheet pan before freezing

    How do you prepare and freeze cherries?

    The first step is to wash and dry the fresh fruit. Clean ‘em really well because you’re not going to want to clean them once frozen. Pat dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel. You can also let them air dry on the countertop for a few hours.

    Remove the stems, then remove the cherry pits. You can use a tool (like a cherry pitter) to do this, or you can use a knife.

    If using a knife to pit the cherries: Find the natural crease in the cherry skin, and follow that around the pit with your paring knife. Once the cherry has been opened, pop the pit out with your thumb. Depending on the ripeness, this might take a little bit of effort. Use gentle but firm hands.

    I’ve also read that you can use a chopstick or a metal straw to slide through the skin of the cherry and poke out the pit, though I have never attempted this before.

    Pro tip!

    If you’re freezing a lot of cherries, it’s going to be worth the extra cost to invest in a cherry pitter to make this part go more quickly. This will also allow for your cherries to remain whole, if that matters to you.

    Prepare a sheet pan. On a rimmed cookie sheet, line it with wax paper. This will prevent the cherries from sticking. You may also use parchment.

    Spread the cherries on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Give them a little space to where they don’t freeze together.

    Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer, and freeze for 4-6 hours, or until frozen solid.

    Transfer the cherries to a freezer-safe plastic bag or freezer-safe containers. (An airtight container that is freezer safe is awesome for this. I do not recommend using a plastic container because they can break.) 

    Press out the excess air from the packaging to prevent freezer burn.

    Place the bag of cherries in the freezer. These will last in the deep freeze for up to 6 months.

    When ready to use, you can simply use them frozen (in something like a smoothie) or let come to room temperature to make whatever recipe you desire.

    Frozen cherries on a sheet pan with a plastic bag and an orange-tipped spoon before going into the deep freeze

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you freeze raw cherries? 

    Yes! You can freeze raw cherries.

    Can you freeze cherries and eat them later? 

    Yes, you can. These frozen cherries are excellent to add to things like smoothies, as well as desserts. 

    What can I do with too many fresh cherries? 

    Whenever we have a lot of cherries at our house, we like to freeze them. We’ll also make batches of Cherry Syrup (for Cherry Limeade), as well as Cherry Overnight Oats.

    How do you store cherries for a long time? 

    Cherries will only keep in the refrigerator for so long. We like to freeze halved cherries to use for later. You could also make Easy Pickled Cherries or Small Batch Cherry Lime Jam.

    Two plastic freezer bags of frozen cherries next to a sheet pan with an orange spoon

    Quick tips for freezing cherries

    • If you’re freezing a lot of cherries, consider purchasing a cherry pitter. This will make the work significantly easier.
    • Use tart or sweet cherries. This freezing cherries tutorial works for any type of fresh cherries. It is not intended for dried cherries.
    • Prepare for a mess. Cherries are messy when you cut into them. They can stain your hands and cutting board. Feel free to use disposable kitchen gloves to prevent staining.
    • Depending on the recipe, you should thaw frozen cherries in the refrigerator before using.

    Recipes to use frozen cherries in:

    Here’s how you can do this…

    Frozen cherries on a sheet pan

    How to Freeze Cherries

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    If you want to learn how to freeze cherries, you’re in the right place! All you need are fresh cherries, a handful of tools and 10-20 minutes to prepare and freeze them for optimal freshness. Frozen cherries are great in smoothies, as well as baked goods, and taste like the summer all year long.
    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 2 lbs.
    Calories 71 kcal
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Freezing Time 4 hours
    Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes

    Ingredients
      

    • 2 lbs. fresh cherries

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Instructions
     

    • Wash the cherries. Pat them dry or let them air dry on the countertop for a few hours.
    • Remove the stems, and then pit the cherries. Use a tool (like a cherry pitter) or a knife. If using a knife, find the crease in the cherry skin and follow it with the blade of your knife. Open the cherry open and pop the pit out with your thumb.
    • Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. This will prevent the cherries from sticking. You may also use parchment.
    • Place the halved cherries on the baking sheet. Give them a little space so they don’t freeze together.
    • Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer, and freeze for 4-6 hours, or until frozen solid.
    • Transfer the cherries to a freezer-safe storage bag (or container). Freeze for up to 6 months.

    Notes

    Tips and tricks:

    • If you’re freezing a lot of cherries, consider purchasing a cherry pitter. This will make the work significantly easier.
    • Use tart or sweet cherries. This freezing cherries tutorial works for any type of fresh cherries.
    • Prepare for a mess. Cherries are messy when you cut into them. They can stain your hands and cutting board. Feel free to use disposable kitchen gloves to prevent staining.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1gCalories: 71kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 1gFiber: 2gSugar: 15g
    Keyword cherries, easy cherry freezing tutorial, easy frozen cherries, frozen cherries, fruit, fruit tutorial, fruits, how to freeze cherries
    Course Tutorial
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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