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Make homemade raspberry sauce (aka raspberry coulis) for your desserts or breakfast using fresh raspberries with this simple 4-ingredient recipe. When raspberries aren’t in season, you can use frozen raspberries instead.

homemade raspberry dessert sauce in glass mason jar with spoonful being taken out.

This raspberry dessert sauce is wonderful to have on hand, because you can use it to finish so many recipes, like cheesecake, brownies, pound cake, lemon cupcakes, or chocolate mousse pie. A homemade raspberry sauce can even turn a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream into a guest-worthy dessert. And don’t forget breakfast like pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or yogurt!

You could even try mixing it with some sparkling water, or include it in a cocktail—the possibilities for this homemade berry sauce are endless!

Here’s Why You’ll Love This Raspberry Sauce

  • Fresh-tasting, a bit tangy, & not overly sweet
  • Just 4 easy ingredients plus water
  • You can use fresh or frozen raspberries… so convenient
  • Less than 10 minutes on the stove
  • Strain it or keep it thick & chunky
  • Like salted caramel & lemon curd, it’s extremely versatile and can be used on many dishes
  • So good on easy cheesecake pie!
cheesecake pie slice on white plate with raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries on top.

Grab These Ingredients:

  1. Water & Cornstarch: Cornstarch lightly thickens the sauce. You don’t need much, but you must combine it with a little water before using, otherwise you’ll have lumps of powdery cornstarch in your finished sauce. Cornstarch is typically mixed with water to make a “slurry” before using in sauces; see strawberry sauce as an example.
  2. Fresh or Frozen Raspberries: You’ll love that you can whip this sauce up in the summertime when berries are fresh in season, or in the middle of winter as the snow falls outside. I actually love this sauce with frozen raspberries because they’re typically frozen at their peak freshness and sweetness.
  3. Sugar: Too much sugar can mask the natural berry flavors, so stick with only 1/4 cup (50g) in this recipe. If your raspberries are extremely tart, increase to 1/3 cup (67g). This isn’t jam, so we don’t need an onslaught of sugar.
  4. Lemon Juice: The sauce needs *something* to balance the berry and sugar, and lemon juice provides that hint of freshness. Do not leave it out or the sauce will taste pretty flat. You can also add a splash of vanilla extract once the sauce comes off heat. (Vanilla is optional, but tasty!)

Raspberries are so convenient—no chopping or peeling required.

raspberries, lemon, sugar, cornstarch, and water in bowls on marble countertop.

Just 4 Steps to Make This Raspberry Sauce

This raspberry sauce cooks on the stove in just under 10 minutes. It’s similar to the swirl recipe we use in these white chocolate raspberry cheesecake bars.

  1. Combine ingredients together on the stove.
  2. Boil mixture while stirring occasionally.
  3. Optional: Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, to remove the seeds.
  4. Let cool.

Strained vs. Keeping the Seeds

When strained, this sauce is on the thin side, as sauces go, and great for drizzling. This strained version is also known as a raspberry coulis. If you’d prefer a thicker sauce and don’t mind the seeds, you can skip Step 3 altogether!

Here is a photo comparing the two consistencies:

picture for comparison displaying strained raspberry sauce and raspberries sauce with seeds that has not been strained.

Mixture is very hot right off the stove:

cooked raspberry dessert topping in saucepan sitting on wooden cutting board.

Strain the warm mixture with a fine mesh strainer:

raspberry sauce being strained through a sieve and shown again without seeds in glass bowl.

Or keep it chunky:

thick and chunky raspberry dessert sauce in liquid measuring cup.

This recipe yields about 1 cup of raspberry sauce if straining, or about 1 and 1/2 cups if not straining.

Uses for Raspberry Sauce

There are so many ways to enjoy this raspberry dessert sauce, and here are many suggestions:

What will you use it for?!

Print
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homemade raspberry dessert sauce in glass mason jar with spoonful being taken out.

Raspberry Dessert Sauce

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup strained or 1.5 cups chunky 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This raspberry dessert sauce topping is fresh, quick, & easy and gives desserts and breakfast dishes that little something extra! You can use fresh or frozen raspberries.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups (about 12 ounces/375g) fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (do not leave out)
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Whisk the cornstarch and water together until all the cornstarch has dissolved. (I just use a fork to mix—very easy.) Combine cornstarch mixture, raspberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the mixture, lightly mashing the raspberries as they begin to heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 3 full minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and—if desired for a richer flavor—stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Press the warm sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, if desired. I use the back of a spoon to press the liquid through the strainer, held over a bowl. It takes a couple minutes to really squeeze it all out.
  4. Feel free to serve warm over warm desserts, but it should be cooled to really thicken up. Cool the sauce completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools, but the strained version is still liquid and perfect for drizzling.
  5. Cover and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: After the raspberry 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.
  2. Berries Are Tart: If your raspberries aren’t very sweet, you may want to increase the sugar to 1/3 cup (67g).
  3. Thicker Sauce: If you’d like a thicker sauce and don’t mind the raspberry seed texture, you can skip Step 3 completely, or even try pureeing the mixture in a blender instead of straining.
  4. Other Berries: You can substitute other berries such as blueberries or blackberries with no changes to the recipe. Or try this strawberry sauce recipe.

Keywords: raspberry sauce

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi, wondering what other berries I can use in this recipe as I cannot each raspberries. What do you suggest!0?

    Many thanks!

  2. So tasty and easy! We like it with the seeds and they do soften a bit.

  3. I have made a raspberry sauce for my white chocolate cheesecake, It’s just frozen raspberries, sugar, a little Chambord, puree and strain. So fresh tasting! Or a little boozy if you desire for adulting 😉

  4. Could you can this and keep it do you you think? I have just started the canning fun and thought this might be great.

    1. Hi Andrea, we haven’t tried canning this recipe but let us know if you do!

  5. This looks incredible, but it’s definitely missing this quote: “Excuse me, sir. There seems to be some sort of red crap on my cheesecake.”

  6. Hello! I was wondering if this recipe could be used as a filling for a layer cake, if not is there a way to modify it so that it will be the right consistency? I would like to make a chocolate raspberry cake. Thanks!

    1. Hi Julia, We don’t recommend using this raspberry 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. Or you could try adding some to whipped cream for a cake filling.

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