Homemade Strawberry Topping

Fresh, sweet strawberries are simmered to make this sweet Homemade Strawberry Topping with a hint of lemon and vanilla that beats store-bought syrup any day. Serve on shortcake, pancakes, pound cake, ice cream….the possibilities are endless!

Do you have a strawberry patch in your garden? We planted a small patch of strawberries at our old house and ate them as soon as they were ready.

Eating strawberries fresh is my favorite way to eat them. Ok…that is a slight lie. If I had my choice, this shortcake recipe would be calorie free and fat free and I’d eat that with strawberries every day.

bowl of homemade strawberry topping

Today I’m going to share with you a recipe for homemade strawberry topping.

Why you’ll love this strawberry sauce:

  • made with fresh strawberries
  • a light syrup
  • ready in 20 minutes
  • perfect topping for cakes and ice creams
ingredients for homemade strawberry topping

A Secret Ingredient

What makes our strawberry sauce the best? Butter. After the sauce is done cooking you’ll add a tablespoon of butter to the sauce. This makes a deliciously rich strawberry sauce. Don’t skip it…trust me!

How to Make Strawberry Topping

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the strawberries, sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Heat the mixture to boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat and add the vanilla and lemon juice.
  • In a small cup, combine the cornstarch and two tablespoons of water. Mix well.
  • Pour this into the boiling strawberry mixture. Stir and boil over medium-low heat for 4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened a bit.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter and mix until the butter has completely melted. Again…this is the secret! Don’t skip it.
butter melting in strawberry sauce
  • If you’d like your strawberry syrup to have a nice red color, add a few drops of red food coloring. This is completely optional.
  • Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes, then add the last cup of quartered, fresh strawberries. This allows you to have nice chunks of strawberries instead of small strawberry pieces.

What to Serve with Homemade Strawberry Topping

The possibilities are endless, really. Serve on waffles, pancakes, Jell-O cake, shortcake, blend them with ice cream for a milkshake.

Whatever your desire, this simple homemade strawberry syrup recipe with a touch of lemon juice and a hint of vanilla is going to be one you want to save and share with your family and friends this summer.

homemade strawberry topping over ice cream

Can I blend this to make a smooth strawberry sauce?

Yes! If you don’t want chunks of strawberries in your strawberry sauce, blend the sauce with an immersion blender (or regular blender) after cooking to the smoothness that you’d like.

How do you store homemade strawberry topping?

Store the strawberry sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze strawberry sauce?

Yes! You can freeze this recipe in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Q: What’s your favorite strawberry dessert?

bowl of ice cream with homemade strawberry topping
bowl of ice cream with homemade strawberry topping

Homemade Strawberry Topping with Secret Ingredient

4.82 from 32 votes
Fresh, sweet strawberries are simmered to make a sweet Homemade Strawberry Topping with a hint of vanilla and lemon that beats store-bought syrup any day.
Servings 8
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 additional cup of quartered strawberries
  • red food coloring (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the strawberries, sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Heat the mixture to boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat and add the vanilla and lemon juice.
  • In a small cup, combine the cornstarch and two tablespoons of water. Mix well.
  • Pour this into the boiling strawberry mixture. Stir and boil over medium-low heat for 4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened a bit.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter and mix until the butter has completely melted.
  • If you’d like your strawberry syrup to have a nice red color, add a few drops of red food coloring. This is completely optional.
  • Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes, then add the last cup of quartered, fresh strawberries.
  • Serve over whatever dessert you’d like!
  • Refrigerate the leftovers.

Video

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 8, with one serving being ⅛ of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 79mg | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 28.2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 106
Keyword july 4, summer

About Lizzy T

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! We just picked fresh strawberries today at a local strawberry patch. I just made this and it is AMAZING! I followed the recipe to a T and it came out perfect. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yes! That should work. You may have to use double the amount to get it to thicken.

  2. I buy strawberry glaze and toss strawberries with the glaze, the glaze is somewhat thick and then I use this for filling in cakes that I bake, would your recipe work for this? The glaze i purchase i about $3.00 for a 12 or 14 ounce container and it is getting expensive.

    1. It probably would but you’d have to play around with how thick you’d want it for cake filling.

  3. 5 stars
    I had never made angel food cake, the sauce made the cake! They are even putting it on ice cream.
    Cindy

  4. 5 stars
    I made this with Pyure, a Stevia blend sugar substitute, instead of sugar and it was wonderful! Blueberry is my favorite but strawberry is wonderful too. I’m just trying to cut back on sugar. I’m never going back to light or sugar free syrup. This is MUCH better on pancakes!

  5. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and absolutely delicious! I didn’t have lemon juice so I substituted with lime juice at 3/4 the amount. I made a triple recipe and froze half of it. My husband loved it so much that he took that container out two days later! We used it for strawberry shortcake. This is a recipe I will definitely be using many times!

    1. Yes, we have frozen it for about a month. It keeps in the fridge for maybe 3-4 days.

  6. I have a huge problem w/ making strawberry sauce for my cheesecake. It looked amazing and taste amazing. The only problem I had was after pouring it on the cheesecake and placing it in the refrigerator over night, it looked funky and old 24 hurs later. It didn’t look beautiful and delicious like it did after I made it. Can you plz tell me why. I’m very upset. I make amazing cheesecake but I can’t get the strawberry sauce right. I only used 1/2 a cup of sugar, 1 lbs strawberries. I cooked the strawberries for 15 mins w/ 1tea spoon vanilla extract then chilled it before pouring it over the cheesecake. Can you plz tell me why this happened and what I did wrong? Thank you.

    1. I don’t know that you did anything wrong. Maybe try reheating it slightly in the microwave to see if it looks better? Fresh fruit sauces, etc. definitely look best right after cooking.

  7. 5 stars
    I just ran out of vanilla extract making my whipped cream. Is there any substitution for it or can I omit it altogether?? Will it still taste yummy??

    1. Thank you for your response and this yummy recipe! I actually substituted it for the same amount of vanilla soy milk and it turned out perfect!! My husband LOVED IT and he’s not big on sweets. Thanks again!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this a few days ago for my yellow sheet cake. It’s so DELICIOUS. Today, I doubled the recipe. It really is that good!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  9. Just made this for mother’s day! It looks amazing and i can’t wait to taste it! (It’s cooling).

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