Cherries are a delicious summer fruit that many people enjoy eating fresh. When cooking or baking with fresh cherries, it’s helpful to know how many cherries are in a standard volume measurement like a cup. This allows you to more easily substitute cherry quantities in recipes.
So how many fresh, whole cherries are in a cup? The answer depends on the size of the cherries, but general guidelines suggest around 20-25 medium sized cherries make up one cup. Smaller cherries may have 30-40 per cup, while larger varieties may only have around 15.
Key Factors Determining Cherries per Cup
There are a few key factors that determine the number of fresh cherries in a cup measurement:
The most important factor is the size of the individual cherries. Small cherries take up less space, so you can fit more of them in a cup. Large cherries have more volume, so there will be fewer per cup.
Standard cherry varieties like Bing cherries often have 20-25 per cup when medium in size. If you had particularly small cherries, like Rainier cherries, you might expect 30-40 per cup. For extra large cherries, such as sweetheart cherries, there may only be around 10-15 per cup.
How Cherries Are Packed
The way the cherries are positioned in the cup also affects the count. Cherries can be packed either tightly or loosely.
If the cherries are tightly packed into the cup, more can fit than if they are just loosely dropped in. Expect a difference of 5-10 cherries depending on packing.
There is some variability in cup measurements based on the actual cup used. Standard US measuring cups are 8 fluid ounces, but cups in recipes are sometimes approximated without precise measuring.
Smaller cup sizes mean fewer cherries. If you had a very small teacup, there may only be around 10-15 cherries even if tightly packed.
Cherry Size Grades
Cherry producers and distributors often grade cherries into different size groups. This provides some useful guidelines for estimating cherries per cup:
Extra Small: 32-40 cherries per cup
Extra small cherries measure around 14mm. Varieties like Rainiers are typically in this range. You can expect around 32-40 extra small cherries in a standard 8 ounce cup measure.
Small: 26-30 cherries per cup
Small sized cherries measure 15-16mm. Sweetheart and Lapin cherries often fall into the small size range. For small cherries, expect approximately 26-30 per measured cup.
Medium: 20-24 cherries per cup
Medium cherries are 16-18mm and this is the size of most mainstream varieties like Bing. In a typical cup you’ll have 20-24 medium cherries.
Large: 16-20 cherries per cup
Large cherries measure 18-20mm. Chelans, Brooks, and Tulares are varieties often graded as large sized. For these big cherries, a cup will contain around 16-20 fruits.
Extra Large: 12-15 cherries per cup
Extra large cherries measure over 20mm. Cups will hold approximately 12-15 of these big cherries. Sweetheart cherries are sometimes graded as extra large.
Cherry Volume Per Cup Examples
Here are some examples of typical cherry sizes and the corresponding volumes:
Rainier cherries are a small variety, averaging 15mm in size. You can expect around 35 Rainier cherries in a typical 8 ounce cup measure.
Bing is the most common mainstream cherry variety. They average 17mm as a medium size. A cup will hold about 22-23 Bing cherries on average.
Brooks are a large cherry cultivar, often over 18mm size. For these bigger cherries, expect approximately 18 Brooks cherries in one cup volume.
Sweetheart, also known as Stevia, are an extra large variety sometimes over 20mm. You’ll get around 12-13 of these big sweet cherries in an 8 ounce cup measure.
How to Estimate Cherries per Cup
It can be tricky to get an exact count of cherries per cup since sizing can vary. Here are some tips to help estimate:
Look at Average Cherry Size
Look at a sample of your cherries and evaluate whether they are small, medium or large on average. This will give you a ballpark figure based on the size grades.
Pick a Middle Number
The size ranges provide a good spread. Pick a middle number rather than the highest or lowest end of the range for your cherry size. This will be a safe approximation in most cases.
Try a Test Cup
For a trial run, measure an actual cup of your cherries, tightly packed. Count the number you get as a baseline. Use this to estimate how many more cups you need for a recipe.
Weigh Cups for More Accuracy
For greater precision, weigh a cup on a kitchen scale in grams or ounces. Then weigh all the cherries needed and divide by your cup weight to get total cups.
Cup to Weight Conversions
In some recipes, cherry amounts are specified by weight instead of volume. Here are some equivalents as a reference:
1 Cup Pitted Cherries = 150g = 5.3oz
A standard US cup of pitted cherries weighs approximately 150 grams or 5.3 ounces on a scale.
1 Cup Whole Cherries = 190g = 6.7oz
Whole cherries with pits weigh more than pitted, about 190 grams or 6.7 ounces per cup.
10 Pounds of Cherries = 16-22 Cups
For bulk buying, a 10 pound box holds 16-22 cups of cherries on average depending on cherry size.
So 150g or 190g of cherries is equivalent to about 1 cup volume. Use these conversions to help adapt recipes and portions.
Factors That Don’t Change Cherries per Cup
Some other factors related to cherries do NOT affect the number of cherries in a cup. These include:
Pit vs No Pit
Whether a cherry has a pit or not does not change volume. You will get the same number of cherries in a cup measure when pitted vs unpitted.
Sweet vs Sour Cherries
Sweet cherries vs sour cherries does not affect cup counts. A cup holds a similar number whether the variety is sweet or tart.
Where cherries are grown – be it Michigan, California, Oregon, or elsewhere – does not change cherries per cup. It’s only the size that matters.
Fresh vs Frozen
Frozen cherries hold the same volume when thawed as fresh. Freezing and thawing does not shrink or expand the fruit so cups are equal.
So the cherry’s size remains the key factor, regardless of other attributes like pitting, taste, or source.
Storing Cherries and Volume Changes
When fresh cherries are stored, they can shrink slightly as moisture loss occurs. Here are some notes on changes over time:
Cherries that are not washed or wet will hold their size and volume for 2-3 days when refrigerated in a breathable container. Expect minimal volume change during this time.
Washed cherries may show more shrinkage over 2-3 days as additional moisture is lost. Volume could decrease by 5-10%.
Pitting cherries causes some immediate swelling and distortion of the fruit. When stored, pitted cherries can shrink up to 20% in a few days. Account for this drop if measuring in advance.
Frozen Pitted Cherries
Frozen cherries will hold their volume over months or years in the freezer. Thaw back to the same cup measures.
So whole fresh cherries maintain volume well for a couple days. But pitting, washing, or freezing can change amounts over longer storage.
Cup Conversions for Other Produce
Fruits and vegetables can also vary in how many pieces make up a cup. Here are some other common produce cup conversions:
Blueberries: 1 cup = 150g = 3.5oz = 16-20 blueberries
Raspberries: 1 cup = 120g = 4oz = 30-40 raspberries
Blackberries: 1 cup = 140g = 5oz = 15-20 blackberries
Strawberries: 1 cup = 145g = 5.2oz = 8 large strawberries
Banana: 1 cup sliced = 150g = 5.3oz = 1 medium banana
So cherries are not alone in having variation. You’ll need to estimate based on individual berry or fruit size when measuring cups for recipes.
Typical Cherry Uses by Volume
Knowing guidelines for cups of cherries can help for portioning out some typical uses:
|Snack (serve per person)
|Jam/preserve filling (1 jar)
Use about a cup per person for smoothies, milkshakes, and baking. Half a cup adds a nice topping for cereal or yogurt. Salad toppings and snacks need around a third to half a cup. Making preserved jam or filling requires larger volumes of 4 cups or more.
Cherry Nutrition Per Cup
Understanding nutrition information per cup is helpful for a balanced diet:
|1 Cup Cherries
A cup of cherries has about 100 calories, with 25g of carbs and 3g of fiber. They provide vitamin C, but are lower in other vitamins and minerals. Cherries make a tasty fruit option, though best eaten in moderation due to their natural sugar content.
Serving and Cooking Tips for Cherry Cups
Here are some easy tips for working with cup measurements of fresh cherries:
– For snacks or garnishes, portion into small ramekins or bowls equivalent to 1/4 or 1/2 cup servings
– When baking, lightly grease cups or pack down gently to fit more cherries
– Avoid washing cherries until ready to use to limit moisture loss and shrinkage
– If pitting in advance, add an extra 2-3 cherries per cup to account for some shrinkage
– For salads or yogurt, cut large cherries into halves or quarters to spread one cup over more servings
– Freeze measured cup portions directly on trays then pack into bags to retain volumes for later use
– Mix different size cherries when packing cups to get an approximate average piece size
Whether making a cherry dessert, snacking on the go, or mixing up a fruit salad, estimating the number of cherries in a cup is helpful for recipes and portions. On average, a standard US cup measure holds around 20-25 medium sized fresh cherries. But this can range from 15-40 depending on cherry size and how tightly packed. When working in bulk volumes for cooking, canning, or produce stands, also consider the weight of cherry cups. With some trial and error, you can learn to eyeball the right quantity of cherries for your needs based on cup estimates.