Homestead Holidays! Canning Chocolate Cherry Sauce

This last week we’ve been making a lot of goodies and I’ve been sharing them as the week has gone by. Today my daughter, Sierra, finished up some cookies that I’ll share tomorrow and I made chocolate cherry sauce. 

This is another quick and easy canning recipe that would make a super nice little gift as well. I made up a batch of this sauce this evening and it tasted yummy! I used frozen cherries that I purchased at Costco. Now I have a few jars for giving away and a couple for our own shelf. It will make a great topper for ice cream, cheesecake, pudding and so on.

After doing some research on canning chocolate sauce what I found was that typically chocolate sauce on its own cannot be canned. It is a low acid food and not suitable for water bath canning. However with the fruit and lemon juice added it raises the ph level enough to make it fine for canning.

Canning Chocolate Cherry Sauce

4-1/2 cups frozen sweet cherries
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pkg Pectin
6-3/4 cups granulated sugar

Prepare 6 to 8 half pint jars buy washing in hot soapy water, rinsing well and then fill with boiling water to keep warm while you make sauce. 

Combine lemon juice and cherries in a 6qt stock pot and let them defrost a bit. You can turn the burner on very low to help the process. Use a potato masher to crush them.

In a bowl combine the cocoa powder and pectin and stir until well mixed. Add to cherries and stir often (you don’t want the mixture to scorch so stir regularly) and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and continue stirring. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down). Boil and stir for 1 minute. 

Remove from heat. Ladle into prepared jars leaving at least ¼ inch headspace. Wipe off any sauce that has spilled on the rim, put a clean (new) canning lid on, and a ring (the ring does not have to be new, just clean).

Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from canner and set in draft free area to cool completely. After 24 hours remove rings and store (or prepare for gift giving with a pretty ribbon and label).

This recipe made 7 half pint jars for me with a little leftover that my family enjoyed doing a taste test on!

Gathering together the ingredients (I did not use the whole bag of cherries, I still have more than half left and enough to make another batch if I get that ambitious! )

Letting the cherries defrost and mashing them up…

After adding the chocolate/pectin…

I did not have time (or enough hands to help) to get a pic of what it looked like after I put the sugar in. And then my camera acted up..  sigh..  but after filling the jars, putting the lid and rings on, and canning them..  here are pics of the sauce after pulling them out of the canner..
It was a quick process. In all it took about one hour to make it.. a little more time spent cleaning up the sticky chocolate mess! But it was worth it..


  1. Thank you. I admire you ams your family!!

  2. This looks wonderful. I have some questions: I was waiting for the cherries to be drained out, but they never were. Did you leave the cherries in? Also, the recipe said, "sweet" cherries, but your bag of cherries say, "tart". I would have probably not made the batch b/c it wasn't a bag of sweet cherries - not a confident cook, I guess. But, the taste test must have proven it didn't really matter. I wonder if the tart make it more acidic anyway to help with the canning.

    1. Sharon, I did not drain the juice from the cherries, but left it in. Also I don't think it would matter one way or the other, tart or sweet..

  3. I canned this cherry sauce during the summer (using fresh, dark cherries) and it is delicious! I gave it all away so I am making more today with Bordeaux Maraschino cherries. This makes great gifts.

  4. You didn't have it in the process but did you pit the cherries?

  5. I bought the cherries frozen from the store.. they were already pitted. Crystal 🙂


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