Easy Strawberry Topping

8 servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

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

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!

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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!

Strawberry Topping Collage

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I add Strawberry Topping to a cheesecake?

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.

How do I thicken Strawberry Topping?

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.

What other flavors can be added to Strawberry Topping?

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.

Strawberry Topping poured onto cheesecake

More Sweet Strawberry Recipes

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!
Strawberry Topping on slice of cheesecake with fork

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.
Strawberry Topping on slice of cheesecake from top

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Strawberry Topping

Strawberry Topping is a sweet and indulgent strawberry sauce made from strawberries, sugar, and vanilla, ready in just 20 minutes!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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.



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


Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 33.3mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Strawberry Topping Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Strawberry Cheesecake Topping
Strawberry Sauce

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. Always a “win” when the kiddos enjoy the recipe! Thank you Randi, and thanks for the five star rating.

  1. I love this! So easy to make and not too sweet. I put it over vanilla ice cream. Yummy! Thank you so much!

  2. Hello,
    I would like to make this and keep it for a few weeks. Should I freeze it and what is the best way to do that so it doesn’t taste like the fridg?

    1. Freeze: You can freeze Strawberry Topping in an airtight container for 4-5 months.

  3. 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!

  4. 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 !

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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

      1. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

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

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

  14. 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.