Easy Macerated Strawberries – Sugared Strawberries Recipe

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Macerating strawberries is a simple method of bringing out the natural juices in berries to make them sweeter and glossy. Macerated strawberries – also called sugared strawberries – can be eaten on their own, with whipped cream or ice cream, or used in cakes, cupcakes, and pies.

Sugared strawberries are perfect to use on cakes, cupcakes, or other desserts – especially those served on special occasions like Valentine’s Day and anniversaries.

A bowl of glistening macerated strawberries

What Are Macerated Strawberries?

Macerated fruit is fruit that has been soaked in a liquid to soften and sweeten it. Macerating is a great technique to use on under-ripe berries that may have a more tart taste.

With strawberries, no additional liquid is needed. When sprinkled with a little sugar and left to rest, the sugar draws out the liquid in the berries. They end up sweet, shiny, and sitting in pool of strawberry syrup.

Why Macerate Strawberries?

Macerated strawberries on a spoon hovering above a large bowl full of macerated strawberries

Macerating berries is a trick that professional and home chefs use to make not so great, out of season, or under-ripe strawberries taste amazing.

If your strawberries are fresh from a farm or your own garden and are sweet and juicy, eat them as they are. But, if you have purchased some that are somewhat dry and flavorless, you’ll be amazed at what a difference macerating makes.

How to Use Macerated Strawberries

Macerated strawberries make a wonderful snack served along with sweetened whipped cream (chantilly cream) or vanilla ice cream.

They are also fabulous over pancakes, in a French toast casserole, as a topping for vanilla cake, vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, or strawberry cupcakes, or as a filling for a strawberry pie.

Strawberry brioche French toast uncooked with strawberries on top
I also like to use them as a topping for pavlova. In this case, I drain the syrup first so the meringue doesn’t get soggy.


How to Make Macerated Strawberries

To macerate strawberries, put hulled and cut strawberries in a bowl and add sugar.

Sugar being poured over a large bowl of strawberries
Gently mix the sugar and berries together to distribute the sugar throughout the bowl.

A large bowl of strawberries coated with sugar
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

A large bowl of strawberries macerated for one hour in sugar
You can leave sugared strawberries covered in the refrigerator overnight if you want them to get extra soft. They will take on a slightly darker color and will have given off more liquid.

A large bowl of strawberries macerated overnight in sugar
That’s it! When you take the strawberries out of the fridge, you’ll see that they are glossy and that they are sitting in strawberry syrup.


You don’t need to add liquid to macerate strawberries, but you can! Experiment with replacing one tablespoon of the sugar in this recipe with:

  • lemon juice,
  • balsamic vinegar, or
  • your favorite liqueur, such as Grand Marnier (orange liqueur) or Pama (pomegranate liqueur).

My favorite variation is to use balsamic vinegar. Balsamic goes so well with strawberries. (I love using a balsamic whipped cream on my strawberry shortcake cupcakes.)

How Long Will They Last?

A small bowl of glistening macerated strawberries with a larger bowl full of strawberries in the background

Macerated berries will last about three days in the refrigerator.

Can You Macerate Frozen Strawberries?

You can macerate frozen strawberries – sort of! The process is a little different since the berries will already be soft when they come to room temperature.

First, defrost the strawberries by leaving them in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

You’ll see that the defrosted strawberries have much more liquid than fresh strawberries. The photo below shows frozen strawberries that have been defrosted. They are already shiny and have given off quite a bit of liquid.

defrosted frozen strawberries in a glass bowl with lots of strawberry juice
Once thawed, remove the berries from the liquid, whisk the sugar into the remaining juice until dissolved, and then gently mix the berries back into the liquid.

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A bowl of glistening macerated strawberries
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5 from 1 vote

Macerated Strawberries

Sweet and glossy macerated strawberries
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 60kcal
Author Stefani


  • 1 pound strawberries washed, hulled, and halved
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • Mix strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Cover and set in the refrigerator at least one hour. The longer the bowl sits, the softer the berries will be and the more liquid they will have released. (I recommend you let them sit overnight.)
  • Serve as a dessert topping or on their own with a little whipped cream or ice cream.


Macerated berries will last about three days in the refrigerator.
Experiment with replacing one tablespoon of the sugar in this recipe with:
  • lemon juice,
  • balsamic vinegar, or
  • your favorite liqueur, such as Grand Marnier (orange liqueur) or Pama (pomegranate liqueur).


Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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