Sweet Cherry Sauce Recipe

image Sweet Cherry Sauce Recipe

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.

image Cherry Sauce Recipe

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.

Cook’s tips:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Be careful to regulate the heat of the simmering cherries and sugar.  Do not burn the sugar in the sauce.
  4. If you add in vanilla or another flavor, add it after you remove the sauce from the heat.  Otherwise, it will turn bitter.
  5. 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?

Recipe for  Cherry Sauce



Here are some recipes that would go great with this Sweet Cherry Sauce Recipe:

Kolaches by Barbara Bakes (she even has a great “how to” video in the post!)

Black Forest Cake by Cafe Johnsonia

How to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter by Cafe Johnsonia

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Cherry Sauce Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sweet Cherry Sauce is the "little black dress" of my dessert collection. Dress it up in a Chocolate Souffle or Cheesecake or keep it fast and easy by spooning it over ice cream.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
  • 3 pounds fresh, pitted cherries or 2 pounds frozen cherries and 1 pound fresh
  • ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  1. Remove pits and stems from 2 pounds of cherries and place in a small sauce pan (you may use frozen cherries for this step). Add water and sprinkle with sugar. Bring the cherries to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Place a fine sieve over a mixing bowl. Scoop the cherries into the sieve a little at a time and press the cherries with the back of a wooden spoon to release the juice and pulp into the bowl. Scrape the skins out of the sieve and repeat until all of the cherries have been juiced.
  3. Return the juice to the sauce pan over medium heat and stir in the lemon juice. Combine the bottled cherry juice with the cornstarch to make a slurry and stir until there are no lumps. Slowly pour the slurry into the sauce pan while whisking.
  4. Gently simmer until the cherry juice reaches the desired thickness. It will become thicker as it cools.
  5. Just before removing the sauce from the heat, add the remaining one pound of pitted cherries and fold into the sauce. Allow the sauce to return to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. The cherries should retain a firm texture.
  6. Let the sauce cool and pour into a jar. Keep refrigerated for up to one week.


I hope you love this recipe and use it on every dessert you can think of.  Leave us a comment and let us know if you do!

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—posted by Sandy

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  1. Kathryn says

    About how much does this make? I want to make enough to test for an upcoming retreat but I don’t want to make more than I need.

    • says

      Hi Kathryn, Thank you for your question. I find that the recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce for every one cup of cherries. There are about 1 and 1/2 cups of cherries to every 3 pounds of cherries so, after pitting the cherries, I get about 4 1/2 to 6 cups of sauce. It can very depending on how large (and heavy) the seeds and stems in a particular batch of cherries are. I hope this answer gives you a better idea. I will change the recipe as soon as I get a chance.

  2. Cassandra says

    Can this sauce be frozen well? I want to make it as a mix-in for my greek yogurt, but it will be too much to eat in just a week.

    • says

      Hi Cassandra, Thanks for the great question. I have never frozen this sauce, it never lasts that long around my house. I have frozen other pie filling type sauces and they do very well so, I don’t see why this sauce wouldn’t do well. Especially, if you are using it as a mix-in. I hope you love it as much as we do!


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