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Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

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Homemade Cherry Pie Filling comes together in just a few minutes. Try a spoonful with your morning yogurt or spooned over a stack of fresh, crispy waffles for a delicious treat!

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling can be made quickly and easily with fresh or frozen cherries.

It’s that time of year when I started counting down the days until spring.

I know it’s only January. I don’t care, I am ready for warm weather and to not have to spend 11 hours bundling Elle every time we have to leave the house.

Moms with young kids, I know you feel me.

Even though I have months to wait until spring is here, luckily I can pretend it is nice outside by taking a stroll through the freezer section of the grocery store and grabbing bags of frozen strawberries, blueberries and cherries.

Make Homemade Cherry Pie Filling with fresh or frozen cherries in just minutes.

Cherries are one of Elle’s and my favorite fruits. Which can be evidenced by no less than 5 stained tanks and tiny red finger smudges on our light switch plates during the summer.

What I can I say, the girl can get down with some cherries.

Use fresh or frozen cherries to make Homemade Cherry Pie Filling. Delicious in pies, crisps, or even on waffles for breakfast!

I’m one of those people that actually enjoys pitting cherries and a cherry pitter is one of the only unitaskers that I can actually get behind.

Well, they say you can pit olives with the tool too, but I am not much of an olive person unless they’re stuffed with some type of cheese.

I kind of think a pitter is necessary if you love to bake with fresh cherries. If you’ve ever tried to pit a cherry with a straw, you feel me.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling is easy to make and tastes so much better than store-bought!

Just be sure to wear an apron and not your favorite Madewell T because splattered cherry juice is no joke.

During the summer, Elle and I can often be found pitting as many as 5 pounds of cherries at a time. Some are for eating, some are for freezing, and the rest are for batches of homemade cherry pie filling.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling is easy to make and freezes beautifully


I’ve been making my own cherry pie filling for years. In fact, I first shared this recipe back in 2011 – the post and photos have just gotten a few upgrades since then.

This cherry pie filling is super simple and only requires a handful of ingredients. And if you’re not into pitting cherries or fresh cherries aren’t in season, you can totally use frozen, pitted cherries from the market with great results.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling comes together in just a few minutes and is so much better than canned!

Making Homemade Cherry Pie Filling only takes about 20 minutes to make. That’s probably less time than it would take you to run to the store and buy a can of pie filling!

And, since you made your filling from scratch, you can definitely get away with using a store-bought pie crust if you want, ‘kay? Just sayin’.

Try Homemade Pie Filling on everything from waffles to yogurt for a special treat.


Obviously this Homemade Cherry Pie Filling is great for pies. It’ll fill a 9-inch pie pan, so all you have to do is decide what kind of crust you’d like to use!

In addition to pie, it makes a killer cherry crisp, but it’s also amazing for topping yogurt parfaits, waffles, pancakes, ice cream – well, you get the idea.

Not to mention anything and everything cheesecake related: my Nana’s Cherry Cheesecake, Cherry Cheesecake Cookies, Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes, and Mini Cherry Almond Cheesecakes.

What can I say, cherries and cheesecake go together even better than peas and carrots.

If you want to make a big batch and store it long-term, you’re in luck – my Homemade Cherry Pie Filling freezes beautifully for pies on request.

Make Homemade Cherry Pie Filling in just minutes and serve it on everything from waffles to yogurt.

The stuff is delicious and I’m pretty certain you’re going to be making it any time you find fresh or frozen cherries at the store!

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling comes together in just a few minutes. Try a spoonful with your morning yogurt or spooned over a stack of fresh, crispy waffles for a delicious treat!


Jar of homemade cherry pie filling

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Yield: enough to fill a 9-inch pie crust
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling comes together in just a few minutes. Try a spoonful with your morning yogurt or spooned over a stack of fresh, crispy waffles for a delicious treat!


  • 5 to 6 cups fresh pitted cherries, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
  3. If using, stir in almond extract. Cool slightly before using as a topping.


  • 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.
  • This recipe freezes beautifully.

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Sheila Clay

Saturday 16th of April 2022

Thanks for your homemade cherry cheesecake filling recipe I was wondering what I should use to concoct the best way to make it in my head!


Monday 18th of April 2022

Glad I could help, Sheila! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. -Jamie


Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Thanks for the recipe. What adjustments do you make if using frozen cherries? I assume that you thaw the berries, but do you drain them before adding to the rest? If so, can the drained juice be a substitute for the water?


Monday 21st of February 2022

Hi Joann! I have made this successfully without thawing the cherries first. Hope this helps! –Jamie


Saturday 5th of February 2022

Can I canned the cherry pie filling? Also can i use the clear jel instead of corn starch?

Lesley Billigmeier

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

@MPL, yes you can can this awesome filling. I don’t cook the cherries while making the syrup thicken. I don’t want to break down the fruit any more than necessary. I make the syrup , add the fruit , fill the jars and then water bath the least amount of time for safe canning 5 mins . Fresh cherries cook your fruit.


Monday 21st of March 2022

@Shirley, I’m going to can this using ball jars and a hot water bath. I used cornstarch, not clear jel and it turned a beautiful clear dark red. If you cook the cornstarch properly it shouldn’t have a cloudy look to the filling. Hope that helps and the filling is delicious. The family loved it with vanilla ice cream.


Wednesday 9th of February 2022

I am not much of a canner, so I am not really sure. Hopefully someone will reply that has some experience with canning. -Jamie

Arron Wallace

Friday 4th of February 2022

I'm so sick of the junk we buy in stores and I'm absolutely going to be making this recipe over next weekend. I'm a pie nut. For anyone that wants to change up the crust, here's a gem. I make a Scottish shortbread from a family recipe. I modified it by using maraschino cherry juice into the recipe. If you have a shortbread recipe, just remove out the cornstarch. The crust becomes more of a cookie. I bake the crust for 10 minutes to firm it up, then I add in the pie filling and bake. You may never want another crust after this. (There is no good gage for mixing in the maraschino juice, just whatever feels right. I've used up to a half jar of juice for one crust.)

Jamie, thank you so much for sharing this! Also, thanks to all the other people for their ideas too!


Friday 4th of February 2022

Thanks so much for stopping by, Arron! I appreciate your suggestions! -Jamie

Lawrence Willson

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

I did a modified version of this recipe. 2 bags of frozen cherries, and a bag of fresh cranberries, 1/4 c of orange juice, 2oz of spiced rum, 4 tbls corn starch (dissolve in 1/4c water) & 1/2c sugar. cook @ 4/10 heat (electric) for about 25 minutes. this filled 5 dozen tarts melt 200g of dark chocolate & drizzle over each tart. I took 4 dozen to work - they all disappeared, & I got rave reviews.


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

So happy to hear you enjoyed the pie filling, Lawrence! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback. -Jamie

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