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Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

5 from 6 votes

Here’s an easy recipe for how to make homemade cherry pie filling to use in pies, cakes, cheesecakes, or simply to eat with a spoon!

Homemade Cherry Filling Mason Jar Recipe

Just one spoon of this thick and delicious cherry pie filling, and you will never go back to canned cherry pie filling again.

The easy recipe can be naturally sweetened, with no high fructose corn syrup, no Red 40, and no gelatin required. And it tastes ten times better than the canned version!

Also try these popular Oreo Cupcakes

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Ways to use cherry pie filling

This cherry filling is perfect in Chia Pudding or Overnight Oats.

Stir it into parfaits or yogurt, use as a topping for black forest cake or cheesecake, or spoon it over pancakes, crepes, French toast, or waffles.

Or use the thick cherry sauce to make turnovers or pop tarts, hand pies or bars, cherry fluff salad, or cherry cobblers or crumbles.

Of course, the most popular way to use cherry pie filling is in a homemade cherry pie.

It’s a great topping for Keto Cheesecake or No Bake Cheesecake

Above, watch the step-by-step cherry pie filling recipe video

Homemade cherry pie filling ingredients

The cherry topping recipe calls for cherries, water, lemon juice, sweetener of choice, cornstarch, optional pinch of salt, and pure vanilla extract or almond extract.

The sweetener can be granulated, like regular sugar or coconut sugar. Or you can use an unrefined liquid sweetener like honey, agave, or pure maple syrup. For sugar free cherry desserts, use erythritol or xylitol.

I have not tried arrowroot, tapioca, agar, flour, or other substitutes for the cornstarch. Feel free to experiment, and be sure to report back if you do.

red fresh cherries with stems

What type of cherries?

Sweet cherries or sour cherries both work in the recipe. I like sweet black cherries, such as Bing, Lambert, Chelan, or Sweetheart. If using tart or red cherries, add more sweetener to taste if needed.

I prefer to use frozen cherries simply because they are usually already pitted, so it saves you the step of having to pit cherries by hand.

Fresh cherries are fine to use as long as you pit them first with a chopstick or knife, or with a cherry pitter.

Extra cherries? Make Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Healthy Cherry Sauce Topping Recipe

How to make cherry pie filling

Combine all ingredients except the vanilla extract in a saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat to low once it starts to boil. Stir frequently until the cherries are super soft and the juice is thick. This should take around ten to fifteen minutes on the stove top.

Turn off the heat. Whisk in the vanilla extract. You can also add a drop or two of almond extract if you wish. Taste, and add additional sweetener if needed.

Let the cherry mixture cool before transferring to mason jars or an airtight lidded container. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or freeze for up to three months, thawing before using.

Fresh or canned cherries

There are many brands of cherry pie filling from a can on the market, including Comstock (Duncan Hines), Solo, Lucky Leaf, Musselman’s, Giant, Walmart, and Target.

Most canned options either contain artificial color or corn syrup or are expensive. So the best choice for healthy cherry pie filling is to make your own at home.

As mentioned earlier, homemade cherry filling also just tastes better.

How To Make Cherry Pie Filling (Easy Recipe)
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Cherry Pie Filling Recipe

Use this homemade cherry pie filling to make pies, cakes, cobblers, cheesecakes, or simply eat it with a spoon.
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 4 cups
5 from 6 votes


  • 6 cups cherries (pitted fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup sweetener of choice
  • optional 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • optional pinch salt


  • Stir all ingredients except the vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn to low and stir frequently until cherries are super soft and sauce is thick (about 10-15 minutes). Turn off the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract. Especially if using sour cherries, add more sweetener as desired.
    View Nutrition Facts


Try the cherries over this Vegan Chocolate Cake.

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Published on December 27, 2022

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  1. Connie says

    Your video did not demonstrate 6 cups of cherries in the pot; more like 1 cup of cherries. What is the measurements for this amount? I only need enough for a 1-cup serving; maybe 2 cups. Thank you in advance for your help. The filling looks delicious 😋.

  2. Judy says

    5 stars
    Thanks for all your great recipes. I also used dried cherries one time, adding water and gently simmering so they plumped up like regular cherries in canned filling. Then added sweetener and cornstarch in water and cooked till thick. I had no recipe, just wanted to make a cherry pie. This is easy to do when cherries aren’t in season. Just buy a bag of dried cherries to keep on hand. (By the way, I made your banana bread muffins yesterday and they are great! Easier than the regular recipes with eggs).

5 from 6 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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