Cherry Filling for Cakes Pies and Desserts – Best Cherry Pie Filling
A cherry filling is a simple, easy and effortless recipe that gets done in minutes and is an absolute treat. You can also use it in so many different ways. And try a spoonful over your breakfast yogurt, a stack of pancakes or waffles. Also, layer it between cake layers as a cherry cake filling. And spread it in a pre-baked crust as a cherry pie filling or use it on your favorite desserts and ice creams as a cherry dessert topping.
The many uses of fresh cherries
One of the best things about fresh cherries is that you can eat them as is, while you can also make so much more with them. I love cherries and have been crazy about them since I was a kid. And yet, back when we were kids we didn’t have the luxury of getting them in abundance as I do now. First of all, they didn’t grow locally, so mom would have to ration them. Hence, one small box would get divided between the three of us. So now guess what? When we have cherries in season, I sit with the kids and pig out on fresh cherries. Can you get enough of them? I don’t know because I’ve never reached a stage where I’d had enough cherries.
And yet, as I mentioned above, you can also do so much more with them besides eating them fresh. For example, you can make a cherry compote. You can also make cherry crumble, cherry pie, and cherry jam. Speaking of which, have you tried my cherry jam yet? There is a reason why it’s among my most popular recipes on this blog. You will love it.
So what’s so great about a homemade cherry filling?
Whether it’s a homemade cherry pie filling or a homemade cherry cake filling, fresh cherries fillings are a lot different when you prepare them at home as compared to buying a ready-made cherry filling in a can. Don’t believe me? Try it just once and I promise you will see that it’s a big difference. For one, the homemade cherry pie filling is not loaded with starch. In addition, it’s also not loaded with sugar. Rather, it’s packed with fruit goodness. So even if your kids eat a few extra spoons you won’t complain.
But you know what’s the best part about this homemade cherry filling?
It does not need much! Just a few ingredients. And I mean like simple five ingredients, including the cherries and water. And no more than 5 minutes. While the only difficult part of this cherry filling recipes is pitting the cherries.
Pitting the cherries is the only task I do not enjoy much. So, I use a simple tool like this one below. And yet, I must admit, I am quite fascinated with these other two on the market that look so much more efficient.
What can you do with this cherry filling?
Use it as a cherry cake filling or cherry cake topping
Homemade cherry cake filling between layers. Have you ever tried a simple vanilla cake with cherry filling? Or perhaps a chocolate cake with cherry filling? And, of course, the classic, a Black Forest cake with cherry filling. In conclusion, cherry cake filling makes a great treat in between layers.
And you will get bored of hearing me say this over an over again in all my filling recipes: use a buttercream dam on the edges of your cake layers so the filling won’t ooze out of sides. New to cake decorating? No problem, take a look at my cake decorating tutorials on how to fill and frost cakes. It’s all explained.
Cherry topping for cake – You don’t always need to use it between layers as a filling. I do that for my customer cakes when I need to dress them in fondant. And yet, when I make a dessert cake, I love to show off the cherry pie filling. Because it has such a gorgeous color!! Also, this is a very simple and easy recipe. So you must check it out – Moist Chocolate Cherry Cake.
Homemade cherry pie filling
Yes, it also works great as a pie filling, and it’s so easy too! All you do is spread it on a pre-baked crust with vanilla pastry cream as a base, and topped with cherry filling, same as I did in my Blueberry Pie Recipe. Or skip the Vanilla Pastry Cream, and simply spread the homemade cherry pie filling. Then decorate with some whipped cream on top and garnish with more fresh cherries. Both are different and oh so beautiful.
Homemade Cherry Dessert toppings
A fruit filling can take any dessert to the next level. Remember my Classic Vanilla Pound Cake with Blueberry Filling and Strawberry Filling. You can also use a good cherry filling exactly the same way. This is my Homemade Cherry Ice Cream topped with more cherry pie filling. Talk about indulgent. And don’t worry, my Homemade Cherry Ice Cream recipe needs no ice cream maker and you will also be surprised how easy it is to make.
Also, this is my Pink Cherry Cupcakes with cherry filling and whipped cream buttercream – another great recipe that uses this cherry filling.
Ingredients and substitutes (Save/Pin)
- Fresh cherries – I’m using fresh cherries here. And yet, I have also used frozen before. The fresh ones need to be de-seeded of course.
- Sweetened or unsweetened frozen cherries – You can also make a cherry pie filling from frozen cherries. And if you do, usefrozen cherries make sure to check if they are sweetened or unsweetened. Since some frozen brands have sugar added as a preservative. You can still use them, just reduce the sugar in the recipe.
- Cornstarch – I think this is by far the most commonly used ingredient. And yet, if for some reason, you cannot use cornstarch – try arrowroot powder or potato starch. I have used both on two different occasions – and there is not much difference.
- Sugar – I prefer to use a fine grain sugar for this so I get a nice thick syrup consistency.
- Lemon juice – Helps cut the sweetness and also brings out the flavor.
Also, when I have no time to make a dessert for my kids – I serve them this cherry filling over whipped cream. It’s amazing! So simple and yet so delectable.
Recipe – The BEST Cherry Filling Recipe for Cakes Pies and Desserts (Save/Pin)
Useful Tips and Tools
- Use a heavy bottom Sauce Pan to prevent the filling from getting too dry, and avoid burning.
- And a Whisk works well if you want to crush the fruit to a paste consistency.
- Also, I like a chunky filling with bits of strawberry, so I prefer to use asilicone spatula and lightly crush the fruit as I go.
- In addition, I like storing my fillings in Mason Jars in the fridge until it is ready to use. So I store any leftover in freezer safe ziplock bags. And lay them flat on the tray so they use less space.
- 200 grams cherries (1 1/2 cups or 7 oz)
- 50 grams white sugar (1/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 120 ml water (1/2 cup)
- First of all, wash and remove seeds from the cherries.
- Place cherries in a saucepan with sugar, lemon juice, and half the water (1/4 cup).
- Heat on low to medium until sugar is dissolved.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining water (1/4 cup) with the cornstarch. And mix well.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the cherries mixture.
- Continue to cook on low – the mixture will thicken and look glossy.
- When thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon or spatula it’s ready.
- Check consistency – for a cake filling, you can make a bit thicker.
Personally, I prefer one consistency for all. Thick and not too runny.
- Remove from heat – And pour into a mason jar.
- Let cool completely.
Frequently asked questions?
How long does cherry filling last in the fridge?
This cherry filling will last at room temperature for two days if stored properly, covered with plastic wrap in a cool dry place. The filling can also be kept in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or frozen for up to a month. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight for a nice creamy consistency.
Can I use frozen cherries to make cherry filling?
Absolutely. I get fresh cherries in the season. And yet, during the year I have to use frozen cherries. Also, the frozen tend to be more affordable and work best for cake and pie fillings. In addition, frozen cherries can have tough skin. Hence, it is important to use my method in which I cook the cherries in water for a few minutes before I thicken it. This method produces a soft cherry filling that tastes just as good as fresh cherry filling.
How much cherry pie filling do I need for a cherry pie?
You will need twice this recipe for a cherry pie. You can also use fresh or frozen cherries. And if you have fresh cherries save some for garnish.
What cake-flavor works best with cherry cake filling?
Cherry filling is a classic combination with chocolate cake. So it’s often used in a black forest cake. And yet, it can also work well with a vanilla cake. Cherries also pair well with almond cake, or fruit cakes, such as apricot, nectarines, or plums.
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The BEST Cherry Filling Recipe for Cake Tarts and DessertsPrint Pin Rate
- 200 grams Cherries (7 oz)
- 50 grams White sugar (1.7 oz)
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 120 ml Water (divided)
Conversions - Switch between Metric & US for other measurement options
- Wash and remove seeds from the cherries.
- Place cherries in a saucepan with, sugar, lemon juice, and half the water (1/4 cup).
- Heat on low to medium until sugar is dissolved.
- In a separate bowl combine the remaining water (1/4 cup) and cornstarch. And mix well.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the cherry.
- Continue to cook on low - the mixture will thicken and look glossy.
- When thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon or spatula it's ready.
- Check consistency - for a cake filling you can make a bit more thicker. Personally, I prefer one consistency for all. Thick and not too runny.
- Remove from heat - And pour into a mason jar.
- Let cool completely.
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