Macerated Strawberries are the perfect sweet, juicy topper for everything from pancakes and waffles to ice cream and cake. All you will need to make this simple recipe are fresh strawberries, sugar, and a little time.
After making this recipe for Macerated Strawberries just one time, you’ll probably never need to look at it again. With only two ingredients, it’s really more of a technique than a recipe.
Once you've mastered the basics, you can start to create all sorts of fun recipe variations using different berries, fruits and flavors.
Why Do You Macerate Fruit?
When we talk about macerating fruit, we are referring to letting fruit sit with sugar for a period of time so that it naturally softens. Sugar works to pull juices from the fruit which softens it and consolidates its sugars into a delicious syrup.
So why do you macerate fruit? Well, for starters it makes less than perfect fruit sweeter. If you find yourself with a container of strawberries that aren’t as ripe or sweet as you would like them to be, macerating them may be just the trick that you need.
It’s also a great way to flavor your berries. We’ve given you a whole bunch of ideas for flavor variations below - everything from fruit liqueurs to balsamic vinegar will taste amazing.
You can use this simple technique for macerating fruit such as raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apricots, kiwi and much more. It's so easy to macerate fruit and use as toppings for desserts like Strawberry Shortcake or added to Lime Bundt Cake.
Uses for Macerated Strawberries Recipe
Macerated berries are an easy way to add a fruity sweetness to all sorts of breakfast items and desserts. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use them:
- Spooned over vanilla ice cream with whipped cream
- Served with breakfast favorites like Belgian Waffles, French Toast Bake, or Buttermilk Pancakes
- Added on top of No-Bake Cheesecake or this Chocolate Cheesecake Dip
- Slathered over a slice of Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake, Lemon Blueberry Bread or strawberry shortcake.
How to Clean Strawberries
- Washing the strawberries thoroughly with cold water.
- Prepare a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water in a large bowl or container.
- Place the strawberries in the vinegar mixture and let them soak for 5-10 minutes. (TThis method can also help extend the shelf life of your strawberries by preventing mold growth.)
- Gently stir the strawberries in the mixture to make sure they are all coated with vinegar.
- Remove the strawberries from the mixture and rinse them thoroughly with cold water.
- Dry the strawberries with paper towels or a clean cloth.
How to Macerate Strawberries
- Mix together the berries and sugar. Wash fresh strawberries and remove the stems. Slice strawberries as desired, then place in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix the berries and sugar until combined. (You can use this same method to macerate berries, just about any berry will do.)
- Let sit at room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the strawberries sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge. Enjoy!
A few of our favorite flavor additions to try are:
- Lemon juice or zest (add to taste)
- Balsamic Vinegar (add to taste)
- Liqueurs such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Aperol or Limoncello
- Extracts such as vanilla or almond
- Honey (add in place of granulated sugar)
- Baking spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom
You can also macerate all different types of sliced or porous fruits, including:
Frequently Asked Questions
You should macerate your berries for a minimum of 30 minutes at room temperature. If you are short on time, it is quickest if you place the bowl of strawberries in a warm spot in the kitchen. You can also macerate fruit at room temperature for up to 4 hours if you’d like. The longer it sits, the more natural juices will be released.
Nope - you can macerate fruit in the refrigerator but it will take longer. If you plan to go this route, we recommend covering and letting the berries and sugar sit overnight.
Your Macerated Strawberries should last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. This is a good option if you find yourself with a lot of strawberries and you aren’t quite sure what to do with them all.
You can, but it works a little differently. Place frozen strawberries in a bowl with the sugar and let them thaw together at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Once thawed and softened, strain the liquid and warm it slightly. Pour back over the strawberries and use or store.
What to Make with Macerated Strawberries
Got some juicy strawberries? Macerating them is a simple process of soaking them in sugar and then allowing the natural juices to release. Once you have a bowl of macerated strawberries, the possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas:
- Strawberry Shortcake: Layer the macerated strawberries between fluffy shortcake biscuits and top with whipped cream for a classic treat.
- Strawberry Lemonade: Muddle some macerated strawberries in a glass with fresh lemon juice, water, and a touch of honey for a refreshing summer beverage.
- Strawberry Ice Cream: Fold macerated strawberries into vanilla ice cream mix before freezing for a fruity twist on a classic dessert.
- Strawberry Yogurt Parfait: Layer macerated strawberries with vanilla yogurt and granola for a healthy and satisfying breakfast or snack.
- Strawberry Salsa: Mix macerated strawberries with diced red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a sweet and spicy salsa that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or fish.
- Strawberry Jam: Cook macerated strawberries down with a bit of pectin and sugar to make a delicious homemade jam that can be spread on toast or used as a topping for yogurt or ice cream.
- Strawberry Bruschetta: Top toasted baguette slices with macerated strawberries, goat cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for an elegant appetizer.
- Strawberry Salad: Toss macerated strawberries with mixed berries and a tangy citrus glaze, for a fresh and flavorful berry salad.
Storing Macerated Strawberries
- Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: store in freezer bags for up to 3 months. To thaw, just transfer to the refrigerator overnight.
Macerated Strawberries Recipe
- 1 pound Strawberries
- 4-5 Tablespoons Sugar
- Wash fresh strawberries and remove the stems. Slice strawberries as desired, then place in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix the berries and sugar until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the strawberries sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
- Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add a scoop of macerated strawberries on pancakes, waffles, cake or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
More of the Best Strawberry Recipes
- Strawberry Cream Scones
- Virgin Strawberry Pina Colada Smoothie
- Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
- Strawberries and Cream French Toast Bake
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Berry Salad with Citrus Glaze
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This recipe for Macerated Strawberries uses just two ingredients and a little bit of time. Serve these sweet, syrupy berries over pancakes, waffles, ice cream or a slice of cake.