Make Your Own {Ridiculously Easy and Inexpensive} Homemade Maple Syrup!

When I was growing up…my Mom always MADE our pancake syrup.  BUYING it was unheard of and I don’t think it even occurred to us that you COULD buy it. lol.  Basically we were clueless…so we never “bugged” our Mom to get the store-bought stuff.

When I started making pancakes, etc for my OWN kids…I tried making the homemade kind a few times…but it was met with a less than favorable reaction.

In my Mom’s defense, I’m sure I made it wrong. I don’t think I ever looked up a recipe….just sorta winged it and tried to make it like I remember my Mom making it.  I obviously failed.

So for all these years I have been buying that horribly over-priced, barely edible stuff in the brown plastic bottles. When times were “lean” and we were pinching pennies, I would buy the generic stuff. Less expensive, but awful. When times were “fatter”, I would by the brand name stuff and while it was marginally better tasting…it was RIDICULOUSLY expensive! Why I didn’t revisit the “homemade” version my Mom used to make is a mystery to me!

It wasn’t until I ran across this post by Nat at NatSprat that it all came flooding back to me!

The recipe, the secret ingredient, the vastly superior taste and the HUGE $AVING$! (Around .50 cents a bottle to make!)

In the past I had tried to make the syrup using corn syrup and brown sugar with a little bit of water. I completely forgot about the Mapeleine (you’ll find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store next to the extracts and flavorings)….and it didn’t even occur to me to make my own “simple syrup” out of water and sugar as a substitute for the corn syrup.  What a difference!

The recipe couldn’t be easier! (Thank you again Nat!) It takes literally just a few minutes.

First, bring 1 cup of water to boil in a small saucepan on the stove.

Add 1 cup of regular (white) sugar……

…..and 1 cup brown sugar. 

Add 1/2 teaspoon Mapeleine

Stir until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Take off the heat.

At this point I like to let mine cool. I was impatient (no way!) so I put the saucepan on the kitchen window sill to speed up the process.

After it cools down I think it’s the PERFECT consistency!  That’s when I pour it into a syrup dispenser like this one.

Any extra is put into a mason jar or tupperware-like container and kept in the fridge. (Many people just keep this in the pantry, which if made in small batches is probably OK, but just to be safe…I keep it in the fridge.)

Now to TEST it on something!  I STARTED this blog post in the morning….when pancakes sound like a REALLY good idea…..but by the time I finished (after multiple interruptions by sons who will remain nameless) it was after lunch and I just wasn’t feelin’ the stack of pancakes idea.



 However….being the “snacker” that I am….a few “pancake dippers” didn’t sound bad at all! :-)  And thus a new “recipe” is born in our house.  Yum!!


Is it breakfast time where you are? Well, what are you waiting for? :-)


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    • Katy says

      Me too. I know it’s more expensive, but it’s more natural, and a little goes a long way. I’ve seen this recipe floating around the internet lately, and although I’m sure it’s tasty and easy, this is PANCAKE syrup, not “homemade maple syrup”.

    • says

      I think what most people here were missing out on is this. Not all viewers of thease blogs are from the US where getting Maple syrup is as common as grape jelly. Some of us live in Europe and cant get Maple syrup so easly. So haveing an alternative is nice. So its not the exact same you might say. But its at least something.. Linda

      • says

        Linda, maple syrup is pretty easy to get hold of in Europe – at least in the UK, Scandinavian countries and Estonia (my homeland). I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to get this Mapeline thing anywhere outside the US.
        I agree with Katy – this isn’t maple syrup :) I was actually hoping to see a post about cooking the maple syrup and reducing it to syrup. :)

    • LaCota says

      Have you read the labels on your syrup?
      Most syrups off the self are just as bad or worse then this. They all have sugar and unless you buy 100% pure maple syrup, that is organic, with little manipulation it is also full of preservatives.

  1. Patricia says

    I love this recipe. If you added a bit of real, unsweetened butter it would even be tastier. Also, you can get real maple sugar, it comes in a cake, compressed bar, and would be amazing. Of course, it would be a bit more expensive, but far cheaper than store-bought.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your alternative to the heavy preservative laden shelf syrups. I loved the idea of adding real butter to the recipe. And what a great idea about the real maple sugar! We have a local grocery store with many bins. If they don’t have that exact one, I bet they have something very close!

      As far as corn syrup, I know that it’s bad, but it also makes it thick and rich. Is there a better alternative to the corn syrup? (Like corn starch or something, or is that just as bad?)

  2. Lauren says

    Great idea! My grandma makes it w maple flavor & corn syrup, but I’m not a fan of that recipe. I’m glad I’m not the only person out there that prefers the artificial stuff. ;)

  3. kim says

    My mom used to make her own syrup too. I don’t think she used brown sugar in it… that sounds really good. In my younger days I made it myself too. Unfortunately I’ve been wooed over to the side of real maple syrup now which is so expensive I ration it out on pancake morning.

  4. Tara says

    This is the way my mom has made syrup and now is the only syrup I like. It has great flavor without being super thick which seems to gross me out. This will keep for months and months in the fridge – we always have some extra that we kept. If it stays in there for too long the bottom starts growing sugar crystals which can be melted in the microwave. It still tastes good if you want to ignore the crystals too. Yum, now I’m in the mood for some swedish pancakes!

  5. baberfam says

    I’ve had the same recipe from my mother for as long as I can remember. Recently, I ran out of regular sugar and I had to just use brown sugar instead of the white and then I didn’t have to add as much mapleine. My hubby actually liked it better that way too.

  6. says

    I will definately be trying this. I have always made the pancakes from scratch rather than from a mix. It is cheaper and tastes 100% better. I am sure that this will make them taste even better. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  7. says

    Sorry, Jilly…I’m still a maple syrup snob. Just like I’m a real butter snob. I know it’s expensive, so I buy it at Trader Joe’s, and then ration it out to the kids. :)

    I’m glad to see you’re not using corn syrup. Now that would have really grossed me out!

  8. Teramo says

    I too like Charlene am a maple syrup snob, so sorry Jillee! Maybe even more of one as I only buy organic maple syrup and although I know its a little more expensive, its much healthier and way better tasting….I actually came across this article in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday:
    where you can adopt a maple tree and you get organic maple syrup produced from your tree sent to your house! The site is and I just ordered from them. Sounds like fun I’ll let you know how it works out.

    • phyllis nowosad says

      I would agree with those who find this not to be maple sugar recipe but a faux maple sugar recipe. Maple sugar organic maple sugar has nutrients for the body that sugars and simple syrups do not have. I would use this though for my sosn who want to brew a Mead that uses maple sugar. I imagine if I tell them to put Pure Maple extract into the the honey they notmally use they just might getthe maple taste. If I were to try to get a maple sugar taste I would use maple sugar flakes, and honey and pur maple extract and that way at least I would not be using the unhealthy shugar and simple sugar recipe, plus I personally like the syrup thick and honey is thicker and healthier that sugar if not as helthy as maple sugar.

  9. Abby says

    I have to admit, this sounds good, but I’ve lived most of my life in rural New Hampshire, we have the real stuff that’s been boiled down from sap. So I’m totally spoiled. It last forever (at least in my house where we don’t do a lot of pancakes) and oh so delicious!

    Organic syrup?? Really?? It comes from trees, how does it get more organic than that?!

  10. MPMP says

    Sorry — gotta go with the real stuff. True, I grew up on the fake stuff from the grocery store, but ever since I met and married a Vermonter, there’s been nothing but real Vermont maple syrup in the house (even tho we live in CA). I buy 2 half gallons at a time and it lasts us a year to a year and a half. If you buy it in the larger sizes, it’s not that expensive. The website I buy from is a small farm and offer free shipping when you buy 2 half gallons. I keep the unopened bottles in the cupboard and the open one in the fridge (with some in a more user-friendly container for pouring). I also buy the Grade A dark instead of the more expensive fancy or medium grades. Yum!

  11. Tonya says


    I’ve been making a recipe similar to this for years and we love it! I add equal amount of vanilla extract as well, because I don’t care too much for maple syrup :) We’ve never had a problem storing it in the refrigerator. In fact, it lasts for quite a while.

    I love, love, love your blog! Thanks for doing what I’ve always wanted to do, but never taken the time to do! You rock :)

  12. says

    Never in a million years would it have occurred to me to MAKE maple syrup. My kids go throught this stuff like CRAZY! I hide it in the pantry. Otherwise it’s all gone in 2 seconds. I can hardly wait to try this recipe.

    I make my own brown sugar. My mother did and now I do. It’s SUPER easy. I use a fork to blend 1 c. white sugar and 3Tablespoons of molassas.

    If i’m in a hurry I just add white sugat and molassas to a recipe. It’s easy and tastes the same. I’m going to make home made maple syrup by blending, 1 c. water, 2 c. white sugar, 3 Tablespoons of molossas and 1/2 t. mapeline.

    I’ll let you knoW how it goes!

  13. Ruth says

    I don’t think that you should call this Maple Syrup as it is not. While it is a great cost saving measure over maple syrup you should really re-title this article and call it what it is: Pancake Syrup.

  14. Michelle says

    I’m sorry but as a Canadian, I have to say like some of the others, that this is not maple syrup. This is table syrup or pancake syrup. I’m sure it’s sweet and wonderful on pancakes, but maple syrup it is not. I agree that the real deal can be stupidly expensive, especially with kids pouring it on like water but there is no substitute for maple syrup, tapped from a tree with no additives, preservatives, or refined sugar.

  15. Amanda says

    Wow, there are way too many syrup snobs out there. Keep calling it maple syrup. As you said at the beginning of your post, this is to replace the stuff in the brown bottles. You don’t once ever claim that this is as good as the REAL stuff. My parents never bought real stuff either, but I grew up on Mrs. Butterworths. Times are lean now and I really really can’t stand the cheap generic syrup, so I’m SUPER excited to give this recipe a try! Plus I don’t have to feel as guilty about the high fructose corn syrup! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  16. Jolene says

    I always made my own surup when the kids were young but I never put the brown sugar in it. What a great idea. The first time we took them out for breakfast and they served them cold surup they were shocked to know that it didn’t come heated, like it always did at home. haha This is such a money saving idea. Thanks so much for posting it. Jolene

  17. Jennifer Bolz says

    Tried this tonight because I have a 9 year old syrup lover and we were almost out (egads!). It was super easy (including finding the Mapleine). I used Splenda (for baking) instead of regular white sugar and it was delicious. Ofcourse the true test will come in the morning when the kiddos try it with breakfast.

  18. Shannon says

    I have made this since I was 10 years old (my mom always made it before). I cant stand any other syrup except for homemade. We add in 1 tsp of vanilla to this recipe as well and we dont boil the water we just put in the sugar in the pan, then the brown sugar on top, then we add in the water on top of that. Once it boils we add the mapeline and vanilla (be careful the alcohol in vanilla makes it flare up for a second or two). I also love to make rock candy with this! If you leave it in the fridge long enough it crystalizes and makes wonderful rock candy!

  19. John says

    I made several changes.
    1. one tbs butter.
    2. one cinnamon stick broken into four pieces.
    3. 1/2 tsp butter-nut-nilla
    I then cooked it to about 185 deg. I am not sure how thick it will be so I may have t reduce this temp.

  20. says

    I am super jazzed to find this recipe. I have given up imitation maple syrup because it is all high fructose corn syrup and therefore poison. Our alternative was to buy genuine maple syrup. I know that maple syrup snobs will not understand this but… blech. Hahaha, I was raised on imitation and real maple syrup does not taste good to me. I have been using it, trying to acquire a taste for it (no such luck yet). I also cook for a lot of hungry Marines and Sailors and so a little teeny bottle of real maple doesn’t go too far and is cost prohibitive. Thanks for the post Jillee. I can’t find Mapleine (I live in Japan) but I can find McCormick maple flavoring. Is that the same thing?

  21. says

    OH MY GOSH!!! I can not believe I am seeing my name on your blog! *SQUEAL!* Hahah! You are SO welcome and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I absolutely LOVE your blog (no really, you are my hero)… this totally makes my day!

    Nat from NatSprat

  22. says

    Dear Jillee: Thank you so much for the recipe, I just made Buckwheat pancakes this morning & had just enough syrup for one serving & I let my husband have it. I immediately went to pinerest & ask for a homemade maple syrup, there were several, but I picked yours. I have in the past used Real Maple syrup, but was not impressed by it watery consistency, so I’m not a snob. Thanks for having my back in an emergency.
    Be blessed!! Audrey

  23. Phyllis Barton says

    I have made it like his for years. I use the microwave though, and add 2 -3 Tb of light Karo to make it thicker. The Grandkids love it! They think it is a secret recipe!

  24. Lydia says

    I completely forgot all about Mapleine! My mom used that but there is also an imitation maple syrup flavoring which I use and it isn’t too bad. The recipe my mom used for maple syrup which I use to this day is about 2 cups white sugar, 1 cup water, 1 capful maple flavoring, 1 tbsp molassas. It’s simple, easy, and tastes good. Love your blog btw, it’s my new fav!

  25. Anita says

    I buy the sugar free pancake syrup for my husband because he has type two diabetes. I’m going to try this recipe substituting Splenda for the sugar. Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it compares to the store bought product.

  26. Jessica says

    I must say thank you for saving breakfast today. we had just a little syrup and I was not wanting to run to the store with two kids just to get some. So after about a min. of looking I had found yours. It is amazing, and I two was to impatient to wait for it to cool so we are using worm syrup to go with our pancakes today. The only thing that I did different is I did not have the maple so I just used the little bit of syrup that was left to help with the flavor I dont think the kids noticed the difference so its good for now I am going to have to pick some maple up and add it to it. I am thinking to store this in the fridge
    Thanks for sharing. Jessica

  27. Marina says

    Thank you Jillee! You’ve opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me. I am South African and grew up with syrup made from pure cane sugar. Beautifully honey in colour and thicker than the watery syrups they favour in the US apparently. Since I’ve lived in the US I’ve had to buy British Lyle’s Golden Syrup or SA’s Illovo Golden Syrup at even more exorbitant rates than maple syrup (which I don’t care for either, sorry, never saw it growing up, guess South Africa is too far from maple trees ).
    Now, finally, I might be able to make a golden syrup substitute and make puddings etc. You are wonderful Jillee!!!!! Genius.

    • Randal Oulton says

      Marina, it will be way thinner than Golden Syrup. It’s more of a pouring syrup, than a spooning syrup. You’d have to fiddle with the recipe to make a thicker sugar syrup as the base.

  28. Sandra says

    I have been making my own maple syrup for years and love to give it as a welcome gift to new neighbors. I include the recipe as well as other recipe suggestions using the homemade maple syrup. I have always gotten a lot of compliments, not only on taste but on ease of making. My Recipe:
    2 cups light corn syrup
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1 cup water
    Place ingredients in saucepan, bring to boil on high heat. Lower heat to medium and simmer 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add maple extract to taste (1/4 to 1 teaspoon). May add butter flavored extract (1/4 to 1 teaspoon) for a butter flavor. Refrigerate. Note: Have no idea how long will store in refrigerator, have never had it around very long. Enjoy!!!

  29. chrissy says

    It will last forever. Sugar keeps I can remember months of it being in the fridge and it still tastes the same. my mom made ours like this now I do too.

    1 cup water
    2 cups sugar
    1 teas mapleine.
    There’s nothing better.
    I can’t eat anything else to thick and gross.

  30. Diane says

    Maplene is what I grew up on! I prefer real maple syrup these days but in an emergergemcy this is so much better than the name brands or store brands of pancake syrup! My parents never used the brown sugar which should be a great addition!

    • Gretchen Dietz says

      @ Rick – yes, you could use Splenda and save calories but that stuff is sooooooooo bad for you – it’s all chemicals. Real sugar even with the calories is a better choice. However, why not try Stevia if you want to save calories – at least it’s real. Just my two cents.

      I rarely use syrup as I live alone so don’t make pancakes and being from Vermont, I’m a bit of a maple syrup “snob” but I will forward this recipe to my sister. She has 6 kids and is always looking for ways to save money. Plus I doubt she can get real maple syrup in Alaska.

  31. Starla says

    Did any of you find out the website to buy 2 half gallons of maple syrup? If so, can you please share that, I would like to look into that. Also, I have made a recipe similar to this for years now for my family and we love it. I have had Maple syrup, and like it, but the recipe I use serves our taste buds & wallets well…and we call it “Maple Syrup”. ;)


  1. [...] DIY PANCAKE SYRUP Posted in Gastrosophy by Tonnino var addthis_product = 'wpp-264'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true,"data_track_addressbar":false};if (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}You’ve surely have heard of ways, methods, and tricks for making pancakes… but how about a recipe for making the syrup that goes on them? Wash your face, and come down for breakfast down Jill’s memory lane. One that will teach you how to make your own, how she calls it, “ridiculously easy-inexpensive-homemade syrup“. [...]

  2. [...] Mix together dry and wet ingredients separately.  Pour the wet into the dry and stir just until combined.  Batter should be lumpy.  Cook on griddle at 300 degrees until edges are dry and bubbly.  Flip and cook just a minute or two more.  Serve with homemade syrup. [...]

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