Strawberry Caramel Sauce

To my mind, caramel sauce is truly one of life’s greatest edible pleasures. As a canner, it’s long been a great disappointment to me that there’s no way to safely preserve homemade caramel sauce so that it can be shelf staple and given as gifts.

All that changed when I discovered fruit-based caramel sauces. I first learned of this magical concoction from a piece on Gilt Taste (sadly, the piece is no longer available).

pouring strawberry puree

In that story, the author wrote about how one could start a batch of caramel sauce but then, instead of using cream to finish the sauce, you poured in a fruit puree. Absolutely genius.

The first time I tried it, I was completely sold. The flavor is amazing, it’s easy to make, and the ingredients are nearly identical to jam, so it is perfectly safe for canning.

strawberry caramel in jars

Since that first batch, I’ve made a number of different variations on the fruit caramel sauce. I have a recipe for pear caramel in my new cookbook, Preserving by the Pint, and I’ve also made a banana version to great success.

However, I keep coming back to the version that was featured in that original Gilt Taste piece. Strawberry caramel. It is amazing drizzled over ice cream and would make a fabulous topping on a slice of pound cake. With gorgeous strawberries coming into season, it’s impossible to resist!

single jar strawberry caramel


Strawberry Caramel Sauce

4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin
Course: Preserves
Servings: 2 half pints.
Calories: 668kcal
Author: Marisa


  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 juice of 1 lemon


  • Prepare a boiling water bath canner and two half pint jars.
  • Remove leaves and hulls from strawberries. Place the berries in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  • Combine sugar with water in a small sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sugar reaches 250°F and darkens to the color of a tarnished copper penny.
  • Do not stir the cooking syrup, instead hold the handle of the pot and gently swirl it to move things around.
  • Once the syrup has reached 250°F, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the strawberry puree and the lemon juice. It will bubble, spatter, and appear to seize up, so take care.
  • Stir puree into the sugar until it is a smooth sauce and return the pot to the heat. Continue stirring and cooking, until the sauce reaches 218°F.
  • Remove caramel from heat and funnel into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.


Calories: 668kcal | Carbohydrates: 172g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 162g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 161.9mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1.3mg


About Marisa

Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated small batch canner who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, titled Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.

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  1. This looks absoloutly delicious! Adding strawberries instead of cream sounds genius. I cannot wait to try this over the weekend. Thank you!!

  2. Oh my – this looks divine! I have Marisa’s new book and have been flipping through it almost daily, plotting what to make once everything springs into season! this will definitely make the list! thanks!

  3. Caramel sauce is amazing on its own but STRAWBERRY caramel sauce?? Oh man! Sounds amazing!!

  4. Ohhhhh wow!! Love the unique touch with the strawberries. Want this sauce on everything!

  5. Thank you Marisa! Strawberry season is in full swing in North Carolina so I have already made 4 batches of your strawberry vanilla jam and 2 batches of strawberry syrup. I will be making this caramel recipe tomorrow. I love your books! Write more!

  6. I need to make this and soon!

  7. Just give me a jar and a spoon! Yum!

  8. 5 stars
    Whoa! Thank you for bringing this back from the long-lost Gilt Taste archives (RIP) – it’s too good to miss out on!

  9. 5 stars
    fruit based caramel sauces? so awesome! thank you for sharing!

    also…I can’t believe all the gilt taste articles are just GONE. I went to look for one the other day and was so sad they had pulled down all that great content. 10 points for copying and pasting favorites from the internet, eh?

  10. I AM COMPLETELY INTRIGUED!!!!!! I never knew fruit based caramel existed. LIKE.EVER! I love love loveeeeeee this idea and can’t wait to give it a try! 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    What the what?!? That sounds great!! I want this sauce on my ice cream, my cake, my toast… 😀

  12. I have never seen anything like this before! Ingenious!

  13. The recipe for the pear caramel in the book has you go to 350 for the sugar before adding in the purée–which temp is correct? Can’t wait to make this!

    • The temperature in this post is correct. The one in the book is an error. I have an errata post in the works that will have that correction in it.

  14. 5 stars
    I have several pounds of strawberries that I had planned on preserving. Think I’ll make a batch of this, as well. Thank you for the recipe!

  15. Can the recipe be multiplied? I’d love to give out as gifts, but would like to triple if possible?

  16. 3 stars
    Any else make this yet? Tried twice. First time hit 250 deg and wasn’t even close to a tarnished color. Second I went by color and while a broader taste profile still no where near what I would consider caramel with fruit flavoring. Any suggestions or other experiences?


    • Came on here with the same question. I went up to about 260-265 and still no colour change, but didn’t want to go any further and risk messing up the thickness. It’s basically a very sweet strawberry sauce but not caramelly.

  17. does this caramel become thick enough to pipe?

  18. I’ve had the same problem. It reached 250 and wasn’t at all the color described. It is much more of a strawberry sauce than a strawberry caramel. It still tastes good, but isn’t what I expected.

    • Same. I found one last jar in the pantry and opened it this morning. It’s a delicious strawberry sauce (excellent on top of oatmeal) but I wouldn’t say it’s a caramel. I’m going to try again but cook it until the sugar gets dark rather than stopping at 250, at which point my sugar was barely starting to color. I might cook it a little longer with the fruit added, too, depending on how thick it gets. Fun experiment!

  19. Would this work with raspberries? I just made the pear version and it is delicious.

  20. Do you think I could add gran mariner to the recipe? If so what stage do u recommend? Cheers

  21. I’d like to try a banana version of this. How many cups of puréed fruit do you need to have? I appreciate any information/advice you can give me, I’m attempting to recreate a dessert that my father had on vacation and this sounds fabulous!

    • You need about two cups of puree. Just know that a banana version won’t be safe for canning in a boiling water bath canner, because bananas are much lower in acid than the strawberries used in this recipe.