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I just can’t imagine pancakes or waffles without syrup, can you? I adore it. And this recipe rises way above the store bought squeeze bottle; everything it touches tastes extra special. Make your own pancakes, make your own waffles, or simply toast up some Eggos, but whatever you do, make this homemade syrup. It’s ready in just a few minutes.
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!
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
- In a nonstick pot, over medium heat, stir together water and brown sugar.
- Bring to a simmer and stir in vinegar and salt.
- 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.)
- Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in butter.
- When butter has melted, stir in vanilla extract and maple extract.
- Let syrup cool slightly, which will allow it to thicken up even more.
- Store in the fridge. To warm up, use a microwave, or gently reheat on the stove.
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
- Melt butter in a pot on the stove.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
- 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.
Homemade Pancake Syrup
- 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.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.