This homemade cherry sauce is easy to make and only has a few, simple ingredients. It’s vegan friendly, naturally sweetened, and gluten free! It’s a delicious topping for pancakes, oatmeal, ice cream, cheesecake, cakes, and more!
1/2–1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 1/2 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen*
3–4 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or sugar (can use less or more, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional (Can also use 1–2 tablespoons cherry liquor/kirsch)
Measure out 1/2 cup of water. In a separate small dish, combine cornstarch with a few spoonfuls of the measured water and mix until smooth. Mix in the rest of the measured out water. Set aside.
Place pitted cherries in a small saucepan. Add cornstarch slurry and sweetener. Set pot on the stove over medium-high heat and cook until sauce has thickened, stirring often. Sauce has to come to a low boil to activate the cornstarch. This may take several minutes. If it’s too thick, stir in the additional 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water.
Once it has thickened, remove from heat and stir in extract(s). Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
*Can roughly chop the cherries if you plan to use them in a cake for easier slicing.