Strawberry Compote

5 from 8 votes

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.

Make your own homemade strawberry compote from four simple ingredients in less than 15 minutes. Use this delicious strawberry sauce to in or on top of ice cream, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, cheesecakes, pies, or anything that pairs well with fruit. If strawberries aren’t in season, use frozen, or change it up and use any berries you love!

aerial photo of strawberry sauce in a bowl

This Strawberry Compote Recipe is the best way to use up mushy strawberries

A good strawberry topping recipe is great to have in your back pocket. Not only is it a great way to use strawberries that may be past their munching prime, but also for those times you need a simple way to turn a dessert, breakfast, or snack into something a little more interesting.

The first time I made this deliciously thick strawberry compote was in summer 2020 when I took our boys strawberry picking at a local orchard.

We had so many strawberries, and while we live in a house full of strawberry monsters, even the 4 of us couldn’t keep up with how quickly they were deteriorating and losing their luster.

simple strawberry compote in a bowl

Rather than waste them, I chopped them up, mixed a few ingredients in a saucepan, and we had simple strawberry compote for several days longer than we’d have been able to enjoy the fresh strawberries from our haul.

Save This Recipe form


Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!


Compote is a simple fruit sauce made with pieces of fresh (or frozen) fruit cooked in water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch.

ingredients to make strawberry compote in a saucepan

You can also describe compote as a textured, chunky fruit sauce.


Compote is a type of preserves made with fresh or frozen fruit that has been cooked in a sugar syrup just until the fruit pieces start to break down. It is not typically jarred for future use like other preserves are.


A coulis is more like a thick and smooth sauce whereas a compote is a chunky consistency.


You might be thinking “why are we calling ‘jam’ by this fancy name?” And you’d be partially correct and also wrong because compote and jam are actually different.

As mentioned, compote is a chunky fruit sauce. While it’s totally acceptable to put it on a sandwich or toast, the chunks of fruit make it quite difficult to spread.

strawberry sauce in a bowl

Jam, on the other hand, involves more mashed and broken up pieces of fruit, which you can get by cooking it longer and at a higher temperature than you would compote.

A compote should also not be confused with a chutney, which is much like a compote but cooked with spices. See my homemade spiced cranberry sauce for one deeeeeelish chutney recipe!

Easy Strawberry Compote ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make strawberry compote (and actually, you can turn this into a simple berry compote, but we’ll get there).

Of course, you’ll need strawberries. I use one whole pound of them to make just shy of two cups of compote.

whole strawberries washed in a collandar

While I do prefer using fresh strawberries, you can absolutely make strawberry compote with frozen strawberries.

You’ll also need some water to get the mixture boiling, sugar to sweeten the berries up a bit, some lemon juice to help keep the mixture from browning and also help the pectin relax to allow it to set, and cornstarch to thicken the mixture so it’s nice a gooey.

How to make a Strawberry Compote

The hardest part of making strawberry compote is preparing the strawberries, since you’ll need to remove the tops, hull if necessary, and then slice them.

strawberries sliced on a cutting board

If you’re using frozen strawberries, you may not have to slice them into pieces, since they’re usually on the smaller size. When strawberries are in season, they can be pretty large, so use your best judgement on how to slice them.

I slice most of my larger strawberries into quarters but some need cut into eighths. Smaller ones may only need to be halved.

If you’re using other berries (like blackberries or blueberries), there may be no need to prepare them.

Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan together, then bring to a boil.

Once boiling, turn the mixture down to just a simmer, then allow it to cook while stirring occasionally for about 10-12 minutes.

You’ll know the compote is done when the liquid has thickened and can make a thick coating on the back of a spoon.

saucepan full of homemade strawberry compote with a silicone spatula

Your strawberry pieces will also be starting to fall apart a bit. Some of the larger pieces may be intact, and that’s when I just like to smash them with my spatula.

How to serve Strawberry Compote for Cheesecake or Cake

Once you’re finished cooking your berry compote, you’ll want to let it cool a bit before using it on something like blintzes, pancakes, waffles, French toast, or other warm food.

If you want to use it in ice cream, yogurt, on cheesecake, or other cold dessert, it’s best to let it chill in the refrigerator.


You can serve this strawberry compote warm or cold, depending on what you’re using it for. Ideally, the compote would be served at the same temperature of the food you are putting it on or serving it with.

spoon lifting a scoop of easy strawberry compote out of a bowl

The good news is, you can make this easy strawberry compote recipe and keep it in the fridge for a few weeks in case you find yourself needing to use strawberries but don’t have an immediate use for them.

I will say, though, that once you get a taste of this strawberry sauce, you’ll want to top all the breakfast and brunch foods and desserts with strawberry compote. It probably won’t last long!

Storing Strawberry Compote


This strawberry compote should last in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. It can also be frozen.

Rolled cheese blintzes topped with a berry compote.

Again, consider changing up the fruit in your compote or make a frozen fruit compote full of anything you can find in your grocery store or home freezer if you’re feeling the desire for something fruity.

How to make Strawberry Compote FAQs

Compote comes from the French word meaning “mixture.” Because the fruit in a compote stays relatively whole, we refer to this as a mixture rather than a jam, jelly, or purée, where the pieces of fruit are broken down much more.

Compote is thicker than jam, which is ultimately thicker than jelly. It is a cooked mixture, which means some of the moisture is evaporated, leaving behind a thick, sweetened fruit mixture.

You have a few options for making your compote thicker– you could add a bit more cornstarch or you could simply cook the mixture for a little bit longer.

Compote does not have any added pectin, but lemon contains natural pectin, which is why it is included in the recipe for strawberry compote.

If you love fresh strawberry recipes, consider one of these for your next bake: homemade strawberry cake, strawberry lemonade quick bread, or strawberry bundt cake.

aerial photo of strawberry sauce in a bowl
5 from 8 votes
Pin Recipe Print Recipe Rate this Recipe

Strawberry Compote for Cake

Make your own homemade strawberry compote from four simple ingredients in less than 15 minutes. Use this delicious strawberry sauce to in or on top of ice cream, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, cheesecakes, pies, or anything that pairs well with fruit. If strawberries aren't in season, use frozen, or change it up and use any berries you love!
Prep Time10 minutes
Bake Time12 minutes
Total Time22 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 pound (454g) fresh or frozen strawberries1,2 hulled and sliced into halves or quarters; about 2 and ½ cups once sliced
  • ½ cup (120mL) water
  • 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and ½ Tablespoons (22mL) lemon juice3
  • 1 and ½ Tablespoons (15g) cornstarch


  • Combine the strawberries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
  • Heat over medium heat, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes4 until liquid thickens.
  • Allow strawberry compote to cool a bit before using as a topping for warm food (like blintzes, pancakes, or French toast), or chill in the refrigerator until ready to use on cold foods (like ice cream, yogurt, or cheesecake). Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Compote freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.


  1. Fresh or frozen strawberries: I like to use fresh the best, but out of season, frozen work just fine. Do not thaw. You may need to simmer the compote a bit longer to account for the added water from thawing.
  2. Other berries: this strawberry compote recipe actually works for any berries. You can see in my cheese blintzes recipe that I used a mix of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
  3. Lemon juice: it is best to use freshly squeezed lemon juice in compote, but you can use bottled if it’s all you have available to you.
  4. Simmer time: this recipe both halves and doubles beautifully. You may need to reduce or increase simmer time depending on how large your batch is. You want the juice to hold a thick coating on the back of a spoon when it’s sufficiently reduced.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 138mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    Found this recipe looking for a way to use all of the strawberries we picked at our local orchard. It was really easy and I’m going to be using this recipe for lots of berries this summer!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe for using up strawberries or any berry past its prime. I’m trying to keep kitchen waste to a minimum and this is one way to do that. Thanks so much!

  3. 5 stars
    I just love this recipe! I hosted a bridal shower and served it over pound cake. Everyone absolutely loved it.

  4. 5 stars
    I had some older strawberries and this was perfect! We used it on top of ice cream, but I have some leftover and might just make your blintzes to go with it! YUM!

  5. 5 stars
    Love this simple way to add delicious flavor to foods. I made a batch and served it over pancakes. Next time I need to double the recipe. We devoured it.

  6. 5 stars
    I have made this using fresh and frozen strawberries and they come out amazing both times! Served it on vanilla ice cream and it is heavenly!

  7. 5 stars
    Oooh! I love your compote recipe! I made strawberry parfait cups and used the compote to layer with vanilla yogurt and crunchy granola. What a treat!

  8. Looks like a very easy recipe, I was planning on making it this morning but I have no lemon juice in the house, can I omit the lemon juice or just replace with something else?

    1. Hi, Donna– the lemon juice is there to help soften the fruit with its acidity. If you can use something else, that would be ideal! You can use a 1:1 sub of orange juice, or half the amount in white wine, white vinegar, or cream of tartar. Let me know how it goes!