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Easy Cherry Sauce Recipe

This homemade Cherry Sauce is loaded with sweet juicy cherries. Quick and easy to make, we love serving this cherry topping on Cheesecake, pancakes, waffles, vanilla ice cream, and pound cake. Cherry Sauce tastes like the filling for Cherry Pie.

Homemade Cherry Sauce in Mason Jar

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Homemade Cherry Sauce Recipe:

Fruit toppings are the perfect complement to many desserts, and this Cherry Sauce definitely can’t be beaten. I find that cherries make the perfect fruit topping for decadent desserts like cheesecake because the tartness of the cherries balances the indulgence of the dessert.

Nothing beats homemade sauces, be sure to also try our Strawberry Sauce and our Caramel Sauce as toppings for desserts or breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles!

Cherries, Lemon, Sugar, Cornstarch, and Water for making homemade Cherry Sauce

How to Make Homemade Cherry Sauce:

This Cherry Sauce couldn’t be easier! All of the ingredients are cooked together in one saucepan and you are left with an irresistible sauce you’ll want to eat with a spoon!

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together water, lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar.
  2. Put the saucepan over medium heat and stir until it starts to thicken. Add cherries and continue stirring occasionally until sauce is at a light uniform boil and has thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Making Cherry Sauce in a saucepan for a delicious dessert topping

Should I Use Sweet or Tart Cherries?

I love making this sauce with sweet cherries. Using sweet cherries means less added sugar is needed – only about 2 tablespoons. Tart cherries also work very well for cherry sauce, however, if using tart cherries I recommend adding 1/4 to 1/4 cup of sugar (or add sugar to taste) so the sauce isn’t too tart.

Can I Use Fresh or Frozen Cherries?

This Cherry topping recipe is so versatile – either fresh or frozen cherries work. Fresh cherries are perfect in the summer at the peak of their growing season.

Frozen cherries are a great choice when fresh cherries are out of season and are typically pre-pitted which can save you the step of removing cherry pits. Keep in mind, frozen fruit release more juice so add a little less water with frozen cherries.

Close-up of homemade Cherry Sauce in mason jar with a serving spoon

Can This be Used as Cherry Pie Filling?

With a few modifications, this Cherry Sauce makes a delicious cherry pie filling! Simply double the recipe and add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the sauce to allow your cherry pie to set up more firmly.

Since the Cherry Sauce is usually served over a sweet dessert, we love that it is a little tangy. If you prefer a sweeter cherry pie filling, be sure to add a little more sugar to sweeten the mixture.

How to Store Cherry Topping:

If you have leftovers of this delicious Cherry Sauce or need to make it in advance, the sauce will store well in the fridge for about 3 days. Let the sauce cool completely to room temperature then store in a glass mason jar or Tupperware container. This recipe also freezes well for future use.

Close-up of Homemade Cherry Sauce in a Mason Jar

Love Cherries? More Cherry Desserts:

Easy Cherry Sauce

5 from 9 votes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Homemade Cherry Sauce in a Mason Jar

This quick and easy homemade Cherry Sauce is loaded with sweet juicy cherries. We love this cherry topping on cheesecake, waffles, ice cream, and cakes!

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $5-$8 Varies by Season
Keyword: cherry sauce
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, Sauce
Calories: 59 kcal
Servings: 8 people (makes 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sweet cherries (fresh or frozen), pitted*
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan (off the heat), add water (use 1/3 cup for fresh cherries and 1/4 cup water for frozen cherries). Whisk in 1 Tbsp cornstarch, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp sugar.

  2. Place over medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture starts to thicken.

  3. Add cherries and cook stirring occasionally until sauce is at a light boil (about 6-10 minutes for fresh cherries and 12-15 minutes for frozen). The sauce should be thickened and uniformly bubbling, not just at the edges, then remove from heat.

  4. Cool to room temperature then cover and store in the refrigerator in a glass mason jar or Tupperware container until ready to use. It will thicken more as it stands.

Recipe Notes

*1 lb of stemmed and un-pitted cherries equals 2 1/2 to 3 cups of cherries, so you will need about 1 1/3 lbs of cherries. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Cherry Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 59 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 153mg4%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 44IU1%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Seth D. Feldman
    July 5, 2020

    I am NOT a cook but recent event has found me baking with my daughter. This recipe was easy to follow and tasted GREAT. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 6, 2020

      My pleasure and I am so glad to hear that you are more inspired now to bake and cook more. Keep it up!

      Reply

  • OC
    July 4, 2020

    Absolutely delicious. I only used 2 cups of fresh cherries, with 1/3 cup water, 1 tblspn corns starch/sugar/lemon juice and I also added 1 tblspn honey and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 4, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that!

      Reply

  • Irina
    July 2, 2020

    Hi- can I use apple cider vinegar instead of Lemon Juice?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 2, 2020

      Hi Irina, I haven’t tried that but I think vinegar would be a little harsh and unpleasant with the cherries.

      Reply

  • laura swi
    July 1, 2020

    can you freeze this sauce? if so, for how long? i have read that cornstartch in food does not freeze well so I am apprehensive about this. thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 1, 2020

      Hi Laura, yes this recipe freezes well, however, I have not tried storing this sauce yet for more than a coupe of days.

      Reply

  • Julia
    June 9, 2020

    Just made this, and it’s unbelievably good! Much tastier than I imagined! The only thing is, I doubled the starch (hoping to mimic the store bought cherry pie filling) and it’s too thick…
    How can I thin it out so it’ll flow nicely on a slice of cheesecake??

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 10, 2020

      Hi Julia, if you warm it up a little bit, it will help to loosen it up. I tried the sauce with more starch when testing also and felt it was too much.

      Reply

    • mahlet melke
      June 20, 2020

      i just made her easy cheesecake and clicked the notes to find out that it was only 5 ingredients. it tasted way better than it looked and Natasha if you see this, what is your superpower? i need that too!

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        June 20, 2020

        You’re so nice! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

        Reply

        • mahlet melke
          July 3, 2020

          i love making all your recipes with my mom because that is something i share with her. BTW i just made your sandwich and elote corn and it was sooooooooo tasty.

          Reply

          • Natashas Kitchen
            July 3, 2020

            Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I’m all smiles

        • mahlet melke
          July 3, 2020

          i just made your chicken sandwich and you elote corn and it tasted so good. i made it with my mom becuase that is something we have a connection in.

          Reply

          • Natashas Kitchen
            July 3, 2020

            That’s so nice! Great idea! Thank you for sharing that with us!

  • Sarah
    May 29, 2020

    Just made this sauce today and it is so good and easy to make! Sharing with my friends!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 29, 2020

      That’s just awesome Sarah! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

  • Sarah
    May 12, 2020

    I’ll be making this cherry sauce and your cheesecake recipe this week and can’t wait! Can the Cherry sauce be canned to preserve longer?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 13, 2020

      Hi Sarah, I haven’t tried canning this sauce but I think it could work well. You might add a little more sugar though for preserving the cherry sauce.

      Reply

  • Carol
    May 12, 2020

    This recipe was extremely welcome as my husband came home from a grocery run with some cherries from a store having misread the list. The cherries were well past their prime and the store has a no return policy! No more fresh produce from them! The cherries were a bit tart so I added a bit more sugar and used most of the cherries rather than having to toss them. Thank you for a most excellent save!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 13, 2020

      You’re very welcome Carol. Thanks for giving this recipe a try and for your great feedback!

      Reply

  • Linda Kostora
    May 9, 2020

    I always add 1/2 tsp of almond extract to any fresh cherry recipe…my preference

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 9, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Tony
    May 7, 2020

    I am really wanting to try this and was wondering if the recipe would work with other fruit also? Possibly raspberries, strawberries and/or blueberries? In the recipe notes it says something about steamed and pitted cherries, did you mean stemmed? Just asking so I do this correctly. You rock and I love your videos.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 8, 2020

      Hi Tony, we have our easy raspberry sauce linked in the recipe also. Yes, we meant stemmed. Thank you.

      Reply

  • Krissy Allori
    May 7, 2020

    This cherry sauce looks amazing. So good to have on hand for all kinds of yummy ways to eat it. I am going to make some this weekend. I know it will be a hit!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 7, 2020

      I hope you love this recipe! We look forward to your feedback!

      Reply

  • April
    May 7, 2020

    Yummmm! I can’t wait to slather this all over everything.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 7, 2020

      Seriously the best! Thank you for sharing that great review with us!

      Reply

  • Kara
    May 7, 2020

    Our cherries were a little tart, so I added a couple more tablespoons of sugar. So yummy over cheesecake!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 7, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that! Thank you, Kara!

      Reply

  • Lauren Kelly
    May 7, 2020

    My kids loved this! We used frozen cherries and it came out perfect!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 7, 2020

      I’m so happy to hear that you all loved the cherry sauce! Thanks for sharing your great review.

      Reply

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