Cherry Sauce

This tart but sweet cherry sauce is the perfect way to preserve the flavor of fresh cherries. Serve it over whole wheat waffles, oatmeal pancakes, banana ice cream, and more!

A jar of cherry sauce is surrounded by fresh cherries.

I love a good dessert. And this cherry sauce transforms the simplest of plates into something unique! For example, you can drizzle it over vegan cheesecake and wait for the oohs and ahs. It will happen. I also love serving it with some simple vegan yogurt.

It’s very versatile that way. Breakfast? Snacktime? Dessert? This fresh cherry sauce has got your back!

How to Make Cherry Sauce

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  1. Prepare the cherries by pitting them.
    Several fresh cherries on a wooden cutting board.
  2. Add pitted cherries to a saucepan along with the sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Stir in maraschino cherry juice.
  4. Stir and cook for up to 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens. 
    A hand holds a spatula, stirring cherry sauce in a saucepan.
  5. Let it cool for several minutes.
  6. Once cool enough to hand, transfer it to a lidded glass jar, cover tightly, and refrigerate.

Key Ingredients

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
  • Cherries — You can use fresh or frozen cherries.
  • Sugar — You’ll need granulated sugar for this recipe.
  • Cornstarch — I’ve found cornstarch to be the best thickener for sauces such as this one, but you can substitute arrowroot powder.
  • Maraschino cherry syrup — This is my secret ingredient for the best cherry sauce. I love the flavor and color added with just a bit of maraschino cherry juice.
Two hands are cutting cherries in half, over a bowl full of frozen cherries.

What Cherries are best for Cherry Sauce?

Bing and Rainier cherries are referred to as sweet cherries and are most commonly found in the produce section. You’ll find the best flavor by using a mixture of cherries, especially if you can add a few sour cherries to the mix. If using all sour cherries, you may need to increase the amount of sugar added.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • EASY — This gorgeous sauce is made with only four ingredients and comes together in minutes!
  • VERSATILE — Drizzle it on desserts, spoon it over yogurt at snacktime, and serve it with savory dishes, too.
  • MAGICAL — Serve some vegan chocolate ice cream with this sauce and prepare for it to disappear!

Frequently-Asked Questions

What can I do with a bunch of cherries?

Cherries are not cheap to produce or buy. That means you want to make great use of fresh or frozen cherries. You can make a cherry pie or a sweet but tart cherry sauce to serve over other desserts.

Can cherry sauce be frozen?

You can freeze cherry sauce. Do this by bringing it to room temperature, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, transfer the container to the fridge overnight.

Ways to Use Cherry Sauce

One of my favorite cherry desserts is my vegan cherry pie. It uses a thicker sauce, and it’s a stunning dessert

You can serve this cherry compote with your favorite dishes such as:

Storage Tips

Transfer the cooled sauce to a lidded glass jar, seal it tightly, and refrigerate for up to 10 days. You can freeze this sauce. To do that, store it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 2 months. To thaw, place it in the fridge overnight.

Waffles are smothered in cherry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. There are more waffles and fresh cherries in the background.

Dessert Sauces

If you love this easy cherry sauce as much as I do, be sure and try these other delicious dessert sauces. I love serving them over healthy banana nice cream.

A stack of waffles has cherry sauce and whipped cream on top.

Cherry Sauce

This delicious fresh cherry sauce makes a sweet and slightly tart sauce that you can serve over vegan ice cream or vegan cheesecake.
5 from 3 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 138kcal


  • 3 cups cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry syrup


  • Prepare the cherries by pitting them.
  • Add pitted cherries to a saucepan along with the sugar and cornstarch. Add maraschino cherry juice. Stir to combine. Turn heat up to medium-high.
  • Cook until it just begins to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Stir and cook for up to 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  • Let it cool for several minutes. Then transfer to a glass jar, cover tightly, and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recommended Equipment

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You can depth of flavor and texture by adding other types of cherries to the mix. For example, try adding a cup of sour cherries to the mix.
For tips on creating a lattice top to your pie, check out this vegan apple pie recipe.
Serving: 1slice | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

2 Responses to Cherry Sauce

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRuby Reply

    5 stars
    This sauce makes my bowl of ice cream amazing!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m with you, Ruby! This sauce is perfect over banana nice cream!

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