Macerated Strawberries are a simple, sweet, and sugary strawberry treat that’s perfect to toss on top of just about anything! Made with just fresh strawberries and white sugar, this is a recipe that is truly classic and hassle-free. Grab your angel food cake and vanilla ice cream, because once you make these easy macerated strawberries, you’ll want something sweet to put them on!

A bowl os strawberries is placed next to an angel food cake.

Macerated Strawberries

So, what exactly does that word “macerated” mean anyways? Well, it’s pretty much just a fancy way of saying soaked in sugar! When you macerate a berry, like strawberries, you’re coating them in sugar and letting them sit in that sugar for a few hours. During that time, the sugar gradually breaks down the strawberries, making them break down their juices. Once the juices are released and mixed with the sugar, a sweet sauce is created!

The sugar also softens the berries, making them even more delicious. When the soft, sweet strawberries are soaked in the sugary berry sauce from the maceration process, you have a truly divine berry topping. I love tossing macerated strawberries on top of angel food cake, ice cream, pound cake, and sometimes just in a bowl with whipped cream for a sweet, light treat! Of course, nothing beats macerated strawberries on top of The Very Best Strawberry Shortcake.

Macerated strawberries have been around since the beginning of time… Okay, maybe not that long, but you get the idea! However, I’ve followed other recipes in the past the have made my berries either way too sweet and mushy, or not sweet at all and produced barely any strawberry sauce. With a little trial and error, I’ve created what I believe to be the BEST macerated strawberry recipe that produces a wonderful amount of sweet sauce and perfectly soft strawberries every time. You’re going to love it!

A spoonful of sugar is being poured on top of a bowl of fresh cut strawberries.

How to Make Macerated Strawberries

The steps for this strawberry recipe couldn’t be easier! Just head to your local grocery store and buy some sugar and fresh strawberries. If you’re making this recipe during the summer, even better – that’s when the berries are the most ripe and juicy!

  1. Prepare. Rinse the strawberries and cut them into halves. When cut, the juices will release more easily. Also, make sure that after you rinse them, you gently pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water. Once they’re ready to go, place them into a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle. Sprinkle the white granulated sugar onto the strawberries. Toss or stir the sugar and strawberries to make sure every berry is coated.
  3. Cover and chill. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. You don’t want any excess air getting into the bowl, or the berries will dry out and not produce any juice. Refrigerate for at least one hour, but preferably overnight for best results.
A large glass bowl is filled with juicy macerated strawberries.

What else can I add to macerated strawberries?

If you want another element of fresh fruit, add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to the berries and sugar before mixing. I love adding the lemon juice to the berries if I’m planning on serving them over The Very Best New York Cheesecake! There’s something so delicious about the sweetness of the strawberries and the tang of lemon juice drizzled over a cheesecake.

Want to toss a salad with some macerated strawberries? Sounds good to me! In fact, it would be even more mouthwatering in a salad if you macerated the strawberries with some balsamic vinegar as well – just a tablespoon should do the trick.

We also love spooning them over our morning French toast and this easy pound cake recipe.

A spoon is drizzling macerated strawberries over a piece of cake.

How long will they stay fresh?

Sugar is a natural preservative, so your macerated strawberries will stay fresh for as long as 4 days in the fridge! Just be sure to keep them in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.

Can I use frozen strawberries?

The short answer? No.

Why? Because frozen berries simply won’t produce the juices the way that fresh berries do! Also, once frozen strawberries thaw, they typically become very mushy, and macerating them would only further turn them into mush.

Pieces of cake are covered in macerated strawberries.

Use strawberries will they’re ripe this summer with these delicious recipes!

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A spoon is drizzling macerated strawberries over a piece of cake.

Get the Recipe: Macerated Strawberries

The perfect topping for just about anything, easy macerated strawberries are silly simple to make with just sugar and strawberries!
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  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled and cut in half
  • 2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • mixing bowl


  • Add the strawberries to a bowl.
  • Sprinkle the sugar over the berries and toss to coat.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.


You can make macerated strawberries up to 5 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Calories: 31kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 7IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg