Fresh Cherry Sauce with No Starch and No Refined Sugars


This wonderful fresh cherry sauce is spiked with dried cranberries for well-rounded flavor that compliments a variety of desserts and dishes. The cranberries absorb quite a bit of moisture and the maple syrup cooks down, so no starch or thickeners of any kind are needed in the recipe.

Fresh Cherry Sauce Recipe with No Starch and No Refined Sweeteners - spiked with dried cranberries, maple syrup, and other optional flavors. Naturally allergy-friendly, plant-based, and paleo-friendly

Fresh Cherry Sauce and 12 Dairy-Free Ways to Serve It

With a range of optional ingredients, this fresh cherry sauce can top various sweet desserts and savory dishes. Here are some ideas for how to use it.

Sweetener Note

You can substitute another liquid sweetener for the maple syrup if preferred or needed. Most natural liquid sweeteners, like honey or agave nectar, will work well. Sweeteners like golden syrup also work.

I know some of you will want to substitute a sugar-free sweetener, but I’d choose your sweetener wisely. Most won’t properly thicken the sauce.

Fresh Cherry Sauce Recipe with No Starch and No Refined Sweeteners - spiked with dried cranberries, maple syrup, and other optional flavors. Naturally allergy-friendly, plant-based, and paleo-friendlyThis fresh cherry sauce recipe with photo was shared with us by

Special Diet Notes: Fresh Cherry Sauce

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy,  egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and refined sugar-free. The recipe is also corn-free since it’s made naturally without starch.

Fresh Cherry Sauce with No Starch
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Please note that the Prep time is hands-on time only. Allow time for the sauce to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. See the post above for serving ideas. If you don't want to commit to a large batch, you can cut the recipe in half. Half of ¾ cup is 6 tablespoons.
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16 servings
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup maple syrup (see Sweetener Note in post above)
  • 4 cups fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 4 cups dried cranberries
  • 4 peels (2 inches each) fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons citrus zest (optional)
  • Black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • Fresh herbs, to taste (optional)
  • Raspberries, as desired (optional)
  1. In medium saucepan, stir together the cherries, water, and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and more frequently as the sauce begins to form.
  2. Add the cranberries and continue to cook, stirring often. Once reduced, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the fresh ginger, citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs, and/or raspberries, if desired.
  3. Let the sauce cool in the pan for 30 to 60 minutes, then transfer it to a wider, shallower pan to finish cooling more quickly.
  4. Once cool, store the cherry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

More Dairy-Free Fresh Cherry Recipes

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Cherry Crisp made with Fresh Cherries! A Dairy-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan Recipe

Cherry Amaretto Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Vegan Amaretto Cherry Ice Cream Recipe + Review of Vegan Bowl Attack by Jackie Sobon

Door County Cherry Pie

Door County Cherry Pie - dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free recipe with homemade vegan pie crust

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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