Enhancing the Flavor of Canned Cherry Pie Filling

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How to make canned cherry pie filling taste better

We all love the smell of freshly baked pies in our homes. Pies can be easy to make when you use the canned filling options as well. All you have to do is add the crust, and there are pre-made crust options if you really want the easiest solution. The problem is that these canned fillings don’t always taste great right out of the can.

Why is canned cherry pie filling tart?

Unfortunately, most canned cherry pie fillings come from cherries that simply aren’t at their peak ripeness. Even if they are at their peak, they can still be tart. For some brands, it may simply be their process for making the filling that affects the flavor. For the most part, you will find that canned cherry pie fillings vary, and the level of acidity can vary as well. You may find a brand that really has the process down pat and their cherries are always perfectly sweet. However, when it comes to canned items, it’s safe to say that you won’t always get cherries that are perfectly ripe, and this is what leads to most canned cherry pie fillings being a bit tart.

How to Improve Canned Cherry Pie Filling

When you taste canned cherry pie filling, what is your first thought? For most of us, it is either that it is too bland or that it is too tart and needs to be sweetened. So what do you do? Some people just bake the cherry pie filling as is and hope that it tastes good when it’s all said and done. But we like to take action and improve the pie filling from the start, so we know our cherry pie will be absolutely perfect!

Cherry Sugar

You can use a simple addition of any white sugar to sweeten your cherry pie filling. This is probably one of the most common and easiest ways to sweeten cherry pie filling. Most pie fillings already have this syrupy mixture in them, so you can really just add the sugar to the pre-made pie filling. If your pie filling really doesn’t have the syrupy mixture, you can make it with syrup and water and then mix that with your cherry pie filling. Here are your steps to sweetening your canned cherry pie filling with sugar:

  1. Open the can of cherry pie filling and pour it into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon sugar to the cherry pie filling and mix well.
  3. Taste a small sample of the filling to see if it is sweet enough.
  4. If your filling still seems too tart, continue adding sugar in 1 teaspoon increments. Stir well each time and test again before adding more sugar.


If you have a jam or jelly that you think will go well with cherry pie filling (preferably cherry), then this could be a good solution for sweetening your cherry pie filling. Jams and jellies are already naturally sweetened, and the texture will mix well with the pie filling, so you shouldn’t have any problems. Here are the steps to sweetening canned cherry pie filling with jam or jelly:

  1. Pour the canned cherry pie filling into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add about 4 tablespoons of jam or jelly to the mixture.
  3. Stir well.
  4. If the mixture seems too thick after adding the jam or jelly, add a small amount of coordinating fruit juice.
  5. Stir well and taste to be sure it is sweetened and meets your taste approval.


Cherry and pineapple are complementary flavors, and they work well together to make it sweet. Your cherry pie will not taste like pineapple unless you overdo it. Some people would also recommend trying something like canned peaches, cooked apples, or even just some mixed berries if any of those sound better to you. Here are the steps to sweetening canned pie filling with pineapple or any other sweet fruit:

  1. Pour your canned cherry pie filling into a mixing bowl.
  2. Use either a small amount of pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, or even pureed pineapple to add to the cherry pie filling. We recommend adding about 4 tablespoons per can of cherry pie filling.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Test the taste!


Most canned cherry pie fillings are made to be syrupy, so it makes sense to add a syrupy ingredient if you need to sweeten it up a bit more. In this case, you have several options to choose from. You can use any thick, syrupy sweetener to make this work. Try something like corn syrup, maple syrup, agave, or honey.

Bottom line

Canned cherry pie filling can be easily improved with a few simple additions. Whether you choose to sweeten with sugar, jam, pineapple, or syrup, these options can help balance the acidity and improve the overall flavor of the pie filling. Experiment with different sweeteners and adjust the amounts to your taste preferences. By taking a little extra effort to improve your canned cherry pie filling, you can create a delicious homemade pie that everyone will enjoy. Happy baking!


Why doesn’t canned cherry pie filling taste good right out of the can?

Canned cherry pie fillings can lack sweetness and be slightly tart because the cherries used may not be at their peak ripeness, and variations in the manufacturing process of the filling can affect the flavor.

How can I make canned cherry pie filling sweeter?

You can sweeten canned cherry pie filling by adding white sugar, pineapple juice, or other sweet syrups such as agave or honey. Start with small amounts and adjust to your desired level of sweetness.

Can I use jam or jelly to sweeten canned cherry pie filling?

Yes, using jam or jelly is a great way to sweeten the filling. Choose a jam or jelly that goes well with cherries, preferably cherry jam or jelly, and stir it into the canned filling until well combined.

How can pineapple be used to enhance the flavor of canned cherry pie filling?

Pineapple can add sweetness and complement the cherry flavor. You can use pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, or pureed pineapple and mix it into the cherry pie filling to enhance the flavor.

What other sweet fruits can be used to enhance the flavor of canned cherry pie filling?

In addition to pineapple, you can try using canned peaches, cooked apples, or mixed berries to add sweetness and enhance the flavor of the canned cherry pie filling.

Can syrup be used to sweeten canned cherry pie filling?

Yes, you can use thick, syrupy sweeteners such as corn syrup, maple syrup, agave, or honey to sweeten canned cherry pie filling. Add them gradually, tasting as you go, until you reach the desired level of sweetness.