Homemade Cherry Pie Filling is super easy to make. This is so delicious to use in your favorite dessert recipes and also a yummy topping for  yogurt, Cheesecake Bites and more.

Homemade cherry pie filling topped on vanilla yogurt in a white bowl.
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If you normally buy pie filling at the store, let me show you how simple it is to make Homemade Cherry Pie Filling from scratch at home! It’s easy enough for busy moms.

You only need a few very simple ingredients to make your own cherry pie filing. It is such a delicious sauce recipe. You can use it in Cherry Dump Cake Recipe, Cherry Cobbler with Cake Mix and so much more.

Why make homemade pie filling?

I love using homemade pie filling over canned pie filling. Here are a few reasons why I prefer it over the canned stuff. It is the best cherry pie filling.

  • Cherries when in season taste better than canned filling and is cheaper too.
  • When making pie filling at home, you know what is in the filling. You don’t have to worry about artificial flavors, colors or additives.
  • You can easily control the sweetness. You can add more or less sugar depending on your preference to make the pie filling the sweetness that you love.

Ingredients for homemade cherry pie filling

Scroll to the bottom and find the complete list of ingredients.

Variation Ideas

  • This recipe can easily be made with fresh or frozen cherries. If you use frozen cherries, make sure to thaw them out before making this recipe.
  • I used sugar in this recipe but you can easily use a sugar alternative to add sweetness but reduce the calories in this recipe. Stevia or Monk Fruit Sweetener would all work great in this recipe.
  • You can easily add 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract to add a slight different flavor to this cherry filling.

Step by step instructions

Saucepan with cherries and sugar.

Step 1. First, get out a saucepan and use medium heat. Then combine cherries, sugar, water, lemon juice and cornstarch.

Mixture on a spoon.

Step 2. Next, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Finally, make sure to stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool slightly before using.

How can I use Cherry Pie Filling?

Here are a few of my favorite things to make with this homemade cherry pie filling.

2 small white bowls full of homemade cherry pie filling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of Cherries to Use?

I find that Rainier cherries or dark sweet cherries work best in this recipe as they are naturally sweeter. Both of these are generally available at your local grocery store.

I usually use half and half or you can use all of Rainer or dark sweet cherries if you prefer.

You can use sour cherries as well. If using sour cherries or tart cherries, you will need to adjust the amount of sugar.

I’d recommend starting about ½ cup and working your way up if more sweetness is needed.

How to Pit Cherries?

Pitting cherries can be very time consuming and messy. I have found that using a cherry pitter is the best when pitting fresh cherries.

You can also use frozen cherries for this recipe if you prefer. Frozen cherries are generally already pitted so you can easily skip this step.

If you us frozen cherries, thaw them out before making this cherry pie filling.

How do you thicken cherry pie filling?

If your pie filling is runny, continue to heat the filling on low heat until the sauce thickens.
Adding corn starch will thicken the pie filling. You can easily do this until you have the desired consistency with a cornstarch slurry.

You can try draining off some of the juices and just use the cherries for the filling.
Adding in some flour will also thicken the cherry pie filling.

You can also thicken with an instant pudding mix. Adding a pudding mix will slightly change the flavor but will thicken the filling. I usually use a vanilla mix if using this option.

Does cherry pie filling need to be refrigerated?

Refrigerate leftover fresh cherry pie filling in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze pie filling?

Homemade cherry pie filling freezes great. Make sure that the pie filling has cooled completely. Then place it in a freezer bag or freezer container and it’s good to freeze for up to 2-3 months.

I love to make a double batch so I can have some to freeze. It isn’t anymore work to make a little more and you will love being able to have it to grab quickly.

Once in the freezer, you can easily take it out to use with your favorite desserts. You will love having extra in the freezer.

Pro Tips

  • Simmer this mixture on low to make sure that the pie filling doesn’t burn.
  • Stir occasionally while the pie filling is simmering to make sure that it doesn’t burn on the bottom of a pan. I prefer a wooden spoon when stirring.
  • Taste test the pie filling toward the end of the cook time and add more sugar as needed if it’s not quite sweet enough.
Homemade Cherry Pie Filling on top of a stack of waffles on a white plate.

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Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

5 from 3 votes
Homemade Cherry Pie Filling is super easy to make. This is so delicious to use in your favorite dessert recipes and also a yummy topping idea.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 184

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 cups fresh pitted cherries about 2 ½ to 3 pounds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
  • Cool slightly before using as a topping.

Recipe Notes

If using sour cherries, you will need to adjust the amount of sugar. I’d recommend starting about ¾ cup and working your way up if more sweetness is needed.
Refrigerate leftover fresh cherry pie filling in a sealed container for up to 3 days. It freezes great
Serve on top of yogurt, cheesecake, on waffles, or any dessert

Nutrition Facts

Calories 184kcal, Carbohydrates 47g, Protein 1g, Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 1g, Sodium 2mg, Potassium 280mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 37g, Vitamin A 74IU, Vitamin C 18mg, Calcium 20mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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