Homemade Pancake Syrup

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I’m sharing one of the secret tricks I learned in culinary school: the most amazing homemade pancake syrup. It’s like butter and maple syrup all wrapped up in one, but better, with a velvety texture that you’ll dream about for days.

An overhead shot of classic waffles on a white platter.


What is pancake syrup?

Liquid gold! It could be maple syrup, corn syrup, or some other molasses based concoction that’s poured over pancakes, flapjacks, or waffles.

The funny thing about syrup is that people can be very attached to the kind they ate as youngsters. Pancake syrup is definitely one of the things that reminds us of being a little kid at the breakfast table. Some folks swear by the squeeze bottle, while others sneak the Grade A maple syrup into restaurants for their breakfasts.

No matter what your preference, I promise you this recipe is the best of both worlds.

How do you make Homemade Pancake Syrup?

First, you cook maple syrup and sugar together. The sugar will melt into the maple syrup and as it boils, it will look sort of thready.

Next, add the butter, the water, and the salt. At this point, the syrup should resemble a caramel sauce.

But here’s where it gets fabulous! While it’s still hot, pour the sauce into a frothy beaten egg. This adds some richness to the syrup, and it’s the crucial ingredient. Now you’re ready to pour!

Maple syrup and sugar mixture being made in a silver skillet.

Is pancake syrup gluten-free?

This recipe is gluten-free, but I can’t absolutely guarantee that all pancake syrup is made without gluten. Some store-bought brands use wheat protein, and other recipes call for flour, believe it or not.

How to make homemade pancake syrup without maple syrup:

Here, I’ll show you how to make pancake syrup from brown sugar, in case you’re out of maple syrup. The cider vinegar (or cream of tartar) keeps the syrup from crystallizing, in case you’re wondering why it’s in there.

I use a little bit of maple extract to make syrup, but you can omit that ingredient if you don’t have it.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon cider vinegar (or ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoon maple extract
  1. In a nonstick pot, over medium heat, stir together water and brown sugar.
  2. Bring to a simmer and stir in vinegar and salt.
  3. Bring to a very light boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or until the syrup coats the back of the spoon. (Be careful not to burn.)
  4. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in butter.
  5. When butter has melted, stir in vanilla extract and maple extract.
  6. Let syrup cool slightly, which will allow it to thicken up even more.
  7. Store in the fridge. To warm up, use a microwave, or gently reheat on the stove.
Homemade pancake syrup being made.

How to make syrup with honey:

This syrupy take on honey butter is a great variation, especially if you have a big jar of honey in your pantry. A little bit of spice warms things up.

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 6-8 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  1. Melt butter in a pot on the stove.
  2. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add honey, milk and spices.

How to make syrup thicker:

Don’t chuck out the whole pot! If your pancake syrup is too thin, simply simmer things a bit longer—it should thicken up nicely.

A platter of pancakes.

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Homemade syrup being poured over waffles.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

I’m sharing one of the secret tricks I learned in culinary school: the most amazing homemade pancake syrup. It’s like butter and maple syrup all wrapped up in one, but better, with a velvety texture that you’ll dream about for days.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 300
5 from 2 votes



  • In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, combine maple syrup and sugar. Bring to boil and, stirring constantly, cook until the sauce spins short, wispy threads, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in butter, water, and salt until the sauce is thick and creamy. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg until light and frothy. Slowly whisk in hot maple mixture until smooth.
  • Wash and dry pan thoroughly, removing any sugar crystals. Return sauce to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sauce simmers and thickens.
  • Serve immediately or cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to three days. Reheat over low heat. If the sauce separates, remove from heat and stir in a little hot water.


This syrup can be made up to 3 days in advance.


Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 165mgPotassium: 136mgSugar: 43gVitamin A: 395IUCalcium: 67mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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    1. Hi Cheryl, this recipe hasn’t been tested for canning. I unfortunately am not a home preserving/canning expert, and for safety reasons I think you should follow recipes that have been developed and tested for canning. Butter is a low-acid food which makes it especially ripe for harmful organisms if it’s not canned properly. The short answer is – maybe this is safe for canning, but I don’t know, so I cannot in good conscience recommend it. Thanks. -Meggan