Black Cherry Cup Cookies

Black Cherry Cup Cookies are an update on the traditional cherry pie cookie using a homemade filling and a touch of cinnamon and brandy. Add these gourmet cookies to your Christmas cookie tradition.

finished cherry cup cookies on a cooling rack over a marble board

This post was first published December 2013 and updated December 2019 for photos and content.

Every December when I make Christmas cookies, these are the first ones I make. My recipe is adapted from a really old family recipe, and I have just always had such affection for it.

The original recipe uses canned cherry pie filling, which was always great to me. But then I started making my own filling. Using black cherries makes them look crazy elegant, such a gourmet cookie. And my filling is light-years tastier.

lots of cooked gourmet christmas cookies, on a marble surface

What are the ingredients for the Black Cherry Pie Filling?

  • Black cherries, obviously. Fresh or frozen is fine.
  • Little lemon juice to cut the sweetness.
  • Sugar. Duh.
  • Cornstarch to thicken.
  • Brandy for flavor.
  • Cinnamon for more flavor.

Standard stuff, all easy to get and throw together in a saucepan for a quick cookie filling.

collage of 2 photos to show making the cream cheese cookie dough: left is just starting to mix the ingredients in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon; right is the combined ingredients

What are the steps for making Black Cherry Cup Cookies?

  1. Combine the 3 ingredients for the dough.
  2. Use the dough to line mini muffin tin cups.
  3. Make the Black Cherry Pie filling (this takes just a couple minutes).
  4. Fill the cups with the filling and bake.
Wood tamper pressing down the cream cheese cookie dough into the mini muffin tin

More tips for making these gourmet cookies:

  • Using a mini tamper like I did (see photo) makes forming the little pie shells SO FAST. Just keep dipping in flour between dough cups and go. Tampers are cheap, you can find them on Amazon. I am not a big kitchen gadget person, but I really recommend getting one.
  • ^^^That said, my daughter’s grandma that first graced us with cherry cup cookies never used a tamper. So you can use your fingers easily too, no worries.
  • For getting the cooked cookies out of the tins, it helps to have the crust come up a bit over the edge rather than be flush or down in there. Then use a butter knife to get in on the side just a bit and GENTLY lift a bit so you can get the cookie out.
  • Babysit the black cherry pie filling while cooking. I have gotten distracted and burned whole batches. It comes together super quick and will then scorch if you don’t watch it.
the black cheer pie filling glistening in a saucepan, stirred with a wooden spoon


  • Is the mini dough tamper required? Nope. As I said above, you can use your fingers. That is the way our family did it for years long before we had a tamper.
  • Can these cookies be frozen? Yes! In fact, we usually do because at room temperature they will only last 4-5 days.
  • What is the best way to store these cookies? I recommend storing in single layer in ziploc bags. Especially if you are going to freeze them, because this allows you to layer them and then get just one bag out when you want some without disrupting them all.
  • Can this recipe be doubled? Tripled? Yes, and I highly recommend doing so. This is precisely the kind of cookie where you will want to keep/freeze some at home, but then also bring to friends and coworkers to share.
lots of cooked gourmet christmas cookies, on a marble surface


pin image

Be sure to also check out my most popular cookie recipe, Potato Chip Cookies.

finished cherry cup cookies on a cooling rack over a marble board

Black Cherry Cup Cookies

Black Cherry Cup Cookies are an update on the traditional cherry pie cookie using a homemade filling and a touch of cinnamon and brandy.
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Christmas
Keyword: black cherry cookies, black cherry pie cookies, cherry cup cookies, cherry pie cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Authur: Erica
Servings: 48 cookies
Calories: 79kcal


For the Cream Cheese Cookie Crust

  • 8 oz plain cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Black Cherry Filling

  • 5 cups pitted black cherries thawed, if frozen
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp brandy
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting


For the Cream Cheese Cookie Crust

  • For the crust, combine the butter and cream cheese. Stir in the flour.
  • Shape dough into 1-in balls. Using a muffin tin for miniature muffins, use each ball to line the cups and form the mini pie crusts. This can be done with a wooden tamper or your fingers.

For the Black Cherry Filling

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the ingredients for the filling (all listed except the powdered sugar). Simmer very gently ~5 minutes until gelled, stirring often to prevent it burning on the bottom.

For the Cherry Cookies

  • Fill each crust dough-lined cup with ~2 cherries and some sauce (see Notes).
  • Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned.
  • Once cooled a bit remove cookies to a wire rack to cool. Once fully cool, dust with powder sugar.


Take care to not overfill the cookies with the filling prior to baking. The filling will bubble up while baking and spill over, so aim for no more than 3/4s full. Whether this is 1, 2, or 3 cherries will depend on the size of your cherries. I have made these cookies using 1 cherry plus sauce because they were larger.
To store: put cookies in a single layer in a large ziploc bag. Store at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Calorie estimation is approximate and per 1 cookie.


Calories: 79kcal

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