Homemade Strawberry Topping

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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

4.73 from 94 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

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Christine
7 years ago

Scrumptious! I can’t get enough of the berries this spring!

Melanie @ Carmel Moments
7 years ago

So pretty! I put strawberries on everything possible. 🙂

ColleenB.~Texas
6 years ago

Using Almond extract instead of vanilla makes for a nice flavor

Wendy
5 years ago

This was delicious! The little bit of butter at the end really made the sauce extra special. My new go-to for strawberry shortcake! Thanks so much for a great recipe.

Roxanne
5 years ago

5 stars
I’m going to make this and serve with Banana Pancakes yummy

Sandra
5 years ago

How long will it keep?

Taylor
5 years ago

Is it okay to use margarine instead of butter ?

Annette
4 years ago

5 stars
DELICIOUS….used on a homemade cheesecake and everyone wanted this recipe!

patrick hines
4 years ago

Would it be possible to can this recipe? If so, do the strawberries maintain their integrity?

Ash
4 years ago

Have you tried it wid frozen strawberries? Would it still taste as good ?

Erikaa cat
4 years ago

Thank you so much for this recipe. My brothers and I are having strawberry shortcake and no one knew how to make the sauce. Thanks again!!!????

Lisa
4 years ago

5 stars
Been DYING for strawberry sauce. I used to buy it by the gallon, (separate and freeze it) from a chain restaurant I worked for but they quit buying it, haven’t had it since and that was a few years ago. Just made this tonight, it’s cooling right now, it looks and smells amazing! I was hesitant about the butter but thought I’d give it a try. Got my vanilla ice cream on standby lol can’t wait 🙂

Lisa M Dennett
3 years ago

5 stars
After tasting, I found it a little too sweet, and I even reduced the amount of sugar. Thus time I’m just going to increase the water. But Amazing!!

Rene
3 years ago

Great recipe…I even used frozen fresh strawberries from last summer and sauce was delicious. Adding the pat of butter was a hint of genius👍.

Tina Owens
3 years ago

Love this topping on my cheesecake. I have made this twice for company and they loved it.
Thank you for the easy recipe.

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