how to make sour strawberries sweet

If you bought a beautiful container of fresh strawberries and then forgot about them, you’re not alone but how to make sour strawberries sweet again?

Many people impulse buy fruit and then watch them sour or go bad in their fridge. Or maybe the strawberries just don’t taste how they should.

Don’t fret because you can still save your sour strawberries and make them sweet again! And if not, there are many things you can do with them, so they don’t end up in the garbage bin.

This article will help you revive your berries or find a fantastic use for them.

The best way to make sour strawberries sweet again is to macerate them, mixing them with a bit of sugar. But there are options and ways to use them if you can’t make them sweet enough to eat alone.

Why Do Strawberries Sour?

why strawberry sour

There are a few reasons strawberries may go sour. Strawberries are an achene fruit, meaning they have some acid in them that can make the fruit taste sour after some time.

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Strawberries may taste sour simply because they were grown in too cold of a climate and didn’t fully develop.

But they can also sour when you keep them too long, and they pass the point of ripeness.

Some strawberries may taste sour before they are ripe, but some of these techniques can help you speed up the process if you’re dying to eat the strawberries right now.

Whatever the reason is for your sour strawberries, there are ways to fix them.

How Long Does It Take Strawberries to Sour?

how long strawberry turn sour

Strawberries can be sour right from the getgo if they didn’t grow under the right conditions.

But if they were grown correctly, they can sour in as little as three or four days.

Strawberries are a temperamental fruit, like most berries. So it can be hard to pinpoint the exact reason your strawberries have gone sour.

Four Ways To Sweeten Sour Strawberries

Don’t give up on your sad strawberries just yet; there is still hope.

With some basic ingredients or a working oven, you can revive your strawberries, so they are soft, sweet, and luscious, how they should be!

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Try one or more of these four methods for how to make sour strawberries sweet and delicious again.

Add Sweeteners

Sweetening strawberries using some sweetener is typically the best way to bring them back to life.

add a sweetener

You have a few options here:

  • Sugar
  • Sugar alternatives
  • Simple syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave

If you want to know how to sweeten strawberries with sugar, the process is super easy.

All you need to do is stir the strawberries with a few tablespoons of sugar. One to three tablespoons per cup of berries is ideal.

Cover them with plastic wrap or store them in a sealed container. Leave them on the counter or in the fridge for about an hour.

Tip: If you decide to use a sugar alternative, like Stevia, Sweet N Low, Equal, or Truvia, you should double the amount you use.

Simple syrup, honey, maple syrup, and agave are all wonderful options for sweetening sour strawberries.

Keep in mind that they will likely become sticky and wet. But just use a fork when you snack on them!

Add Booze

add a booze

Adding a bit of booze to the strawberries and stirring them will revive the flavor and also help them ripen if they aren’t there yet.

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While you can use a small splash of vodka, silver tequila, or another white liquor, it’s best to use herbal liqueurs.

Elderflower is probably the best liquor because it has a fresh and fruity flavor that won’t overpower the taste of strawberries but will highlight it instead.

For every cup of strawberries, you can add about two tablespoons of alcohol.

If you don’t drink at all and don’t like liquor, you likely won’t like the final results of this method.

But for those that don’t mind alcohol, this can be a great way to bring the sour strawberries back to being sweet without making them too wet, smushy, or sugary.

Just add the booze and let the strawberries sit for an hour or more in the fridge before enjoying.

Add Juice

Another method to make sour strawberries sweet is to add some juice.

add a juice

You can add a splash of almost any fruit juice, such as orange, apple, or grapefruit.

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But the best option is to spruce up the strawberries using strong citrus, like lime or lemon juice.

These juices will brighten the flavor and reduce the sourness by helping to ripen the strawberries.

You can add a pinch of sugar to the citrus juice, which can help make the strawberries sweeter and cut through the acidity.

Note: But when you choose this method, the strawberries may become wet or mushy, but they’ll be sweet!

Bake Them

Baked strawberries may sound weird but tossing them in the oven for a bit can help get rid of the sour flavor and bring back the sweetness in the berry.

bake the strawberry

Place them in a cake pan or on a baking tray and set your oven to 350 degrees.

Place the strawberries on the middle or bottom rack in your oven, and let them bake for between 10-20 minutes.

Most people recommend no more than fifteen, but it depends on the condition of the strawberries. If they’re underripe, twenty minutes can speed up the process.

You can also toss them in some sugar before baking them.

Doing this step almost guarantees they’ll be sweet and soft when they come out of the oven. But they won’t have that fresh fruit taste anymore.

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8 Things To Do with Sour Strawberries

things to do with sour strawberry

If you added the sugar and tried the other tactics, and they still aren’t as sweet as you want them, you may want to pivot to a different strategy.

Before you admit defeat and toss the strawberries into the trash, consider using them differently.

Below are eight clever and tasty things you can do with sour strawberries, under-ripened strawberries, or over-ripened strawberries.

Baked Goods

Sour strawberries can make baked goods, like a strawberry rhubarb pie, a strawberry crumble, or a shortcake!

Strawberries in baked goods are often mixed with sugar and then baked in the oven, helping them become sweet again.

Frozen Treats

Another fun thing to make with your less-than-ideal strawberries is popsicles!

When you make popsicles, you macerate the strawberries beforehand, sweetening them up.

Another fun frozen treat is to make some creamy strawberry ice cream, a classic and beloved dessert.


make jam

Who doesn’t love a jar of strawberry jam?

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You can impress your friends and family but turning your sad, sour strawberries into a yummy jam for peanut butter and jellies or on top of your morning toast.

Jam simmers on the stove with sugar for a long time, so don’t worry about the sour taste.


If you’ve ever been to an IHOP, you know there’s more to put on pancakes than just maple syrup.

Using your sour strawberries, you can mix them with sugar and water and let them infuse for a day or so.

Then, you’ll have a tasty and sweet strawberry syrup, perfect for fruity pancakes or in a cocktail.


make smoothies

If you blend your sour strawberries into a sweet and creamy smoothie, you’ll never know they weren’t fresh and tasty.

Use whole milk or yogurt to mask the sourness and add sugar or a sweetener, like honey.

Roast Them

Roasted strawberries can be a unique topping on a summer salad, a custard, or even certain meats if you’re adventurous.

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Pickle Them

Pickled strawberries may sound funky, but they are a wonderful topping on chips or fancy fish dishes.

Plus, you’ll be able to lean into the sour flavor by adding some vinegar and creating a unique combination of sweet and sour.


As mentioned, you can use sour strawberries to make a strawberry syrup which you can use in cocktails.

in cocktails

But you can also make strawberry daiquiris or other blended beverages using your strawberries.

When mixed with booze, sugar, and other ingredients, you’ll never know the strawberries were sour.


Knowing how to sweeten strawberries with sugar and how to make sour strawberries sweet again, in general, can help you prevent food waste and enjoy the yummy berries you were looking forward to.

Before you throw away your sour strawberries, try one of the four methods detailed here to make them sweet again.

Remember these tips and tricks so you never have to toss out strawberries again because there’s always some way you can use them!