Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies


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Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies are perfect for anyone who loves cherries and melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

I have a weakness for maraschino cherries.

Whether they’re floating in a drink or nestled in cookies, I just want to pick them out and devour.

Their candy-like sweetness, their shockingly bright color, and the fact they’ll stain your fingertips or clothes if you get cherry juice on them, and I’ve spilled a few drinks and have the stains to prove it, strangely lend to their appeal. They also have a tendency to get stuck between my teeth like a piece of lettuce. Except it’s red so it makes me look like I just got in a bar fight but I love them anyway.

I think it’s because as a child a big treat was having a Shirley Temple at a restaurant on a special occasion. I’d covet and savor that lone cherry. Fast forward a couple decades, and I’d ask for extra of the extra cherries floating in my cocktails. Now I nibble on them in cookies.

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

My grandma used to make fruit cake, sweet breads, and cookies with maraschino cherries and I remember them so fondly. The translucent magenta gems were like reflective beacons inviting me in to sit down and pull up a chair for a snack. I wish I had my grandma’s recipes for any of the things she made, but especially her cinnamon rolls and her cherry-filled goodies. I took some guesses at how she made her cookies for these.

I used nearly the same cookie dough base that I used for the Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies, which were adapted from the Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies. I prefer using that dough base for sweeter and more delicate cookies.

I use the Chocolate Chip and Chunk dough base for sturdier and heartier cookies like Brown Sugar Maple Cookies, but for something my grandma would have served with tea on pink plates with ironed, hand-embroidered, linen napkins, the Sugar-Doodle base is so moist, soft, chewy, and works beautifully.

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

To make the cookies, cream together an egg, sugars, vanilla, cream and then incorporate the flour. I used one cup bread flour and three-quarters cup all-purpose. When I made both the Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies and the Sugar-Doodles, I used more all-purpose (1 cup) than bread (3/4 cup) but reversed the ratios here. I did that because I knew that adding the cherries would impart moisture and liquid to the batter and bread flour is more absorbent than all-purpose, and I wanted slightly more of it to soak up the juice.

I recommend keeping a bag of bread flour around because you can use it plenty, and both bread and cookies rise better and are chewier when made with it, but if all you have is all-purpose, use it. However, you may need closer to two cups in order for your dough to come together because bread flour is a bit heavier and denser than all-purpose.

Regardless of the type of flour used, this is a fairly tacky dough because of the cherries. Based on your climate, humidity levels, ingredients, and how the dough feels in your mixing bowl, adding up to two cups total of flour may be necessary in order for it to combine and not be too sticky. San Diego is dry and I never need more than one and three-quarters cup total, but conditions vary.

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

Fold in the chopped cherries and white chocolate chips. My grandma didn’t bake much with white chocolate because it was truly a delicacy in her era, but she loved it as I do. I know if she could have used it more she would have. This cookie dough base just begs for it and into the mixing bowl it went.

Before adding the cherries, make sure they’re not dripping wet or they’ll water down the dough. You don’t have to dry them one-by-one, but after chopping them, lightly pat them on the cutting board with a paper towel. I’m sure you could use dried or fresh cherries, but either will lend a completely different flavor profile, and you’d have to experiment a bit.

After adding the cherries and white chocolate, beat them in as gently and swiftly as possible so the cherries don’t break or have their color run too much.

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

Using a medium cookie scoop, form 2.25-ounce mounds of dough, which is a scant quarter cup each. This recipe only makes a batch of about fourteen cookies and if you don’t have a scale, dividing the dough into approximately 14 equal-sized mounds is another strategy. The mounds will look somewhat large, but the dough is soft, light, and not heavy by volume. Plus the cherries and white chocolate really bulk it up, making the mounds appear large, but the resulting cookies are not big by any means; just average.

The dough must be refrigerated before baking. The dough is too soft for immediate baking and if you attempt it, the cookies will spread into flat pancakes. Place the dough mounds on a large plate, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least two hours, or up to five days, before baking.

The nice thing about this dough, and most any cookie dough of mine, is that unbaked cookie dough or dough that’s been formed into balls can hang out in the refrigerator for many days before baking, or in the freezer for up to three months. When the time comes, reach into your Tupperware of dough balls or covered plate, and bake as many cookies as desired. Many nights before dinner I bake six so that we can each have two freshly baked cookies for dessert.

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

My husband is not really a cookie guy. I don’t know how that’s possible, but he tends to go for things like scones, biscotti, muffins, or layered bars. However, he declared these cookies the best cookies I’ve ever made.

I loved the Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies and since they’re all versions on a theme, I knew I’d love these, too and I did. They’re so soft, moist and light, with tender centers and chewy-yet-delicate edges. They’re on the lighter side of the spectrum without being airy or cakey.

The cherries add sweetness, texture, and the most incredible flavor. As the cookie dough rests and chills before and baking, the cherry essence seeps into the vanilla-scented dough and flavors it. Between the abundance of chewy cherry bits and the white chocolate chips, there’s plenty of texture in every bite.

They stayed soft and moist for a week in an airtight container. I only know this because I forgot about two that I had stashed and was pleasantly shocked to discover they were still soft and moist, a week later. I suspect the cherries helped facilitate that ever-lasting freshness.

A perfect Valentine’s Day cookie. And a perfect excuse to eat copious amounts of maraschino cherries.

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies - Super soft buttery cookies stuffed with white chocolate & cherries! Perfect for Valentine's Day!

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Maraschino Cherry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maraschino Cherry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maraschino cherries are the stars of the show in these very soft cookies with chewy edges and tender, soft, pillowy centers.The cherries add sweetness and their bright color is eye-catching. Coupled with an abundance of white chocolate in every bite, there's plenty of texture in these uber-moist cookies. They're a perfect choice for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, girlie birthdays, showers, or for anyone who loves cherries and melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon cream or milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup bread flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively; bread flour yields chewier cookies and is recommended, see below)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • about 1/3 cup diced maraschino cherries, packed loosely and patted dry (about 15 cherries)
  • heaping 3/4 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate chips


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg, cream, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Add the cherries, white chocolate chips, and beat momentarily with the mixer until combined or fold in by hand; don't overmix or the cherries will break.
  2. Notes regarding the flours - Solely using all-purpose flour will work, but the cookies will not be as chewy or rise as well because bread flour creates chewier results and gives greater rise. I live in a dry climate and only need 1 3/4 cups flour total but if you are in more humidity or your dough is very moist or loose, or are exclusively using all-purpose flour, adding up to 1/4 cup of additional flour, for 2 cups total, is possible. The more flour, the more the cookies will stay domed and puffed while baking and the less likely they will be to spread. If you're uncertain, err on the side of more, and if the cookies are too puffy after baking, you can tap them with the back of a spoon a couple times as they cool on the baking sheets to flatten them. Regardless of using bread or all-purpose, this is a fairly sticky and tacky dough because of the cherries.
  3. Using a 2-ounce or medium cookie scoop, form heaping mounds weighing 2 1/4-ounces each, a scant 1/4-cup measure; or divide dough into approximately 14 equal-sized pieces. Place dough mounds on a large plate, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours; up to 5 days. Do not bake these cookies with dough that has not been properly chilled because they will spread.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Place dough on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake a maximum of 8 per sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops have just set, even if slightly undercooked in the center, as cookies will firm up as they cool For crunchier cookies, extend baking time by 1 to 2 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days (I had success for 7 days), or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
  5. Adapted from Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies and Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g

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Cranberry Bliss Bars {Starbucks Copycat Recipe} – The flavor in the Bliss Bars is very similar to the cookies (above), but  the bars are more loaded and decadent. They’re made with a white chocolate and cranberry blondie bar base, topped white white chocolate-cream cheese frosting, more cranberries, and a white chocolate drizzle. They can be made from start to finish in a half hour and are one of the best things I’ve made in ages

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Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies – These cookies inspired both today’s recipe and the Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies because the dough base itself is just so scrumptious. There’s nothing fancy in the ingredients, but they combine so wonderfully to produce soft, chewy, and cookies with fragrant vanilla notes. Easily one of my top 5 favorite cookie recipes on my site

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Do you like maraschino cherries? White chocolate?

If you have favorite recipes feel free to share the links.

I love them both and have all my White Chocolate Recipes here including photos with links.

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  1. I made the maraschino cherry white chocolate cookies, holy cow……delicious. Chewy around the edges, soft on the inside. I only used all purpose flour, as that’s what I had. Yum yum.

    Rating: 5
  2. I just tried making these today! They came out a bit flatter then yours, I don’t think I over creamed the since they were all the same size. When I took them out at the earlier stage you mentioned they weren’t cooked fully. Do you have any recommendations? I played with the oven temp with the 2nd batch and turned the heat down but got the same exact result. You can check my tumblr for what mine looked like, I linked to your blog.
    Thank you!!!

    1. I think they look great! They may be slightly flatter than mine but my dough was rock hard after being chilled for about 2 days. Immediately after mixing it, I form it into balls, place on a covered platter, and refrigerate until baking time. That could be one trick to help you. The other thing is possibly add up to about 1/4 cup more flour, 1 tbsp at a time, just to help the dough firm up just a bit more, which will help w/ flattening and spreading. Bake until they’re done in your oven; they’re a pale, white chocolate cookie so let visual cues be your guide. Please LMK if you re-try and your results but really, I think they look great!

  3. Okay, so how did I miss these?? I love maraschino cherries so much that I always buy two jars: one to bake with, one to eat while watching “Brothers and Sisters” on Netflix. And then you add white chocolate and boy – heaven for me!!

    1. Anna I think you would love them from what I know about what you seem to like…they are wonderfully soft, tender, bursting with both the white choc & cherry flavors, and my husband loved loved them. That’s sort of saying something b/c they don’t look like a big hit with the guys..but they were with him (and me too!)

  4. Followed recipe to the t today…these came out great! Huge hit with my little guys…doubled the recipe even, will take some to work this weekend! Thanks for a great recipe as we all love these cherries!

    1. Love it that you made them, AND doubled the recipe! I am so glad your little guys loved them and you have lucky coworkers. Thanks for taking the time to come back and LMK you made these!

  5. Someone just posted a photo of some gorgeous cherries in different colors and flavors (lime cherries!) on Instagram. Wouldn’t that be so fun in these cookies??

    Love these!

    Thanks for linking up to What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  6. I really don’t get to eat much maraschino cherries so this recipe here is the perfect way to include them in my diet. Plus, I’m sure that combo with the white chocolate is absolutely heavenly!

  7. These look great and I have some extra cherries, too! I found you from Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training.

  8. What a great way to use up cherries and they are so festive for Valentine’s or Christmas!

  9. I love maraschino cherries. I remember eating handfuls straight from the jar. Can you believe my kid won’t touch them? Weirdo.

    1. Mine loves them but I have to make sure she’s wearing a shirt I don’t care about before I give them to her. Stain city!

  10. Omg if I had milk or cream I would make them right now! I love cherry cookies, cakes, breads, etc.! In fact just last night I opened a jar of cherries to eat a few and ended up eating all of them. Lol. Just one of those perks of being an adult and not having to wait for a shirley temple just to get extra cherries. I use to get 3 to 5 cherries in my glass. Yum! When I went to a bar the bartender would put alot of cherries in my drink b/c otherwise everyone else thought I needed to share them every time I got them, instead of asking for their own!

    1. Ha, good story! If the only thing that’s stopping you from making these is 1 tbsp of milk, just use water & make them NOW :)

    1. Thank you, Yammie, and for stopping by! Your blog has been in my Reader for almost a year and although I don’t comment on every post, I read every post (and then see most of them make the rounds on the food sites :))

  11. Mmm, I love any cherries! I made a few desserts with cherries myself, haven’t posted yet so no links this time. :)

  12. These cookies are so pretty! They would be perfect for Valentine’s Day like you said. The cherry is always my favorite part of drinking an appletini. I save it until the end.

  13. I used to ‘sneak’ maraschino cherries out of the fridge when I was younger. I loved them as a sugary snack.

  14. Too funny, my 7 yr old daughter’s fav drink right now is a Shirley Temple….with extra cherries :)

  15. Leave it to you to make a cookie with maraschino cherries in them. You’re to creative for words.
    When I was a cocktail waitress I use to eat maraschino cherries by the handful while I was waiting at the bar for my drinks, those and the little orange slices. These are the perfect party cookies. xoxo, Jackie

    1. I used to do the same thing too at the bar (used to both waitress and patronize) & eat plenty of cherries!

  16. I love maraschino cherries too! I have a cookie recipe similar to this one but with coconut, it’s so delicious! I would love to try your recipe too!!! Your photos are perfect, they always are :D

  17. These cookies are so pretty! I love the pop of color that the cherries give them. And, of course, you tossed in some white chocolate. :) I’ve actually been baking more with white chocolate and have become newly obsessed. I might have you to blame for that!

  18. I hate maraschino cherries, but I red the whole post anyway since I knew it would still be interesting, and you always take such pretty pictures. You’re probably sick to hear this by now, but I made my adapted version of the white choc+cramberries cookies again this weekend, with my boyfriend, he wanted to be involved since he also loves them so! We’re truly grateful for those, theyr irresistibly delicious every time!

      1. Oh yes you did, you’re right! Well, hey, now we know you REALLY love them…and thanks for telling me (I’m clearly forgetful!) and making them! :)

  19. I love maraschino cherries (and I Loved Shirley Temples too!) These cookies are as beautiful to look at as they are (I’m sure) delicious to devour!

  20. I’m pregnant and TOTALLY ordered a shirley temple at a wedding in the fall :) It felt like such a treat.

    Your cookies are just beautiful…soft and chewy looking, just how I like ’em!

  21. I see a cookie cookbook in your future! You have so many creative and gorgeous cookie recipes!

  22. Oh my gosh my sister and I both LOVED when we were allowed to order shirley temples as a kid. I haven’t had maraschino cherries in years!

  23. Funny, I did a maraschino cookie today, too! Except I normally hate maraschino cherries. They are far better in cookies than they are plain, for sure! These look so fun!

  24. These sound SO good and I do happen to have a jar of cherries sitting in my garage that I might have to pull out and use!

  25. I love that you adapted this recipe from the base of your sugar-doodle cookies. Those are some of the BEST cookies I’ve EVER had. They’re amazing, and the recipe with the addition of bread flour is SO foolproof and incredible. I, too, have an affinity for maraschino cherries. Even as an adult, if we’re at a bar and I order a fruity drink, I’m not above asking for extra cherries :) these look fantastic!

    1. I’m not above asking for like 6 extra. Finally they usually just dump a handful in a shotglass & give them to me…lol! I am so glad you tried those cookies and love them as much as I do. They really are sooooo soft and such a fave of mine! “Those aresome of the BEST cookies I’ve EVER had. They’re amazing” <-- that's high praise and thank you, Hayley!

  26. Maraschino cherries are always in my fridge because I love to have them in a lot of my drinks. Or just to eat plain :-) I actually made a pudding cookie with the cherries in December and never got around to posting it…I forgot about it until I saw your gorgeous cookies! I love how soft and tender your cookies always look…it must be that bread flour!!!

    1. I bet pudding cookies with them would be great. Something about a super soft cookie + the cherries just go together! You should post it!

  27. These cookies look incredibly soft and yummy!!! I just went this weekend to the grocery store solely for stocking up on all kinds of flours, so now I can join the bread flour cookie revolution! Hooray! Going to try to make these for the husband sometime – he looooves his maraschino cherries.

    1. Oh that’s awesome you’re all stocked up. I LOVE that feeling! And considering you just made croissants, you deserve all the flour you want :)

  28. Averie! These cookies look like your softest cookies yet! So moist and tender, with those chewy edges that I LOVE about cookies. You’ve been the cookie recipe queen lately and each new cookie gets even more fabulous! I really do need to try out bread flour in a cookie recipe at some point since you swear by it! Bread flour is so convenient, cheap, and handy to have in the pantry for so many recipes, I really don’t know why I haven’t tried baking with it yet. I love maraschino cherries! And always asked for “extra extra” in my shirley temples when I was little. :) Love seeing their bright pop of red in cookies! Perfect for V-day. :)

    1. My thoughts were Valentine’s Day as well…plus I had this big jar of cherries in my fridge that I bought last summer to use with ice cream sundaes and I never opened them, forgot about them, and bam, cookies it was. You will love bread flour in cookies, if for no other reason than the chewiness. And considering you’re not a bread baker, it’ll never go to waste!

  29. My almost 22-year-old boyfriend tries to get me to order him Shirley Temples at restaurants. I think he’d approve of these.

  30. These are so pretty! I would have never thought to use cherries in cookies. Great idea for V-day!

  31. Not gonna lie, I always ask for extra maraschinos in my shirley temples. The.Best.

    And I love that now I’ve got a way to bake them into my life. These cookies sound fabulous!

    1. Baking them into my life was my thought process, too. And I love that you still sound like your order shirley temples. Awesomeness!

  32. I was and still am a total maraschino cherry whore. I still ask bartenders for cherries in drinks where they don’t actually belong and extras in those that do. The only thing better than the plain ones are those brandy-soaked cherries. Typical of WI for sure!

    I never once thought to put them in cookies. Great idea!

  33. I remember Shirley Temples with an extra maraschino cherry! I’ve never had a cookie (or even seen a recipe) with them, but I like that bright pop of color with the white chocolate. It definitely says Valentine’s Day and winter. The chocolate kale chips finished drying out all the way and they’re just as fabulous as the cheesy ones! I really couldn’t decide which I like better– each just totally satisfies a different craving.

  34. You’re such a great story teller! Your grandma sounds like one amazing baker. I’m with you, often as a kid I would order a Shirley temple just so that I could have the cherry. I wasn’t too fond of the drink, but the cherry was so delicious!

    1. And back in those days, I swear they did just put ONE cherry in. Like they were lumps of gold or something! Thanks for the compliments on my story-telling. That’s means alot, Leanne! And yes, my G-ma was SUCH an amazing baker and just amazing soul :)

  35. Oh wow, I do confess I like the bright red maraschinos-although I recently splurged on maraschino cherries by Luxardo. Yes I spent like 15 dollars for a jar, but they are something else entirely, deep red and juicy and the syrup they come in in killer one ice cream…I digress. I still like regular maraschinos too! White chocolate is hit or miss with me. I still take affront to it claiming to be chocolate but it does taste good in cookies with things like fruit or macadamia nuts!