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Homemade strawberry pie glaze

Homemade strawberry pie glaze passes the store bought bags of red mystery in a flash. Kick the red #40 and make your version without artificial colors or flavors and still be able to say it’s the most delicious you’ve ever had. It’s true. I’ll show you how. 

a bowl of strawberries brushed with homemade glaze

My daughter is deeply allergic to artificial food coloring. I guess you’d call it an allergy–technically she loses her blazing mind when she eats it and I’m left following her around for hours trying to keep her under control.

If you want to read more about how we determined this connection, you can do that on my about page.

That’s just one of the reasons we work hard to avoid them and why I take recipes that typically use lots of artificial grossness and make them work for my family–and this strawberry pie glaze is one I’m terribly proud of.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me that the stuff in the tub or the bag that you buy in the produce department didn’t have a homemade version till I started doing a little research.

And I was even more glad to have a homemade strawberry pie glaze when I took a closer look at the ingredients in the one at the store:

  • high fructose corn syrup (first ingredient)
  • sodium bromide
  • artificial strawberry flavor
  • Red #40

a bowl of glaze with a spoon and strawberries and angel food cake on the side

And you know what? That’s a big bag of chemicals. So instead, let’s you and I have a strawberry pie glaze that’s thick, sweet and spoon-licking good. To me, it’s basically jam. Yep.

Cooked a little less than the spreadable variety and thickened with cornstarch instead of the fruit’s natural pectin, it’s still pretty much it.

There for a minute, I wasn’t totally sure I didn’t have a deconstructed fruit roll up on my hands (which, by the way, are also colored).

The final color is not nearly as red as that stuff you buy, but no one will care. It tastes too good to worry about.

How to make strawberry pie glaze

  • Puree your berries until smooth. A food processor won’t be able to blend out all the seeds, so if you want it perfectly smooth, you’ll need to run the final product through a sieve at the end.
  • Add the cornstarch to your pan with the sugar and then add the room temperature berries.  You can’t add cornstarch to hot liquids because it clumps. If you should happen to forget it and your mixture is heating up, turn it off, cool it down then add the cornstarch and re heat it.
  • I enjoyed a little cut of the sweetness with a squeeze of lemon and a tiny pinch of salt. I’d recommend adding those if you can.
  • This strawberry pie glaze recipe took me less than 12 minutes to make. Seems like a small price to pay for not having to eat junk, doesn’t it?

 Find my favorite strawberry lush recipe that’s uses this glaze here and make a big pan then share your creations with me on Facebook or Instagram!

If you're tired of eating colored, artificially flavored strawberry pie glaze, make a batch from scratch and enjoy real food again.

Homemade strawberry pie glaze

No need for red dyes and fake sweeteners here. Use nature's best for this homemade strawberry pie glaze.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries
  • juice from half a lemon optional
  • pinch of salt optional


  • Wash, stem and slice the strawberries. Puree them in a food processor or blender until smooth. 
  • In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar and cornstarch. Add the strawberries, lemon juice and salt if using it. 
  • Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the sauce begins to bubble in the center of the pot, about 6 minutes or so. 
  • Turn off the heat and work the thickened mixture through a sieve (if you want to get rid of the seeds and make it smoother). Cover and chill or use right away. 


Calories: 741kcalCarbohydrates: 188gProtein: 1gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 330mgFiber: 4gSugar: 160gVitamin C: 127mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 0.9mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword strawberry pie glaze

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  1. 5 stars
    I never comment on recipes but this simple one has changed my strawberry pie forever. Where I live the red goo comes as a powder that you mix with sugar and hot water. Lately the consistency is off and stringy rather than sauce like. So like you I thought there has to be a homemade version. I have an abundance of strawberries this year and just made your sauce. The pie is not put together yet but a spoonful still warm tells me this is a keeper. Thank you for making my favourite pie better by a mile.

    1. Oh Jen I’m so glad you did! Everything I make is always with the goal to do exactly what you said: Make your favorites better by a mile. We don’t need those pre made messes! Enjoy your pies 🙂 –Rachel

    2. 3 stars
      it was thick like a pie filling I was making this as a glaze for short cake . I might have messed up ..the flavor good just to thick for my glaze

    3. You may have cooked it too long Lynn. It’s certainly thin enough to glaze with usually. Add a few tablespoons of water and thin it back down. –Rachel

  2. I don’t have a blender or food processor. Can I chop the strawberries into small pieces and cook them down? I don’t plan on using a sieve to rid of seeds.

  3. LOVE the ingredient list. Looks yummy! But am I missing something? I see the recipe for the glaze. But nothing after that. Nothing about constructing the pie;
    no instructions about either slicing or halving the berries; no tips on arranging the berries; it doesn’t tell me if the glaze should be ice cold; it fails to tell me if I should just glop the glaze in the middle of the pie and spread it over the berries, or place spoonfuls of it all over the pie and THEN more easily spread the glaze. Keep it refrigerated, covered and chilled, or allow it to sit covered at room temp? How about instructions on how best to whip cream? Is there an ingredient we can add to the cream to make it more stabilized? Should we spread the whipped cream all over the pie, or serve individually? I’m a pretty experienced baker, but have never tackled a fresh strawberry pie. I would have REALLY appreciated some guidelines! At the end of it all, it sounds really delicious. I just want to know how to finish it. Thanks

    1. Hey Teri–I created this recipe not as a pie recipe but just as swap for the glaze in a recipe of your choice. That’s why there aren’t any instructions for a pie because it was intended to be used in place of that awful recipe ingredient “one tub of strawberry glaze” that people buy from the grocery store. You should use whatever strawberry pie recipe you were planning to make and follow the instructions it has–just swap this for the processed nasty stuff. I use this recipe for trifles, strawberry lush, for berries on shortcake–not just for pies and meant it to be a multi use recipe. I hope that makes sense. –Rachel

    2. This is a recipe for the glaze not a pie recipe—I would THINk all you need to do is mix with fresh berries
      Pour into baked crust and refrigerate-simple right???

  4. Thank you for this wonderful saft strawberry pie glaze. I too go nuts with all of the artificial ingredients. I break out in huge horrifying hives, etc. so I fully understand what you and your daughter go thru. The red die is everywhere, (so in yellow) including sweet and sour sauce (does Mac Donalds still serve this?). Enough said, just many many thanks. Stay healthy and sane!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh Rachel! We are totally onboard with you when it comes to dye allergies! My son’s ears will turn bright red and, yes, I do have to follow him around the house to protect our dogs, the house, and anyone who may get in the way! We made two batches. One for the angel food cake and one for some little tartlets, so he can make “lush tartlet bites,” as he named them. 😉
    Thanks for this simple and safe recipe!

    1. My daughter is like a drunk on food colors. It’s the worst! I’m so glad you have an option for your son! That’s why I’m here. 🙂 I hope he enjoys his lush tartlet bites! –Rachel

  6. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to make it!! Thank you for the tips and advice! If I were to make it a little less than 24 hours in advance do you think the angel food cake would be okay? It won’t get too soggy will it?

  7. I am going to make this for Easter with the angel food cake lush… May I make either ahead of time?? I’d love to know what you’d recommend? I’m hoping I could make a day or two in advance. Thanks!

    1. Hey Becky,

      Yes! You can make this glaze a couple of days ahead no problem. For the angel food cake lush, don’t make it more than 24 hours ahead because the whipped cream gets even more soft as it sits (the benefits of no stabilizers in it). Not that the softness would matter all that much, but things are just generally better if you don’t do it any further ahead than that. You’re going to LOVE this!! –Rachel

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.