Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake

5 from 1 vote

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Strawberry sauce is the most popular cheesecake topping of all. It's so easy to make and great on other desserts!

Spreading Strawberry Topping on slice of Cheesecake with spoon.

The most popular topping for cheesecake is probably strawberries (just ask the folks at the Cheesecake Factory — it’s been their most popular topping for 40 years!). This jellied strawberry topping, with its gorgeous red color and tangy sweetness, offers the most delightful contrast to cheesecake. The fruity sauce plays so well with the rich, creamy, pale filling and the crunchy crust on the bottom.

And turning strawberries (fresh or frozen) into a perfect cheesecake topping couldn’t be easier. It’s also a perfect fruity sauce for ice cream, cream pies, lemon squares, Fudgy Chocolate Cake, and other desserts!

You may also want to check out Hot Fudge Sauce and Caramel Sauce.

Spoon putting Strawberry Topping on a slice of Cheesecake.

Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake: The most popular cheesecake topping of all, and SO easy to make! (Great on ice cream, brownies, and pancakes, too!)

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Ingredients for Strawberry Sauce

  • Strawberries – You can use frozen strawberries in place of fresh for this slightly jellied topping. You don’t even have to defrost them, they will soften while they are macerating with the sugar. You may need to let them thaw slightly in order to cut them easily and safely, but otherwise, they are a perfect substitute for fresh in this topping.
  • Sugar – Just a bit enhances the sweetness of the berries.
  • Cornstarch – Thickens the sauce.
  • Lemon juice and zest – Brighten the sauce with a bit of tartness.

FAQs

How many pints of strawberries equals a pound?

Two pints, or 4 cups, is equal to 1 pound of strawberries.

Why is my strawberry sauce not thickening?

It may just need another minute or two of simmering to activate the cornstarch slurry, which will thicken the sauce, along with the natural pectin in the fruit.

How to Make Strawberry Sauce

  1. Prepare the strawberries: Hull and halve the strawberries. 
Woman slicing strawberries on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Add sugar and mash: Place them in a bowl and sprinkle over the sugar. Mash lightly with a fork and toss to combine.
Woman mashing strawberries with sugar in a bowl.
  1. Macerate the strawberries: Let sit for 10 minutes (this is called macerating) until some of the juices release.
Macerated strawberries in bowl.
  1. Transfer the strawberries to a pot: Use a slotted spoon and transfer the berries into a small pot, leaving most of the juices in the bowl.
Chopped strawberries in a pot.
  1. Mix the cornstarch and juice: Whisk the cornstarch into the juices until dissolved.
Woman whisking a small bowl of strawberry juices, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
  1. Combine and heat: Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the juice and cornstarch mixture, then add the lemon zest.
Adding juice and lemon zest to pot filled with strawberries.
  1. Cook and cool: Heat, stirring frequently, until bubbly and thick, breaking up the berries a bit, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Woman scooping strawberry topping from a small bowl.

Freezing & Storing Strawberry Sauce

You can freeze strawberry sauce perfectly. Simply let it cool, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer-proof zipper top bag and freeze for up to 4 months. It will also last for several days in the refrigerator.

How to Use Strawberry Sauce

Serve over cheesecake, or use as a topping for ice cream or chocolate brownies. It’s also a great topping for breakfast foods, like waffles, French toast, and pancakes! (You can channel your IHOP-loving self here!)

Long stemmed glass of ice cream topped with strawberry topping.

More Strawberry Recipes

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5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Topping for Cheesecake

Strawberry sauce is the most popular cheesecake topping of all. It's so easy to make and great on other desserts!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 People
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound (2 pints) strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

Instructions 

  • Hull and halve the strawberries. Place them in a bowl, sprinkle over the sugar, mash lightly with a fork, and toss to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes (this is called macerating) until some of the juices release. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the berries into a small pot, leaving most of the juices in the bowl. Whisk the cornstarch and lemon juice into the juices until dissolved.
  • Place the pot over medium heat, and add the lemon zest. Stir in the lemon juice and cornstarch mixture. Heat, stirring frequently, breaking up the berries as you stir, until bubbly and thick, about 5 minutes. If you want a smoother sauce, you can transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse or puree. Let cool to room temperature.

Notes

Two pints, or 4 cups, is equal to one pound of strawberries.

Nutrition

Calories: 47kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 146mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 11IU, Vitamin C: 56mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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