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

4.72 from 77 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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Dina
2 years ago

5 stars
How long can you keep it in the fridge? Can you freeze it?

Rena
1 year ago

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… Read more »

Rayana McGuire
1 year ago

Can this recipe be used for BLUEBERRIES? The strawberry sauce is really good.

Jennifer L Hanson
1 year ago

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??

Tammy
1 year ago

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!!!

Spectra
4 months ago

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

Kawii
4 months ago

Can you put this in the refrigerator??

Jenny
4 months ago

5 stars
I was lucky to get fresh strawberries and this was a quick and delicious place to use them. Served over pound cake and ice cream in was delicious 🦋❤️

Marilyn M
4 months ago

5 stars
Wow, this sauce just popped with fresh strawberry flavor. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I emulsified it a bit as another reviewer suggested. Came out fantastic..

Debbie B
3 months ago

5 stars
I made this for my family a few weeks ago. I used it with pound cake and whip cream in a truffle bowl. Delicious. For Father’s Day the family has requested it again. Thank you for sharing.

Heidi Hunt
3 months ago

5 stars
Absolutely mouth watering.

Michaela
2 months ago

5 stars
This was so good!! I think I cooked it too long because some of my strawberries looked really soggy. I picked some out and added more fresh cut strawberries. This will be my go to now!!

Christina Young
2 months ago

Can one use frozen strawberries in this recipe?