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Waterbath Canning Cherries {in Cinnamon Apple Cider}

5 from 2 votes

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Canning cherries in cinnamon apple cider makes a great healthy snack or a treat over yogurt or oatmeal. You could even turn them into a cobbler or pie!

Queen Anne cherries on glass bowl on wooden table





This is my absolute favorite canning cherries recipe!

These cherries turned sooooo good!

And the juice is ridiculously good too!

You could make oatmeal with it, heat it up for cinnamon hot apple cider, or thicken it up and use it as a sauce for bread pudding.

I am happy to report that I have done all three…

In the US, cherry season begins in late April and goes through late August.

Different varieties are ripe at different times and harvesting starts in the south and heads north as the season progresses.

I tend to can cherries all season.

Cuz I love to can. And I love cherries.

Bing cherries are perfect for cherry jam or Cherry Pie Filling.

I use the pie filling to make pies, of course. But also for Cherry Cream Cheese Pie and to warm up and serve over Sourdough Waffles or pancakes.

Dehydrating cherries is another favorite way of preserving cherries. I like the even sweeter ones like Lambert for dehydrating.

I use dehydrated cherries in my Sourdough Cherry Scones.

You can use either sweet cherries or sour cherries in this recipe.

In the pictures you will see Queen Anne cherries. They are so pretty!

If you’re new to canning or just need a refresher, you can go here for information and general safety guidelines.

Canning Cherries in Apple Cider

  • 8 – 10 lbs fresh cherries
  • ½ gallon apple cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • Almond extract
  • Waterbath canner
  • Pint jars and rings
  • New lids
  • Canning funnel
  • Lid lifter
  • Jar lifter
  • Old towels

Yield: 2 to 2 ½ lbs of cherries = 1 quart, or 2 pints

I wanted a canner load of 8 pints so I bought 10 lbs of cherries.

And then we just ate what was left. 🙂

Let’s get started!

Fill your canner with water and put the number of jars into the canner that you are going to be using.

This allows the jars to warm up and stay hot until they are needed.

Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil.

Prepare your lids according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Now, put the apple cider in a large pot or large saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer.

Prepping the Cherries

Run some cold water into your sink.

Now dump the cherries in and swish them around good. Then go ahead and remove all the stems.

cherries in sink full of water
all washed up

Check the cherries for bad spots or bad bruising. Cut off the bad parts.

When you’re canning cherries you normally pit them. For this recipe you actually have a choice. 🙂

But if you’re going to pit them, now is the time to do it. So grab your cherry pitter and have at it!

I don’t for this recipe, and that makes it a lot faster.

Once your cherries are ready to go, use your jar lifter and take the jars out of the canner. When you remove the jars dump the water back into the canner, and put them on your work surface.

Raw Pack Method

Now, pack the cherries tightly into the hot jars leaving ½ inch headspace.

packing cherries into the jars
packin’ them in

Once the cherries are packed into the jars, place one piece of cinnamon stick into each jar and add 1 tsp of the almond extract.

Now it’s time to ladle the hot apple cider liquid into the jars, again leaving the ½ headspace.

ladling hot cider into the jars
in goes the hot apple cider

Release the trapped air bubbles inside the jars with a thin knife or bubble popper and top off with cider if necessary.

Now carefully wipe off the rims with a clean cloth dipped in white vinegar. That will cut through the stickiness of the apple cider and clean the rims well.

wiping the rims of the jars
cleaning up the rims

Use your lid lifter/magnetic wand thing to pull the lids and rings out of the warm water.

Carefully seat the lids and adjust the screw bands/rings finger tight. Don’t over tighten or the air won’t be able to exhaust from the jars.


Now, using your jar lifter again, carefully put the jars into the canner rack. Make sure that you life the jars straight up and straight back down. Don’t tilt them to the side.

closed jars in canner rack
now into the rack

Lower the rack into the canner, and bring the water back up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water is at a rolling boil, begin your processing time.

Cherries in apple cider need to process for 20 minutes for pints, or 25 minutes for 1-½ pints, and quarts.

If the water stops boiling, you must bring it back to a boil and start your processing time again.

jars under boiling water in canner
full roiling boil

Don’t forget to adjust the processing time for your altitude. Click here for the altitude adjustment chart.

After processing, remove the jars from the canner, lifting them straight up, and put them on a double layer of towel on a counter top that’s out of drafts.

They’re going to be hot for a few hours, so don’t put them right in your way.

Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for a minimum of 12 hours.

sealed jars on towel covered cabinet
ready to label and put away

After 12 hours, check the seals.

If you have jars that didn’t seal you can reprocess the jars or put them in the fridge and use them within 2 weeks.

Which, trust me, won’t be hard.

If the seals are good, wash and label the jars, and put them away.

Store in a cool, dark, dry place, and these cherries will last for several years.

But you probably won’t have any left by next cherry season…at least I never do…

This is one of the easiest preserved cherries recipes I’ve ever done. They taste good and look spectacular in the jars, too.

I love wins!

Frequently Asked Questions About Canning Cherries

How long will canned cherries last?

Properly sealed and stored, home canned cherries will last for 3 to 5 years.

Do you have to use fresh cherries?

No you don’t! You can use frozen cherries for this recipe. Just make sure the cherries are completely thawed and have come to room temperature before putting them into the jars.

Do I have to use Queen Anne cherries?

You can use any variety of cherries that you want! This recipe is best with less sweet varieties like Queen Anne, Montmorency and Morello.

Other waterbath canning recipes you should try:

cherry with apple cider and cinnamon stick in canning jar

Canning Cherries in Cinnamon Apple Cider

These amazing cherries are great for healthy snacks or over yogurt or oatmeal. You could even turn them into a cobbler or pie!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 pints
Calories 756 kcal


  • Waterbath canner
  • Pint jars and rings
  • New lids
  • Canning Tools


  • 8 – 10 lbs cherries
  • ½ gallon apple cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • Almond extract


  • Prepare your canner, jars, and lids and keep everything hot.
  • Put the apple cider in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer.
  • Wash the cherries and remove stems. You can pit them if you want to, but it's not necessary.
  • Pack the cherries tightly into the hot jars leaving ½ inch headspace.
  • Add 1 piece of cinnamon stick to each jar and 1 tsp of almond extract.
  • Ladle the hot apple cider into the jars, again leaving the ½ headspace. Release the trapped air and top off with cider if necessary.
  • Wipe the rims, attach the lids and rings and carefully put the jars into the canner.
  • Bring the canner up to a boil and process for 20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for 1 ½ pints, and quarts.
  • Don’t forget to adjust the processing time for your altitude.
  • After processing, remove the jars from the canner and allow to sit undisturbed for a minimum of 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, check the seals, wash and label the jars, and put them away.


Yield: 2 to 2 ½ lbs of cherries = 1 quart, or 2 pints


Serving: 1pintCalories: 756kcalCarbohydrates: 192gProtein: 11gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 10mgPotassium: 2512mgFiber: 23gSugar: 154gVitamin A: 653IUVitamin C: 74mgCalcium: 169mgIron: 4mg
Keyword canning recipe, waterbath canning, cherries
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on July 11th, 2022

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