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 1/2 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:

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Cherry Sauce

4.96 from 105 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
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!
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 people (makes 2 1/2 cups)
  • 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

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

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 Per Serving

59kcal Calories15g Carbs1g Protein1g Fat1g Saturated Fat1mg Sodium153mg Potassium1g Fiber12g Sugar44IU Vitamin A6mg Vitamin C9mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Cherry Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
59
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
153
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
15
g
5
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
44
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
6
mg
7
%
Calcium
 
9
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cherry sauce
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 59

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

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.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Christina Saikali
    February 1, 2024

    Hi Natasha!

    I made this to go on top of bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. I made it today to serve tomorrow so it’s in the fridge. I’m a bit confused because some of the comments lead me to believe this should be served cold. I don’t have any experience with fruit sauces. Can I serve this warm? If so, how do you recommend I reheat the sauce to preserve the consistency it originally had?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 1, 2024

      Hi Christiana! We serve and eat this cold or at room temperature. Warming it up will loosen the sauce and make it thinner/more runny.

      Reply

  • Seasons01
    December 26, 2023

    Agreed this is the best.

    However, I put too much lemon in so I had to add more sugar, which then I added another cup of cherries and a little water slurry of starch.

    The same recipe just a little more of everything. LOL…

    Very good I would have never thought to use dark Cherries what a smooth taste and less sugar to add made me happy!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 26, 2023

      Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

      Reply

  • Sidona
    October 26, 2023

    Made the Cherry Sauce. Didn’t have fresh or frozen cherries. I had canned dark sweet cherries in juice. Recipe was easy didn’t take long and was delicious. I replaced water with some of the juice from the canned cherries. Yummy. Thanks Natasha you never let me down

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 26, 2023

      Hey there, thanks for sharing! Good to know that you liked the recipe using frozen cherries too.

      Reply

  • Joe L
    September 11, 2023

    Just made this with cherries that have been in the fridge for a while. I had to use the measurements for frozen cherries because the ones I used were a little drier than fresh picked, but it looks and tastes wonderful. This is going on top of French toast (your recipe, of course} tonight.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 11, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Joe! I hope you love the French Toast recipe!

      Reply

  • Marci
    July 11, 2023

    Made this for the topping to my crushed golden grahams crust/ pudding cheesecake 🙂 DELICIOUS 😋😋😋 Thank You😁

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 11, 2023

      Hi Marci! You’re very welcome! I’m glad you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Kathy
    July 1, 2023

    I used fresh sour cherries. And because of their tartness, I skipped the lemon juice. I did add a few drops of almond flavoring to compliment the cherries. It was so delicious.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 1, 2023

      I’m so glad you loved it, Kathy!

      Reply

    • jane
      July 18, 2023

      That sounds good! Maybe I’ll try a little vanilla when I make this!

      Reply

  • Emily
    June 8, 2023

    Delicious! I made this recipe to go on a cheesecake – perfect consistency for a cherry sauce. I used last summer’s fresh sweet cherries that I had halved, pitted and frozen. 1/4 cup water worked perfectly. I had to use lime juice since I didn’t have the lemons I thought I had. It still worked great, but I had to add 1-2 tsp of sugar to cut the bitterness of the lime. Still tastes great, though, and I think with lemon it would work perfectly as written, no need for extra sugar. I’ll make this again!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 9, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Emily! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Deanna
    June 5, 2023

    I’d like to make a keto-friendly version of this to serve to friends who follow that diet, and was wondering if I could use a sugar substitute.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 5, 2023

      Hi Deanne, I haven’t tried this with a sugar substitute to advise on the outcome. I looked through the comments and I’m not finding anyone that has tried that either. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

      • Kate
        July 1, 2023

        Lakonta Classic’s the way to go. And I’d suggest Lakonta Gold as a brown sugar sub. Not cheat, but completely natural. Taste just like the sugars. No chemical taste.

        Reply

  • Mercy Fernandes.
    April 7, 2023

    Ever since, I saw your mini cheese cupcakes, I have been making them for several times. It is the best recipe for my grandkids and the family. A tiny bite goes a long way. Super easy and tasty

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 7, 2023

      That’s great to hear. I’m glad your family enjoys them. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Ruth glaysher
    August 20, 2022

    Can I freeze the cherry sauce in a mason jar I have?

    Thanks,

    Ruth

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 20, 2022

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

      Reply

  • Cathy J Wilhoite
    August 12, 2022

    This was okay. nothing outstanding about it. I cut my fresh cherries in half. Had to go back and quarter them. I had to add way more sugar as the lemon juice was overwhelming.

    Reply

  • Maureen Lukas
    August 10, 2022

    Hi Natasha. This recipe sounds so yummy. Is it possible to can the sauce instead of freezing. I bought 15 lb of cherries to make awesome desserts and sauces. Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 10, 2022

      Hi Maureen! 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

  • Susanna
    August 9, 2022

    Made this tonight with two batches of cherries. One that has been in the fridge for a while so isn’t as fresh, and the remains of a fresh bag my kids had already eaten most of. When I tasted the cherries in the sauce that were not as fresh, they lacked really delicious cherry punchiness, but they were still pretty good with the added sugar.. However, when I tasted one of the cherries from the fresh bag (yellow ones, so I knew which were which) the flavor was outstandingly, amazingly delicious. So, I would recommend using the freshest cherries that you can, but if you have a bag that’s been in the fridge for a while don’t hesitate to use them up in this sauce. It’s a wonderful, easy recipe. Thanks for sharing it!!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 9, 2022

      Hi Susanna! Thank you for the feedback and tips. So glad you enjoy this recipe.

      Reply

      • Diane Masters
        February 12, 2023

        This cherry sauce was not sweet at all,I put almond extract in to try to give it flavor but still not sweet.Iam disappointed that it was tasteless and it looked good on my cheesecake but flavor was awful.Waste of money and time.

        Reply

  • Leanne
    July 31, 2022

    Just made this sauce with my kiddo, it’s so good! Used fresh cherries & added a little almond extract. Using it for a funnel cake topping. So yummy and super easy!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 31, 2022

      Hi Leanne, nice one! Thanks for the good review, we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed thie recipe.

      Reply

  • Gail
    July 17, 2022

    Do you think this could be canned and stored? I would like to make it and give as gifts during the holidays

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 18, 2022

      Hi Gail, 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

  • Kristee L
    July 3, 2022

    so excited to try this… looking for an alternative to storebought cherry sauce ! Will this recipe be ok if I store it overnight in the fridge?? Planning to use as a mini cheesecake topping

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 4, 2022

      Hi Kristee, you can make this ahead and store it in the fridge.

      Reply

  • carol
    June 19, 2022

    Nice flavor! I used 1/4 cup sugar with tart cherries and also added 2 Tbsp bourbon. Will use as topping on pound cake and ice cream

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 19, 2022

      So glad you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Byron Forsyth
    June 7, 2022

    With the cherry sauce can you
    leave it in the mason jar to freeze?
    Then when needed thaw in the
    fridge overnight!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 7, 2022

      Hi Byron, yes this recipe freezes well.

      Reply

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