But the last few years, I’ve had to find a serious reason to also make this chocolate cherry cobbler. And yes, “just because” is a totally valid reason.
It is crazy delicious and has become one of my favorite desserts over the last few years!
The Chocolate Cherry Combo
I’ve never been a huge fan of the chocolate-cherry combo, if I’m being honest.
I think I developed an aversion to the flavor combo early in my youth when I snuck into my grandma’s chocolates thinking I was getting a chocolate caramel only to bite into it and spray sticky sickly sweet cherry juice and chocolate shards everywhere. It was traumatic.
However, since I’m all grown up and quite mature now (ha), I have found a few chocolate cherry combinations that are not found in a rectangle box of chocolates but are very, very tasty.
And this chocolate cherry cobbler is one of them.
The chocolate flavor is a subtle splurge in the way of chocolate chunk biscuit topping. It works. And it’s delicious.
Fresh vs. Frozen Cherries
You can use either fresh or frozen cherries in this cobbler. I included some notes in the recipe if using frozen cherries.
The pitted cherries get tossed with:
vanilla + almond extracts
Easy Biscuit Topping
For the sweet, chocolatey biscuits, I combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and grate the cold (or frozen) butter in using the large holes of a box grater.
You can cut the butter in with a pastry blender or two knives or use a food processor. But the grating-butter-trick is easy, and the cleanup is minimal.
Toss in semisweet chocolate chunks…or chocolate chips…or mini chocolate chips.
And add the egg + buttermilk.
The key to a really soft, tender, flaky biscuit is to mix the dough just until it comes together.
It’ll look a little rough and shaggy. That’s ok! All is as it should be.
Press or roll the dough out onto a lightly floured counter about 1/2-inch thick and cut the biscuits into 12 squares.
Assemble the Cobbler
To assemble the cobbler, spread the cherries evenly in a lightly greased 9X13-inch pan, top with the biscuits and bake until golden and the filling is bubbling around the edges.
For frozen cherries, I like to bake the cherries by themselves first for about 10 minutes before adding the biscuit topping. It gives them a bit of a head start so the filling will thicken up perfectly.
This unique chocolate cherry cobbler is a fantastic way to get a cherry pie fix…without fussing over homemade pie crust. (It’s just as tasty as cherry pie, I promise!)
Those chocolate chunk biscuits are so delightful! The little nubbins of chocolate give the perfect hint of something special to the sweet cherry filling.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will: this chocolate cherry cobbler is infinitely yummier served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM!
2 1/2 to 3 pounds (8-10 cups) pitted sweet cherries (fresh or frozen – see note)
1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (see note)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 8 tablespoons) cold or frozen butter
4 to 6 ounces (3/4 to 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (regular or mini)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
Coarse sugar (like turbinado) for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, add the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond extract (if using). Toss to combine well. Spread the filling in the prepared pan.
For the biscuit topping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use the large holes of a box grater and grate the butter into the dry ingredients. Toss to coat the butter pieces evenly with the flour. Add the chocolate chunks or chips and toss to combine.
In a small bowl or in a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until the dough starts to come together. It may help to ditch the spatula and start mixing with your hands. Don’t over mix – just press the dough together until it forms a shaggy ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and pat or lightly roll into a 10X6-inch rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into 12 pieces.
Arrange the biscuits evenly over the cherry filling (I place them in three rows of four biscuits each). Sprinkle the biscuits with coarse sugar, if desired.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the biscuits are golden and the filling is bubbling around the edges of the pan. To check for doneness, gently lift a biscuit – if it’s still raw on the bottom, continue to bake for a few more minutes. Try not to over bake or the biscuits might be dry.
Let the cobbler cool for about 30 minutes; the filling will thicken as it cools. Serve warm with ice cream.
Frozen cherries: if using frozen cherries, increase the cornstarch to 3 tablespoons. Don’t thaw before using. ALSO, when using frozen cherries, I bake the cherry filling on its own for 10 minutes and then add the biscuit topping and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes.
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Recipe Source: adapted from the Food Network Magazine September 2018 (added baking soda, altered recipe for frozen cherries, added weight measures, etc)