Macerated strawberries are an easy way to preserve the decadently sweet strawberry flavor of summer. 

Use this simple recipe to draw out the flavors of fresh berries and create a little sauce to spoon over your favorite sweets, treats, and breakfast recipes.

It doesn’t take long to prep and marinate sliced berries in sugar so they can be used in everything from a cake topping to a fancy tropical cocktail.

Macerated Strawberries in a glass bowl with a spoon

What are Macerated Strawberries?

Macerating strawberries is more of a method than a recipe.

Similar to a marinade, simply combine cut fruit with an ingredient like sugar, or alcohol (think rum or Grand Marnier) and allow it to rest at room temperature. Fresh or thawed-from-frozen berries will work!

Combining the berries with sugar helps to preserve them and creates a syrup or sauce. They’re delicious spooned over pound cake, trifle, ice cream, or even mixed into plain yogurt.

adding sugar to strawberries to make Macerated Strawberries

Just 2 ingredients!

STRAWBERRIES: Choose bright red, firm berries without any soft spots or cuts. Other berries can be added like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or thin slices of fresh peaches. Try a combination of berries!

SUGAR: White or brown sugar is perfect in this recipe! Or use a sugar substitute like Swerve or monk fruit. Simple syrup is great to have on hand for all kinds of desserts and drinks!

Honey, maple syrup, spirits like rum or vodka will work (the alcohol will stay in the fruit so be cautious), and acidic bases like balsamic vinegar and lemon juice help the fruit release its juices. Experiment with the combination you like best!

strawberries coated with sugar to make Macerated Strawberries

How to Make Macerated Strawberries

This is a great way to enjoy fresh berries and the perfect way to preserve those that have been in the fridge just a little too long!

With only a few simple steps, this recipe is the perfect way to preserve the flavors of summer.

  1. Wash, hull, and slice or chop the strawberries.
  2. Mix with white sugar and rest at room temperature (as per the recipe below).

Prepare and marinate strawberries in a zippered freezer bag for easy clean-up or to transport to a party or potluck!

How to Use Macerated Strawberries

The ideas are endless! Use macerated strawberries as a topping for fluffy pancakes, homemade Belgian waffles, a French toast casserole, or as a dip for French toast sticks.

Mix strawberries into or top homemade vanilla ice cream, add to strawberry shortcake, or a fancy trifle. It’s also great in this homemade strawberry butter or salad dressing.

plated Macerated Strawberries

How to Store Macerated Strawberries

Keep macerated strawberries in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Stir before using.

Freeze macerated strawberries in ice cubes to pop into iced tea or sparkling water or freeze portions in zippered bags for up to 1 month.

Surplus of Summer Strawberries?

How do you use Macerated Strawberries? Leave us a comment below!

Macerated Strawberries in a glass bowl with a spoon
5 from 22 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Macerated Strawberries

Macerated Strawberries are so easy to make and can be used in so many recipes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 pint strawberries about 2 cups
  • 2-3 tablespoons white sugar or brown sugar


  • Wash and hull strawberries, cutting them into thin slices.
  • Place in a medium-sized bowl and sprinkle sugar on top.
  • Mix until combined and let the strawberries sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes or until they have released juices.


Macerated berries can sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
Optional additions include:
  • orange or lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice
  • a splash of Grand Marnier, brandy, or rum
  • other berries or sliced peaches
Keep macerated strawberries in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Stir before using.
Freeze macerated strawberries in ice cubes to pop into iced tea or sparkling water or freeze portions in zippered bags for up to 1 month.
5 from 22 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 61 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
close up of Macerated Strawberries with a title
Macerated Strawberries in a bowl with writing
Macerated Strawberries in bowls with writing
Macerated Strawberries in a bowl with a spoon and writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. My mother used this method not only with strawberries but all kinds of fruit – and I had absolutely forgotten it. Thank you for refreshing my memories. I used this method today with strawberries and they were exactly how I remembered them. I won’t forget this one again!

  2. We love strawberries in our household. Such a simple way to prepare them….my husband loves them, fixed this way and spooned over his cereal.
    I prefer to eat strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries with some sliced bananas but without any sugar. Strawberries are so delicious!!5 stars

  3. I’m 67 and I watched my mama add sugar to strawberries all the time. We had a berry patch growing up. I never knew that there was a name for the process . Great memories!

  4. Can this recipe be used as a topping for cheesecake, ie, right on the cake before cutting and serving, or is it too liquify and better suited to spoon over the cheesecake just before serving? It looks and sounds delicious!

    1. The strawberries can definitely be spooned over cheesecake, the ‘sauce’ is quite watery. If you’re looking for a thicker sauce, I would suggest making strawberry sauce.