Homemade Sweet Cherry Jam Recipe

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sweet cherry jam

Enjoy Cherry Season Longer With This Sweet Cherry Jam Recipe

In the jam line up, cherry jam is number 2 in our favorites (closely behind strawberry). We are fortunate to live in Michigan, where cherries are grown in Northern Michigan. You can find cherries in your local store (like we did for this recipe) to make so many delicious recipes. From scones, danishes and ice cream, cherries are a thumbs up in many recipes we make. This cherry jam recipe takes a little prep, but goes quickly into mason jars.

washing fresh bing cherries

 Can You Use Frozen Cherries?

Yes, you can use frozen fruit but…. you will need to thaw them. Chopping frozen cherries is hard and unsafe because they will move everywhere. It will also take a long time for them to get up to temperature. Our suggestion is to thaw them before making cherry jam.

pitted cherries using pitter

Do You  Have To Pit Cherries Before Making Jam?

To avoid missing several pits, I recommend pitting the cherries before you cook the fruit. As you can see in the vide below, the pits do float to the top (there was one) and it was easy to remove prior to canning the jam.

cherry pits with a pitter and cutting board

What Type Of Cherries Are The Best For Jam?

To make this sweet cherry jam, you will want to use sweet cherries, like Bing or Rainier. Rainier is sweeter. If you are unsure if the cherries are sweet, ask where you are getting them from or search on your phone for information.

bright red cherries in a pitcher chopped cherry chunks

Cherry Jam – Just 4 Ingredients

With just a few ingredients, you can make cherry jam. We followed the Ball canning recipe an used chopped cherries, sugar and lemon juice along with pectin. The recipe also included cinnamon, clove and almond liqueur, we left those out.

What Is The Canning Process?

One the jam is canned, you place the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes and bring to a boil (that is when your time starts). This time may need to be adjusted depending on your elevation.

Once the they have been water bathed, we place a towel on the surface and cover with a towel as well. This allows the jars to cool slowly and keeps any cool air from hitting the jars and breaking them.

jam making bring to a boil

Can I Make Smooth Jam?

You can, but you will want to use a food processor or blender to puree your cherries. If you want it ultra smooth, use a mesh strainer to filter any larger pieces. You will then measure your liquid cherries versus the chopped cherries for your recipe.

sugar and lemon juice in pot to make jam

Creatives Ways To Use Cherry Jam

There are many ways you can use your cherry jam. It’s a great cheat to add to recipes that you want to add fresh cherries, with little effort. Besides putting it on toast, you can use it as your fruit on top of cherry danish. Add your ice cream as a topping. If you are making homemade ice cream, add it in to make it cherry ice cream. Add it into frosting to make cherry frosting. You can take the cherry mixture and add into muffins to make cherry muffins.

More Homemade Jam Recipes

We have several recipes you can make, including some unique ones, you may want to add to your list of must make jams and jellies.

full rolling boil of cherry preserves

Can I Freeze Cherry Jam?

This recipe is not a freezer jam recipe. The freezer recipe I use, does not cook the cherries. This recipe will cook jam, unlike freezer jam recipes If you are looking to freeze this recipe after making it, allow it to cool before placing in the freezer and leave 1/2 inch head space (space at the top of the freezer container) to allow the jam to expand.

How To Make The Best Cherry Jam Recipe

See below on how we make homemade cherry jam. We use fresh cherries from the tree or fresh from the store and use them quickly.

My Jam Did Not Set, Now What?

The below can be done within a few days of initially making the cherry jam.

You will want to reprocess your jars in a water bath for another 15 minutes. Before you do this, you will want to confirm, you put the correct amount of each ingredient into the recipe. Did you use the right amount of pectin and sugar.

If not, you will want to remove the jam from the jars, add the missing ingredients and bring to a rolling boil like before and process the jam again in clean jars with new seals.

sweet cherry jam
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5 from 1 vote

Sweet Cherry Jam Recipe

Make delicious sweet cherry jam. Use those big bing cherries and turn them into a jam you can enjoy for months.
Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 half pints
Author: Regina Sober


  • 4 cups chopped pitted sweet cherries
  • 6 Tablespoons Pectin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


  • Fill the water bath canner with water (to give the jars water 1 inch above the jars. Start heating the water while you process the cherries.
  • Wash the cherries.
  • Remove the stems, pits and cut the cherries into small pieces (rough chop).
  • Place the cherries and lemon juice and pectin into the Dutch oven.
  • Stir to blend the pectin evenly through the cherries.
  • Add the cinnamon and ground cloves and mix together.
  • Bring the mix to a boil over medium heat.
    Stir to keep the mix from burning.
  • Add the sugar and stir until the sugar melts.
  • Bring to a rolling boil, stirring to keep from boiling.
  • Stir the mix for a minute while it boils (rolling boil is a boil you cannot stir down). Stir. Stir. Stir.
  • After a minute, remove from heat.
  • Place the funnel on the jar and with the ladle, fill the jars, leaving 1/4" head space from the top.
  • Clean the top of the jar with a clean wet towel.
  • Place a seal on the jar and hand tighten.
  • Place the jars in hot water in the water bath canner.
  • Repeat filling each jar and placing into the water bath canner, water 1" over top of jars.
  • Bring the water to a boil and water bath jars for 15 minutes.
  • After the time is up, turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the jars and place on a towel.
  • Cover the jars and allow them to cool for 12 hours.
  • Check to ensure they have sealed. Label and date the jars.


YouTube video
Make delicious sweet cherry jam. Use those big bing cherries and turn them into a jam you can enjoy for months.

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