How to Make Cherry Pie Filling


Learn how to make cherry pie filling recipe from scratch, using 6 simple ingredients. It’s quick and easy and can be used in pies, crumbles, cakes and more!

Today, I am showing you how to make cherry pie filling.

This is my Mom’s recipe and it’s the BEST cherry pie filling ever!

There are only 6 cherry pie filling ingredients:

  1. Cherries
  2. Sugar
  3. Cornstarch
  4. Vanilla
  5. Water
  6. Lemon juice

How do you pit fresh cherries?

  • You can use special cherry pitter tools. They are cheap and easy to use.
  • You can also use a chopstick or straw and push the seed out through the center.

What kind of cherries are used for pie?

Sour cherries or tart cherries are used  in pies and and baking, in general. However, sweet cherries can be used but sine they are naturally sweeter, you would have to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.

How long can you keep cherry pie filling in the fridge?

You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, if stored properly in a sealed container. However, I like to use it up within 1 week.

How to make cherry pie filling without cornstarch?

You can use Clear Jel instead of cornstarch OR you can also use tapioca flour.

How to make cherry pie filling with canned cherries?

Use the same quantity of canned cherries. Make sure they are unsweetened and drain the liquid.

How to make cherry pie filling with frozen cherries?

Use the same quantity of frozen cherries. You will have to cook them a little longer so as to reduce the liquid and make the filling thick.

How to make cherry pie filling from dried cherries?

This does not yield good results and I don’t recommend it.

How to make cherry pie filling with maraschino cherries?

Use same quantity of maraschino cherries but be sure to drain the liquid/cherry juice. I am not particularly fond of this cherry filling flavor.

How to make cherry pie filling with tapioca?

You can use tapioca powder instead of cornstarch to thicken the filling. Use it as a 1 to 1 substitution ratio.

How to make cherry pie filling more tart?

You can add less sugar or use really tart cherries.

How to make cherry pie filling taste better?

You can add various extracts, spices and zests to create a whole range of delicious flavors. Also, the longer this filling sits in the fridge, the flavor deepens and tastes even better.

How do you make a homemade cherry pie? How do you make cherry pie with fresh cherries?

Prepare the pie crust and bake it. The, add this filling. Top it off with whipped cream and enjoy!

TIPS for making homemade cherry pie filling recipe from scratch:

  • Instead of fresh cherries, you can make homemade cherry pie filling from frozen cherries. However, it has more water content and you need to cook it for a little longer to reduce the liquid further.
  • This is a great canned cherry pie filling too, if you are into canning.
  • If you are not fond of pitting cherries because it is messy, use frozen pitted cherries. It’s faster too!
  • Cornstarch can be replaced with Clear Jel or tapioca powder. Both of those help to thicken the filling.
  • To make a really sweet cherry pie filling, you can add more sugar and you can also add more sugar if you are using very sour and tart cherries.
  • I like to add some red food coloring to make the color even more vibrant.
  • If you are making a black forest cake, you can use this cherry pie filling recipe for cake too.
  • Add a little lemon zest or orange zest to give this filling a zesty kick.
  • Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder to give it a subtle spiced flavor.
  • Make sure you are using a non-stick pan to prevent the filling from sticking and burning.
  • This filling will thicken a bit more, as it’s cooling down.
  • This filling is enough for a 9 inch pie.

Easy cherry pie filling USES:

  • Crepe, waffle or pancake filling or topping
  • Cake filling
  • Cupcake filling
  • Pie filling
  • Crumbles
  • Scone topping
  • Ice cream topping
  • Trifles
  • Yogurt topping
  • Cheesecake topping

Other pies and fillings recipes:

How To Make Cherry Pie Filling From Scratch
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 7 ratings
Rate this Recipe »

How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Learn how to make cherry pie filling recipe from scratch, using 6 simple ingredients. It's quick and easy and can be used in pies, crumbles, cakes and more!
Yield: 6 Servings


  • 6 cups Cherries, Fresh, Pitted
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup Granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring, Optional


  • In a non-stick saucepan, add cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch and cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook and for 10 minutes, while stirring, until it becomes thick and liquid is reduced.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and red food coloring.
  • Let it cool down and then use it in pies, tarts, cakes e.t.c. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container or jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Leftovers can also be frozen in sealed freezer bags for up to 1 month. 


Calories: 189kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 306mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 90IU, Vitamin C: 11.6mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 189
Author: CakeWhiz

Until next time, tata my lovelies!


17 comments on “How to Make Cherry Pie Filling”

  1. This recipe is delicious!  Used fresh cherries and also decided to add about a tablespoon of butter at the end for a little more silkiness, cooked it for two minutes longer.  Can’t wait to use it for hand pies.5 stars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating