This easy strawberry topping recipe is the perfect sauce for cheesecake, ice cream, waffles, strawberry short cake, and more!
Sometimes, it’s all about that base, and sometimes, it’s all about the sauce, right?
Whether it’s gooey salted caramel on a brownie, chocolate syrup on an ice cream sundae, or a homemade strawberry topping for cheesecake, sometimes it’s that little extra something that makes all the difference.
This homemade strawberry sauce is bursting with fresh strawberry flavor, only requires a few ingredients, and tastes amazing on, well, basically everything. Seriously. It’s the perfect topping!
Here’s what you need to make our easy strawberry sauce recipe…
Here’s What You Need To Make This Easy Strawberry Topping
- Fresh Or Frozen Strawberries. While my first choice is fresh strawberries since they’ll hold their shape better, you can also use frozen strawberries to make strawberry topping. Just know the texture will be a bit softer.
- Sugar. To bring out the natural sweetness in the berries and give this sauce a lovely syrupy texture, you’ll need some sugar. Regular granulated sugar (white sugar) will work best here!
- Fresh Lemon Juice. I love to add a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice. The acidity adds brightness and freshness and really wakes up the flavor!
- Cornstarch. For glossy, thick strawberry sauce, a little cornstarch helps. It acts as our thickener and gives this sauce its gloriously glossy sheen.
- Vanilla Extract. A subtle layer of vanilla adds a touch of richness to this strawberry topping.
- A Tiny Pinch Of Salt. Trust me here! It won’t make the sauce taste salty at ALL. It will just balance and enhance all the other flavors.
How To Make Strawberry Sauce, Step By Step:
- Prepare The Strawberries. Start by slicing or dicing the strawberries.* Set aside 1/3 of the strawberries (8 oz.) for later.
- Combine Strawberries & Sugar. Add 2/3 of the strawberries (about 1 lb.) to a sauce pan along with the sugar.
- Make Slurry. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Whisk together until completely smooth, then add this cornstarch slurry to the strawberries and sugar.
- Bring To A Boil. Stir the mixture with a flexible spatula over medium heat until it begins to boil.
- Stir To Thicken. Keep stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer on the stove 4-5 minutes, or until the berries have softened somewhat and the sauce has thickened. (Remember it will thicken more as it cools)
- Mix In Remaining Strawberries. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/3 of the strawberries. Stir to coat well.
- Cool. Let the strawberry topping cool, then transfer to an airtight container or glass jar. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
- Serve & Store. Store strawberry topping in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. You can freeze this strawberry topping in an airtight freezer bag up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge before using (the texture will soften slightly upon thawing). Enjoy this strawberry topping with waffles, ice cream, cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, pound cake, yogurt, and more!
- For A Smooth Sauce. If you don’t want any chunks in your strawberry sauce, puree the strawberries in a blender and strain them through a fine mesh sieve before you proceed with the rest of the sauce directions. (If you want to thicken the sauce more, you can mix up an additional teaspoon of cornstarch + 1 teaspoon of water and add it to the sauce as needed as it simmers)
Tasty Ways To Use Strawberry Topping
So, now that you’ve got strawberry sauce, it’s time to use it! It’s so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful, but here are some of our favorite ways to use this strawberry topping:
- Angel Food Cake. I love light, fluffy angel food cake with fresh strawberry sauce and whipped cream. Don’t you?
- Strawberry Short Cake. My favorite combination!
- Lemon Cake Or Vanilla Pound Cake. Again, that strawberries and cream vibe is amazing! Dollop slices of vanilla or lemon pound cake with whipped cream and a spoonful or two of this strawberry topping.
- Pancakes & Waffles. A stack of fluffy pancakes or Gluten-Free Belgian Waffles (or even French toast!) is DELICIOUS with strawberry sauce and whipped cream!
- Cheesecake. This strawberry topping is the perfect pairing for classic cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, or white chocolate cheesecake!
- Ice Cream. Spoon strawberry topping over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, pistachio ice cream, strawberry ice cream, or chocolate chip ice cream.
- Trifle. Layer this strawberry sauce in a trifle with cubes of cake and pillowy layers of whipped cream, pudding, or custard. SO GOOD!
- Oatmeal. Swirl a little strawberry sauce into a warm bowl of oatmeal for a delicious breakfast.
- Yogurt Or Chia Pudding. Or, make your own fruity yogurt or chia pudding by layering in some strawberry sauce.
- Flourless Chocolate Cake. I love fruit and chocolate together, and the fresh flavor of strawberry topping is lovely next to the intense, fudgy flavor and texture of flourless chocolate cake.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The BEst Strawberry TOpping
Want A Smooth Strawberry Sauce? If you’re not a fan of strawberry chunks, no worries! Puree or blend the strawberries in a blender and strain them through a fine mesh sieve before you proceed with the rest of the sauce directions. It’ll thicken into a syrupy strawberry glaze!
Feel free to cut the strawberries to your liking. I usually keep larger pieces (halves, quarters, or thick slices) for the most visual impact on things like pound cake, strawberry shortcake, or cheesecake. For waffles or ice cream, I prefer smaller pieces, so dicing works best for me in those situations. Remember that the smaller you cut the strawberries, the faster they will soften and cook.
Can You Freeze Strawberry Topping? Yes! It freezes very well. Just scoop the cooled sauce into freezer-safe bags or an airtight container (leave a few inches for expansion!) and store in the freezer up to 2 months.
Can I Use Frozen Strawberries? Yes! Your strawberry sauce will just have a slightly softer texture. But this is a GREAT solution when strawberries aren’t in season!
Can I Use Other Berries? I use a similar method for cherries (with a little almond extract!) and blueberries (with a little lemon zest!), but for raspberries and blackberries, I use this technique.
Do I Need To Add Food Coloring? Fresh strawberry topping like this will have a naturally vibrant color that matches the vibrance of your berries. If your berries aren’t super ripe or aren’t as bright red as you like, you can add a sneaky drop of red food coloring or red dye if you like. But it’s definitely not necessary!
♥ Leave a star review below when you try our Strawberry Topping recipe! We can’t wait to hear what you think! (And what you put it on!)Print