Strawberry Puree Recipe

This is my recipe for reduced strawberry puree! It takes the sweet flavor of ripe strawberries and intensifies them so that you can use it for baking, using as a sauce and so much more.
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 16 ounces
strawberry reduction recipe

Easy strawberry reduction 

Strawberry reduction is super easy to make. In a nutshell, you puree strawberries, add a little lemon, salt and maybe some sugar and reduce by half over low heat. I typically use it for my strawberry cake recipe, strawberry buttercream, or as a cake filling so I like mine to be a bit thicker. 

strawberry puree on cheesecake with fresh berries

How to make a strawberry reduction

To make your strawberry puree thicker, you’re going to want to simmer it for a few minutes. Simmering the mixture reduces the amount of moisture that is in the puree allowing for a stronger strawberry flavor with less liquid. The best thing about making a reduced strawberry puree is that it keeps all the flavor of the strawberries without adding extra moisture.

strawberry reduction

Fresh or frozen strawberries for strawberry puree?

I prefer to use frozen strawberries because frozen fruit is generally picked at the peak of freshness and then frozen. You get the most flavor in frozen strawberries.

frozen strawberries in a box

If strawberries are in season though and you need to use them up, making puree is a great option. You can freeze leftover puree and defrost as you need it. If you’re super talented and know how to can, you can make canned puree. This is definitely on my to-learn list.

When buying fresh strawberries, choose brightly colored, shiny berries that are dry, firm, and plump. They should still have fresh-looking green caps attached. Avoid soft, dull-looking, or shriveled berries. Since strawberries do not ripen after being picked, avoid berries that are partly white as that means they are unripe.

fresh ripe strawberries should be bright, plump, shiny and have fresh looking stems. They should also smell like strawberries

Anyone can make a strawberry puree. It’s super easy and you know I like easy. It just takes two very important things. Strawberries and some patience.

How to make a strawberry reduction in 5 easy steps

  1. Defrost strawberries or chop up your fresh strawberries
  2. Place them in a small saucepan and give them a quick blend if you like a smoother reduction
  3. Add in sugar, lemon zest, extract and salt and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat
  4. Reduce the heat to low and allow to reduce (15-20 minutes) Stir occasionally to prevent burning. The reduction should look like tomato sauce, not watery. 
  5. Let cool before using

how to make a strawberry reduction

How to store the leftover strawberry reduction

You can store leftover strawberry reduction in the fridge for two days or you can freeze it up to 6 months. Fresh strawberries are very prone to mold so be sure to only leave cakes with fresh fruit fillings at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Cakes with fresh fruit filling can be refrigerated for two days before consuming. 


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strawberry reduction recipe

Strawberry Puree Recipe

This is my recipe for reduced strawberry puree! It takes the sweet flavor of ripe strawberries and intensifies them so that you can use it for baking, using as a sauce and so much more.
4.89 from 45 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 16 ounces
Calories: 48kcal


  • 36 oz (1021 g) fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 4 oz (170 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp (1 Tbsp) lemon juice
  • 1 pinch (1 pinch) salt


  • Defrost strawberries if frozen or cut up strawberries if whole
  • Blend strawberries if you prefer a smoother texture of strawberry puree
  • Place strawberries and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over med heat
  • Once bubbling, reduce heat to low and let slowly reduce until berries begin to break up and liquid is almost gone. 
  • Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent burning. Add in lemon zest, juice and salt and stir to combine. Transfer to another container and let cool before use. 
  • Store extra in the freezer for up to 6 months


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 48kcal (2%) | Carbohydrates: 12g (4%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 1g (2%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 98mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 10g (11%) | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 38mg (46%) | Calcium: 10mg (1%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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strawberry reduction



58 comments on “Strawberry Reduction

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe. My strawberries weren’t that ripe so I had to add a bit of sugar for taste as they were fresh ones.

  2. 5 stars
    Very delicious filling! I used this with your strawberry cake recipe along with your strawberry buttercream for my granddaughters birthday and it was so wonderful! ??? I’m so thankful for you sharing all your wonderful recipes with us! (All your talents!!)?

  3. Mine aren’t reducing enough!!! Can you just keep on the heat for A’s long as it takes?

  4. I’m a little confused about the amount. It says it makes two cups but isn’t a pound of diced fresh strawberries about two cups? If it’s reducing by half shouldn’t it yield one cup or so? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hmm you could be right but it’s hard to say. It just depends on your strawberries. I was using 1 lb of frozen strawberries which was way more than two cups but not diced of course, they where frozen and whole and when all was said and done I had about two cups of liquid. There is also an addition of sugar so that affects things.

      1. 4 stars
        You mentioned sugar in the comment on Sept 1, 2018. I was wondering if you added sugar and I missed that in the directions? And if so, how much?

  5. HELP! I used frozen strawberries, not sure if maybe they weren’t that ripe to begin with or I just had a potent lemon for the zest, but it’s overwhelmingly lemony. Not tasting much strawberry. Should I add some sugar? It’s already cooled. Was ready to add to strawberry cake recipe for wedding cake…

    1. If you have some strawberry extract you can add some in, maybe your strawberries where not in season. Did you use frozen or fresh? Frozen usually have better flavor.

  6. Can this be incorporated into an American buttercream, or would there be too much moisture? I’m too lazy for the steps in making a classic buttercream!

    1. Have you tried the easy buttercream? Just dump the ingredients in the mixer and go!
      But to answer your question yes it can be added to american buttercream

  7. You mention pasturized egg whites…is that from regular eggs bought in a grocery store? If not, where do I buy them.

  8. Hi,
    Thank you for your recipes! I am trying to make the strawberry cake for my son’s birthday, but I have some doubts.

    Is strawberry reduction the same as straberry puree that you use for the strawberry cake?
    And do you blend the strawberrys before reducing them?

    Thank you

  9. Hi Liz! Newb, here. Just wondering if you can freeze the strawberry puree? I’m making a small tasting cake and thought I could freeze the leftovers. Thanks so much!

  10. 3 stars
    When I tried the recipe the strawberry puree turned burgundy … the resulting cake ended up being a tanish purple ?
    Do I need to add the lemon zest at the beginning of the reduction?
    What did I do wrong …

    1. Strawberries do not naturally keep a red color when cooked which is why the recipe called for a little pink or red food coloring in the batter.

  11. I am somewhat confused. If I use frozen strawberries there is juice….should I drain them and only cook the strawberries which are still somewhat juicy? If I use fresh strawberries there is no juice/liquid..,do they create some as they cook?

    1. No you don’t want to drain the juice, there is flavor in the juice. Fresh strawberries have just as much juice as frozen, it’s just not as visible because it stays in the berries when they are fresh. Don’t strain the juice, just follow the directions and you’ll be fine 🙂

  12. Hi i need to.make strawberry and cream on a 5layed cake will this recipe work and how much cornflour to.water do i need.. Going to make the cake before.. Will it still taste ok.. Thank you

  13. How many days head can i make the jam thank you

  14. 5 stars
    ****Fresh berry warning****. I ended up making this recipe twice to net 2 cups of purée. I used 3 lbs. of berries, adding a bit of strawberry extract at the end to boost the flavor.

  15. I made this and added some Grand Marnier and a little sugar and paired it with your champagne cake and buttercream I added a little champagne to the butter cream as well. Once I finish decorating I’m going to tag you so far everything is delicious.

  16. Is it possible to reduce this recipe too much. I kept reducing mine bc it did t seem thick enough and basically I think I ended up making strawberry jam but it’s that consistency of nearly jelly like and thinking I may have lost some flavor that way because it doesn’t seem as strong . Is this possible and if it is can you say how long you let yours boil first and what the ending consistency should be. Thanks.

      1. Thanks so much. I am so excited because I remade this for my second time and didn’t reduce as much and my reduction looks identical to yours and berries full of flavor and extra ripe. I never liked fruit hot but I’m telling you I could have eaten that entire container of purée right off the stove.

  17. Hi Liz I’m a bit confused.. Your recipe says 36oz but the directions say to use 1lb.. Please help

  18. 5 stars
    When you freeze and defrost, do you have to reduce on stove a little bit before use?

  19. Can you do this same recipe for other berries and or fruits?

  20. I want to make this for a cake on Saturday. I need to make the cake on Friday and then on Saturday it will probably be out for 3 or 4 hours before eating. I don’t want to refrigerate it because I’ll be covering it in fondant and an edible icing strip.
    So does this mean I’ll need to skip the strawberry puree completely or does it last longer at room temperature if it’s made from frozen berries? Thanks and thanks so much for your awesome videos. They’ve been a massive help.

    1. Fondant and edible images can go in the fridge. If you use fruit it will definitely have to be in the fridge or the strawberry will mold

  21. Can you use Stevia in place of sugar? I am diabetic

  22. One more question, the recipe says to add the lemon zest and salt before cooking and then later in the recipe it says add the lemon zest and salt after reducing. Can you clarify that? I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks!

  23. Can I use this recipe for oranges instead of strawberries?

  24. 5 stars
    Hi in the below mentioned recipe, its asks to add an extract. what extract is that please?


    Step 3 – Add in sugar, lemon zest, extract and salt and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat

  25. Do you add the puree directly on the cake? If so does it soak into the cake? Should I add a layer of my buttercream and then the puree?

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