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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Anonymous
3 years ago

5 stars
So good I used one tablespoon lemon juice to replace one tablespoon water. Didn’t make it real thick so it was pourable. Delicious will try some butter next time

Lisa
3 years ago

I am SOOOO excited it is spring again and I can start making this AMAZING strawberry sauce yet again. I did try it off season with the frozen strawberries and it was still great in my opinion, but then again I’m a strawberry fanatic. Thank u SO much Julie for sharing this AMAZING recipe 🙂

Julie G
3 years ago

5 stars
Excellent recipe! I chopped my strawberries small as I was using this recipe for mini little cheesecakes. I used the red food coloring and it looked gorgeous. But the taste was outstanding. I was curious about the butter and it worked perfectly. Followed the recipe to a T and would not change a thing. Making homemade topping such as this, blueberry, etc. is so easy and tastes so much better than the canned stuff.

OriginalxBaiiba
3 years ago

5 stars
This is seriously the best tasting thing I have ever made! Thank you so much! It is so delicious.

McKayla Leiber
3 years ago

So are we starting with just 1/2 cup of strawberries? And is it supposed to be 2 tablespoons of corn starch to 2 tablespoons of water? Your recipe says teaspoon for the cornstarch

Ginger Elmore
3 years ago

5 stars
Much better than store bought. Very rich taste!

Missy
3 years ago

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!

Sierra Stanley
2 years ago

Can I use flour instead of cornstarch? Just realised I don’t have any

Jenny
2 years ago

Do I use granulated or powder sugar?? Thanks!

Cathy
2 years ago

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.

Sandi
2 years ago

Does this recipe turn out the same if you double, or tripple, it?

Cindy
2 years ago

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

Jan Reimer
2 years ago

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!

Sandi
2 years ago

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!

Kristina
2 years ago

5 stars
Excellent! Doubled recipe. Only used 1/4 cup sugar and 3 packets of Splenda.