How to Make Mandarin Orange Sauce

This mandarin orange sauce is an easy and delicious sauce perfect for your favourite desserts or breakfast dishes like yogurt, pancakes, waffles or crepes.

close up of mandarin orange sauce
Enjoy the flavour of mandarin oranges in a lightly sweetened sauce.

Also Read: Mandarin Orange Jam, How to Can Mandarin Oranges, Mandarin & Cranberry Jam

I make a fruit sauce like this out of whatever fruit is in season! It’s one of our favourites for crepes, ice cream and yogurt or labneh parfaits.

mandarin orange sauce and labneh parfaits
I used this mandarin orange sauce, lemon yogurt mixed with fresh whipped cream, pomegranate seeds and pistachio nuts for a light and delicious dessert.

Recipe for Mandarin Orange Sauce

mandarin orange sauce in bowl with ladel
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4.75 from 8 votes

Mandarin Orange Sauce

An easy and delicious sauce used as a topping or filling for ice cream, yogurt, cake, cheesecake, pancakes, crepes, waffles or whatever you prefer.
Prep : 5 minutes
Cook : 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cups


  • 2 cans mandarin oranges 11 oz/312g
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2-4 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice concentrate


  • Strain mandarin oranges to separate segments from juice. Keep juice. You should have approximately 2 cups of mandarin orange segments and 1 cup of juice, exact measurement does not matter.
  • Pour cornstarch into small pot. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of reserved juice to fully dissolve cornstarch.
  • Whisk in remainder of juice, honey and orange juice concentrate. Stir constantly while bringing mixture to a boil, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Continue to stir for one minute once it boils and begins to thicken and turn glassy.
  • Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking and add mandarin orange segments. Cook for one minute more to incorporate any juice from added oranges.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Mixture will thicken further as it cools.
  • Keep in fridge for up to 4 days. Sauce made with cornstarch does not freeze well.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dessert sauce, fruit sauce, mandarin oranges

The Ingredients for Mandarin Orange Sauce

mandarin sauce with fresh mandarins and canned mandarins
You can use canned or fresh mandarins for this sauce.


For this sauce, I use canned mandarin oranges. If you prefer, you can segment fresh mandarin oranges as I explain in my article and recipe for making mandarin orange jam. You could also use navel oranges, clementines or tangerines. If using other oranges expect a more tart sauce that may require a little more sweetener.

I separated the juice and the segments so that the orange pieces would not fall apart and disintegrate while making the sauce. If you prefer smaller bits and pieces of fruit in your sauce, you do not have to separate them.


To sweeten the sauce, I used a little bit of honey, but you can use whatever and however much sweetener you prefer. In this recipe, the sweetener is added for flavour only, so use whatever sweetener you prefer.


Cornstarch is the key ingredient for getting this sauce to thicken. You’ll need to find a different recipe if you prefer not to use corn starch.

There are two important steps whenever using cornstarch.

First, you must dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of cold liquid (the key liquid in your recipe such as milk, broth, water or in this case juice). Add 1/4 cup liquid to 1-3 Tbsp of cornstarch. Estimate about 1 Tbsp of cornstarch for every cup of liquid you want to thicken. Without dissolving the cornstarch first, your sauce will be lumpy.

Second, you must activate the thickening power of cornstarch by bringing the mixture a boil. Whisk or stir the sauce constantly as you bring the liquid to a boil. You will notice the sauce starts to thicken and turn translucent. Stir for about 1- 2 minutes as you begin to see the change until the sauce is glossy and smooth.

dissolve cornstarch
Always dissolve cornstarch in a little bit of cold liquid. It will look cloudy before it boils and thickens into a translucent, glossy sauce.

Additional Ingredients

Mandarin orange have a light mild flavour. To give the sauce more citrus flavour, I added some frozen orange concentrate. This is another optional ingredient. You could leave the sauce as is or you could add other ingredients like lemon juice, orange extract, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract, rose water, Grand Marnier, etc.

mandarin orange sauce in bowl with ladel

How will you use your mandarin orange sauce?

I’d love to hear your recipe ideas and how you end up using your mandarin orange sauce. Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram at #getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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