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Sweet Gherkins


  • 5 quarts (about 7 pounds) 1 1/2- to 3-inch pickling cucumbers, washed and blossom ends removed
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 8 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons whole pickling spice
  • 8 (1-inch) pieces cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


  1. First Day: In morning, place cucumbers in large bowl and cover with boiling water; let stand 6 hours.
  2. In afternoon, drain and cover again with fresh boiling water. Let stand overnight.
  3. Second Day: In morning, drain cucumbers and cover with fresh boiling water; let stand 6 hours.
  4. In afternoon, drain cucumbers; add salt; cover with fresh boiling water.
  5. Third Day: In morning, drain cucumbers; prick with fork. Combine 3 cup of the sugar, 3 cups of the vinegar and herbs and spices (except vanilla extract) in a pan. Heat to the boiling point and pour over cucumbers.
  6. In afternoon, drain into a large pan; add 2 cups of the sugar and 2 cups of the vinegar. Heat to the boiling point and pour over pickles. Cover and let stand.
  7. Fourth Day: In morning, drain into a large pan; add 2 cups of the sugar and 1 cup of the vinegar. Heat to boiling and pour over pickles.
  8. In afternoon, prepare jars. Drain syrup off pickles into large pan; add remaining 1 cup sugar and the vanilla extract (if desired) to syrup; heat to boiling. Pack pickles into clean, hot jars. Cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal.
  9. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: 7 to 8 pints

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