This Fresh Strawberry Topping will replace whatever strawberry sauce you used to use! The strawberries themselves are not cooked, thereby maintaining all the glory of a fresh strawberry, but with all the drippy goodness of a sauce. Top your pancakes, strawberry short cake, or ice cream, you can’t go wrong! I especially love this strawberry topping for cheesecake!

Fresh Strawberry Topping

Have you ever been trapped on an airplane with a lap-baby and a 3-year-old who just wet her pants? Yeah, me neither.

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Fresh Strawberry Topping

But just hypothetically, what you should NOT do is take her all the way to the front of the plane (carting aforementioned 20-pound baby) only to be told that you can’t wait there, go to the back of the plane and wait, (shuffling slowly behind the drink dispensing flight attendant) where you wait some more while the ice-cup-filling flight attendant eyes your barefoot, pants-less child and says, “People always think there’s water on the floor of airplane bathrooms…it’s not.”

Fresh Strawberry Topping

Here male flight attendant, hold my baby, I have to lift my kid onto the toilet, WHOA, that was a BUMP– “This is the captain speaking, everyone sit down, flight attendants, get in your seats, we’re getting some turbulence” Except now you’re standing in the spot where the flight attendants’ seats fold out and you all just stare at each other with your feet spread out linebacker-like, thinking, when is this airplane going to stop earthquaking, I hope we don’t die.

This is what you should NOT do when your 3-year old wets herself on a full-capacity commercial jet. When I figure out what exactly it is that you ARE supposed to do, I will call you on the phone to tell you because this is really important information to have. Really important.

Fresh Strawberry Topping

The lady sitting next to us was super nice. She offered Charlotte a banana and even helped her put on her still-damp shoes when the plane landed. Bless you, Josie. You saved my children from being abandoned on an airplane.

I’m glad to be home. I had so much fun visiting my sister but sometimes there’s just nothing like a routine. You know?

Fresh Strawberry Topping

And can I just say, there’s nothing like this Strawberry sauce. It’s not really a sauce, per se, because the strawberries are not cooked, but it works as a sauce. It’s perfect for topping anything from ice cream, to strawberry shortcake, to cheesecake, to waffles, crepes, to your naked spoon. I really love that the strawberries are not mushy. They remain firm yet tender. The fresh lemon juice adds the perfect brightness, so don’t skip it.

Fresh Strawberry Topping

Stay tuned for my post later this week which will use this Fresh Strawberry Topping. It involves pancakes but is not what you think…any guesses? (Update! Here’s the recipe for this Deep Dish Buttermilk Pancake!)

Fresh Strawberry Topping

You can chop the strawberries to whatever size you want.

Fresh Strawberry Topping

Grab some jam. I used seedless. Any type will do.

Fresh Strawberry Topping

Cook it up for just a couple minutes and then pour it over your strawberries.

Fresh Strawberry Topping

And it will get nice and syrupy.  Mm-mm.

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Fresh Strawberry Topping

5 from 14 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total: 38 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
This Fresh Strawberry Topping will replace whatever strawberry sauce you used to use! The strawberries themselves are not cooked, thereby maintaining all the glory of a fresh strawberry, but with all the drippy goodness of a sauce. Top your pancakes, cheesecake, ice cream, you can't go wrong! I love to use it as a Strawberry Shortcake topping!


  • 1 & 1/4 pounds strawberries, 4 cups
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam, I used Smuckers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh


  • Hull the strawberries and slice or chop them (however big or small you want). Add them to a medium bowl and toss them with 1/4 cup sugar and a dash or two of salt. Stir together, then set aside for 30 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the strawberry jam over medium heat for abut 3 minutes, until no longer foamy.
  • Add the jam and the lemon juice to the strawberries and stir together. Let the mixture cool for about an hour. It will thicken as it cools. Serve room temperature or chilled.



Unfortunately you can’t use frozen berries in this recipe. They will end up mushy.
This sauce goes great with pancakes, waffles, french toast, cheesecake, ice cream, shortcake…it also goes great with a spoon and a mouth.
Source: the geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 142
Keyword: strawberry, Topping
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. Oh man, that sounds rough! I like visiting family, etc but there really is no place like home in my book! haha I love my routines and day-to-day life! And this strawberry topping looks delicious! Love that it has fresh strawberries and jam!

  2. Just finished dying of laughter at your unfortunate experience, and then some more at your responses to other commenters. Seriously, you should have the funniest blog ever. I would read it even without recipes! But I love those too…

  3. This strawberry sauce looks amazing! So fresh and pretty. And your pix are gorgeous!!! I’m so sorry for your plane troubles – I can’t even imagine what it is like to fly with kids – it is bad enough alone!!

  4. Wow these strawberries look super delicious and refreshing! I’m already thinking of the many ways to use this awesome topping. :)
    That flight sounds horrifying! Ugh, I hope to never be in that position OR witness it.

    1. Thanks Tina! You really can put it on just about anything. I’m thinking peanut butter ice cream. Yum.

  5. Karen, you are too funny. I was just on a plane on Sunday and that recent experience makes imagining your situation all the most humorous/painful! Yikes. If/when I ever have kids and you figure out the solution, do give me a ring ;)

    Can’t wait to see what your pancake creation is!!

    1. Figure out the solution to kids? It’s called abstinence. But I would never wish that on you or anyone Erika. So we must soldier on.

      (Really, it’s not that bad, kids are cute and have lisps and everything, don’t forget. :)

  6. Alone on a plane with two children aged 3 and under? That is the WORST. I so feel your pain. Once on a flight three year old Will peed all over my pants after he jumped up in a panic when the automatic toilet went off while he was still using it. And baby Trinity threw up all over my shirt just moments prior. And then we got moved to the back of the plane because I smelled so badly.
    These experiences are like encountering dementors and I hope you ate the appropriate amount of chocolate to recover. (And when I say the appropriate amount of chocolate, I mean eating your weight in the stuff.)

    1. Oh Ami! I wish I had heard this story when I was on the plane. I can’t believe you had to deal with double-whammy bodily fluids. And they ACTUALLY MOVED YOU TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE?? What is this, 1960? We need to start a smelly mom’s movement. I refuse to move to the back of the plane! I’M the one who just got peed on dangit, YOU MOVE!

      Eating chocolate as we speak. Gotta keep them devils away. (Actually chocolate has the reverse effect, it attracts children, they can smell it, kind of like how flies can smell those honey death trap things. I should be eating celery.)

  7. You poor dear. I suppose that’s one flight you’ll never forget. I think gobs of strawberry sauce on top of anything you can get your hands on will help.

    1. You know Jennie, not to get sappy on you, but I do think it will be a flight I won’t forget, but only because I wrote this post. If I hadn’t, then 20 years from now I would have either forgotten about the flight or had an unpleasant vague memory. But now I have a blog post that makes me smile. This is why I do it I think :) Thanks for commenting!!

    2. Oh yes, I actually remember this trip. I was actually seated next to a very nice lady who helped me with my snack but as far as I remember she was smoking on the plane, which, of course, made me feel nauseated. Then when we got off the plane Eric smelled like stinky, old cheese because he had been throwing up and that made me feel worse. But he still looked cute in his blue pants with yellow polo and blue suspenders….oh the things we remember!

  8. Wow Karen. I knew you were brave to fly with two little kids. We flew with your husband and his big sisters to Pennsylvania once. I think Eric was about Truman’s age. This was before they banned smoking on airplanes. We were seated in the “no smoking” section. Haha. I use this term loosely. It was the back of the plane and the smokers were in the front – we all shared the same cigarette stinky air. Results? Children whining about the bad smell making them sick to their stomachs and then promptly throwing up. I don’t remember if the throw-up made it into those little airsick bags they leave in the seat pocket. I have no recall of those events. I think I would need some sort of therapy to bring them to the forefront of my mind. It was an unhappy moment in our family.

    1. Oh my gosh that is awful Kris!! Yuck I can’t even imagine being stuck on a plane with people smoking. One time I rode in a car with my friend’s grandma who was smoking and I thought I was going to die. And that was only 5 minutes. I’m glad you’ve repressed the throw-up parts :)

  9. Oh, that’s a bad quote: ‘People always think that’s water on the floor of airplane bathrooms…it’s not.’ And I’ve always tried so hard to convince myself that it’s water… ewww!
    Those luscious red strawberries, though, are so beautiful! Hurry up and grow, strawberries, so I can make this and pour it over something :)

    1. I know, I had never even thought about it before. I avoid airplane bathrooms like the plague. 10-hour + flights and children are the only reason I would ever consider it.

  10. I was thinking about you on Saturday and hoping you had a good flight. I guess it could have been worse? At least you didn’t have to deal with any throw up. And that is so sweet the lady sitting next to you was helpful.

    These strawberries sound delicious. Just looking at them makes me want to make some strawberry shortcake and whipped cream!

    1. Oh, it definitely could have been worse! It really wasn’t bad at all. The flight attendants were SUPER nice and the lady next to me was just adorable. I thought of you while I made this, I was remembering your Strawberry sauce post from just a few weeks ago. Great minds think alike! :)

    1. Thank you Diane! Let me know how the strawberries turn out! It’s a pretty no-fail recipe, I mean, even if you get the measurements wrong or something…you still get to eat strawberries. Yum.

  11. A cake made from pancakes? Like strawberry shortcake, but with pancakes?

    I’m so sorry that you had that experience! But good for you for flying with two little ones. I would be scared to death to attempt that by myself. ;)

    1. HOW DID YOU KNOW CLAIRE?? Your past-due-date-ness is making you clairvoyant. Have you ever made one?? SO GOOD!

  12. Your pictures look beautiful… and the strawberry sauce of goodness looks amazing. I wish I could have some for breakfast.. on pancakes or anything :) I’m ignoring the plane story since it was all hypothetical anyway :)

    1. “Strawberry Sauce of Goodness” too bad I didn’t think of that I could have named it that! :) What plane story do you mean?

  13. Oh no, Karen! I don’t think I could have handled that plane situation – BUT – these strawberries? They look amazing! I can’t wait to give them a try on everything :)

    1. No one can handle situations like that until they have to, Megan, lol!! Motherhood is mostly about not being a 2 year old back at your 2 year old. It’s SO HARD!!! haha. And yes, these strawberries will pretty much be good on everything, good call :)

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