Homemade Strawberry Syrup Recipe
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This 4 ingredient homemade strawberry syrup recipe uses fresh or frozen berries, sugar, water, and lemon juice to create a silky smooth sauce perfect for desserts, pancakes, waffles, and more. In just 20 minutes you can transform whole berries into a seedless strawberry sauce that can be stored for 2 weeks, frozen for longer, or water bath canned.
This super simple homemade strawberry syrup recipe is a go-to in the spring and summer, when I have a bad habit of buying huge flats of strawberries every week at the farmer’s market. It’s also fantastic in the dead of winter, when I can’t stand another apple or pear flavored anything and I can whip this up with the frozen berries I’ve squirreled away in the freezer.
And it really is very easy to create a smooth, silky sauce. You’ll need just 4 super simple ingredients and about 20 minutes of your time, so it can even be whipped up fresh for those brunch pancakes or that slice of cheesecake you’re about to indulge in.
Why This Recipe Works
- Fresh or Frozen Berries – You can thaw freezer strawberries or use fresh ones, both work beautifully.
- Can be stored easily – Keep it in the fridge for 2 weeks, freezer for 3 months, or water bath can it for up to 1 year.
- Powerful flavor – This isn’t overly sweet or lemony. The ingredients work to enhance and balance intense strawberry flavor.
- Versatile uses – We’ve used this for ice cream, cocktails, Italian cream sodas, topping cheesecake or fried cheesecake bites, on top of homemade wheat waffles, sheet pan pancakes, buckwheat pancakes, and many other baked goods.
Ingredients & Substitutions
I always wonder if water counts as an ingredient, but rather than argue about this being a 3 ingredient recipe, I call it 4 and you get the bonus of one of them being free and readily available. The rest are just as easy.
- Strawberries – Use the freshest, most flavorful berries you can get your hands on. In the spring or summer, stop at the farmers market for the best ones. In the off season, frozen berries will be your best bet.
- Sugar – I recommend a white sugar for this. I go with cane or standard granulated. Others will work, but will also affect the flavor.
- Lemon juice – Technically you can make strawberry syrup without lemon, but I 1000% percent recommend it. It balances out the sweetness with just enough tang to enhance the flavor. It is also absolutely ESSENTIAL if you plan on canning the syrup. The acid is what makes it safe.
- Water – Just, you know, water.
Wondering how to pick and store your strawberries? Check out my guide on summer berries for lots of fun facts and helpful hints.
Step by Step Instructions
In order to make a silky smooth strawberry syrup, you’ll need a blender or food processor, a fine mesh strainer, a saucepan, and about 20 minutes of time.
PART 1 – PREP YOUR BERRIES
To begin you’ll need to hull your strawberries. That simply means to remove the core and leaves. Use a paring knife to cut down in a circle around the leaves, like you’re carving a cone from the top. That leaves the most flesh intact but removes the core.
If you’re not confident with a knife, a melon baller does a marvelous job too!
For frozen berries either thaw them in advance or microwave them at half power for a few minutes until they’re very soft. Do not discard any liquid that appears as they thaw.
PART 2 – BREAK DOWN THE BERRIES
Place the berries and the water into a blender or food processor. Blend just until the berries are broken down and you have a red, pulpy liquid.
For frozen berries, add the excess liquid from thawing in with the berries and water as well.
PART 3 – STRAIN THE SEEDS
Set a fine mesh sieve over a pot and pour in the strawberry puree. Stir and work the puree through the sieve until all the juice has been collected in the pot.
You should have a thick, seedy paste left in the sieve when it’s all done. Discard that.
PART 4 – COOK UNTIL THICKENED
Add the sugar and lemon juice in with the strained strawberry liquid. Place the pot over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent scorching. Stir every minute or two for about 8-10 minutes. The syrup is done when it coats the back of a spoon without immediately draining off. You should be able to run a finger through it and see the trail. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
How to Store Homemade Strawberry Syrup
You have three options for storing your syrup – the fridge, freezer, or canning it.
For fridge or freezer storage transfer it to a clean jar and let it cool on the counter. If you’re going to freeze it, make sure you leave 1-2″ of head space between the rim of the jar and the syrup to allow for expansion (no broken jars please!)
Place on the lid and transfer it to the fridge for up to 2 weeks. For the freezer, place the jar in and let it freeze, then seal it.
If you’d like to can this for long-term shelf stable storage then I recommend doubling the batch to make it worth your time. Then follow the steps in my how to water bath can guide so you know it’s safely sealed for when you’re ready.
No, you can absolutely make a rustic strawberry syrup by simply pulsing the strawberries with the water, or even hand chopping until they’re small and combining everything in a pot. This will leave you with a chunky, but still delicious syrup.
Increase the cook time. The syrup will thicken as it reduces so start by adding 5 minute increments to the 10 minute simmer time. Be careful of over-reducing, which will eventually create a jelly-like mixture instead.
Yes. You can increase the sugar by half for very sweet syrup. Because strawberries are naturally sweet, I recommend adding additional sugar in 1 tablespoon increments until it reaches the flavor you’re after.
I have not personally tried any sugar alternatives, but I believe any substitutes that works as a 1-1 replacement for granulated sugar would work. Stevia and monk fruit may be your best options.
Foaming is a natural reaction when cooking fruit juices and purees that can be caused by a variety of reasons such as pectin content, trapped gases, or acid and enzyme levels. You can mitigate this by stirring gently while it heats, adding a small (1 teaspoon or less) pat of butter to the pan as it cooks, or simply skimming off the foam. It is not harmful. Simply discard the foam and you’ll have a lovely syrup leftover.
Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5 star rating in the recipe card below, or a comment to share your experience with fellow home cooks. I hope you enjoy and as always, Happy Eating!
Homemade Strawberry Syrup Recipe
- 350 grams strawberries 15-18 strawberries or 3/4 lb
- 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
- 118 milliliters water 1/2 cup
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Remove the core and leaves of the strawberries by hulling with a paring knife or using a melon baller.*
- Combine all the berries and water into a blender. Puree.
- Pour puree into a fine mesh sieve set over a saucepan. Use a silicone spatula or a spoon to press and work the puree through until only a thick seedy pulp remains. Discard the pulp.
- Place the pot over medium heat and add in the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until dissolved.
- Bring to a gentle boil and stir occasionally until syrup is thickened and coats the back of a spoon without running off. About 10 minutes from the time you put on the heat to finish.
- Allow to cool, pour into airtight container and store in fridge for up to two weeks.*
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User Review( votes)
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.
Can I freeze this syrup?
Hi Kriss, you can definitely freeze it. Hope you enjoy!
I used the rustic directions and when I strained the berries, it was much thinner than I thought it was going to be. Will it thicken up?
Hi Rebekkah, if your syrup is still a little thin for your liking it’s very easy to fix! It may thicken up a bit in the fridge as it cools, but you can also just put it back in the saucepan and let it simmer for a few minutes and it’ll thicken right up. For the future, I find that making sure I scrape the underside of my strainer as I press the berries down helps grab all that thick goopy stuff that helps make it syrupy. It’s a bit of a time consuming workout I know!
Hello are you able to water bath can this and be safe?! Thanks so much!
Hi Sarah! Thanks for asking, it absolutely can! Any fruit with a ph of 4.6 or lower is safe to water bath can (all berries!), but I would certainly triple the recipe at least to make it worth your time! Be sure process for 10 full minutes in your canner. Have fun!
looks like a great way to use fresh strawberries! they are available locally here in the New England next month; guessing they come earlier in California?
Oh yea, strawberries have been available since the beginning of April! I hope you give this a try when they’re available to you!
This looks so sweet! I prefer the blender method as I am not a big fan of chunks but always like options too!
Definitely, both methods have their merits!
I love strawberry syrup – it’s such a great addition to ice cream and other desserts. Looks so delicious!
Thanks Natalie, having it on ice cream is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it!
Oh my goodness – this has me just wanting for perfectly picked strawberries! Such a versatile fruit, love everything about this simple syrup!
Thanks Kristina, I agree, they’re so versatile and delicious, it’s easy to use them!
Homemade strawberry syrup is so good! Perfect for summer time treats!
I couldn’t agree more 🙂 Thanks Tisha!