Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Topping

Today I’m riding the coattails of my favorite ice cream recipes and continuing the celebration of National Ice Cream Month with more ice cream fun. In fact, this week BEB is completely devoted to ice cream treats… I think you’re going to enjoy the different types of recipes that are in the queue! Kicking it off is this amazing homemade strawberry topping sauce. While I’m almost always a hot fudge sundae kinda girl, sometimes there are just days in the summer that scream for some lively fruit flavor on top of creamy vanilla ice cream. The insane heat wave we just had that lasted the better part of 10 days certainly provided multiple opportunities for such ice cream-making decisions. While the store-bought sauce is okay in a pinch, it’s disheartening that two of the first three ingredients listed on the label are corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. I may not be the healthiest eater on the face of the planet, but I really try to avoid those ingredients if at all possible. This was the perfect opportunity to conquer yet another homemade version of an ice cream-related recipe (or, ice cream accessory, if you will).

This sauce is positively delicious and will make your kitchen smell unbelievably scrumptious. The strawberry aroma is absolutely outstanding; there is no comparison between this and the store-bought variety – the flavor is bright, fresh and bold. While this is perfect as an ice cream topping, you could also use it on top of waffles, pancakes, crepes or whatever else you enjoy topping with a strawberry sauce!

The beauty of making things at home is that you can make them exactly how you like them. I chopped up the strawberries and cooked almost all of them down, saving a few to stir in at the end so the sauce was still a little chunky. You could choose to slice the strawberries, put them in whole, quartered, or even puree it in a blender at the end if you don’t like any chunks.

As is the case with most pretty things that you can put in a jar and tie a ribbon around, this strawberry sauce would make a wonderful gift. You could make some for the holidays (anything shiny, sparkly and red is always a big hit), or put together a cute little hostess basket if you’re attending a summer party. In lieu of wine, bring all the fixin’s for a great ice cream sundae party – this, along with hot fudge or some other sauces/toppings (stay tuned this week… hint, hint!) would be a great summertime gift.

Or, you can keep it in your fridge, all to yourself. I won’t tell anyone 😉

One year ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Main Dishes
Two years ago: S’mores Whoopie Pies
Three years ago: Snickerdoodles
Four years ago: Plain Bagels

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Topping

Yield: About 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Set aside about 1/3 of the chopped strawberries.

2. Combine the remaining strawberries and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved strawberries and vanilla extract. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before using. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com)


49 Responses to “Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Topping”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on July 10, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Great idea! I love how it just take a few ingredients to have some homemade ice cream topping 🙂


  2. Angelyn on July 10, 2012 at 4:42 am

    That looks amazing!!


  3. Katrina on July 10, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Mmm I’m seriously craving ice cream right now.


  4. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on July 10, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Yum! I love strawberry sundaes!! This sauce is so much better than the store bought stuff!


  5. Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine on July 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Oh yum! So glad we never really have winter here – so ice cream is a year round thing! This would make a really sweet gift – but i must be honest – It probably wouldnt make it out of my front door!


  6. Stephanie on July 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

    A great topping!


  7. Vicki @ WITK on July 10, 2012 at 10:32 am

    This looks so pretty and simple and delicious! I love national ice cream month! Keep the recipes coming!


  8. Nancy @ CouponClippingCook on July 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

    So few ingredients to make something so delicious. A great recipe to make when strawberries at on sale too. I could eat this over my scrambled eggs.


  9. Villy @ For the love of Feeding on July 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Fantastic idea!


  10. natalie@thesweetslife on July 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    oh my gosh–i wish i’d seen this last Christmas when i prepared ice cream gift baskets for family (http://www.thesweetslife.com/2012/01/homemade-hot-fudge-sauce.html)…definitely including the strawberry sauce next time! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  11. Laura Dembowski on July 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I love that you come up with homemade versions of store bought treats, because I’d rather make something at home than buy it. This look amazing and easy to make. Love the bright color!


  12. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on July 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve done this with blueberries before too 🙂 It’s nuts how simple it is to make a healthier version of fruit syrup at home!


  13. Scorpio Woman on July 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’ll probably try it cause I always have fresh strawberries these days cause they are not too expensive. Thanks for posting. 🙂


  14. Riley on July 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I’ll be keeping this all to myself, thank you! It looks scrumptious!


  15. Home Inspections Chicago on July 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    This is amazing… I bet this would be amazing on angel food cake too!!! Yum! So much better than the store bought stuff with all of the preservatives!


  16. Emily Day on July 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Yum! This looks delicious!


  17. Kate T on July 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    DELICIOUS! Could you preserves this through canning??? I want to make a whole bunch it looks so yummy!



  18. Myra on July 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I have made the strawberry topping and the hot fudge…and let me tell you, I have nothing left over from the last party!. Easy recipes and oh so good! A little strawberry topping and a little hot fudge….heaven! thank you so much for the recipes.


  19. Jess on July 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Yum! I never thought of making a strawberry sauce that was cooked. We always just macerated the strawberries with a little bit of sugar. I will have to try this. My favorite ice cream topping is peanut butter sauce. Where I am from it is called an Amish sundae because they make a thick peanut butter sauce and pour it over vanilla ice cream.


    • Jen on May 30th, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      That’s what we usually do, too! But this was much better. I did add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons cold water. At the very end, I turned off the heat, added the cornstarch water, stirred for about 2 minutes, then let it sit to cool then refrigerated it til it was time. I found it to be not that sweet but guess what – that’s perfect for something naturally sweet like ice cream; didn’t make it too rich. My husband went nuts over it. I forgot about the idea of slices up some strawberries to put in at the end, so I’ll try that tonight!


    • Leah on June 13th, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Could you share the peanut butter sauce recipe? That sounds awesome!


  20. Frannie on July 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I made a similar sauce with a little cornstarch added to top french toast this weekend. Can’t believe I’ve never done this before. There will be more in the future.

    I’d like Jess’ recipe for peanut butter sauce.


  21. Gail on July 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Brilliant! I made this last night, except I used vanilla sugar to mAke it. I did purée it in the blender to make it really smooth though. My son is drinking a strawberry milk right now and is praising my genius. Next on the agenda is homemade strawberry yogurt drinks=score! If there is any left we will get some together with ice cream:)

    Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!


    • Michelle on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Such a good idea, love it!


  22. Tracy {Pale Yellow} on July 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

    What a great way to use up all the wonderful strawberries out right now!


  23. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on July 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    This is quite possibly my favorite topping for ice cream next to sprinkles.


  24. Jennifer on July 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    This is absolutely amazing sauce and so simple! Hoarding it for myself =)


  25. mikki on July 28, 2012 at 12:57 am

    can i can and store this reciepe at room temp…. how long will it stay preserved if i go through the whole canning process


    • Michelle on July 28th, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Mikki, Unfortunately I am not an expert at canning and can’t give you a definitive yes or no answer as to whether you can properly can this. I would check with your local agriculture department to be safe.


  26. cravingthis on August 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Michelle ~ the sauce looks amazing and very red. Whenever I’ve made strawberry sauce, it’s not that red in color. May I ask if you used a touch of red color gel?



    • Michelle on August 3rd, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      I did not use any artificial colors; all of the color you see there is natural!


      • Jen on May 30th, 2014 at 7:18 pm

        Just an FYI, when I made this, it turned out that way, too — but it took the red right out of the actual strawberries! LOL!


  27. Little Aussie Bakery on June 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Love this recipe! Mind if we share it on our blog? With due credit, of course! Keep up the awesome ideas!


  28. bilal on August 13, 2013 at 5:59 am

    so good


  29. Mrs. Random on September 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I’m trying this RIGHT NOW. It’s literally in a pan on the stove behind me. But, was there supposed to be any water added to the pot?


    • Michelle on September 9th, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Nope, no water; the strawberries will release their own juices as they cook.


  30. Tamarah on May 8, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Can you use frozen strawberries


    • Michelle on May 12th, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Hi Tamarah, I haven’t tried it, but it might work. Let me know how it turns out.


      • Jen on May 30th, 2014 at 7:19 pm

        I had a friend try it with frozen strawberries, and it turned out great!


  31. Karen Falcke on June 25, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I think I may be the first English person commenting on this site. If so, hooray! I love your recipe. I have already made some strawberry ice cream (with TEN egg yolks!) and the meringues with the egg whites left over. Now I need your sauce. With your recipe, would you recommend sieving out the strawberry pips to get a smoother sauce? My strawberries come from my allotment and the seeds are quite rough and there are so many of them!


    • Michelle on June 26th, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Hi Karen, You could definitely strain the sauce to make it extra-smooth. Enjoy! 🙂


  32. Isabella Marques on April 16, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Can u use brown sugar in this?


    • Michelle on April 21st, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Isabella, I have not tried to do so; I couldn’t say how it would turn out if you did.


  33. Annette on July 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I’m about to try this. It sounds great. An easy to make peanut butter sauce is one part smooth peanut butter to two parts sweetener. Can use maple syrup, corn syrup, honeyor pancake syrup. I like honey the best. Put both in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for about a minute on high. Remove and stir then put back in for another minute. Can be eaten right away (on ice cream, of course) and then stored in the fridge for a week or more. Let come to room temp. or nuke for 30 sec. the next time you want some. If there’s any left. 🙂


  34. Betty Hesson on October 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Can this be canned? Like water bath or pressure? If so what are the recommended way to process it?


    • Michelle on October 20th, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Hi Betty, No, I would not advise using this recipe for long-term storage.


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