This sweet and simple strawberry sauce is perfect for spooning over ice cream, pancakes, cheesecake, and waffles. Just 15 minutes to make! Recipe includes a how-to video.
Homemade Strawberry Sauce
This strawberry sauce is so simple to make. It’s bursting with real berry flavor and comes together in a matter of minutes on the stove with just 6 ingredients! Once you taste it, you won’t reach for that store-bought canned strawberry topping ever again–trust me!
This is a glossy, flavorful, and pourable sauce that pairs well with just about anything, from buttermilk pancakes and crepes to poundcake, cheesecake, and even ice cream. Or you can eat it like I do: by spoonful after glorious spoonful 🤤
5 things to know about this recipe:
- Tastes best with fresh, summer berries, but frozen will still work too.
- Can be made as thick or thin as you’d like.
- Option to add a splash of vanilla extract for a more candied flavor.
- Finishes in just 15 minutes!
What You Need
This sauce is so simple–just 6 ingredients! You probably have them all on hand too. Here’s what you need:
- Strawberries. While freshly picked summer berries are the BEST choice here, store-bought berries will also work. Frozen will work too, but just remember that you will get the best flavor from fresh, in-season berries.
- Cornstarch. Cornstarch encourages the sauce to be thick and glaze-like. You can skip the cornstarch, but you will need to cook your sauce for quite some time to get it thicken up, and it still won’t be quite as thick as it it would be with cornstarch. I highly recommend using it.
- Lemon juice. Just a splash of lemon juice brightens the flavor of our strawberry sauce and keeps it from being too sweet. Bottled or fresh squeezed lemon juice will work here since it is such a small amount. Don’t you dare use bottled lemon juice for strawberry lemonade though!
- Vanilla. This is optional. If you want a bright, pure strawberry flavor, skip the vanilla. But if you want a sweeter, more candied sauce, add it!
- Sugar. Not only does sugar add sweetness, but it also helps stabilize the sauce. You may need a small amount more or less than I have listed in the recipe; see my tip below.
SAM’S TIP: I touch on this in my strawberry cake recipe, but the sweetness of your strawberries really matters! If you have ripe, juicy, freshly picked berries, you might want to use a tablespoon less sugar in your strawberry sauce. Do not omit the sugar completely, though! It’s important for the consistency of your sauce.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Strawberry Sauce
- Prepare your strawberries by rinsing them, removing the tops, and cutting them into quarters.
- Add all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan and stir to combine.
- Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the berries release their juices. You should have a nice, juicy strawberry mixture.
- Bring to a boil and stir constantly for one minute.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. This will take just a few more minutes. Keep in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools; cooking the sauce for too long will make it thick and more like a jam than a sauce once cooled.
SAM’S TIP: If you do happen to overcook your sauce and it turns out thicker than you were hoping, don’t fret! Just stir in some water a tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached.
Frequently Asked Questions
This sauce will last up to a week when stored in a sealed container in the fridge. Unfortunately I don’t have any experience with canning to offer any advice on that front, but feel free to check out this home canning guide if you’d like to try canning your sauce.
Yes! Just make sure to store it in a sealed, freezer safe container. It should last for a few months this way. To thaw, simply place in the fridge overnight. If you’d like to serve your sauce warm, simply heat it on the stove or in the microwave.
This sauce is a little thin to use as a filling, but you do have options. You can either 1) cook it longer to get a thicker, jam-like consistency or 2) use an icing dam to hold it in. I demonstrate how to do an icing dam in my chantilly cake post, if you need a visual.
It also tastes amazing over cheesecake for a strawberry cheesecake!
Looking for a strawberry topping that doesn’t need to be cooked? Try macerated strawberries!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Simple Strawberry Sauce
- 1 lb (455 g) strawberries tops removed and quartered
- ⅓ cup (65 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch¹
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract² optional
- Combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan.1 lb (455 g) strawberries, ⅓ cup (65 g) granulated sugar, 1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch¹, ⅛ teaspoon salt, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Cook over medium/low heat until berries release their juices (about 5 minutes or so, mixture should be very liquidy).
- Bring mixture to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes (keep in mind sauce will continue to thicken after cooling).
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, if using.½ teaspoon vanilla extract² optional
- Allow to cool before serving (over ice cream, pancakes, biscuits, etc.!)
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.