This decadent topping is a sweet summer treat when poured over ice cream, waffles, or just about anything. Vegan Strawberry Sauce is filled with sweetened strawberries in a thick glaze. You’ll want to drizzle it on absolutely everything.
Recently, when my in-laws were visiting I woke up before everyone else and snuck into the kitchen to quietly prepare breakfast. I grabbed the few things I had on hand which were waffle mix, maple syrup, and strawberries. As I started to make the waffles I began to wonder if I could turn them in a version of strawberry shortcake and quietly went to work.
I quickly prepared a strawberry sauce, also referred to as a strawberry glaze, which is a decadent sweet and syrupy sauce filled with strawberries. Then I made a homemade whipped cream and arranged it into strawberry shortcake waffles. The rest is basically waffle history.
Though we drenched our waffles in this sauce I still had plenty of leftovers and found I wanted to pour it on just about everything I could.
Ingredients in Vegan Strawberry Sauce
This simple recipe is comprised of only a few ingredients, but all are equally important. If you’re canning this recipe you’ll want to keep the amounts as listed. A little secret is that most all strawberry sauces are vegan.
- Cornstarch: this key ingredient works as a thickening agent in this recipe and creates a super thick glaze for the sauce.
- Water: the water is used to cook the strawberries down into a sauce and dissolves the cornstarch that produces the glaze.
- Strawberries: the fresher the better, but you can also use frozen strawberries too. I like to purchase organic strawberries if I can for the purest flavor possible.
- Lemon Juice and Zest: the lemon juice helps balance the sweetness as well as retain the color of the strawberries after they’re cooked. If you plan in canning the strawberry sauce you’ll also need the lemon juice to balance the pH levels. The zest is for added flavor.
- Granulated Sugar: strawberries are naturally sweet, but since this is a dessert sauce we’re going to sweeten it with a bit more sugar. If you’d like to adjust the sugar amount you can.
How to Make Vegan Strawberry Sauce
This delicious vegan strawberry sauce can be made in minutes and is perfect for topping on all kinds of delicious treats. You can easily make a big batch by doubling the ingredients too.
- Prepare Thickening Mixture: In a small bowl whisk the cornstarch and warm water together until smooth and cornstarch have completely dissolved.
- Cook: Place the cornstarch mixture, strawberries, lemon juice and zest, and sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula or wooden spoon stir the ingredients as it cooks for 1 to 3 minutes. Gently mash some of the strawberries using the back of the spoon.
- Simmer: Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring consistently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. While it cools the mixture will thicken.
Canning Strawberry Sauce
The method I used to can this vegan strawberry sauce is water bath canning and it will make 3 8-ounce jars of sauce.
Equipment Needed for Water Bath Canning
Water bath canning is pretty easy and there are many kits that contain most of the materials you will need. Below are some links to my favorite equipment.
- Water Bath Canner with Rack
- Canning Kit: includes a funnel, lid lifter, jar lifter, wrench, and tongs.
- Jars with Lids
How to Can Strawberry Sauce
This recipe will make about 3 8-ounce sized jars. If you’re looking to make more then you can easily double, or triple the recipe. Just make sure you use a large pot or Dutch oven to cook the sauce.
- Prepare the Sauce: follow the recipe below and double ingredients if wanting to make a larger batch.
- Set up the Water Bath: while the strawberry sauce is simmering, fill the water bath with water and heat on medium-high.
- Wash and Sterilize: wash the jars and lids with warm soapy water and use the tongs to lower them into the heated water bath. Leave the jars in the hot water bath until ready to fill, making sure to not boil the jars.
- Fill Jars: using the ladle and funnel, scoop the strawberry sauce into the jars and fill them leaving ¼-inch headspace. With a small spatula remove the air bubbles by swiping along the inner side of the jar. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp cloth to remove any sauce. Center the lid on the jar and screw on the band until fingertip tight (meaning that you screw the lid on but it’s not super tight).
- Process Jars: bring the water bath to boiling and use tongs to lower the prepared jars into the water. Place the lid on top of the water bath and process the jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes (make sure the water covers the jars). Remove the jars and set them on a towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours.
Check the lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not move up and down when pressed in the center.
What to Use Strawberry Sauce On
This delicious dessert topping can be used for breakfasts, sweet treats, and can even be altered slightly and used on savory recipes. Some additional ideas are listed below.
- Pour it over waffles, pancakes, or even french toast.
- Cheesecake and also a no-bake strawberry cheesecake.
- Use it as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, biscuits, or even oatmeal.
- It’s the perfect topping to drizzle on angel food cake or pound cake (don’t forget whipped cream).
- Use it for strawberry shortcake topping.
Some of my favorite options for using this sauce would be to drizzle it over blueberry torte or on a slice of chocolate banana bread.
Strawberry Sauce Recipe Variations
This decadent sauce is delicious as is, but you can always add some additional flavor. Below are some variations to try. The balsamic topping and peppered versions make great marinades and fancy sauces for meats.
- Vanilla Strawberry Sauce: Add half a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, to the sauce while it’s cooking and remove it after. You can also use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
- Strawberry Balsamic Topping: Use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice instead of half the lemon squeezed, and add 1 tablespoon of high-quality balsamic vinegar to the mixture.
- Peppered Strawberry Topping: After the strawberry sauce is done cooking stir in ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Tips for Making Strawberry Sauce
- You can make a large batch of this recipe by doubling the ingredients.
- Use fresh in-season ingredients, especially the strawberries, if you can. Organic strawberries are best for a pure flavor.
- Don’t over-cook the strawberries. They will start to break down and fall apart, which isn’t a huge problem, but the strawberry chunks are a nice appeal.
How to Hull Strawberries
- Hold the strawberry in your left hand (if right-handed) and a sharp paring knife in your right hand. Carefully pinch the knife on the blade just below the handle.
- Insert the tip of the knife next to the stem and angle it toward the center core of the berry.
- Turn the strawberry to slowly guide the knife blade around the stem top. This cuts the core out instead of just slicing the top off.
How to Store Strawberry Sauce
To store this strawberry topping just place it in a jar with an air-tight lid. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also freeze the strawberry sauce by placing it in an air-tight container, which will last up to 3 months. Make sure to let the sauce cool completely before placing it in the freezer.
FAQ’s for Making Vegan Strawberry Sauce
Can I use a different berry to make this topping?
Absolutely! You can easily make this a cherry, blueberry, mixed berry, or any type of fruit topping sauce you’d like. Just swap the strawberries for your favorite fruit. I highly recommend making a peach sauce.
Can this sauce be made smooth instead of chunky?
Yes! To prepare a smoother sauce instead of a chunkier one you can use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender. If using a blender or food processor let it cool slightly. Blending hot ingredients causes some pressure in the blender and processor, which forces the top to open. Blend the ingredients until the desired consistency is reached.
Can I use frozen strawberries?
Of course! If you’re making this recipe out of season then I recommend using frozen strawberries. Just add them into the mixture as you would the fresh strawberries.
Can I use a different sweetener?
Yes. If you’d prefer to leave out the sugar in this recipe you can or you can use you’re preferred, sweetener. Maple syrup and honey are also delicious ways to add a little sweetness to this sauce.
Vegan Strawberry Sauce
- Measuring Spoons and Cups
- Sauce Pan
- Wooden Spoon
- Water Bath Canner with Rack
- Rubber Tongs
- Small Spatula
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons Warm Water
- 1 lb Strawberries hulled, and sliced in half
- ½ medium Lemon juice and zest
- ¼ cup Sugar
- In a small bowl whisk the cornstarch and warm water together until smooth and cornstarch has completely dissolved.
- Place the cornstarch mixture, strawberries, lemon juice and zest, and sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a spatula or wooden spoon stir the ingredients as it cooks for 1 to 3 minutes. Gently mash some of the strawberries using the back of the spoon.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring consistently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. While it cools the mixture will thicken.
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