Make this easy Cherry Compote recipe with just 3 ingredients in 10 minutes! Use the simple fruit sauce as a topping on ice cream, pancakes, cake, yogurt, and much more.
Cherry compote makes a tasty topping with a pancake charcuterie board, on vegan cheesecake, or as a filling for easy chocolate cupcakes.
Make the most of seasonal fruit with this delicious (and super easy!) Cherry Compote!
Simply simmer for a few minutes and it's ready to enjoy on oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, French toast, cake, cheesecake, ice cream and much more!
Fruit compote is one of the most simple ways to add natural fruity flavor to your desserts. A homemade compote is so easy to make, too!
Fresh fruit is cooked in a solution of water and sugar until the fruit breaks down releasing its natural flavor.
The mixture then thickens as it cools thanks to natural fruit pectin which turns it into a sweet flavorful sauce that can be used so many different ways.
This recipe uses fresh cherries to make an easy compote. Cherries are in season from April until July or August which is when they taste best so be sure to grab some before the season ends!
In addition to using cherry compote for desserts and breakfasts, you can also use cherry compote as a dipping sauce for fruits such as sliced apples, bananas, and orange wedges.
Or you can stir cherry compote into plain yogurt for a delicious cherry parfait!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This compote is made with fresh cherries that give this sauce a naturally tart and sweet flavor.
You’ll only need four simple ingredients to make the entire cherry compote recipe in 10 minutes.
You can use this compote for desserts or you can mix it with alcohol to make cherry flavored cocktails.
If you can’t find fresh cherries, you can use frozen cherries which allows you to make this recipe any time of the year.
It's a versatile sauce that you'll use in lots of ways.
You only need three simple ingredients to make a homemade cherry compote from scratch!
- Cherries - In-season cherries are best to make this compote. They need to be washed and pitted before adding to the sugar and water solution. You can substitute frozen cherries, just thaw them first.
- Granulated Sugar - Enhances the naturally sweet flavor of the cherries.
- Citrus Juice - A dash of lemon, lime, or orange juice helps cut through the sweet and tart flavor to balance this cherry compote.
- Water - Helps loosen up the cherry compote to help turn it into a sauce-like texture.
- Optional - a cherry pitter. You can pit the cherries other ways, but I love how easy it is using a pitter.
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
Wondering how to make this cherry compote recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the cherries: After choosing ripe red cherries, you’ll need to wash them thoroughly. They need to be pitted as well. You can use a cherry pitter or use a sharp knife carefully to remove the center pit. A straw can also be used if poked down the center.
Add the cherries, sugar, water, and citrus juice to a small pan.
Break down the cherries: Heat it all up, then let it all simmer for 10 minutes stirring often. Once the cherries are fully broken down, the pan can be removed from the heat.
Cool and store: Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool enough before handling. Pour into a sanitized jar or container with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Pitting Cherries: There are plenty of ways to remove the pit from cherries. You can purchase a cherry pitter if you use cherries often, or you can poke a straw down the center to remove the pit completely. You can also remove the pit using a sharp paring knife if done carefully.
If you can’t find fresh cherries or they are out of season, frozen cherries can be used to make the compote. Just make sure they are fully thawed in the fridge overnight before adding to the water and sugar mixture.
Don’t worry if the cherry compote seems a bit thin after cooking. The entire mixture will thicken as it cools.
Make sure your jar or container is completely sanitized before adding the cooled cherry compote to prevent any harmful bacteria from forming.
Cherry compote will be hot after it's removed from the heat. Be sure to let it cool before handling it as hot compote can cause serious burns.
Stir a bit into this Whipped Coconut Cream for a delicious vegan cherry-flavored dessert, frosting or icing.
Add the compote to a piping bag and pipe some into the middle of your favorite Muffins for a sweet cherry filling.
Enjoy for breakfast on toast, French toast, waffles, almond milk pancakes, oatmeal or yogurt. Great on baked oats too.
Serve warm over a chocolate brownie with a scoop of ice cream.
Serve topped with shaved chocolate for a chocolate cherry compote.
Add flavor extracts: You can change up the flavor of this cherry compote by adding a few drops of vanilla extract, almond extract, or maple extract.
Make a sweet and savory cherry compote by adding in a few tablespoons of sweet balsamic vinegar as it cooks down.
When using citrus juice, lemon, lime, or orange juice can be used to flavor the compote depending on what you’re using it for. For extra citrus flavor, you can also add in 1 teaspoon of the zest.
Give this cherry compote a boozy kick by stirring in your favorite alcohol such as Chambord, brandy, kirsch, or amaretto.
Add some warmth to this fruit compote by adding a pinch of cinnamon or pumpkin spice blend.
Storing: Cherry compote will stay fresh in a sanitized airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Freezing: If freezing, make sure you use a freezer-safe bag or airtight container with enough room for the compote to expand for up to 3 months. Freezing compote in glass jars is not recommended as they can burst when thawing. Thaw fruit compote in the fridge overnight before using.
More fruit compote recipes
I hope you love this cherry compote recipe as much as we do! Be sure to also check out these other compotes. I have a big list of even more fruit compote recipes too!
Yes! But keep in mind that these cherries are a bit less sweet than red cherries, so make sure you adjust the amount of sugar to your desired tastes.
Either! This depends on what you’re serving it with. Fruit compote is versatile and can be enjoyed warm or cold.
Absolutely! Mix cherries with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or your favorite fruit to make a mixed fruit compote.
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- 1 pound (450g) cherries (fresh or thawed frozen), pitted
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice or orange juice)
- Remove the pits from the cherries. I use a cherry pitter, but you can use a knife (carefully!) or poke a straw through the centre to push out the pit.
- Add the cherries, sugar, and juice (or water) to a pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the cherries break down.
- Remove from heat and allow the cherry compote to cool. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Transfer to a sanitized jar and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Pitting Cherries: There are plenty of ways to remove the pit from cherries. You can purchase a cherry pitter if you use cherries often, or you can poke a straw down the center to remove the pit completely. You can also remove the pit using a sharp paring knife if done carefully.
- If you can’t find fresh cherries or they are out of season, frozen cherries can be used to make the compote. Just make sure they are fully thawed in the fridge overnight before adding to the water and sugar mixture.
- Don’t worry if the cherry compote seems a bit thin after cooking. The entire mixture will thicken as it cools.
- Make sure your jar or container is completely sanitized before adding the cooled cherry compote to prevent any harmful bacteria from forming.
- Cherry compote will be VERY hot after it's removed from the heat. Be sure to let it cool before handling it as hot compote can cause serious burns.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
It was delicious! I've got to get more cherries to make more!
Now all I need is some vanilla ice cream. I love the tartness this adds!
I bet this would be amazing spooned over ice cream! And I love how easy this is to make. 🙂
I agree, homemade compotes and jams are so tasty and easy to make. This looks delicious and perfect to top pancakes, ice cream and more.
Oooh yes, cherry compote on top of cake is so good!