Strawberry Topping is a sweet and indulgent strawberry sauce made from strawberries, sugar, and vanilla, ready in just 20 minutes!
This strawberry sauce is the perfect partner for so many desserts, and easy to make at home. You’ll love this delicious homemade topping for all kinds of treats, and it can be mixed and matched with Salted Caramel Sauce, Homemade Hot Fudge, and Easy Whipped Cream!
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 the most popular dessert sauces!
You can make this topping with other fruits, like blueberries or raspberries. Your family will love making this to put on french toast, or waffles instead of syrup, over ice cream or in the middle of a Parfait. And of course, the it is the perfect way to complete a homemade New York Cheesecake. The fresh strawberry flavor goes perfectly with almost any breakfast or dessert!
Frequently Asked Questions
You should add this to your cheesecake recipe while it’s still in the springform pan after the cake has cooled completely. When the cheesecake goes into the oven, make the 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 watch 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 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.
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. You can also use almond or orange extract instead of vanilla for more variation of flavors.
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More Sweet Strawberry Recipes
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Easy Strawberry Shortcake
- Fresh Strawberry Crumb Bars
- Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie
Tips for Making Strawberry Topping
- 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.
- Use a potato masher to break down the strawberries even further once they’re boiling.
- Freeze strawberry sauce in ice cube trays to add a fruity flavor to drinks.
- Serve this strawberry sauce over chocolate ice cream, or chocolate waffles or pancakes for a chocolate strawberry dessert!
How to Store Strawberry Topping
- Serve: Strawberry Topping Can be served warm over desserts like ice cream and pie, or you can use it chilled for desserts like cheesecake and parfait.
- Store: 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.
- Freeze: You can freeze Strawberry Topping in an airtight container for 4-5 months.
- 1 pound strawberries , sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place a medium pot on the stove on medium heat.
- Add the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla to the pot and cook for 18-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.
Can I freeze this recipe
Yes! You can freeze Strawberry Topping in an airtight container for 4-5 months.
Really good recipe and isn’t too sweet! Simple to make!!
this is a wonderful recipe! thanks so much for sharing. today i made your pineapple and this strawbeery toppings. theyre so easy and delicious and im thrilled to find out that i can freeze both! im a forever fan!
Can I freeze this?
Can you use this in a strawberry swirl cake?
Hi Sabrina ! Just wanted to stop by and let you know that this is my “Go-To” for Strawberry Sauce! I no longer wander as much when looking, I just head to Dinner Then Dessert ! I have made a few adjustments to suit our taste, but my base is always this recipe. I almost always do 1/2 brown, 1/2 white sugar (amazing), adding a pat of butter while it is cooling adds a whole new dimension, and recently experimented for my taste-testers at work adding Bourbon..came out amazing ! Thank you for all your awesome recipes – I make so many from your site !
How long is it good for in the refrigerator?
Up to a week.
I love this for strawberries. Could you tell me how to substitute blueberries and peaches.
Simply replace the strawberry amount with either blueberries or peaches. Enjoy!
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.
Thanks for the suggestion!
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
I’ve not canned anything before so I’m not sure. Sorry.
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!
You’re welcome, Dunia.
Hi do I put it on top of the cheese cake while it’s still hot.
Allow the cheesecake to cool for a bit before adding.
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
It shouldn’t seep into the cheesecake or alter the flavor, just add to it 🙂
Easy to make and delicious!
Hi can this be used in between layers in a vanilla cake??
No, it’s too liquidy to be used like that.
Maybe you could strain the liquid off and just use the remaining strawberries, save the liquid to pour over cake slices if a little dry!
I would like to ask if this will work with Splenda instead of sugar.
I’ve not tested it so if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
Would this work with sweetener instead of sugar? It sounds delicious! ?
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.
So glad you love it too! Thanks for the 5 stars, Josie.
Can you freeze the strawberry topping/sauce? If so how long will it keep in the freezer?
Yes, it should last up to 6 months if stored in freezer safe containers. Enjoy!
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!
You’re welcome, Mary! I’m so glad you all enjoyed it!
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!
This sounds superb, I always freeze up strawberries from our garden in summer, this sounds like a wonderful way to use them!
That’s such a smart way to use them!
I just thought of 12 recipes this would be perfect for! So fun and delicious!
So many possibilities! Enjoy!
This looks so yummy and with strawberry season now, I will be making it.
I hope you enjoy it!
I can literally add this strawberry topping on everything from cheesecakes to ice cream or in my custard…looks easy and delicious
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.