Sweet Cherry Turnovers Recipe: Come & Give It a Try!

by Ella

Sweet cherry turnovers are a delectable pastry treat that combines the natural sweetness of cherries with flaky, buttery pastry dough. These hand-held delights are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, and they are surprisingly easy to make at home. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of creating sweet cherry turnovers from scratch. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a novice in the kitchen, you’ll find this recipe both satisfying and rewarding.

Sweet Cherry Turnovers

Sweet cherry turnovers are a delightful pastry treat that combines the natural sweetness of cherries with flaky, buttery pastry dough. These hand-held delights are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, and they are surprisingly easy to make at home. In this step-by-step guide, we'll take you through the process of creating sweet cherry turnovers from scratch.
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Yield: 2
Cost: $5


For the Pastry Dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup ice water

For the Cherry Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (for egg wash)
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)


Prepare the Pastry Dough

  • Chill Your Ingredients: Place the cubed butter and a mixing bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Cold ingredients are essential for a flaky pastry.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Cut in the Butter: Remove the cold butter from the freezer and add it to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. You should still see small chunks of butter in the mixture.
  • Add Ice Water: Gradually add the ice water to the mixture, stirring with a fork until the dough begins to come together. Be careful not to overmix; the dough should be shaggy and slightly sticky.
  • Form a Dough Disk: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather it into a ball. Flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the Cherry Filling

  • Pit and Halve the Cherries: While the dough is chilling, pit the sweet cherries and cut them in half. If you have a cherry pitter, it will make this task much easier.
  • Mix with Sugar and Cornstarch: In a mixing bowl, combine the halved cherries with granulated sugar and cornstarch. If you like, add a touch of almond extract for an extra layer of flavor. Toss the mixture gently to coat the cherries evenly. Set aside.

Roll Out the Dough

  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll the Dough: On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to trim the edges and create an even rectangle.

Cut and Fill the Dough

  • Divide the Dough: Cut the rolled-out dough into smaller squares or rectangles, depending on your preference for turnover size. Typically, 4x4-inch squares work well.
  • Fill with Cherry Mixture: Place a spoonful of the cherry mixture in the center of each dough square, leaving some space around the edges to seal the turnovers. Be careful not to overfill.
  • Fold and Seal: Fold each square in half to create a triangle, enclosing the cherry filling. Use a fork to gently press the edges together and seal the turnovers. You can also use your fingers to crimp the edges decoratively.

Bake and Finish

  • Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk to create an egg wash. Brush the tops of the turnovers with the egg wash; this will give them a beautiful golden-brown finish when baked.
  • Bake: Place the turnovers on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  • Cool and Dust: Allow the sweet cherry turnovers to cool on a wire rack. Once they have cooled slightly, dust them with powdered sugar for an elegant touch.

Variations of Sweet Cherry Turnovers

1. Almond-Cherry Turnovers:


Add a teaspoon of almond extract to the cherry filling for a delightful almond flavor that pairs perfectly with sweet cherries.


Sprinkle some sliced almonds on top of the turnovers before baking for added texture and nutty goodness.


2. Chocolate-Cherry Turnovers:


Sprinkle mini chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate over the cherry filling for a luscious chocolate-cherry combination.

Drizzle melted chocolate over the cooled turnovers for an extra indulgent touch.

3. Berry Bliss Turnovers:

Combine sweet cherries with other berries like raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries for a mixed berry turnover.

Adjust the sugar in the filling to balance the sweetness of different berries.

4. Cream Cheese-Stuffed Turnovers:

Whip up a sweet cream cheese filling by mixing softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla extract.

Place a dollop of cream cheese filling in the center of each turnover along with the cherry filling before sealing.

5. Streusel-Topped Turnovers:

Prepare a simple streusel topping by combining flour, sugar, and cold butter until crumbly. Add a pinch of cinnamon for extra flavor.

Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top of the turnovers just before baking to add a sweet, crunchy layer.

6. Citrus Zest and Cherry Turnovers:

Add a hint of citrus zest, such as lemon or orange, to the cherry filling for a refreshing twist.

The citrus zest complements the sweet cherries beautifully and adds a bright, aromatic element.

7. Savory Cherry Turnovers:

Experiment with a savory version by adding goat cheese or feta cheese to the cherry filling.

You can also incorporate herbs like basil or thyme for a unique flavor profile.

8. Caramelized Onion and Cherry Turnovers:

Sauté thinly sliced onions until caramelized and mix them with the cherry filling.

The sweet and savory combination of caramelized onions and cherries is a delightful surprise.

9. Mini Turnovers:

Make mini turnovers by cutting the pastry dough into smaller squares or circles.

These bite-sized treats are perfect for parties and gatherings.

11. Spiced Cherry Turnovers:

Add warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the cherry filling for a comforting, spiced flavor.

These spices complement the sweetness of the cherries beautifully.

The Secret to Successful Sweet Cherry Turnovers Making

The secret to successful sweet cherry turnovers lies in attention to detail and a few key techniques that ensure your pastries turn out flaky, flavorful, and irresistible. Here are the secrets to mastering the art of sweet cherry turnovers:

1. Use Cold Ingredients: The key to a flaky pastry is cold ingredients, especially cold butter. Start with chilled butter and ice-cold water. You can even chill your mixing bowl and utensils for good measure.

2. Don’t Overmix the Dough: When making the pastry dough, mix it just until it comes together. Overmixing can result in tough, less flaky pastry. You should still see small bits of butter in the dough; these will create the desired flakiness.

3. Properly Prepare the Cherries: Ensure your sweet cherries are pitted and halved, and if they are frozen, make sure they are thawed and well-drained. Excess moisture can lead to soggy turnovers.

4. Don’t Overfill: Resist the urge to overfill the turnovers with cherry filling. Overfilling can cause the pastries to burst open while baking and may result in a messy finished product. Leave some space around the edges to seal them easily.

5. Use an Egg Wash: Brushing the turnovers with an egg wash (a beaten egg mixed with a tablespoon of milk) before baking not only gives them a beautiful golden color but also helps create a barrier that keeps moisture out and enhances the pastry’s texture.

6. Proper Sealing: Ensure that the edges of the turnovers are well-sealed. You can use a fork to crimp the edges or your fingers to pinch and seal them decoratively. A good seal prevents the filling from leaking out during baking.

7. Ventilation: Make small slits or poke holes in the top of each turnover with a fork to allow steam to escape. This helps prevent the pastries from becoming overly puffy or soggy.

8. Bake at the Right Temperature: Preheat your oven to the correct temperature (usually around 375°F or 190°C) and bake the turnovers until they are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Underbaking can result in a doughy texture.

9. Cool Slightly Before Serving: Let the sweet cherry turnovers cool on a wire rack for a few minutes after baking. This allows the pastry to set, making them easier to handle. However, they are best enjoyed while still slightly warm.

10. Experiment with Flavors: Don’t be afraid to experiment with additional flavorings like almond extract or lemon zest in the cherry filling to enhance the taste of your turnovers.

See Also: Sweet vs. Sour Cherries: Which Is Better?

FAQs About Sweet Cherry Turnovers

Q1. Can I use frozen cherries for making turnovers?

Yes, you can use frozen cherries to make turnovers. However, make sure to thaw and drain them before using. Excess moisture from frozen cherries can make the turnovers too soggy.

Q2. What other fruits can I use in turnovers?

While cherries are a classic choice, you can get creative with the fillings. Common alternatives include apples, blueberries, peaches, and raspberries. Adjust the sugar and spices in the filling to complement your chosen fruit.

Q3. Do I need to peel the cherries before using them in turnovers?

No, you don’t need to peel sweet cherries for turnovers. The skin of sweet cherries is thin and edible, and it adds color and flavor to the filling. Simply pit and halve them.

Q4. Can I make turnovers with store-bought pastry dough?

Yes, you can use store-bought puff pastry or pie crust dough to make turnovers for a quicker option. Just follow the instructions on the package for rolling and cutting the dough, and proceed with the cherry filling and baking steps.

Q5. How do I prevent the turnovers from becoming too soggy?

To prevent soggy turnovers, make sure your cherries are properly drained, especially if you’re using frozen cherries. Additionally, don’t overfill the turnovers with the cherry mixture, leaving some space around the edges for sealing. Brushing the tops with an egg wash helps create a barrier to keep moisture out.

Q6. Can I freeze cherry turnovers before baking?

Yes, you can freeze assembled but unbaked cherry turnovers for later use. Place them on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, and then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to bake, no need to thaw; simply bake them a bit longer straight from the freezer, usually 5-10 minutes more.

Q7. What’s the secret to achieving a flaky pastry for turnovers?

The key to a flaky pastry is using cold ingredients and not overworking the dough. Ensure that your butter and water are very cold, and avoid overmixing the dough. Small pieces of cold butter within the dough create those delightful flaky layers.

Q8. How long can I store cherry turnovers, and how should I store them?

Cherry turnovers are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are baked. However, you can store leftover turnovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Reheat them briefly in the oven or microwave before serving to refresh their flakiness.

Q9. What is the best way to reheat leftover turnovers?

To reheat leftover cherry turnovers, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes, or until they are warm and the pastry is crisp. You can also use a microwave, but be cautious not to overheat them, as the pastry may become soggy.


Making sweet cherry turnovers from scratch is a delightful and rewarding culinary endeavor. These flaky, fruit-filled pastries are a testament to the delicious possibilities that can emerge from your own kitchen. Whether you enjoy them fresh out of the oven for breakfast or as an elegant dessert, sweet cherry turnovers are sure to impress.

With the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide, you have all the tools you need to create these delectable treats. So, gather your ingredients, roll out the dough, and let the sweet aroma of cherry turnovers fill your home as you embark on your homemade pastry adventure. Enjoy every bite of these delightful hand-held delights, and savor the sweet taste of success in your baking endeavors.



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