This easy Strawberry Compote recipe is super quick to make in 20 minutes and with only 3 ingredients. The delicious strawberry sauce is perfect to use over cheesecakes, cakes, ice cream or as a breakfast topping!
Why we love this recipe
This simple strawberry compote recipe is so versatile; it's one of my favourite way to use fresh strawberries! Just like its smooth Strawberry Coulis version, is perfect as a topping for Cheesecake, French Toast, Waffles, Pancakes, Ice Cream or as a Cake Filling.
It is so delicious, it can even be served on its own as a dessert!
This recipe is great because:
- It is super quick and easy to make with 3 ingredients only (with the optional addition of vanilla) and is ready in about 20 minutes.
- It can be made with fresh or frozen Strawberries so you can enjoy it all year round.
- The compote is relatively low in sugar - and can even be made with a natural sweetener substitute as well.
- It will last for days in the fridge and can easily be frozen.
Scroll down to recipe card below for all quantities
What is strawberry compote made of:
- Strawberries: You can use either Fresh or Frozen Strawberries. A little bit of water might be required if using fresh strawberries to help them start cooking. When choosing the fresh fruits, try to go for ripe strawberries that contain more natural pectin than unripe ones; that will help the compote to thicken.
- Sugar: Caster Sugar or Fine White Granulated Sugar. This recipe is relatively low in sugar but I recommend tasting and adjusting the sweetness level if required (some strawberries are simply naturally sweeter than others!).
- Lemon Juice: Used to balance the flavour as well as help the compote to thicken and preserve. The fresh lemon juice can be substituted with Lime Juice for a slightly different flavour as well.
- Vanilla (optional): I used Vanilla Extract for this recipe since vanilla works so well with strawberries - but it is completely optional!
- Spices & Fresh Herbs: Ground Cinnamon or Ginger, Mint or Basil.
- Citrus: add some lemon zest, lime zest or orange zest for extra flavour. Or for a sweeter finish, switch the lemon juice for orange juice!
- Balsamic Vinegar: a classic flavour combination with strawberries! Just add a few drops to create a deeper, more complex taste.
- Berries: to create a delicious Mixed Berry Compote, replace some of the strawberries with raspberries, blackberries or blueberries! Note that you might need to adjust the sugar content if using a tart berry like raspberries.
- Sugar: can substitute with a liquid sweetener like Honey or Maple Syrup. You will usually need to reduce the compote for a little bit longer since you will be adding some extra liquid to it. An unrefined sugar such as coconut sugar can be used as well.
How to make Strawberry Compote
- Photo 1: Wash, hull and slice the Strawberries in half. Place them in a small saucepan. If using fresh strawberries, add a little bit of water (1 to 2 tablespoons) to help them start cooking. With frozen strawberries, let them thaw slightly in the saucepan before starting to cook them; they will naturally release some juice.
- Photo 2: Add the Sugar and Lemon Juice and stir to combine.
- Photo 3: Turn over medium low to medium heat and leave to simmer until the fruits have softened and the liquid starts to thicken. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the strawberries and how much water they naturally contain - but is usually between 10 and 20 minutes.
To thicken strawberry compote, reduce the fruits for longer until almost no more liquid remain.
For a thiner but chunkier strawberry topping, you can cook the strawberries until soft then drain to discard any extra liquid. Alternatively, keep some of the fresh (uncooked) strawberries and only add them in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Note that the sauce will continue to thicken once it cools down so it is ok to still have a little bit of liquid in the saucepan when you stop cooking it!
- Remove from the stove and leave the strawberry compote to cool down slightly. Transfer the mixture into a glass jar or container and place in the fridge to finish cooling and set.
Fruit coulis and compotes are usually made from the same ingredients (a fruit, some sugar and lemon juice) and cooked until reduced on the stove.
A compote is usually kept thick and chunky while a coulis is blended with a blender or immersion blender then poured through a thin mesh sieve. This creates a more liquid, thin sauce than a compote.
The thickening of the compote happens naturally when you cook down and reduce the fruits (the water contained in the fruit evaporates). The lemon juice as well as the strawberries contain a little bit of pectin that will help the strawberry sauce thicken on its own.
The compote will slightly thicken as it cools down but will still remain relatively soft. If you are looking for a thicker strawberry compote (to use as a cake filling for example), you could also add about 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch to the sauce.
No, this strawberry sauce does not contain enough sugar to be canned or preserved as opposed to jam. Store it in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze to keep it for longer.
Tips for Success
- What is the consistency of a compote: a fruit compote should be relatively thick with small, soft chunks of fruits. Depending on how you plan on using this recipe, you can keep it more thin or thicken it more on the stove.
- If using fresh Strawberries, I recommend adding a little bit of water to the fruits to help them start cooking without burning. The exact quantity will depend on the strawberries you use, how ripe they are and if they naturally contain a lot of water already. No need for water if using frozen strawberries, just let them slightly thaw in the saucepan before starting to cook them.
- For a chunkier strawberry sauce, use whole strawberries rather than slicing them in half. For a thiner, more liquid compote, cut them into small cubes. The cooking time will also influence the overall texture of the compote so you can really adapt this recipe to suit your needs!
- The exact cooking time will depend on the strawberries you use, how much water they naturally contain and what consistency you want for your compote. A chunkier compote will cook more quickly that a smoother one.
How to use strawberry compote
There are so many uses for strawberry compote. It can be serve hot or cold over a huge variety of cakes and desserts (or even on its own!):
- As a Cheesecake Topping like I did for these Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes, or over a Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake.
- As a topping (or even filling if thickened enough) for a cake like this Chocolate Fondant Cake, Strawberry Almond Cake or this Upside Down Strawberry Cake.
- With Yogurt, Granola or over a simple Vanilla Ice Cream.
- Served as a breakfast topping over Waffles, Pancakes or French Toast.
- Used as a sauce topping over a Strawberry Panna Cotta or Strawberry Mousse or even Strawberry Mousse Cake.
Storing & Freezing
To store the homemade compote, let it cool down slightly then transfer into a sealed glass jar or airtight container to keep it fresh. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Alternatively, this Strawberry Compote can be frozen in small or large quantity. I love to freeze it in individual portions using a large silicone ice tray / mold! It will last for 3 months in the freezer. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight or reheat in the microwave for a few seconds.
Made this recipe?
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- 350 gr (12 oz) Strawberries - fresh or frozen (see note 2).
- 50 gr (1/4 cup) Caster Sugar
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract - optional
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
- Wash, hull and slice the Strawberries in half (see note 1). Place them in a small saucepan. If using fresh strawberries, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. If using frozen strawberries, let them thaw slightly in the saucepan before starting to cook them; they will naturally release some juice.
- Add the Sugar, Lemon Juice and Vanilla (optional). Stir to combine then turn on low to medium heat.
- Leave to simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the fruits have softened and the liquid has slightly thickened. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the strawberries and how much water they naturally contain (see note 2).
- Remove from the stove and leave to cool down slightly. Transfer into a glass jar or airtight container and place in the fridge to finish cooling and set. Keep in the fridge for up to a week, or freezer for 3 months.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to leave a comment and star rating below!
- For a thicker sauce, keep the strawberries whole. For a thiner compote, you can cut the strawberries in smaller pieces.
- For a thicker sauce, you can reduce the compote for longer until almost no more liquid remain. For a thiner but chunkier compote, you can cook the strawberries until soft then drain them to discard any extra liquid - or keep some of the fresh (uncooked) strawberries and only add them in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Note that the sauce will continue to thicken once it cools down so it is ok to still have a little bit of liquid in the saucepan when you stop cooking it!