Cherry sauce in a glass jar.

Fresh Cherry Sauce

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


Fresh Cherry Sauce (cherry compote!) is one of my favorite way to cook with fresh cherries. It’s a super easy to make and versatile summer recipe that is delicious spooned over everything from ice cream to grilled meat.



  • 2 packed cups of pitted cherries (1 lb.)
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or prefered sweetener)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch or cornstarch


  1. Cut half the pitted cherries in half. Leave the other half whole.
  2. Add the pitted cherries, 1/4 cup of the water, sugar, and salt to a small pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the cherries are soft.
  3. Whisk the tapioca starch with the remaining 1/4 cup of water and add it to the pot. Stir until it thickens then remove the pot from the heat.


The easiest way to pit fresh cherries is to use a cherry pitter. This is the one that I have. The other option is to cut around the cherry to remove the pit. You won’t end up with whole cherries if you cut around the pit, but the cherry sauce will still be delicious!