Transform those tasteless strawberries into something sweet and decadent that you can top over ice cream, yogurt, or just about anything that your heart desires.

DSC_0884 900px

Spring has yet to arrive here in Northern Germany. The winter mornings are still lingering, followed by beautiful warm, sunny (and sometimes rainy) afternoons, only to be greeted again by chilly nights. In my neck of the woods, strawberry season doesn’t start till May, so the strawberries we find at the store are imported from other countries around the world.

Strawberries are one of the few things that I buy out of season. My boys love them and they are a good source of fibre. The package of strawberries that I recently bought were shipped from Spain. They had a lovely colour and smelled the way a strawberry should, but their natural sweetness was missing. I decided to macerate them.

This is a simple technique that I learned from my mother-in-law when I first moved to Germany ten years ago. Macerating is the process of adding a bit of sugar to fruit and allowing it to sit for a while at room temperature. The sugar draws out the natural juices in the berries, creating a wonderful syrup, and adding sweetness back into the fruit. Berries are typically soft, but maceration makes them softer, turning them into melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Some recipes call for an extra liquid, like Grand Manier or lemon juice, but I prefer the natural taste of the berry. I sometimes add vanilla sugar or vanilla extract to take it to another level. I love serving macerated strawberries over Greek yogurt, a beautiful slice of yellow cake, or mixed in with sweetened quark (German fresh cheese). They don’t disappoint either when I serve them on their own with a bit of sweetened whipped cream. 🙂

Let’s begin by rinsing and hulling the strawberries. I like to remove the white tops of the strawberries for aesthetics reasons (you can leave it alone, if you wish), but if the strawberry is red through and through, then I  thinly slice away the stem only.

I like smaller pieces but you can either slice or quarter the strawberries, and for larger/longer pieces, cut them again in half or in thirds.

DSC_0679 900px

Place the cut up strawberries into a bowl that they’ll fit in (they look so yummy in the photo above) …

… sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over one pound (450-500 g) of strawberries and gently mix well together. You can add the vanilla sugar or extract at this point, if you wish. Now, let them macerate for 30 minutes.

DSC_0707 900px

The magic begins the moment you toss the the ingredients together. I took the photo above just minutes after mixing everything together, and you can already see the juices glistening on surface of the fruit. Yum!

DSC_0867 900px

After 30 minutes,  the sweetness is seeped into the strawberries, the syrup is drawn out, and the sharp cut up edges have softened. They are ready to be served. 🙂

DSC_0902 900px

This is such a simple recipe to prepare but the results are impressive and comforting. It brightens up any dreary day and puts a smile on your loved ones faces (at least that is what I see with my boys, when they gobble up their strawberries). 🙂

DSC_0904 900px

These sweetened strawberries should be served on the same day but in our house they disappear within the first hour of making them. Print this recipe off or save it on Pinterest. It’s a recipe that can be used all year round!

(Printable Recipe)

Transform those tasteless winter strawberries into something sweet and decadent that you can top over ice cream, yogurt, or just about anything that your heart desires.


  • 1 lb (450 – 500 g) strawberries
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 sachet vanilla sugar , or 1 tbsp homemade vanilla sugar (OPTIONAL)


1. Wash, hull, and cut the strawberries into slices, quarters, or cubes. Place in a small or medium sized bowl.

2. Sprinkle granulated sugar and/or add vanilla extract or sugar (if using), and toss well together. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

3.  Serve over ice cream, yogurt, cake, etc; or divide them evenly among bowls and top with whipped cream … or enjoy them as they are.


Adapted from Martha Stewart

If you liked this post, I would appreciate it if you share it on Pinterest or on Facebook. Thanks for your support!! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest as well! See you there!

 Macerated Strawberries For the Love of Italian Cooking 6



  1. I remember eating this kind of sugar macerated strawberries in my great-grandmother’s house quite often. They were delicious, I make them myself for once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If it makes you feel any better, we woke up this morning to a couple of centimeters of snow on the ground… Mother nature’s April fool’s joke perhaps? I also macerate my out of season strawberries, something I learned from my mom. I agree with you Rosa, this dish always brings a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Maria! Thank you for your comment!! I hope the snow has melted by now. 🙂 We still have some chilly mornings here, but the days are getting warmer. I’m so looking forward to spring. 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s