Macerated Strawberries: the simple, versatile recipe to make with strawberries

Total time: 20 Min + Resting time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Macerated strawberries are simply the technical term for sweetened strawberries. Sure, you can simply call them sweetened, but why not sound fancy! It’s an easy, no-bake dessert recipe perfect for summer. It’s great for those times when you want to serve dessert, but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Simple macerated strawberries have a shiny surface, sweet flavor, and tender and juicy texture. With a little bit of preparation, you’ll have a few jars of macerated strawberries ready for serving that are canned with their syrup.

It’s hard to imagine you only need three ingredients: strawberries, sugar, and water. We also have ways you can customize this recipe to your liking, so make sure you check out our tips below.

What Are Macerated Strawberries?

Macerated strawberries are simply strawberries that have been soaked in sugar and water. Macerated means to soften or sweeten by soaking in a liquid. The strawberries can be macerated in different ways, and oftentimes alcohol or balsamic vinegar is also used. The sugar draws the juices out of the strawberries which forms a sweet syrup.

Macerated Strawberry Ingredients

Strawberries – use fresh strawberries. Look for bright red strawberries with no signs of green as these will be the sweetest. Fresh strawberries are usually plump and firm to the touch, they shouldn’t be mushy. Fresh strawberries will smell fruity and fragrant. Make sure that there are no visible signs of mold.

Sugar – this recipe works with granulated sugar, but you can also use superfine sugar as it will dissolve faster

How To Make Macerated Strawberries

Rinse the strawberries in a bowl filled with clean water.

Once the strawberries are washed, remove the stems with a sharp knife.

Cut the strawberries in half and place them in a bowl.

In another bowl, layer the strawberries with sugar. Mix thoroughly until the strawberries are well covered with sugar.

Allow the strawberries to stand for at least 3 hours, stirring now and then.

Fill sterilized glass jars with strawberries, top with syrup and more sugar and close the jars. Turn them upside down. They can be stored this way for up to one year.


If using other flavorings, stir it in with the sugar.

You can also use other berries with this recipe. Try blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

How To Use Macerated Strawberries

Macerated strawberries can be served as is with fresh yogurt. But don’t stop there! Serve them as a topping for pancakes, waffles, pound cake, shortcakes, or French toast. You can also add them to a trifle.

Incorporate them into special desserts like cheesecakes, or add them to your overnight oats for breakfast.

Macerated Strawberry Variations

The sugar is essential for sweetening the strawberries and drawing out the moisture, so don’t leave them out. You can make the following changes:

Lemon Juice – fresh lemon will add brightness to the strawberries and prevent them from browning

Grand Marnier – if you’re only serving the macerated strawberries to adults, you can add Grand Marnier (or your favorite liqueur)

Orange juice – orange juice will add orange flavor and enhance the flavor of the strawberries

Balsamic vinegar – balsamic vinegar and strawberries are a classic combination

How To Store Macerated Strawberries

Macerated Strawberries are best served on the day of preparation, but opened jars can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Macerated Strawberries?

Yes! Freeze the macerated strawberries in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight.

More Strawberry Desserts You'll Like

2 kg
1 kg
glass jars
yogurt, for serving (optional)


Place all the strawberries in a bowl, fill with water and rinse the strawberries. Allow to stand for about 6 minutes.

Remove the stem of each strawberry.

Cut each strawberry in half and place half of the strawberries in a bowl. Top with sugar.

Add the rest of the strawberries, then top with more sugar. Use a spoon to mix the strawberries with the sugar.

Let the strawberries macerate for 3 hours and stir from time to time.

Fill four glass jars with strawberries.

Top the macerated strawberries with the syrup.

Top with more sugar and close the jar. Close the jars and left upside down for at least 1 week and for up to a year.

Serve with yogurt if using.

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