Food

Cheerwine Cherry Cobbler

  • By Steve Gordon

Our State Eats blogger Steve Gordon adds a new dish into the Cheerwine-as-ingredient canon. See his step-by-step recipe for this delicious dessert.

Cheerwine-Cherry-Cobbler_700 web

Cheerwine is known throughout the Carolinas and is expanding internationally. A North Carolina staple since 1917, young and old love it for it’s delightfully different cherry flavored taste. It has a bit more carbonation than other soft drinks and is best served the way it’s always been packaged – in a cold glass bottle.

Beyond its appeal as a refreshing soft drink, Cheerwine is right at home in the world of cooking as well. Through a variety of Cheerwine cakes, ice cream, sherbets, and even barbecue sauce, you can find plenty of ways to incorporate the soda into a recipe. Cola cakes have been around for sometime, but Cheerwine may be the only one that is mass-produced both in pound cake form and in doughnut form. Back in 2010, Cheerwine partnered with Krispy Kreme – another North Carolina company – and produced a Cheerwine-flavored doughnut.

In honor of Jimmy Tomlin’s essay on Cheerwine in the August 2013 issue, we propose adding another dish into the Cheerwine-as-ingredient canon: Cheerwine Cherry Cobbler. Using fresh cherries and cooking them in Cheerwine cola to concentrate the sweetness and flavor, we top the mixture with a crunchy crust and bake it in the oven. You’ll love it even more with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for years to come.

Ready to give it a try? Let’s get cooking!

What you’ll need

Filling

  • 1 to 2 pounds fresh cherries, pits and stems removed
  • 2 (12 ounce) Cheerwine sodas – regular, not diet
  • ½ teaspoon cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

Topping

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted

Click here for a printable version of this recipe (PDF).

Cheerwine Cherry Cobbler:  You'll need these ingredients.

Cheerwine Cherry Cobbler: You’ll need these ingredients.

Wash the cherries under cold running water.  I'm using one pound of fresh cherries for this recipe, but you could just as easily add another pound of cherries without having to increase any of the other ingredients.  I’m making this batch with a thick topping, so there is certainly enough topping to add more cherries if desired.

Wash the cherries under cold running water. I’m using one pound of fresh cherries for this recipe, but you could just as easily add another pound of cherries without having to increase any of the other ingredients. I’m making this batch with a thick topping, so there is certainly enough topping to add more cherries if desired.

Remove the stems from the cherries.  Yes, you have to do this one at a time.

Remove the stems from the cherries. Yes, you have to do this one at a time.

Next, remove the pit.  If you don't have a dedicated tool to remove the pit, a knife will work.  This has to be done one at a time as well.  Watch the juice. It can easily stain your towels or counter top.

Next, remove the pit. If you don’t have a dedicated tool to remove the pit, a knife will work. This has to be done one at a time as well. Watch the juice. It can easily stain your towels or counter top.

Put the cherries in a medium sized saucepot and place over medium heat on the stove.

Put the cherries in a medium sized saucepot and place over medium heat on the stove.

Pour in the two bottles of Cheerwine.  It fizzes a lot because of the carbonation. We're using two bottles because we want to fully cook the cherries in the cola and let the cola reduce down. It's not going to completely thicken up as it cooks, but you need to let it cook until you have just a little more than a cup of liquid in the cherries. As the cola cooks down, the flavors and the sugar of the Cheerwine will intensify. Please note that the recipe will not work as well with diet Cheerwine. Spring for the regular stuff.

Pour in the two bottles of Cheerwine. It fizzes a lot because of the carbonation. We’re using two bottles because we want to fully cook the cherries in the cola and let the cola reduce down. It’s not going to completely thicken up as it cooks, but you need to let it cook until you have just a little more than a cup of liquid in the cherries. As the cola cooks down, the flavors and the sugar of the Cheerwine will intensify. Please note that the recipe will not work as well with diet Cheerwine. Spring for the regular stuff.

Add the cocoa.  We all know that chocolate and cherries just go good together. This will give just a hint of chocolate flavor without overpowering the Cheerwine taste. Give it a good stir.

Add the cocoa. We all know that chocolate and cherries just go good together. This will give just a hint of chocolate flavor without overpowering the Cheerwine taste. Give it a good stir.

The cherries and Cheerwine need to reach a low boil and continue at this low boil for about 30 to 45 minutes. You don't have to stand over the pot, but be sure to stir it about every 10 minutes to keep it from sticking and burning in the pot. As mentioned, cook this down until you have just over a cup of liquid left in the cherries. This will give us plenty of time to work on the topping.

The cherries and Cheerwine need to reach a low boil and continue at this low boil for about 30 to 45 minutes. You don’t have to stand over the pot, but be sure to stir it about every 10 minutes to keep it from sticking and burning in the pot. As mentioned, cook this down until you have just over a cup of liquid left in the cherries. This will give us plenty of time to work on the topping.

I'm using a 2-quart casserole dish to make my Cheerwine cobbler. This size should prevent the cobbler from boiling over while baking and making a mess inside the oven.

I’m using a 2-quart casserole dish to make my Cheerwine cobbler. This size should prevent the cobbler from boiling over while baking and making a mess inside the oven.

Begin making the cobbler by placing one level cup of self-rising flour in a sifter.

Begin making the cobbler by placing one level cup of self-rising flour in a sifter.

Add the cornstarch.

Add the cornstarch.

Sift the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. If you don't have a sifter, you can place the flour and cornstarch in a bowl and use a whisk to fluff it a bit.

Sift the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have a sifter, you can place the flour and cornstarch in a bowl and use a whisk to fluff it a bit.

After sifting, add the brown sugar.

After sifting, add the brown sugar.

Add the granulated sugar.

Add the granulated sugar.

Whisk the dry ingredients together well. Then use your hand to make a small well in the center of the flour.

Whisk the dry ingredients together well. Then use your hand to make a small well in the center of the flour.

Add one whole egg into the well you created in the flour.

Add one whole egg into the well you created in the flour.

Use a fork to slightly beat the egg.  Stir the egg into the flour a little at a time until you've incorporated it all together.

Use a fork to slightly beat the egg. Stir the egg into the flour a little at a time until you’ve incorporated it all together.

You'll end up with crumbly dough like you see here.  Place some flour on your hands, and use your fingers to break up any large lumps of dough.

You’ll end up with crumbly dough like you see here. Place some flour on your hands, and use your fingers to break up any large lumps of dough.

When the Cheerwine has reduced down to about one cup of liquid on the stove, remove the saucepan from the heat.  Add in the almond extract and give it a good stir.

When the Cheerwine has reduced down to about one cup of liquid on the stove, remove the saucepan from the heat. Add in the almond extract and give it a good stir.

Pour the cherries and Cheerwine mixture into your buttered baking dish.

Pour the cherries and Cheerwine mixture into your buttered baking dish.

With your hands, drop the portions of the topping all around the top of the cherry mixture.

With your hands, drop the portions of the topping all around the top of the cherry mixture.

Melt the butter in a microwave about 10 seconds at a time. It doesn't take long to melt butter in a microwave. It gets hot quick so be careful with it. Drizzle the butter all over the topping.  Place the dish in your pre-heated oven.

Melt the butter in a microwave about 10 seconds at a time. It doesn’t take long to melt butter in a microwave. It gets hot quick so be careful with it. Drizzle the butter all over the topping. Place the dish in your pre-heated oven.

You're just baking the cobbler to get the topping part done. You can test that by inserting a toothpick into the thicker dough sections.  If it pulls out clean, other than juice, then the cobbler should be fully baked. Remove it from the oven and place on a towel or wire rack to cool.  I like to add some sugar sprinkles to the top just after taking it out of the oven.

You’re just baking the cobbler to get the topping part done. You can test that by inserting a toothpick into the thicker dough sections. If it pulls out clean, other than juice, then the cobbler should be fully baked. Remove it from the oven and place on a towel or wire rack to cool. I like to add some sugar sprinkles to the top just after taking it out of the oven.

Let the cobbler cool for about 10 minutes prior to serving. This stuff gets very hot while baking.

Let the cobbler cool for about 10 minutes prior to serving. This stuff gets very hot while baking.

Serve a generous portion of your warm Cheerwine cherry cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Serve a generous portion of your warm Cheerwine cherry cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Steve Gordon is a writer, recipe tester, and lover of all things Southern. You can read more of his writing and step-by-step recipes at tasteofsouthern.com.

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28 Responses to Cheerwine Cherry Cobbler

  1. Mona Potts says:

    Please tell me in what month the Cheerwine Cherry Cobbler recipe appeared in Our State. I have a friend in California who gets Our State magazine, but doesn’t have a computer on which to see the recipe. I haven’t yet tried it, but it’s on the horizon. Thanx…

    • ourstate says:

      Hi Mona,
      The Cheerwine Cherry Cobbler recipe did not appear in print at all, it was an online exclusive here at OurState.com. Above there is a quick link to print the recipe. Perhaps you could print it and mail it to your friend? Thank you!

  2. Meg, Southern Pines NC says:

    I made this for a birthday celebration in August & everyone LOVED it! Repeating it by request this week. And using my grandmother’s sifter (from Franklinville/Randolph County, NC). Thank you!

  3. Martin says:

    We are definitely going to try this. I love cherry pie, cobbler, or anything cherry, including Cheerwine.

  4. Pingback: Cheerwine: NC’s Fizzy Little Secret | ideal-LIVING Magazine

  5. Eddie Tapper says:

    Steve,
    Thank you for posting this recipe. I love cherries, cobbler, Cheerwine and North Carolina. What an awesome way to combine all the things I love and keep it a truly North Carolina dish. I will certainly be trying this A.S.A.P. Thanks again, Steve. Have a blessed day.

  6. Lori Keiper says:

    Goat Feathers Antiques is my favorite place to shop in Winston-Salem!! They often have sifters like yours as well as many other wonderful kitchen finds!!!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lori, Maybe I can stop in one day and see what I can find. I buy old kitchen items from a local auction I visit on the weekends. It just calls my name for some reason and I have to bring it home. Thanks for the info. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Steve Gordon says:

    Hi Karen. Thank you for your question about the cherry trees. Sadly, a lot of those good old fruit trees seem to have died away for most of us. You have to know someone, with some farmland, that still has time to take care of their trees in order to get lucky enough to acquire local fruits. I understand they require a bit of attention and care to keep them producing. My late sister had a small apple tree that produced the best apples for many years but it’s long gone now. We had a plum tree in our yard when I was a kid and the neighbors had a huge muscadine grapevine that we could about climb in. I guess that’s why we call them “memories.” Cherry preserves sound like something worth trying. Perhaps someone can point us toward some local cherries. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Karen Ann says:

    I cannot find those good ole cherries that grow on local farms. My grandmother in Frankllin County, NC (Louisburg) had cherry trees that produced bright red, small cherries, with a mighty tart, crisp flavor. She made cherry preserves and pies. Any ideas? Thank you.

  9. carol faley says:

    Goat Feathers Antiques in Winston Salem sells these vintage sifters for a couple of dollars because they work so well and everyone loves them and their memories! GREAT recipe!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Carol, There has to be a good story behind a name like “Goat Feathers.” Don’t you think? Thank you for sharing the info. I’ve picked up a couple at a local auction I attend on Saturday nights. Don’t know why really… I just like old kitchen gadgets and seemed to have started collecting them lately. I hope you will consider trying the recipe. Thanks again. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  10. Ann Weaver says:

    Steve, are you sure you didn’t borrow my sifter out of my kitchen in Dobson? As Lorrie and Carole commented, I will add that I’m proud to be using mine, ever since my marriage in 1967. It’s a reminder of the years we’ve “seen it all” in our lives. Many a pound cake and pan of biscuits began with its use, and I hope my daughter will use it as much as I have when I am gone.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Ann, I would have never thought that the pictures of my sifter would garner all these comments. I love it though and appreciate all the responses. Yes, if only they could talk. May I suggest that you write down some of your favorite recipes to go along with that sifter, maybe some stories about how you’ve used the sifter and possibly present it to your daughter yourself. Maybe even a picture of you using it to make one of her favorites. I’m sure it would be very special to her. Just a thought. Thank you for sharing your comments. Since 1967? Awesome! Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  11. Melissa Harrelson says:

    I,too, remember those sifters well! So glad to see some recipes using the Cheerwine. Our youngest daughter just got married this past June in the mountains of North Carolina (Cashiers) where we have enjoyed all of our holidays for the last 25 years. She lives in Manhattan but wanted to honor her Southern heritage. All of her gift bags had two cans of Cheerwine, along with peanuts from the Eastern NC (Severn) and Stamey’s BBQ sauce from Greensboro. Most of the guests were from Florida, Arizona, D.C or New York and she wanted everyone to know about her southern favorites–especially the Cheerwine!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Melissa, Congratulations to your daughter on her wedding and on her choice of gifts. Sounds like she had some good “raising.” I hope the out-of-towners truly appreciated what they had received. Thank you for sharing your comments. Think you might try the recipe? Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  12. Steve Gordon says:

    Hi Libby, I’ve not tried it with the diet version of Cheerwine. I feel certain it will work though, much like using an artificial sweetener instead of real sugar I suppose. I think Cheerwine has expanded it’s distributorship quite a bit and according to their website, it’s available in some parts of California. Hopefully she can find some. If not, order some for her online and ship it to her… she’ll have to love you even more. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  13. I cannot wait to try this! Can you use diet Cheerwine? I have a daughter in CA that is going to kill me for sending her this recipe…with no Cheerwine!!!

  14. Pamela Clark says:

    I have 1 bottle of Cheerwine left from my last visit home. I have been saving it for a special reason. I think your cobbler may be it. My question is that it has been in my fridge for almost a year and may be a little flat. Will that make a difference to the recipe? I am thinking not but am not 100% sure. Thanks!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Pamela, I seriously doubt it will be flat. Cheerwine is made with extra carbonation so it should still have a good fizz. Of course, that’s not going to matter once you pour it into a sauce pot. I’m delighted you’re willing to give up your last bottle of Cheerwine to try the recipe. Did you know you can visit the Cheerwine.com website and order more online? Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  15. Alane Bartlett says:

    Did you use Bing cherries? Also I’m diggin’ that old sifter!

  16. Carole says:

    Finally found someone with a sifter as old as mine! I couldn’t bake without it. I will try the recipe.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      HI Carole, The sifter belonged to my mom and is one of the most treasured items in my kitchen. I do hope you’ll try the recipe and let us know how you like it. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Lorie says:

        I too have this sifter as a treasure of my Mothers. I also have a few other treasures. Aren’t they soooooooo wonderful? I can’t wait to try this cobbler. Black cherries are my favorite!

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