Chocolate Cherry Brownies Recipe

Dense, gooey chocolate brownies packed with boozy, port-soaked dried cherries. Made with Muscovado sugar, chocolate chunks, and crème fraiche.

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

I've been going back and forth about what to call these. Brownies that have the texture of a fallen chocolate souffle cake. Dense, ooey-gooey chocolate-y on the inside, well-set around the edges - you know the cakes. I thought I'd try to work soufflé into the title, but at the same time, these brownies are completely packed with boozy, port-soaked dried cherries, and doesn't that warrant a mention? I like recipe names to be short enough that the titles don't wrap (when possible), so that was a consideration as well. Port Souffle Brownies? Boozy Brownies? I settled on (small yawn) Chocolate Cherry Brownies and made a batch of them for my sister and brother-in-law. They spent last Saturday working on a Habitat for Humanity project, and early that morning I traded a plate of the brownies for an adorable 1-year old, who spent the day with us.

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Here's what you need to know about these brownies. They could very well be the richest, most decadent brownies you've ever tried. They're off-the-charts delicious. They're also off-the-charts messy, and a bit of a pain to slice - particularly if you want to slice them small. Next time, I'm going to chill and slice them, then let them return to room temperature to serve. I'd also recommend slicing them in the pan. The pan lends a good amount of structure.

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

You can take this general idea and run with it in a thousand different ways. If boozy cherries aren't your thing, I can imagine adding chopped toasted nuts, baking them plain (in a smaller pan), making individual cakes/brownies in ramekins, trying other fruit/alcohol combinations, etc. The original inspiration for these was a recipe I came across in the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook - their version used pitted prunes and brandy. I decided to try cherries, port, muscovado sugar, and creme fraiche. I soaked my cherries for two days, but suspect I could have done fine with a one day soak - all the port had been absorbed by then.

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Chocolate Cherry Brownies

I used just shy of a pound of Guitard 55% chocolate chips in this recipe. You could go darker if you like, and shave or chop the chocolate from bars, which is what I typically do. I used Dagoba unsweetened cocoa powder. And I used a mix of light and dark Muscovado sugars - half and half. If all you have is regular brown sugar, or even fine-grain white sugar, those should work as substitutes. I left the cherries whole, but I suspect a version with chopped cherries would be good too, and different texturally.

butter for greasing pan
2 cups / 10.5 oz / 300 g dried cherries
scant cup / 200 ml / 7 fl oz port wine
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 55g / whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup / 1.5 oz / 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

10.5 oz / 300g 55% dark chocolate chips/chunks
5 1/2 tablespoons / 2 3/4 oz / 80g unsalted butter
2 cups / 10.5 oz / sifted muscovado sugar

4 large eggs
scant 1/2 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g creme fraiche or sour cream
1 cup / 5 oz / 145 g chocolate chips/ chunks

more cocoa powder, for dusting

A day or two before you want to bake the brownies, place the cherries in a medium bowl and pour over the port. Cover and set aside. Stir every twelve hours until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 325F / 170C and place a rack in the top third. Butter and line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch rectangular baking dish with parchment paper. An important step if you want to eventually get these brownies out of the pan. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.

Make a double boiler by placing a stainless steel bowl over a small pan of gently simmering water - the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Place the 10.5 oz / 300g of chocolate into this bowl along with the butter and sugar. Stir just until the chocolate has melted and the ingredients come together into a mass. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and allow to cool (cool enough that it won't cook the eggs when you add them). Mix on slow and add the eggs, one at a time, letting each get incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a couple times along the way. Add the flour mixture and stir by hand until combined, then add the creme fraiche, remaining chocolate chips, and the cherries with the port. Stir until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour, or until just set. The center of the brownie should be set and not at all wobbly. Allow to cool completely in the pan. You can cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap at this point and the brownies will keep for a couple days. I recommend chilling before slicing if you want small, precise squares. Also keep a tall glass of warm water on hand to wash your knife between each cut. Enjoy at room temperature dusted with a bit of cocoa powder.

Makes one large pan of brownies.

Prep time: 900 minutes - Cook time: 60 minutes

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Just made this this week, and they’re fantastic. For anyone thinking of trying to make them vegan, I used vegan chocolate, three egg replacers in place of the 4 eggs, and left out the creme fraiche, though you could certainly do vegan sour cream; I just didn’t have any one hand. The result is fantastic – love the cherries. I’d like to try other dried fruit as well. Thanks, Heidi, for another amazing recipe!


I made these brownies – and I have to say.. they were the most amazing, moist, chocolatey brownies my taste buds have ever experienced.. and I am no amateur brownie eater.
I was wondering if you think a nut, such as an almond, could be substituted for the cherries.. and soaked overnight in the port. Do you think this would work? My mother has an aversion to dried fruit but she would absolutely LOVE these brownies. I think the port is key.. so I’m trying to think of the best way to still incorporate the port.. ideas?


was dying to try this recipe, the pictures made it look so tasty. I couldn’t find dried cherries in the health stores here so used dried cranberries instead. Very very tasty. had some 100% cocoa and mixed it with milk chocolate to even it out. thanks Heidi for the great recipes, I am gradually working my way thru them all 🙂

miss vivien

So gooey! They never really firmed up and I was glad to have the pan lined with parchment. I made these with frozen berries I soaked in wine for a week, which is probably why they stayed gooey.


I think yours is the first food blog I came across which I keep coming back to. Great recipes.
Made this with canned cherries in brandy from 2 years ago, dark chocolate 73% cocoa, and switched the creme fraiche for sheep yogurt. Had to start eating while still warm. So good. Like eating a giant truffle- recommend eating with some aspirin to avoid heart attack.
🙂 Thx


This is awesome, real american stuff. I made it with rapadura sugar and added freshly cracked pecans that I’d had lying around for sometime (a Year I think). I’m glad it made so much and it kept the workers going too! keep up the good work heidi

Cate Stone

Genial fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

WP Themes

These are in the oven a I type. :]
I used a merlot, and a variety of chopped dried cherries, blueberries and cranberries.
I was wondering though, if anyone had to bake these for over an hour?
Mine have been in for about an hour and 20 minutes and a crust has only formed on certain places of the outside, leaving gooey, delicious looking, but unfortunately, unset brownie pockets.
I am a vegan so I used vegan sour creme and egg replacers so this may be why.


I used plain Greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche since that’s what I had on hand – seemed to work nicely. These are extremely fudgy and dense! And delicious. A 9×13 pan of these brownies goes a long way – I’m going to try to freeze some and see what happens.


I bake a lot. These are the best brownies I’ve ever made. I almost ate the batter.
I kept the cherries whole and they were DELISH!!
I’m making these again and again!!


I bake a lot. These are the best brownies I’ve ever made. I almost ate the batter.
I kept the cherries whole and they were DELISH!!
I’m making these again and again!!


Absolutely decadent! I will make these again. Do you think that the recipe could be halved successfully?


What a great combination of flavors–these look delicious!

The Bush League Cook

I’ve made these twice in the last week with cherry flavored craisins and sweet cream sherry. These brownies were so good I had dessert after every meal one day! Thank you! I’m learning to cook naturally and loving it… you don’t know it, but you’re my mentor in this new food venture. 🙂

:: mandy ::

cherries soaking as we speak (type)
I cannot wait! chocolate, wine and cherries all in one package!


Nothing compares to an ooey goooey brownie–unless of course it has alcohol soaked brownies! yum! I’ve never heard of Dagoba Cocoa Powder. Ill have to look for it!


Cherry and chocolate flavor combo is amazing. And as always, lovely top photo! Looks incredibly light and chocolatey.

Another Foodie

mmmmm the real world bourke street bakery is on my cycle home
kind of destroys the healthfulness of the cycle if I stop off every day for one of their amazing brulee tarts…but we can’t have everything can we?


YUM!!! NEED to make these. One of my absolute favorite combinations is chocolate + cherries. Thanks for the recipe! Delish.


I made these without the cherries and port and even then they were AMAZING!!!! My dinner guests got yummo’s to take home too! Thnx heidi


I had some dried cherries I was wondering what to do with – and then I saw this recipe. Wow! I’ve shared it with neighbors, co-workers and my accountant! And boy have I made friends. And we each eat a little a day – it makes a lot, and it is yummy rich. Thank you!

Amy D

The recipe for the Chocolate Cherry Brownies looks unreal. I am a huge fan of chocolate covered cherries, so I guess this would be the next evolution.

Hot Sauce

Do you think buttermilk would substitute well for the creme fraiche?


My wife regularly makes desserts for our co-workers at our employee meetings, and this time, she made these brownies. They are ridiculous. You have outdone yourself. We have liked your recipes before, but this takes the prize.

Kumar Plocher

Yemmy!! my mouth is watering seeing these chocolates. I am gonna try this right now.

Cho Yung Tea

The minute I saw these I couldn’t wait to make them because I love the chocolate cherry combination. They are delicious. This recipe is already one of my favorites!!

Randi Lynne

Brownies that are gooey and rich, offset by drunk cherries. I love this! 🙂 We should have more of these boozychocolatey collaborations.

Sweets at Vicky's

So excited to see you’re using an Aussie cookbook, let alone a Sydneysider one. From a bakery in Surry Hills…in my opinion one of the most amazing places in the city. The prune/chocolate combination has really been taking off here for a few years. The bakery is famous for their sausage rolls, something as a vegetarian I can’t try.


I canned some cherries in brandy last summer and I also canned some blueberries in peach schnapps and also in amaretto. Do you think I could use these with this recipe? The brownies look absolutely delicious and it would give me another way to use my canned goodies. I purchased this wonderful brownie pan last year that will work wonderful for this recipe, it has 12 individual compartments, almost like a muffin pan, if you know what I mean. All the best!
HS: Sounds delicious Grace – the blueberries in amaretto + some chopped, toasted slivered almonds might make a nice combination.


Holy smokes! Saw the image, read the title, and could instantly feel all my willpower and mantras about eating fewer sweets kind of melt away into a little dribbly puddle around me. Hey, still counts as a (sort of) whole food when you make it yourself with all real ingredients, right?!


Oh my… these pictures are almost painful to watch! But it’s good to know the remedy is to cook it myself. I think I’ll feel better very soon.


I made these two days ago and they were an instant success! Completely decadent and amazing. Thank you for the recipe!


If I’m into the cherry thing but not the boozy thing, do you think it would work to just add fresh, unsoaked cherries? Or should I soak them in something else


Can I have one piece of your chocolate brownie!!!… I love baking brownies! they are just so good!!! you can’t go wrong with that!

Chocolate Freckles

Wow these look divine!


These brownies sound amazing, my mouth is watering.

heide M

These brownies sound amazing.

Heide M

Anything we can replace the wine with – don’t have alcohol 🙂


another “must” try. looks delish and I love cherries

tobias cooks!

first time commenter, I don’t know if this will ever be relevant to anyone: BUT I made these because I couldn’t wait to try them however there were a couple of things I had to change out of necessity or intrigue or both and I wanted to share:
I used morello cherries and not dried ones, probably 3 cups of them plus a little juice.
I used brown sugar instead of muscavado.
I made vegan sour cream out of vegan cream cheese and lemon juice to substitute for the creme fraiche.
AND everything turned out so well, I was shocked. I didn’t use parchment paper because I didn’t have any and the brownies still came out (honestly) perfect.
Well done Heidi, a beautiful, adaptable recipe. I will return.
HS: Whoop! Thanks for reporting back – glad to hear your substitutions worked out 🙂


Ohhh. Yum. These look awesome… can’t wait to try them! Any substitute for the wine?


I love the chocolate cherry combo.

The Food Hunter

I can’t stop imagining myself eating these brownies.


What an incredible recipe!!!
Is there any way to make it without the wine??


Oh My….you had me at boozy cherries, and the whole pound of chocolate chips nearly gave me a stroke. These sound like the perfect “adult” brownies, thanks for a recipe that I can taunt my kids with. Cheers – S

Oui, Chef

Yum. And the pictures look tasty.

Melange a Trois

These were really wonderful! I used kirsch instead of port, since that’s what I had on hand. I also put the cherries and kirsch in a slightly warm oven just after I turned it off after baking something else. After an hour or so, they were good to go — so if you want to make these right away, you can rehydrate the cherries in a much shorter time if you warm them up.


Yum! I’ve made something very similar for years. My friend owned a bakery and I begged, on my knees, on my birthday, for the recipe. She swore me to secrecy. It was worth it.
I’ve found that my brownies are even better partially frozen. I’d normally worry that the dried cherries in yours would be too hard once frozen, but I wonder if the alcohol would keep them soft. I guess I’ll just have to see. Lucky me!


Chocolate cherry brownies sound phenomenal. I can’t seem to get enough cherry recipes lately. 🙂

Jenn (

Do you think that the cherries would work with amaretto instead of port?


The cherries are soaking……Cannot wait to try these. I have had wonderful results with all of your recipes!


Oh goodness. I could see that these would also be awesome with grand marnier soaked apricots or lots of other boozy fruits. I’m not a huge port drinker so maybe I’ll sub with red wine or sherry. Thanks for the recipe!


I love the idea of creme fraiche in brownies. Sour cream makes chocolate cake and coffee cake even tastier, I bet it does the same for brownies! This looks delicious. I wonder if prunes and Armagnac would be great too…


annnnnnnnnd….i will be making these tonight.


I love dried cherries! I’m really wishing I had some now to snack on after reading this post. But I’ve never thought of soaking them in port. Does the port make them less tangy or does it bring out their tanginess? Either way, I’m putting this on my list, maybe for Mother’s Day. My family has a Christmas Even tradition of drinking a glass of port at midnight (I admit, I never get past a couple of sips) so I think they’ll especially appreciate these. Thanks!


Yikes! These could be my downfall.

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

I can’t wait to taste the combination of chocolate & cherry.
I’ll prepare it for my sick mum. Thats wonderful Heidi.


Usually I bookmark the recipes I want to try, but with yours I have a problem….they all look and sound so delicious that I want to try them all!
It looks amazing! 😀 I love cherries and berries in general (they are packed with vitamins!). I have never tried to soak them in alcohol, though. But sounds great to me 😀


Oh my…I am speechless!


This makes me want to cheat on my mother’s recipe! No mean feat when you consider that the only thing better than her brownies are her peanut butter bars.


Drunk Cherry Brownies


wow, these look intensely chocolate-y! Chocolate and cherries is a perfect combination!


Yumm…I am making these with white chocolate chips and cashews..will let you know how they turn out 🙂


MMMMMM I can’t wait to make these, they souund so good 🙂


Cherries, and chocolate and Port, Oh My!
That is a combination made in baker’s heaven. I used frozen sour cherries and tawny port and low-browed it with store-brand chocolate chips. Considering the pan is now full of crumbs and a memory, I’d have to say these brownies are keepers–shortlived, but keepers.

tom | tall clover farm

Delish! Can’t wait to make these!

Lea Barlow

Is it possible to use fresh cherries or would that be too moist?


Oh yum, I’m drooling over those!

Simply Life

Heidi, thank you for the lovely brownie recipe. Can’t wait to make them. I made another brownie recipe today which included almonds, white chocolate chips and lemon zest. Before I start a batch of your recipe, can I confirm that the cooking time is approx 60 mns? the batch I just made only needed 23 mns in my oven


Sounds like a great way to use up some of the Chocolate Raspberry Port I have an abundance of! Thanks for the inspiration!


So glad that you have seen the Bourke Street Bakery book, Heidi!
I got it for Xmas and love it – and so do my hips!


Wonderful – can’t wait to try them. Do you have suggestions for changing this recipe (and any other)into a gluten free recipe? I’m new to the gluten free world and am struggling to make flour substitutions.


Hi Heidi, great to see you highlight an Australian title – isn’t it a lovely book? I am also really thrilled that Kim Boyce’s wholegrain baking book is now available here – I picked up my copy yesterday and my house is currently smelling beautifully of a baking Olive Oil Cake…….


Hi Heidi,
Can you recommend a port to use for soaking the cherries? Thanks!


I love the combination of cherry with chocolate-a very happy marriage! It looks decadent!

Dinners & Dreams

I love the combination of cherry with chocolate-a very happy marriage! It looks decadent!

Dinners & Dreams

these sound phenomenal


I always take your desserts seriously, because you don’t do a lot of them. I’ve perfected your cherry coconut mini-tarts and made many times, even adding chocolate in. So I am counting on these brownies to be a heavenly experience. I have a package of dried cherries and berries and I have a bottle of port. I cannot wait to try. I will wait for a special time. My wedding anniversary is next month. (I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but when I do I want it to be really good). And these just spoke to me. Thanks as always.


Cherries and booze are a main stay in our house. Each year right after Washington sends all it’s gorgeous cherries south, we fill quart jars with cherries and tequila, strain the booze, simmer with a bit of sugar then re-jar. Mixed with a bit of soda water and squeeze of lime, it brings something special to a summer barbeque. Hmmmm, a bit of a “ode to the cherry ” with brownies and boozy drinks. Break out the hula hoops girlz, summer is here!


I got my chocolate fix today with this great Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake recipe ;).


The most beautiful part is it looks so soft.
That cherry’s source is the hard bit for me.

Brett Sutcliffe

This just takes brownies to a whole new level – I will be making these for sure!


how funny – I just picked up some dried organic cherries today and this recipe looks so good!!


wow i think I am going to make these for my next meeting at work… I was planing on making a passion fruit tart but this looks amazing… I know they will so love the port part and chocolate… and the cherries… yumm… can’t wait to try them
thanks for all the lovely things you post here.. love everything you do… and have tried many of your creations


These look so, so delicious. I’m not usually a fan of cherries, or boozy desserts, but your photos are so gorgeous I absolutely forgot that for a second and wanted to sink my teeth into these more than anything else.
Sounds delicious with the nuts too! I’m bookmarking this for later in the week


Just reading the ingredients is enough to keep me happy, so I will definitely be making some this week! By the way, I am making your lentil coconut soup right now. One of my favorite recipes!!

Alice Driver

Looks fabulous, Heidi…I love dried cherries, therefore this sound like a delicious dessert and I love the spin on the classic brownie!

The Healthy Apple

This recipe looks delicious!
I have one question – did you use dried sweet cherries or dried tart cherries in this recipe? I have some dried Montmorency Tart cherries that I love eating by the handful, but am not sure how they would work here. Thanks!


These sound amazing. I emailed this to my son in college who has moved from cooking to baking. I imagine he’ll love making and eating these.


Chocolate and cherries are a favorite of mine…but soaked in port? That did it for me.

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

Chocolate and cherry are so delicious together!!! Throw in some booze and it’s even better!!! I want these!!


Boozy brownies are certainly my thing. And I think you picked a perfect name!


Boozy brownies with cherries to boot? Hold the phone. My tastebuds just did a little jig. Making these! Thanks for sharing!

The French

Cherry Gouffle Brownies! YUM♥


These sounds stunning! I was addicted to dark chocolate covered cherries a few years back and these could quite easily become my new addiction. Thanks!

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

These sounds stunning! I was addicted to dark chocolate covered cherries a few years back and these could quite easily become my new addiction. Thanks!

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

printed and added to my collection of to do pot luck goodies, we have one every month and will make these next week, hope mine turn out as well as yours mouth is watering thanks so much for the work of posting…love your site…


A rose by any other name…can’t wait to try these.


You had me at port-covered cherries. 😉

Saucy Seasonal Chef

DANG those brownies look (and sound) delicious!


I think I will try these withe the “drunk raisins” strained out of my hot spiced punch after my next winter party but then again I may not be able to wait that long to try it!


These look absolutly decadent and what beautiful pictures! I can almost taste them. I definetly have to try those. Fantastic!

Marie- Helene

These look absolutly decadent and want beautiful pictures, I can almost taste them. I definetly have to try those. Fantastic!

Marie- Helene

Hi Heidi,
Just a question – did you use natural cocoa powder or the Dutch processed kind? I think you used natural since you’ve also added baking soda, but I just wanted to make sure…


Oh, yum, yum, yum… you got me! When I read “port-soaked dried cherries”, I fell in love! These brownies sound divine, packed with so many goodies! Who can resist?!


As an Aussie, I’m thrilled to see your mention of that cookbook. They make some fabulous stuff at the actual bakery and their book is droolworthy. I like that you’ve made it your own with the cherries which would be an unusual and difficult ingredient to source in Australia but a fantastic combination with chocolate.


okay first, yummmmmmm, i’m drunk!
second, i do a very simple strawberry dessert with amaretto that i call “tipsy strawberries.” i may adopt your brownies as my own and “tipsy” them. you can too! 🙂

sina b0 bina

Heidi, you never fail to amaze me with your mouthwatering recipes. This is on my list to try for sure!!

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)

creme fraiche and boozy cherries? I am ALL OVER this. I generally need ultra rich chocolate with something to cut it, and the tangyness of the cream with that lovely boozy acid sounds PERFECT.

Sarah (Braise and Butter)

Hi Heidi,
This brownie looks delicious! My husband, which also follow your updates (after I talked so much about you), are blinking his eyes to me for this recipe. I will *have* to try it! 🙂
And, I would like to *thank you* for starting with the metric measures in the recipes. This makes my life much easier when I want to try one of your recipes! 🙂
Thanks for sharing with us!

Carla Duclos

OMG! The pictures…I almost ate them!


This has to be one of the most decadent brownie recipes I have ever seen! These are off the charts for chocoholics!


Well…….there goes the diet!!


These sound incredibly fabulous! I love the combo of chocolate and cherries!


Heidi, I can’t tell you how much I’m drooling right now. I would have to take a photo of myself to do it, but I’d be foolish to do so.
Brownies! I am a brownie addict and can’t get enough of them! And now that I am drooling, I might have to make these right away just to accompany some type of home made ice cream I’ll have to make. Any idea of what flavor I should make to accompany these with?

kamran siddiqi

Whatever they’re called, they sound fantastic according to your descriptions. I’ve never tried cherries and chocolate together before, as cherries are hard to get around here. Unfortunately. But maybe I can go with prunes!


I’m definitely making these this weekend…


Delicious. I can’t wait to try it.


Those look so heavenly! Wish I could just reach out & grabe one!


Boozy cherries AND chocolate?! SOLD! We’ll be making these asap! Thanks!!!


Wowsa, these look amazing. My mouth is watering after reading your description.

Carrie (Love Healthy Living)

your photos are making me want these for breakfast.


thanks heidi, for the decadence and inspiration. i just made nikki’s healthy cookies today and was thinking of your last baked goods post, where you promised something waiting for. i guess this is it. looks amazing.


Wow! rich chocolates, cocoa, creme fraiche and booziness..
This has got it ALL!
what a great idea—soaking the dried cherries in port.

nancy at goodfoodmatters

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