Drunken Cherry Shortcake with Vanilla Simple Syrup

Here’s a heavenly grown-up dessert for your next warm weather gathering!

Drunken Cherry Shortcake ~ Savory Simple

I’ve never met a boozy dessert I didn’t like. I absolutely love macerating berries in whatever liquor we have available and that’s the basis for this drunken cherry shortcake recipe!

Grand Marnier has an orange flavor that enhances the cherries and brings out their natural sweetness. If you don’t have that on hand, rum or vodka will also work really well. I used store bought biscuits to prepare this dessert but feel free to use your favorite homemade recipe!

Drunken Cherry Shortcake with Vanilla Simple Syrup
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
4 hrs

Here's a heavenly grown-up dessert for your next warm weather gathering!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jennifer Farley
  • 6 store bought or homemade biscuits
Drunken cherries:
  • 1 3/4 pounds fresh cherries (approximately 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
Mascarpone filling:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 8- ounce container of mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Vanilla simple syrup:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare the cherries:
  1. Wash and pit all of the cherries. I highly recommend a cherry pitter to make this process cleaner and faster.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the pitted cherries with the Grand Marnier, sugar and zest. Cover and let them macerate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally. I recommend letting them sit overnight.
Prepare the filling:
  1. In a stand mixer, whisk the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla until they reach a stiff peak. Be careful not to over-whip. Set aside.
Prepare the simple syrup:
  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Let the mixture cook until the sugar has completely dissolved. For a thicker syrup, allow the mixture to reduce for several minutes.
  3. Allow to cool.
  1. Once the first three components are prepared, bake the biscuits.
  2. Allow them to cool slightly, then cut in half.
  3. Pipe or spoon a generous amount of the filling onto the biscuit, then top with drunken cherries. Drizzle some of the cherry juice on top.
  4. Pipe a bit more filling on top of the cherries, then top with the second half of the biscuit.
  5. Pipe some filling on top and garnish with a cherry.
  6. Drizzle simple syrup on top of or around the shortcake.
Recipe Notes

You may have leftover drunken cherries, depending on how much you use with each serving. I recommend enjoying them over vanilla ice cream :)

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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