Make homemade strawberry topping sauce for your desserts or breakfast using fresh strawberries with this simple 10 minute recipe. When strawberries aren’t in season, use frozen strawberries instead.
After publishing no bake cheesecake jars, I figured a completely separate post for the strawberry topping sauce would be appreciated! I actually made a triple batch of it last week when strawberries were on mega sale and froze the sauce in freezer tupperwares. (Freezes and thaws like a dream!)
But this strawberry dessert topping has actually been an essential for years, pairing with everything like pound cake, cheesecake, ice cream, and berries & cream french toast casserole. I have plenty more suggestions below and yes, this stuff is totally acceptable at breakfast!
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Strawberry Topping
- 5 simple ingredients
- 10 minutes
- Nothing artificial
- No preservatives
- Made from real strawberries
- Supremely versatile just like lemon curd, raspberry sauce, and salted caramel
Isn’t this jar cute?!
What You Need
- Fresh or frozen strawberries: Hulled & halved.
- Cornstarch + water: You don’t need much, but you must dissolve the cornstarch in a little water before using. This is called a “slurry”; see raspberry cake filling an example. Without mixing with water, the cornstarch will leave white chunks in your strawberry sauce.
- Lemon juice + zest: Keeps the flavor bright. The sauce won’t taste like lemon, I promise!
- Sugar: Just enough to sweeten the sauce without taking away from the strawberry’s natural flavor.
I include a strawberry compote recipe with my brown butter pound cake. This strawberry topping sauce is almost identical, but I use a little less cornstarch here. Today’s strawberry sauce is on the thicker side, but it’s not quite as thick as the compote. The compote is closer to a jam consistency.
How to Make Strawberry Sauce
This strawberry sauce cooks on the stove in about 10 minutes.
- Mix the cornstarch and water together.
- Place everything, including the cornstarch mixture, into a medium saucepan. Mash the strawberries a bit with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. This helps the release the juices and cooks down the strawberries.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken.
- Remove from heat and allow strawberry sauce to cool.
This is a chunkier style strawberry sauce, providing wonderful texture to no bake cheesecake, waffles, biscuits, and so much more. But the amount of strawberry chunks is up to you. For less chunks, mash up the strawberries a little more as the sauce cooks.
Prefer a chunk-free sauce? For no strawberry chunks, blend the finished sauce in a blender until you reach your desired consistency.
By the way, if you’re looking for a less jammy and more substantial strawberry topping, try this strawberry cream cheese pie.
Endless Uses for Strawberry Topping!
- Cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, no-bake cheesecake, and cheesecake pie
- Mini cheesecakes and no-bake cheesecake jars
- Use as a topping for angel food cake and pavlova
- Serve with pound cake and whipped cream
- Filling for homemade crepes
- Topping for yogurt, oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, and biscuits
- Layer in a trifle or parfait
- Use with strawberry shortcake
- Serve with strawberry cake
What will you use it for?!Print
Homemade Strawberry Sauce (Topping)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 18 minutes
- Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: American
You can use fresh or frozen strawberries in this versatile strawberry topping sauce. This topping is fresh, quick, & easy and gives desserts that little something extra!
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) warm water
- 1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced in half (you can use frozen; don’t thaw)
- zest and juice from 1/2 small lemon (see note)*
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- Whisk the cornstarch and water together until all the cornstarch has dissolved. (I just use a fork to mix—very easy.)
- Place the cornstarch mixture, along with the rest of the ingredients, into a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the mixture as it cooks. Break up some of the strawberries as you stir.
- Bring it to a simmer and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. After 5 minutes, remove pan from the heat and allow to cool. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
- You can serve the sauce warm before it cools completely if desired, or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Strawberry topping will be thick after refrigeration, so microwave for 15 seconds or warm on the stove to thin out, if desired.
- Freezing Instructions: After the strawberry sauce cools completely, freeze in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3-6 months. Thaw on the counter or in the refrigerator. Warm up in the microwave or on the stove, if desired.
- Strawberries: You need a 1 pound carton of strawberries, which is 16 oz, 3-4 cups, or 450g.
- Other berries: You can substitute blackberries for the strawberries with no other changes to the recipe. Cherries work too—pit and halve them first. For other berries, try my raspberry sauce and blueberry sauce recipes.
- Lemon: Lemon brightens the flavor of the strawberry topping. You need about 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Feel free to skip the lemon zest if needed.
- Chunks: The amount of strawberry chunks is up to you. For less chunks, mash up the strawberries a little more as the sauce cooks. For no strawberry chunks, blend the finished sauce in a blender until you reach your desired consistency.
Keywords: strawberry sauce
Reader Comments & Reviews
When I tell you that this was the best thing to ever grace my tongue i’m not kidding. Heavenly. Never had anything better than this sauce. It has no right to be that delicious. If I could marry a sauce this would be the one. Absolutely amazing.
Better or just as good as jelly
I make mini open faced tarts, and I like the idea of using this recipe for the filling after I blind bake the tarts, because it is less soggy and less likely to water the crust. How long should I bake it in the oven if the crust is already fully baked?
Hi Susan, If you are simply topping fully baked crusts, there is no need to bake this topping after it’s spooned onto your crusts. Enjoy!
Accidentally put in two tablespoons of lemon juice. Can I fix this?
Can the same recepie be followed with a mango?? If not, how could to make a mango sauce for a cheesecake??
Hi Sheena, we haven’t personally tried it, but we can’t see why not. If your mango is particularly sweet, you might choose to reduce the sugar slightly as we mention in the recipe notes. Let us know if you give it a try!
Hey, just tried it…turned out fine, i have a feeling it could have been better so i’ll keep waiting for a recipe on the website! sending Love from INDIA, thank you❤️
Just made this to put on the loaf pan cheesecake recipe this came with for tomorrow’s dessert! Absolutely cannot wait to try both! A big thank you!
Easy, few ingredients, and great results!
This is really outstanding!!!
dont blend it if you dont wanrt the chunks it will turn foamy just continue boiling or simmering your mixture the strawberries will disintegrate and then you can sieve it — great recipe
You are the best. Thanks!
What would you recommend for strawberry filling for a cake?
Hi Corine, I’m sure you could fold some of this strawberry topping into whipped cream to make a cake filling.
Do the cooking times change if using frozen strawberries? Also, if I have frozen whole strawberries, how should I cut them in half?
Hi Piper, it may take a minute or two longer to reach a boil. After that, timing should be about the same. We’d recommend slicing the frozen strawberries in half. Enjoy!
You are amazing I don’t know why I never made this before. I have ended up putting it on anything i can make an excuse to put it on. Food is just a delivery system for it now.
note: put some on warm biscuits . mmmmm
Can I use this as a filling on a cake?
Hello! We don’t recommend using this strawberry sauce as a cake filling. It’s a little too thin and could spill out the sides. It would, however, be a great filling for cupcakes. See other suggestions above the recipe, too!
Hi. After i put the corn starch with water mixture and cook it, it is still quite thick. How do i ensure a smooth consistency? Please advise. Thanks.
You can add more water if you desire a thinner sauce overall. For a smooth sauce with no chunks you can blend the finished sauce in a blender until you reach your desired consistency.
I will give it a try. Thank you for your advice. If i want to make smaller batch of strawberry puree for 2 pax, around how many strawberries do i need to use?
Skip the cornstarch all together, and simply cook the strawberries and sugar until your desired consistency…you will taste the fruit, without the texture of glue!!!
Thank you for your advice. I will try it again.
Hi. If the strawberry sauce is too thick, can i add more water to have a smoother consistency?
Hi Valerie, Is it too thick after you have refrigerated it? If so, you can simply microwave for 15 seconds or warm on the stove to thin out.
Love this recipe! Quick, easy and amazing
I always buy the frozen sweetened Strawberries to put on top of my homemade cheesecakes but my local grocery store was out so I looked online and found this recipe and it’s perfect! Super easy and delish! Saved the day and the cheesecake
I love this recipe!! I’m doing this for my mom for Mother’s Day. I’m 12 years old!
Can we swirl this into our cheesecake batter? Or is it better to serve it on the side?
Hi Jackie, If making a baked cheesecake you can swirl it into the top like we do in this blueberry swirl cheesecake. But if making a no bake cheesecake it’s best left for a topping as the filling won’t set with added liquid.
I was amazed at how easy this recipe was, too bad I didn’t read on the details below the actual recipe that states to use 2 tsp of lemon juice as opposed to the instructions in the recipe where half a lemon is required. My sauce is way too acid, even after adding 1/8 cup sugar 🙁
My freezer is full of strawberries which I rinsed, cut and froze. We use them at home to make smoothies and were blessed this season to get tons of them at the grocery store for a low price. I wanted to use some for a topping for pancakes and waffles. I tried your wonderful recipe and made two batches which came out perfect! Thank you for posting this – so simple and a wonderful way to use some of the berries. I didn’t have lemons so I used 1 tablespoon store bought lemon juice which I had on hand and it still came out great! (will try fresh lemons and zest next time). I’m freezing the batch so we’ll have it on hand when we need it.
Allergic to corn — suggestions for sub-ing out the cornstarch. What would be better tapioca starch or cream of tartar?
You can use rice flour instead of corn starch but you have to double the amount. Often sold in the Asian section of the grocery store. Comes out clear when added to liquid and works the same way corn starch does.
Hi Sally! I was looking for a strawberry sauce to top a baked cheesecake, with which I could do a drip effect too. I had to search on your site first do you think this sauce will hold up well for dripping. Or is it too runny?
Hi Shilpa, I think this would be a little too runny for a drip-style.
Making this today!! Got some really ripe strawberries at the farmers market cannot eat them all before they start to be TO ripe!! googled Homemade Strawberry Sauce and this is the first to to come up…I also got blueberries so I am going to do some of those as well…maybe WITH the strawberries LOL so happy they freeze well.
Can I use this sauce as a filling for a cake?
Hi Julissa, I don’t recommend using this strawberry sauce as a cake filling. It’s a little too thin and could spill out the sides. It would, however, be a great filling for cupcakes. See other suggestions above the recipe, too!
Do easy and delicious! I put it over custard cups with a little shaved dark chocolate and a smidge of whipped cream. Very tasty!
Amazing. I’m on my 5th batch. The Ontario strawberry season is ending so I am glad I will have this in my freezer to enjoy in the fall/winter.
I use this recipe for everything!!! Most recently I had some strawberries and blueberries that were on their last leg. Used them to make this sauce and it turned out great! No food wasting here!
This recipe is a keeper. I baked mine in silicone muffin pan with no liners and placed a water bath in the oven. I will not use a water bath next time so the bottom will be a little crispier. I also added lemon zest to mine. AWESOME. These were a real hit in my house. Thank you.
Is there a substitute for the lemon juice and lemon zest?
Hi Mel, There is no substitute but you can skip it. See recipe note.