Easy Strawberry Topping

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Strawberry Topping is a sweet and indulgent strawberry sauce made from strawberries, sugar, and vanilla, ready in just 20 minutes!

We love all things dessert around here, and this week our kitchen is cooking up Bread Pudding, Ultimate Apple Crisp, and Easy Whipped Cream!

Strawberry Topping

Strawberry Topping is a simple recipe made form strawberries, sugar, and vanilla extract. It’s PERFECT for topping cakes and cheesecakes, and it only takes 3 ingredients. This is a great recipe to bring to brunch or serve at a pancake breakfast, and is one of my favorite dessert sauces!

You can make this topping with other fruits, like blueberries or raspberries. I also like making this to put on french toast, or waffles instead of syrup, over ice cream or in the middle of a parfait. The fresh strawberry flavor goes perfectly with almost any breakfast or dessert!


Strawberry Topping will last tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can make the sauce ahead of time as long as you keep it refrigerated in a sealed container.

If it gets too thick and doesn’t pour easily, warm the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat.

You can also freeze strawberry topping for 4-5 months.


I always add this to my cheesecake recipe while it’s still in the springform pan after the cake has cooled completely. When the cheesecake goes into the oven, I like to make my strawberry sauce when the cake is about half way done and just leave it in the saucepan to cool down. By the time the cheesecake is ready, the sauce will be cool enough.

You can technically add it earlier in the process, but watching it closely to avoid drying the fruit out. You’d also have to time the cheesecake exactly, because the topping may prevent you from seeing if the center of the cheesecake is cooked through.

Strawberry Cheesecake Topping

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Strawberry topping will thicken on its own as you cook it. When it’s boiling, the water in the fresh strawberries cooks off and the sugar creates a nice syrup-like texture.

If you want your strawberry sauce to be even thicker, lightly dust your strawberries with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch before you start to cook. As the sauce heats up, the cornstarch with thicken it and make it syrupy. You can also make a bigger batch this way by adding a cup of water with the corn starch as well.



  • Replace the sugar with brown sugar for a deeper more molasses-type flavor.
  • Make this recipe using frozen strawberries as a time saver.
  • Brighten the color of strawberry sauce with a little bit of red food coloring (I didn’t use any for mine).
  • Use a potato masher to break down the strawberries even further once they’re boiling.
  • Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to add some really nice tart flavor to the sauce. Lemon juice also helps balance out the sweetness from the sugar and from the berries.
  • Freeze strawberry sauce in ice cube trays to add a fruity flavor to drinks.
  • Use almond or orange extract instead of vanilla for more variation of flavors.
  • Serve this strawberry sauce over chocolate ice cream, or chocolate waffles or pancakes for a chocolate strawberry dessert!

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Strawberry Topping

5 from 11 votes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Strawberry Topping is a sweet and indulgent strawberry sauce made from strawberries, sugar, and vanilla, ready in just 20 minutes!



Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Place a medium pot on the stove on medium heat.

  2. Add the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla to the pot and cook for 18-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.

Recipe Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 servings, Amount per serving: 43 calories, Calories: 43g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Potassium: 86mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 5g, Vitamin C: 33.3g, Calcium: 9g, Iron: 0.2g

All images and text ยฉ for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: Easy Strawberry Topping, strawberry topping

Strawberry Sauce

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  1. I love this for strawberries. Could you tell me how to substitute blueberries and peaches.

  2. I’ve made this about a dozen times, always from your recipe. Love it!
    I take half of the cooked mixture and blend it, and then stir it back in. Helps thicken it.

  3. I was just reading this and happen to have a flat of strawberries to put up…was wondering if this can be canned? I would love to can these for later use I think it probably can but not sure about time

  4. I made fresh vanilla ice cream and your strawberry sauce that went perfectly with my ice cream. Mmmmm such a lovely sauce that you can eat on so many different desserts! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  5. Hello Sabrina, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I look forward to trying this sauce on my cheesecake. A quick question if this sauce will sip into the cake or alter the taste in any way. Thank you again

  6. I’ve done this for year. I recently tried the frozen strawberries and it is so much easier. Instead of buying jelly or preserves I use this on toast or biscuits. My husband loves it. I make him a batch every two weeks to keep up his demand. Much more tasty than the store bought.

  7. OMG – made exactly as recipe stated and it was awesome! We poured it over vanilla ice cream. I just made it again, substituting strawberries with blueberries- equally outstanding. Thanks for posting. I never would have thought of this!

      1. I made mine out of fresh strawberries because they are in season here in California. I used the sauce on top of a pound cake and it was so delicious!

  8. This sounds superb, I always freeze up strawberries from our garden in summer, this sounds like a wonderful way to use them!

  9. I can literally add this strawberry topping on everything from cheesecakes to ice cream or in my custard…looks easy and delicious

  10. I really like your tips for different ways to fix this strawberry topping. I’m going to make this for our pancakes and freeze the leftovers in ice cubes for another day. Such a great idea.