Easy Homemade Cherry Sauce
If you’re someone who looks forward to cherry season each summer and gets excited when these juicy little red fruits finally make an appearance at grocery stores and farmer’s markets, then you need this easy recipe for homemade cherry sauce in your life! This sauce is so quick and easy to make, using just a handful of simple ingredients. The fresh cherry flavor shines in this not-to-sweet dessert sauce, and it’s absolutely perfect for topping all of your favorite treats like ice cream, cheesecake, brownies, waffles, and more!
How to Make Homemade Cherry Sauce
Homemade cherry sauce is surprisingly easy to make from scratch! The most time consuming part is actually pitting the cherries (read how to do this without a cherry pitter below!), but cooking the sauce is quick and easy.
- In a saucepan, combine pitted cherries, water, and sugar and bring to a boil.
- Whisk a mixture of lemon juice and cornstarch into the boiling cherry mixture.
- Cook the boiling mixture while stirring constantly until it thickens, which takes only a minute.
- Let the sauce cool to room temperature before serving with ice cream, cheesecake, waffles, chocolate cake, or any dessert you choose (or before storing in the fridge for up to a week)!
How to Pit a Cherry (Without a Cherry Pitter)
Pitting a cherry without a cherry pitter is not difficult (though it can get a little messy, so grab your apron and some paper towels). You will need a small tool to poke through the cherry, and I find that a pastry tip or chopstick work best. If you use a pastry tip, be sure it’s on the small side and has a smooth rather than spiky tip, as the spikes could become bent.
To pit a cherry, remove its stem and carefully poke the pastry tip or chopstick through the top of the cherry and out the bottom, removing the pit in the process. The goal is to remove as little of the fruit along with the pit as possible, though some juice will inevitably be lost. Some of your cherries may split in half when you remove the pit, and that’s perfectly fine for making cherry sauce.
Love this easy homemade cherry sauce? Leave a review and be sure to check out these other homemade dessert toppings!
Sweet Cherry Sauce Recipe for Any Dessert
Cherry Sauce made with ruby red cherries or dark sweet cherries is the perfect topping for any Dessert Recipe . Pour over cheesecakes, ice cream or stuff it between the layers of mile high chocolate cake. Don’t forget pancakes, crepes and blintzes!
This beautiful ruby red Cherry Sauce is the “little black dress” of my dessert recipe box. Dress it up in fancy desserts like Chocolate Cherry Souffle and Classic Cherry Cheesecake or keep it casual by spooning it over ice cream, this sauce can do everything.
I have to warn you, we can be pretty picky about our cherries around here. Chocolate covered cherries are my husband’s absolute favorite candy. His memories of the confection are tied to childhood and summer days and playing in his father’s shop. His father owned the only candy wholesale in town. As a little boy, he spent many hours at “the shop” surrounded by candy and chocolate and bubble gum and soda pop; a little boy’s dream.
His father often ordered special candies for the holidays and brought them home as a surprise. Boxes of candied orange peels and bright colored jellies coated in sparkly sugar and cherries coated in fine chocolate with liquid centers were a special treat.
I have given up trying to buy him chocolate covered cherries. The cherries of today, with their waxy chocolate and too sweet center, never live up to the memory. And looking for the perfect liquid center? Forget about it. Instead, I have developed other chocolate cherry desserts for him. Desserts that give him all the flavors of childhood but, don’t have to compete with his special memories.
This Sweet Chocolate Cherry Sauce Recipe is the base for many of those desserts. I made double and even triple batches of the sauce this time of year with Valentine’s Day and birthdays and Father’s Day right around the corner.
How to Make Cherry Sauce:
- It takes me 20 minutes (or 10 minutes a pound) to pit 2 pounds of fresh cherries with a pairing knife. I suppose I should break down and buy a cherry pitter. If you have one, great! Otherwise, it is not necessary to keep the first 2 pounds beautiful, just pit them anyway you can that is fast, remember that they will be smashed into a puree anyway.
- The last pound of cherries should be beautiful because they are only warmed in the sauce and will keep a nice shape and texture. I like to cut the cherries in half like an avocado and remove one half. The other half is easier to remove from the seed by cutting into half again to remove the seed. This way, the cherries stay beautiful and look like little jewels in the sauce.
- Be careful to regulate the heat of the simmering cherries and sugar. Do not burn the sugar in the sauce.
- If you add in vanilla or another flavor, add it after you remove the sauce from the heat. Otherwise, it will turn bitter.
- Make extra. this recipe only makes about 2 cups of sauce. Trust me you will want more so why not double the batch while the mess is already out?
Links to tools I used to make this Cherry Sauce Recipe a little bit easier
(Amazon affiliate links)
A Cherry Pitter makes things go so much faster and keeps your cherries beautiful!
This set of Strainers nests together and is easy to store. I use them for everything, even sifting flour.
A Saucier Pan with curved sides is perfect for any sauce and keeps your sauces from sticking to the bottom.
Beautiful Glass Jars are nice for showing off your delicious sauce or giving sauce for a nice gift.
Other recipes that are delicious with this Sweet Cherry Sauce:
Kolaches by Barbara Bakes (she even has a great “how to” video in the post!)