Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

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 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!

It’s that time of year when I started counting down the days until fall. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that the weather is warm enough for Elle to play outside for hours on end and swim until her tiny fingers turn into wrinkly little raisins, but Mama is hot and already craving pumpkin crunch cake and pumpkin roll.

It’s been downright swampy here in Ohio, but earlier this week, we got a little break from the heat and humidity and were graced with a 70° breezy day. It was blissful.

And I’m pretty sure it’s what fueled my craving for pumpkin desserts and my purchase of 2 new blanket scarves. I mean, can a Midwest girl really ever have too many blanket scarves?

However, two days later, I was back in sticky, humid, mosquito-y HELL.

What’s even more annoying is that my husband absolutely LIVES for this type of weather. So while I’m wiping the sweat from my forehead and changing my clothes for the third time, he’s turning up the thermostat and flinging open the windows – which I shut as soon as he turns his back.

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 pancakes for a delicious treat!

There’s nothing like a trip down the produce aisle of our local market to kick my pumpkin cravings to the curb. Instead of cans of pumpkin, I loaded my cart with fresh summer produce like watermelon, peaches, blueberries, lemons and fresh, sweet cherries.

I’ve been on a pretty serious cherry kick lately and so has Elle. Which, can be evidenced by no less than 5 stained summer tanks and tiny red finger smudges on our light switch plates. What I can I say, the girl can get down with some cherries.

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 cherries. If you’ve ever tried to pit a cherry with a straw, you feel me. Just be sure to wear an apron and not your favorite Madewell T because splattered cherry juice is no joke.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling comes together in just a few minutes. Use it for pies, crisps, and just about all things cherry!

Last week Elle and I pitted no less than 5 pounds of cherries. Some were for eating, some were for freezing, and the rest were for a batch of homemade cherry pie filling.

I’ve been making my own cherry pie filling for years. In fact, I shared this recipe back in 2011, but the post was in serious need of new photos and text.

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

Obviously this homemade cherry pie filling is great for pies and cherry crisp, but it’s also amazing for topping cheesecake, yogurt parfaits, waffles, pancakes, ice cream – well, you get the idea. The stuff is delicious and I’m pretty certain you’re going to be making it all summer long.

I’d love to hear about your favorite cherry recipes AND your pumpkin cravings, so tell me about them below in the comment section.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

Yield: enough to fill a 9-inch pie crust

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 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.
  • Recipe slightly adapted from about.com

This recipe originally appeared on My Baking Addiction in May of 2011. The photos and text have been updated.

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193 Responses to “Homemade Cherry Pie Filling”

  1. Monica — March 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Hi! I do not have enough time to browse all comments (sorry for that) and I really need to ask you this, before preparing this recipe. Can I use frozen cherries instead of fresh ones? Its early spring here si no cherries yet. But I still want to try this recipe. Thanks a lot !


    • Jamie — March 2, 2017 at 11:49 am

      Hi, Monica! I think the frozen cherries will be fine. Please let me know how it turns out!

  2. Darren Bagnall — March 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Jamie, thank you for your recipe. I used frozen cherries picked last summer and the cherry filling turned out fine, although my pastry skills need some work!


    • Jamie — March 6, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Darren!

  3. Betsy — April 15, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Monica – Sometimes I use canned cherries in water, and it works out great too!


  4. Angelique — July 10, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    I used lemon zest instead of almond extract and it was delicious! 


    • Jamie — July 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Sounds wonderful, Angelique!

  5. Tammie — July 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    This sounds great, could you can it as well? I have 20lbs of cheeries and would love to have some in the pantry for the fall!


    • Jamie — July 17, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Hi, Tammie! I haven’t tried canning it, but I don’t see why not. Let me know how you like it!

  6. Loretta — July 18, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Making pie this morning ,perfect day, since it’s raining. Can I add this to a pie shell right after the cooking process? Thanks!


    • Jamie — July 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Hi, Loretta! I think you can add the filling right away. I hope you enjoy your pie!

  7. Loretta — July 20, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Hi ya! We love, love, love this recipe! Nothing could be easier for me , and not to sweet for my husband! I’m making another one today! Thank you from my bowl of cherries!
    Sincerely, Loretta


  8. 2pots2cook — July 29, 2017 at 2:03 am

    Oh dear ! After reading your post it is perfectly clear to me why am I to be 177th. This is great ! Thank you !


    • Jamie — July 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. Lexy — July 29, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Great recipe to future make. BUT…..could you please show a picture of a “Blanket Scarf” to another mid-west gal who is picturing you cut up a blanket. That can’t be true??????? Thanks.


    • Jamie — July 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Ha! A blanket scarf is really just an oversized scarf. I typically purchase mine from Modcloth – you find a link here and then here’s a link to Fab Fit Fun where they show you how to style them. I love them for the fall/winter and for travel since I always freeze on planes! I hope this helps!

  10. Stef — July 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    How much does this recipe yield?


  11. Gay Stephens — August 3, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I’m going to make a double crusted cherry cobbler . This recipe sounds like the one I’ve been looking for. Thanks


    • Jamie — August 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      I hope you love it, Gay! Enjoy!

  12. Elizabeth W. — August 7, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Awesome recipe.
    I have a question on the crust in your video do you have a recipe for that as well it looks amazing.


    • Jamie — August 7, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Hi, Elizabeth! Give this pie crust a try. I hope you like it!

  13. Torri — August 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Now I need the recipe for cherry crisp! Is it on your site somewhere and if not, could you share it please??


  14. Leona Stanley — August 27, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I found this recipe and am going to try it today. My question is , can this be made into a 2 crust pie ? 


    • Jamie — August 28, 2017 at 11:07 am

      You may not have quite enough cherry filling if you really want to pile it high. Maybe double the batch?

  15. Susan — August 29, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Wow, this pie filling came out awesome, great consistency and flavor. thank you so much !!!


    • Jamie — August 29, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Susan! Thanks so much fro stopping back and giving us feedback!

  16. Jaqi Vickers — September 9, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    We were gifted 3 lbs of cherries. Although I don’t have a cherry pitter , I managed to pit them by hand . Needless to say, I will be showing up at church with slightly purple fingers and fingernails tomorrow lol. However, the filling is so yummy ! I put it in the fridge to cool. Tomorrow evening after I finish helping with Hurricane Harvey recovery , I’ll make the pie.


    • Jamie — September 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Jaqi! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

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