Easy, Homemade Cherry Pie Recipe

How to make cherry pie from scratch with a lightly sweetened filling of fresh (or frozen) cherries, vanilla, and almond extract. It’s to die for. Jump to the full cherry pie recipe now or watch our quick recipe video showing you how to make it.

This cherry pie recipe is so easy — All you need to do is mix, fill and bake. The hardest part is pitting the cherries. For that, you might want to buy a cherry pitter or if you’re like us, cheat and use one of our suggestions below for how to pit cherries without a cherry pitter.

Easy All Butter Flaky Pie Crust RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Our Flaky Pie Crust Recipe and Video might be helpful. It’s an all-butter crust that’s ultra flaky. We even included a video to show you how to make it.

How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie

Stir cherries with sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts then stir. Roll out a pie crust (or use store-bought), fill then top with another crust. Bake and cool. It’s that easy.

How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie

To be honest, the hardest part is actually waiting for the pie to cool — you really want to wait 2 to 3 hours before cutting into the pie. We know — it’s torture!

Using Sweet or Tart Cherries

As far as the cherries go, we like to use fresh cherries, but if you need to, use thawed frozen or canned/jarred cherries. (We share notes for both options in the recipe below). Both sweet and tart cherries will work well in this pie. We usually use sweet because fresh tart cherries are almost impossible to find where we live. No matter which you use, be sure to check for how sweet they are then adjust the sugar accordingly. We love serving each slice with freshly whipped cream, but ice cream would be divine.

Easy Homemade Cherry Pie Recipe

How to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter

We have a small kitchen. That means that we only buy what we need on a weekly basis and while we would love to eat a slice of this cherry pie every night  that just can’t happen. So, we don’t have a cherry pitter in the house. That didn’t stop us, though. We just looked around and figured out two ways to pit cherries without a cherry pitter.

How to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter

On the top, you’ll see we used a chopstick. We used the thicker round end to push the pit out of each cherry. The second option was to use a small piping tip. Place it onto the work surface then push the cherry down onto the tip — the pit pops right out. Of the two, we preferred using chopsticks. Both work, but the chopsticks were a little less messy.

Recipe updated, originally posted May 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Easy, Homemade Cherry Pie Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK

Making cherry pie is easy – all you need is a little patience when pitting the cherries. We promise it’s worth it. You can use sweet cherries, sour cherries or a combination of both, just remember to dial the sugar back or up depending on what you choose.

You can buy a cherry pitter, however, if you do not have one try using the thicker round end of a chopstick to push the pits out of the middle of each cherry. Another option is to push each cherry down onto a piping tip. The sugar amount for this recipe varies depending on how sweet your cherries are. Add to your taste. We like to use fresh cherries for this, but you can use canned (see note below).

One 9-inch pie, approximately 8 servings

You Will Need

Chilled pie dough for top and bottom 9-inch pie (see our pie crust recipe)

4 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries, see note if using frozen or canned (2 1/2 pounds, unpitted)

1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch

2/3 to 3/4 cup (135 to 150 grams) sugar, adjusted accordingly to sweetness of cherries

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy or whipping cream

Additional sugar for topping crust (coarse sugar is a nice option)


  • Make Filling
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, stir sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon juice and the salt together then add cherries. Gently toss to combine. Set aside.

    • Prepare and Fill Crust
    • Remove half of dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch (1/8-inch thick) circle. (Occasionally, check if dough is sticking to the surface — add a small amount of flour when necessary).

      Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. Carefully press the dough into the dish.

      Spoon cherry pie filling into pie crust. Discard most of the liquid pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Dot filling with little squares of cold butter.Cherry-Pie-Recipe-Step-1

      • Top Pie
      • Roll out second half of dough then top pie. Use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish.

        Fold edges of top crust underneath edges of bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside (see photo, we know that was wordy — you can see us do it in our pie crust recipe video, too). Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.Cherry-Pie-Recipe-Step-2

        • Bake Pie
        • Just before baking, make egg wash by whisking egg yolk and cream together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top crust. Then, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then, cut 3 to 4 slits in top of pie.

          Bake for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling. Cool pie at least 2 hours, preferably 3, before cutting to allow filling to set.

          Note – It might be helpful to bake the pie on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil so any juices that drip over the pie dish are caught.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • For canned cherries: Use 4 cups of canned or bottled cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved.
  • For frozen cherries: Use 4 cups of thawed cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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63 comments… Leave a Comment
  • ENG November 23, 2016, 11:28 pm

    I made a few cherry pies and they turned out pretty good but this one turned out absolutely delicious! Great recipe!

  • Kelly November 19, 2016, 9:57 am

    The pie looks delicious! We have a nut allergy in the family, can I omit the Almond Extract? If so, do I sub something else or increase vanilla? Thank you!

    • Joanne December 15, 2016, 3:12 pm

      Yes, absolutely! Vanilla or any of your favorite extracts will work in its place. You could also just leave it out.

  • K October 25, 2016, 9:30 am

    How many cans will I need to make sure I have 4 cups of cherries?

    • Joanne December 15, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Hi K, I’m not 100% sure. I’d expect that a can would have somewhere between 1 1/2 cups and 2 cups of cherries.

  • Doreen Porter October 4, 2016, 8:35 pm

    I made the cherry pie with pie filling it turn out good.

  • Crickett August 4, 2016, 12:15 am

    Not sure what I did wrong but I only had access to the sweeter cherries and went ahead and used the larger amount of suggested sugar and it still wasn’t sweet enough and the cherries weren’t cooked enough even though I added extra time…I think I’ll cook the filling first next time…crust turned out pretty good…maybe my oven temp is off idk. Any suggestions would be great…it looked beautiful but I was a little disappointed when I tasted it.

    • Joanne August 11, 2016, 12:39 pm

      Hi Crickett, I’m not sure what went wrong. You could try adding more sugar next time and baking a little longer. You want to bake fruit-filled pies until the filling is bubbling. Cooking the filling beforehand is also an option.

  • Alexis July 19, 2016, 10:44 pm

    Making this pie right now with fresh cherries! I used mostly tart with 1/2 c of Bing I can’t wait until my oven dings!!(this is also my first pie!!)

  • Carla July 17, 2016, 11:58 pm

    Hi Adam and Joanne: I had a lot of cherries from cherry-picking near Niagara and came across your recipe, both for the cherry pie and the crust. I made the crust by hand as you did, and pitted the cherries with the chopstick. Having not made pies from scratch before, your recipes were spot-on and the pies came out excellent! Thank you for posting this. Now I plan to check our more of your recipes!

  • DollMomKimberly July 11, 2016, 7:10 pm

    Thank you for this easy, and truly wonderful recipe that you shared. I did use a premade Pillsberry piecrust for it because I did not have time to make the pie crust; however, the next time I make a cherry pie, That being next week, I will be actually making the pie crust from scratch. I ended up having to use about 10 cups of cherries, Because I used a 10 or 12 inch pie dish. However I did not have to increase any of the other ingredients, because there was plenty to coat the cherries. I did increase the 400° cooking time by five minutes however, so that the increased density of the pie would have a little more time. I then covered the edges of the pie, with tinfoil to prevent burning, and then after reducing the temperature to 350° cooked it for an additional 35 minutes.
    It’s still cooling, so I haven’t tried it. It’s been cooling for 3.5 hours, but is cherry pie is my favorite, I am very excited to try my first ever made by myself cherry pie!

  • Zegi July 3, 2016, 9:19 am

    It looks great, I’ll have to do it 🙂

  • Rhonda June 24, 2016, 4:43 pm

    Hello, made this pie yesterday and followed the recipe exactly. There is so much juice in the pie that it just runs out if I tip the pie a little bit. Any ideas on what went wrong?

    Thank you,

    • Rhonda June 24, 2016, 4:44 pm

      I’ll add that I used fresh cherries.

    • Joanne June 25, 2016, 7:36 pm

      Hi Rhonda, Did you spoon the cherry pie filling into pie crust and then discard most of the liquid pooled at the bottom of the bowl? If you did and the pie was still runny, try adding a little more cornstarch next time (this helps thicken the filling).

  • Rosemarie Moore June 16, 2016, 8:24 pm

    I was wondering as to why you need to freeze the pie first before baking it?
    I would like to try this, but make mini pies with my 3 yr old granddaughter.
    We’re going to use some of the cherries that we have picked off of our tree. We just finished making freezer jam with some.
    Would like to be able to make and bake the same day?

    • Joanne June 17, 2016, 3:35 pm

      HI Rosemarie, For the flakiest crust, it’s important to get the crust to set before the fat melts. A chilled pie and a hot oven helps accomplish that. The pie only needs to be refrigerated for 20 minutes or frozen for 5, so there isn’t too much time required there.

      If you are making the dough from scratch, you will need some time to chill the dough before rolling — we usually chill for an hour. Chilling here helps keep the dough workable. As the dough warms up, it can become tedious to roll out.

      Even with making the crust from scratch, you should be able to do all of this in one day (especially if you make mini pies — they should not need as long in the oven or as long to cool once baked).

      • Rosemarie Moore June 18, 2016, 1:34 pm

        Thank you. I do remember my mom chilling her dough, but never knew why.
        Since she has passed (in 07) I’ve been unable to fine out, and to learning on my own, while teaching my 3yr old granddaughter.
        Thank you so much, & God bless. <3

  • Sue June 13, 2016, 10:16 pm

    For pitting cherries, just get a regular plastic drinking straw, cut a piece off that is 3 to 4″ long, and make the cut on the diagonal (about a 45-degree angle). Just stick the point in and push.

  • Julie March 24, 2016, 9:57 am

    Hi… Never have made a cherry pie before. Was wondering if canned cherries are the same as cherry pie filling you buy in the can? This recipe requires you to basically make the filling. Was wondering if the can of cherry pie filling and would work instead and not sure how many cans of that I would need Not sure if there would be a big difference on how it tastes ?

    • Joanne May 19, 2016, 1:14 pm

      I don’t recommend using the cherry pie filling, only canned cherries. Canned cherry pie filling has other flavors/ingredients added. Look for canned cherries instead. Then in our recipe above, use 4 cups of canned or bottled cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved.

    • Doreen Porter October 4, 2016, 8:32 pm

      I make it with cherry pie filling it turns out great

  • Stephanie March 22, 2016, 2:24 pm

    If I am making the pie with the canned filling do I still add the other ingredients listed or just use the cherry pie filling.

    • Joanne May 19, 2016, 1:16 pm

      If you can, use canned cherries and not the cherry pie filling. If you only have the canned filling on hand, I would look at the instructions on the can since it already has other flavors/ingredients added. If you just use canned cherries, simply follow our recipe above. Happy baking.

  • Louise January 17, 2016, 4:53 am

    The easiest way to pit cherries (if you do not need them to look whole, like in a pie) is to place them on a chopping board, cover with a sheet of baking parchment and hit firmly but not too (!) vigourously with a rolling pin. Once the cherries begin to release a bit of juice, you can easily squeeze them and pop out the pips in a second each.
    (I used this technique when preparing my homegrown cherries for freezing and there were A LOT of them. It was by far the quickest method!)
    Hope that helps :0)

  • Colleen December 12, 2015, 12:52 pm

    Got a question, I want to make this for my husband’s birthday next week. Can I make the filling today and refrigerate it until I bake the pie in four days? Is that a terrible idea?

    • Joanne December 22, 2015, 12:55 pm

      This should be fine.

  • Sandy November 25, 2015, 10:21 am

    If I bake 2 cherry pies at the same time,how much longer do need to cook them?

    • Joanne December 22, 2015, 1:14 pm

      For the best pies, we like to place the pie in the lower third of the oven so the bottom of the pie browns and so the bottom does not become soggy. Baking two pies at the same time would make this difficult. If you need to bake two pies at the same time, you might want to consider rotating the pies during baking. Baking time may increase slightly, my best advice is to keep an eye on the pies and go by eye more than by bake time.

  • Nicole August 11, 2015, 8:22 am

    Hi there,
    I’m taking the plunge and making my first Cherry Pie today.
    My question is, I don’t have corn starch and I live out in the country and can’t get into town today. Can I substitute with flour?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Joanne August 12, 2015, 11:44 am

      Hi Nicole, Flour will work and quick-cooking tapioca is also an option. Good luck!

      • Bill March 8, 2016, 2:49 pm

        You can use semolina too. It’s fantastic for thickening without the taste of corn or wheat flour.

  • Hope July 19, 2015, 8:28 pm

    This is a beautiful pie. My only issue is the sweetness level. I went up to 3/4 cu sugar and it’s still quite tart. I would use more next time. The ice cream helps! 🙂

    The idea of using the blunt end of a chopstick is genius! Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  • Alicia June 30, 2015, 1:47 pm

    When you mention in the recipe to refrigerate dough 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.. do you mean that once the pie is constructed to then put it in the fridge or freezer, or are you referring to after the dough is made and before you build the pie to refrigerate for that long?

    Thank you 🙂

    • Joanne July 2, 2015, 11:26 am

      We like to chill the pie before baking. You can also throw the pie dough into the fridge if you find it becomes too warm when you are working with it.

  • Kathy June 30, 2015, 8:54 am

    I found another great kitchen tool that works for pitting cherries! You know that “sleeve” that comes on a cheap probe thermometer? I slip that over the stem if there is one, push, and I hardly had any waste! I put a cap eraser on the other end of the sleeve so it didn’t hurt my hand as I pushed.

  • Donna June 6, 2015, 9:22 am

    I have a mixture of fresh dark bing cherries and the golden rainier cherries. Can I mix them together to make this pie?

    • Joanne July 2, 2015, 11:32 am

      Yes, definitely.

  • Jan January 3, 2015, 9:25 pm

    I have just picked 4 kg of cherries off my dwarf cherry tree and decided to make my first ever cherry pie. They are not a big thing in New Zealand. The piping tip for pitting the cherries was brilliant. I even persuaded my non-cooking husband to do the pitting while I made the pastry! After following the lattice work instructions, the pie was great. Thank you so much.

  • Isabel August 22, 2014, 3:48 pm

    Hi Adam and Joanne, thank you so much for this reciepe (and for the one about the flaky crust!). Came across the receipe only two weeks ago and made the pie three times already. Absolutely perfect! Even my hubby, who usually doesn’t like cakes of any kind, loves this Cherry Pie! 🙂
    Now I’ve got a question: My dad loves anything sweet kombined with apples. Do you think, I can just substitute the cherries by apples – and using cinnamon instead of almond extract – to get a decent apple pie?
    Best wishes from Germany!

  • Meaghan April 25, 2014, 8:53 pm

    I LOVE your crusts and am making this pie to celebrate my birthday tomorrow (even though it’s today haha). Anyways, I see yours is a full crust on top. Is it possible to make a lattice top for this and it will come out the same? Or will that change how it’s baked? I’m very inexperienced in pie making, so I wanted to ask before expire meeting! Thank you!

  • Traci April 13, 2014, 1:57 pm

    My first time making a cherry pie, and it was delicious! I actually made it for a birthday party. Fresh cherries are not easy to come by, so I opted to use frozen. All I could find where the big black cherries, so I cut them in half. The recipes was easy to follow, and I will definitely file this one in my recipe box. Thanks so much!!

    • Joanne April 16, 2014, 12:54 pm

      We’re so happy you loved the pie — cherry pie is so good. Such a perfect birthday dessert!

  • Cindy January 21, 2014, 11:35 am

    I am baking two cherry pies for a funeral tomorrow afternoon. I have been asked to drop the pies by the church this afternoon. How can I assure the pie crusts will not be soggy?

    • Joanne January 22, 2014, 10:03 am

      HI Cindy, We really like using our pie crust recipe and give lots of tips for making sure it stays flaky. (recipe here: http://www.inspiredtaste.net/22662/flaky-pie-crust-recipe/ ). You really should be fine. Just keep everything cold when making the crust then bake the pie as directed. All the best!!

  • Laurie December 18, 2013, 4:08 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful cherry pie and pie crust recipes. They were fantastic!!! I’ve been having trouble making my pie crust and then I found your recipe. Such a breeze to roll out! And my uncle loves cherry pie; I made yours and he said it was the best he’d ever had. Thank you!!!!

    • Joanne December 19, 2013, 10:57 am

      You are welcome! So glad you both loved the pie!

  • Eliz November 26, 2013, 11:25 am

    You reference a note in the recipe or at the bottom about using frozen or canned cherries….. but I’ve read through it three times now and can’t find that “note”. Are there any special instructions for using frozen cherries? Also, is it possible to make everything ahead and then freeze the pie for a day or two before baking? It looks fantastic and I really want to try it, but I’m not sure I’ll have time on the day I need it to do all the steps, hoping to make it a day or so before if I can, but I’m not sure if that would work (having never made a pie before, I have no idea about those kinds of things)…. Thanks!

    • Joanne December 3, 2013, 12:46 pm

      Hi there, Sorry about that. We have updated the notes section to include the following: For canned cherries: Use 4 cups of canned or bottled cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved. For frozen cherries: Use 4 cups of thawed cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved.

      • Debbie February 18, 2014, 9:15 pm

        This pie was fantastic!! Thanks for sharing.
        My boss is a huge cherry pie fan and this was a hit! I have one question though…I had to use canned cherries (wrong time of the year for fresh) and I reserved the 1/3 cup of liquid like you suggested. What was I reserving it for? Did I miss something in the instructions!

        • Joanne February 20, 2014, 10:55 am

          Nothing — for canned cherries we reduce the liquid by a bit so the pie is not soggy.

          • Bruce April 3, 2014, 8:19 pm

            Joanne, I think you did not answer Debbie’s question. I have the same question.

            You stated: “Use 4 cups of thawed cherries, drained with about 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved.”

            Normally in a recipe, drain with reserve means that the reserve is to be retained to be used for some other part of the recipe. The amount of drain in excess of the reserve is discarded. In this particular case, what is the purpose of the reserve?

            By the way, I came across this page when searching for a recipe for cherry pie made from frozen sweet cherries (my wife purchased a bag at Costco – they are not nice simply eating half frozen).

          • Joanne April 4, 2014, 11:31 am

            Hi Bruce, the reserved juice is just added along with the cherries to the pie filling.

    • Christina Roache December 13, 2014, 10:21 am

      Can you make the pie a day ahead and freeze..cook the next day? How would you do this..defrost first or bake frozen?


      • Joanne March 3, 2015, 2:53 pm

        Hi Christina, You can, but we prefer to freeze fruit pies in “kits.” You can freeze the pie crust separately from the filling. Let the filling thaw then add to the slightly thawed (but still cold) crust and bake. Doing it this way makes sure the pie doesn’t become mushy.

  • Alyssa July 14, 2013, 11:20 pm

    Homemade cherry pie looks sooooo good can’t wait to making it.


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