Strawberry Topping Recipe

Looking for a delicious homemade dessert sauce or topping? Strawberry topping is what you are looking for.

overhead of strawberry sauce in a glass jar


Made from fresh strawberries and then reduced, it is perfect for topping ice cream, cheesecake and even cheese. Yes, cheese, there is nothing quite like a strawberry glaze over cheese like brie or even just a brick of cream cheese.

You will love this Strawberry Topping

First thing is first, homemade strawberry sauce and strawberry topping are the same darn thing. It is a sauce made out of strawberries that tops other items. Or, if you are like my 2 year old daughter, you just eat it with a spoon right out of the jar.

Strawberry Glaze is generally the same ingredients, just blended to a smooth texture with an immersion blender (stick blender) or in a food processor.

spooning out strawberry sauce

It can be made to be super sweet, a little tart or even salty. And making it at home means all of these important strawberry sauce variables lie in your hands.

Oh, the pressure!

Frozen vs Fresh Strawberries

Can I tell you where I had the best strawberries ever? Japan. I know, weird, but man, they have mastered the strawberry.

I digress. What I really want to answer is should you use frozen strawberries or fresh.

fresh strawberries in a bowl

Fresh strawberries are easier and might have more flavor, especially if they are hand picked right at the peak of the season, June. Did you know that any produce starts to lose nutrient density the moment it is harvested?

That means if it took a week to get strawberries processed, packaged and shipped to your grocery store, not only will they not have as long of a shelf life, but they also won’t pack as much punch as if you picked them yourself.

strawberries on a cutting board

But… I don’t have the time for that, so I buy them at the store. And sometimes I even get frozen ones, which are generally frozen within a day of picking, so they retain all those good nutrients.

The downfall is that they don’t tend to have as much flavor. If you were just eating them regular, this would be more of an issue, but since we are going to combine them with a bunch of sugar, it doesn’t make a huge difference.

close up of strawberry sauce

Just make sure to fully thaw and drain them before adding to the strawberry topping recipe.

strawberry sauce on ice cream

Strawberry Glaze ingredients

The ingredient list for my homemade strawberry topping is fairly short, but can be made even shorter if you wish.

ingredients for strawberry topping

Some recipes use nothing but strawberries. I prefer to help mine along a little in both the flavor and time department.

  • Strawberries– hulled and quartered
  • Sugar– to amplify the natural sugars
  • Lemon juice– to add an acidic zing
  • Cornstarch– or arrowroot, you can also omit this, but it helps the sauce thicken faster so it doesn’t need to simmer for hours on end
  • Water– water will help the strawberries break down before the sugars burn, most of it will evaporate

Homemade Strawberry Glaze variations

Most people probably don’t think about strawberry topping variations, but there are as many as your imagination can come up with.

  • Citrus zest– either lemon or lime zest will take this sweet sauce and it some zing. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon.
  • Extractsvanilla extract is the most common, but almond is also a fun addition. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon.
  • Salt– Not just table salt, but a good fleur de sel or a pinch of coarse Kosher salt. Salt helps brighten other flavors and also balances the sweet. Plus, I am a sucker for anything sweet and salty.
  • Red food coloring – Um, excuse me? You’d be surprised- check just about any package of store bought strawberry sauce I guarantee you it will have red dye. Some strawberries aren’t as vibrant red as others. You’ll all had them- the ones with a white center. A dab of food coloring gives it the sassy red color you are craving. Use sparingly, red food dye tend to have a funny aftertaste.

How to make a Strawberry Glaze

This is a quick and easy strawberry topping sauce so instead of simmering for hours to wait for the strawberries to break down and then thicken, the process is sped up using cornstarch and sugar.

how to make strawberry topping
  1. Chop strawberries and coarsely mash them with a post masher or pastry cutter. This gives them a head start in releasing juices and breaking down.
  2. Dice a few more and set them aside, they are added towards the end for texture.
  3. Add mashed strawberries to a saucepan with sugar, lemon juice and water and bring to a low boil. Stir well to combine and continue stirring until it makes a syrup and sugar has fully dissolved. It won’t be super thick yet, but will start to thicken while cooling.
  4. Stir in fresh berries and remove from the heat.
  5. Allow to cool fully then jar, freeze or store.
bowl of strawberry sauce

How to use this Strawberry Sauce Recipe

After making it, strawberry sauce can be used on so many things. Here are my favorites uses:

strawberry sauce on cheesecake

How to store this Strawberry Topping

Before storing, allow strawberry sauce to cool fully. Then transfer to a clean plastic or glass container. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week.

strawberry topping in a jar

If you plan to can your strawberry sauce, you’ll do this while it is still hot, see instructions below.

Reheat on the stove or microwave. If reheating on the stove, I recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons of water to keep the correct consistency.

You can freeze strawberry sauce for up to 3 months.

 How to can this Strawberry Glaze Recipe

First, make sure you have all the tools.

strawberry topping, fudge sauce, caramel sauce

Then get to canning your strawberry topping…

  1. Before you start cooking your sauce, fill a large pot with the canning rack with enough water to cover your canning jars by 1 inch. Bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. While your sauce is cooking place your jars in the pot of boiling water for a minute or so to warm them up. This prevents cracking from a temperature difference when you add the hot jam to them.
  3. Remove them from the water with your jar clamps and place them on a towel upside down to let the water run out.
  4. When your sauce is done, flip the jars over using your hand protection, they’ll still be hot. Using your funnel and ladle, fill jars immediately with your hot jam, leaving ¼” of space between the rim and the jam.
  5. Place seals on and using your hand protection, screw on the lids as tightly as you can. Then use your jar clamps to submerge the jars in the boiling water again. Wipe the rims clean before doing this- any sauce left on the rim can prevent them from sealing.
  6. Allow to ‘process’ in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove and set them on a towel, (they’ll be very hot!) and leave them at room temperature until each lid has ‘popped’.

You’ll know the strawberry topping jars are ready for the cupboard when you hear a ‘pop’ of the seal locking. You can also check this by pushing down on the center of the seal. If it clicks, it isn’t done yet. This can take up to 24 hours, so be patient!

strawberry topping for pinterest

Strawberry Topping FAQs

Why is my strawberry sauce not thickening?

Strawberries naturally have a lot of liquid and depending on the variety, this liquid takes differing amounts of time to evaporate. Also keep in the mind that the whole mixture will continue to thicken after it has been removed from the heat.

Why is my strawberry glaze cloudy?

Cloudy sauce occurs when it has been overcooked. Thin it out with 1-2 tablespoons of water or lemon juice.

More dessert toppings:

vanilla butter syrup in a glass jar

Dutch Honey Syrup (Vanilla Butter Syrup Recipe)

Dutch Honey Syrup Recipe is an easy homemade syrup for pancakes, waffles, French toast, biscuits or even vanilla ice cream!
See The Recipe!
Pecan Caramel Sauce on a wooden spoon

Pecan Caramel Sauce

Pecan Caramel Sauce is a salted caramel sauce with crunchy pecans. The perfect ice cream topping no matter what flavor your favorite flavor! 
See The Recipe!
spoon dipping into fresh blueberry sauce

Savory Blueberry Sauce

This Savory Blueberry Sauce is perfect for adding that special something to your beef, pork or chicken. Fresh blueberries with thyme, shallot and balsamic reduction sauce.
See The Recipe!
close up of strawberry topping
overhead of strawberry sauce

Homemade Strawberry Glaze

4.66 from 20 votes
Perfect for topping ice cream, cheesecake and many other desserts, this EASY homemade Strawberry Topping is out of this world delicious!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 cups




  • Add 1 cup of the hulled strawberries to a bowl and mash using a potato masher or pastry cutter.
    mashed strawberries
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the mashed strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and water. Bring to a low boil.
    making strawberry sauce
  • Stirring constantly, cook for 3-8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Remove from heat, stir in reserved 1 cup chopped diced strawberries and the salt.
  • Allow to cool fully before refrigerating or freezing. If canning (see instructions above) do this while hot.
    overhead of strawberry sauce
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.


To Make Into A Strawberry Glaze: Place completed sauce in a food processor or blend until smooth with an immersion blender. 


Calories: 256 kcal, Carbohydrates: 65 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 1 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 4 mg, Potassium: 220 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 57 g, Vitamin C: 88 mg, Calcium: 23 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 256
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: strawberry sauce recipe, strawberry topping
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
strawberry topping for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.66 from 20 votes (13 ratings without comment)

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I made this strawberry glazed with my granddaughter and it tasted amazing! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This pairs perfectly with my homemade cheesecake. Love how easy it is to make this strawberry topping from scratch.

  3. 5 stars
    This sauce is perfect and so versatile. I definitely need to try it on the grilled cheese as you suggested.

  4. 5 stars
    Yum! This strawberry sauce is the best – I love it served with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. The perfect treat!

  5. 5 stars
    This is just the recipe I’ve been looking for as I have a glut of strawberries to use. Such a beautiful colour too.

    1. Thank you! Some use red food coloring to get the vibrant color, I just look for all red strawberries that are totally ripe.