In our house we don’t usually have trouble going through all of the strawberries that we grow or get from the grocery store but when we have some extras I love to make this fresh strawberry sauce. Not only is it a great topping for so many things, when I freeze it we can also enjoy that fresh berry flavor in the winter months.
We all like to spoon it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream, but I also like to use it in recipes that call for a strawberry glaze or a strawberry puree. It’s truly the best for making strawberry cheesecake!
The best part about this sauce is that it’s such an easy recipe. With only a handful of ingredients, and very little prep time, you have a sweet sauce with all of that fresh summertime strawberry flavor.
Table of Contents
What is Fresh Strawberry Sauce?
Fresh strawberry sauce is a simple sauce that combines sweet strawberries with a few other simple ingredients for a fresh, fruity sauce. It’s a perfect topping for all sorts of things from breakfast foods to desserts.
Unlike traditional applesauce, this homemade strawberry sauce is intended to be served with other dishes rather than eaten by the spoonful (not that I haven’t been tempted, though!). That means it’s the perfect reason to indulge in some of your favorite sweet treats.
There aren’t many ingredients necessary to make this simple sauce so make sure to use the best quality ingredients, especially when choosing the fruit.
- Fresh strawberries – Hull and quarter the strawberries prior to beginning the cooking process. Make sure to use the freshest ripe berries you can find to ensure that the sauce lasts a while and has the brightest flavor.
- Sugar – Use granulated sugar since it dissolves quickly — this avoids having a grainy texture to your sauce.
- Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice brightens the sauce with its citrusy flavor.
- Cornstarch – This is incorporated to help thicken the sauce. If you want a thick sauce, you can always increase the amount of cornstarch.
- Water – Adding a bit of water helps to maintain the right consistency – if you want a thinner sauce, you can use less. You can also try creating a cornstarch slurry before adding both ingredients to the pot to avoid any issues with the cornstarch clumping.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla helps to round out all of the flavors of the sauce.
- Coarse Kosher salt – Salt helps to bring out the best of all of the ingredients.
How to Use Strawberry Sauce
There’s no shortage of ways to use this homemade sauce on your favorite foods.
- Breakfast foods – This sauce is the best topping on pancakes, french toast, waffles, or biscuits.
- Cakes – Spoon strawberry sauce over top of cheesecake, chocolate cake, pound cake, angel food cake or your favorite dessert.
- Frozen treats – Drizzle the strawberry topping over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or your favorite flavor of gelato.
- Sandwiches – Fancy up your peanut butter and jelly by replacing the jelly with this sauce. You can also use it in a sandwich with cream cheese, too.
- Filling – Pipe this into cupcakes or spread it in between layers of sheet cake. Or use it as the filling for a strawberry shortcake.
- Churros or fruit – Serve the sauce in a small bowl on the side for dipping.
This recipe is delicious as is, but you can change the flavor profile, too, in a few different ways.
- Extracts – Add a fruity or nutty extract for layers of flavor.
- Other citrus – Pour in a dash of another citrusy juice or try grating some zest into the sauce.
- Fruits – Switch out the strawberries for other fresh berries or use a blend.
- Frozen – If it isn’t strawberry season, you can thaw frozen ones before cooking. You may need to adjust the amount of water to make up for the added moisture from the berries.
- Mashing – Instead of mashing ahead of time with a potato masher or pastry cutter, you can add the strawberries to the pan with the other ingredients and mix together with an immersion blender. You can also combine the berries with the lemon juice and sugar in a regular blender before adding to the pan.
- Sweetener – Try swapping out some or all of the sugar for maple syrup.
- Consistency – If you want a super smooth sauce, you can pour it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the smaller chunks.
- Starch – Instead of cornstarch, try arrowroot powder.
Storage & Freezing
It’s easy to store fresh strawberry sauce in the fridge or freezer.
Refrigerator: After the finished sauce has cooled to room temperature, store it in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Freezer: You can store this sauce in the freezer in a freezer-friendly container for 3-6 months. You can also potentially save room by storing it in zip-top freezer bags laid flat.
Other Sweet Sauces
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
- 2 cups fresh strawberries hulled and quartered divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- Add 1 cup of the hulled strawberries to a bowl and mash using a potato masher or pastry cutter.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the mashed strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and water. Bring to a low boil.
- 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.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.