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Cherry Bell Cookies

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This Cherry Bell Cookie Recipe was popular in the 1960’s and is making a come back! A simple cookie dough wrapped around a stemmed cherry and covered in sugar. These Cherry Cookies are loved by all who try them!



No matter how many search terms I try, I cannot find another recipe like these Cherry Bell Cookies.

They are an old recipe that seems to be lost in time.

Even with Google and Pinterest, I can’t find another recipe like it.  This is virtually impossible with the never ending information that exists. And yet here we are.  



Luckily, several readers have commented that this recipe, is one they remember from when they were kids.  It seems that Cherry Christmas Bell Cookies were popular in the 1960’s and then somehow disappeared from the world.

I’m not sure how that is possible, but lucky for me my Mother-in-Law Liz still makes them every year.  And because of this, these Cherry Bell Cookies are now on Num’s the Word.  Which means that you and your friends can discover this almost lost recipe and fall in love with it too.

The reason these are called Cherry Bell Cookies is because they are in the shape of a bell.  My kids and I love picking these Cherry Bells Cookies up by the stem and “ringing” them like a bell.



Traditionally I’ve always associated these cookies with Christmas thinking of them as Christmas Cherry Bell Cookies.

However in the last few years I’ve started to make them throughout the year.  

These Maraschino Cherry Bell Cookies aren’t difficult to make.  In fact, they are really quite easy.  One reader commented that she likes to make these with red and green cherries. 



I personally have never found green cherries on a stem.  However the stem isn’t required.  So you could make these without the stem turning them into Cherry Balls instead of Cherry Bell Cookies.  

When I make these I like to remove the stems in a few of them for my younger kids who struggle with the concept of stems.

These Cherry Cookies are on the top 5 list of my favorite cookies.  The maraschino cherry juice soaks into the cookie which also flavors it.  For anyone who likes maraschino cherries, they’ll love this easy cherry cookie recipe.



My son and I are both HUGE lovers of maraschino cherries.  Cookies, cakes, breads and bars are all devoured by us.  It’s also why we ALWAYS have a large bulk store sized tub of Maraschino cherries in my fridge at all times.  

That may seem excessive to you, but we love baking with them.  In addition to that, we also love to add a little cherry juice to a variety of drinks.  

Hopefully by trying this Cherry Bell Cookie recipe, you’ll fall in love too! Perfect for any party, gathering or gift!




Yes you should drain your cherries first.  Save the cherry juice for other recipes.  However for these Cherry Bell Cookies. you’ll want to drain your cherries.  Then once they are drained, you can add them to the center of your cookie and still form the dough tightly around the cherry.  If the cherries are full of juice the dough will not seal properly and your cookies will be wonky.




Yes you can.  I have used stemless cherries several times.  They turn out to be Cherry Cookie Balls instead of Cherry bells as there isn’t a stem to ring them from.  However they still taste just as great.  By using stemless cherries you can use green cherries with green sugar too!




Despite Cherry Bell Cookies not being a popular search term, Cherry Balls is.  However a Cherry Ball isn’t quite the same as a Cherry Bell Cookie.  Cherry Balls range from stemless cherries in a cake ball to a cherry covered in brownies and chocolate or even coconut.  One of the biggest differences between a Cherry Ball Recipe and a Cherry Bell Cookie Recipe is that Cherry Balls are usually a no bake treat.




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Maraschino Cherries are light colored cherries that are soaked in a brine mixture to bleach them.  Then the cherries are soaked in a food coloring and sugar syrup to sweeten them up.   This is what gives them their super sweet red color.  

Knowing how they are made, may cause you concern.  Don’t worry.  In fact, most people find them to be delicious!




Believe it or not, this is one of the most searched for questions on Google.  Maraschino cherries don’t take any longer to digest than any other food.  The myth of taking 7 years to digest is just that, a myth.




Some would say yes, while others say no.  The same question could be asked about sugar, chocolate or corn syrup.  Are they bad for you?  Yes. And no.  Some of us need those things to survive.  Maraschino cherries are in no way healthy.  However they are OH SO TASTY and well worth eating in recipes like this!


Yield: 24 Cookies

Cherry Bell Cookies

Cherry Bell Cookies - hand holding up a single cookie

These Maraschino Cherry Bell Cookies aren't difficult to make.  In fact, they are really quite easy.  One reader commented that she likes to make these with red and green cherries. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • dash of salt
  • 1 jar of maraschino cherries (approx. 24)
  • Red sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar.
  3. Add salt and flour and mix until incorporated.
  4. Add water. Dough should come together.
  5. Take a small ball of dough in your hands. Flatten it out.
  6. Put cherry in the middle of dough and wrap dough around cherry up to stem.
  7. Shape dough into a bell shape and roll in red sugar.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until a hint of golden.


If you are making these for small children, remove stem before baking.

Originally Posted: February 4, 2014

Photos & Text Updated: April 17, 2019

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Melisa Hernandez

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

We use to make these in the 70's but after the cookies were baked and cooled we'd dip them in chocolate (no colored sugar) and we called them Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies.


Thursday 28th of September 2023

I've never heard of this version and now I'm intrigued. I'm going to try that this year! Thanks for sharing!


Thursday 26th of May 2022

I found both red and green maraschino cherries with stems at Big Lots at Christmas time


Monday 4th of July 2022

Thanks for the tip Abby! I'll have to check there!

Marian Nelson

Sunday 9th of December 2018

This is the very first time I've EVER seen a recipe for the Cherry bells. Thank you so much for sharing with us. A family friend would make these for the holidays in the 50s and 60s, and I never thought to get the recipe before she passed away. I've asked her daughter a few times for the recipe, but she's never gotten around to e mailing it to me. Now I have it.

One thing she did was to also get the green maraschino stemmed cherries and then use green sugar on the outside. Having the red and green side by side on a cookie tray made it very festive.


Wednesday 12th of December 2018

Marian I am SO GLAD you found Num's the Word and our Cherry Bell Cookies!! I just finished up a double batch that we passed out to friends! Truly one of my favorite cookies! I've never seen green cherries on stems! Now I'm dying to get my hands on them! Thank you for the tip! I can't wait to find them and do both versions! Yum!

Anna Miller

Friday 12th of October 2018

I’m very interested in making these cookies! Maybe it’s due to my lack of baking experience, but what is red sugar?


Friday 12th of October 2018

Hi Anna! Red Sugar is as simple as sugar that is colored red. You can purchase it in the baking isle usually with the sprinkles. During the Holidays you can find it in the holiday isle too! I hope you enjoy it!


Wednesday 17th of December 2014

Our Mom made these every Christmas when we were young (1960's). It was one recipe we could never find in her recipe books. Thank you for posting, we will definitely be making some this Christmas! Merry Christmas! Anne


Thursday 18th of December 2014


Wow! You have just made my Christmas! My Mother-in-Law has been making them since AT LEAST the 60's so I wonder if they were a big deal back in the day. Either way, they are my favorite Christmas cookie! And you are right. I was quite surprised that before I posted mine on Pinterest they did not exist. You literally could not find the recipe! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Enjoy the memories of the cookies!

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