How To Make Homemade Pancake Syrup For Pennies

Homemade Pancake Syrup

When I was growing up, my mom always made our pancake syrup. Back then, I don’t think it even occurred to us that you could buy it!

When I started making pancakes and waffles for my own kids, I tried making pancake syrup like my mom used to, but it was met with a less-than-favorable reaction. (In their defense, I don’t think I actually had the recipe right.) After that experience, I started buying generic pancake syrup from the store, and had nearly forgotten all about the homemade pancake syrup of my childhood.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

It wasn’t until I ran across a post from NatSprat that it all came flooding back to me! The recipe, the secret ingredient, the nostalgic taste, and most importantly, how inexpensive it is to make – the cost comes out to about $.50 per bottle. (Compare that to real maple syrup, which is often ridiculously expensive!)

If you’ve never tried homemade pancake syrup, give it a try and see what you think! And if you have had homemade pancake syrup before (especially if it was a staple when you were a kid), make it a point to make some for your own family. Sharing a part of your own childhood with your kids can be a special and memorable moment. And if that moment happens to involve pancakes… well, even better I say. :-)

Homemade Pancake Syrup

Homemade Pancake Syrup


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Mapleine (or other imitation maple flavoring)
Homemade Pancake Syrup


Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan on the stove.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

Add both types of sugar and the Mapleine, and stir until all the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

Let it cool until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour the syrup into a syrup carafe or dispenser, and store any extra syrup in an airtight container.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

Homemade Pancake Syrup

Jill Nystul
Learn how to make homemade pancake syrup, just like your mom used to. It’s incredibly inexpensive, and tastes better than the store-bought stuff!
4.67 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 135 kcal


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Mapleine or other imitation maple flavoring


  • Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan on the stove.
  • Add both types of sugar and the Mapleine, and stir until all the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • Let it cool until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour the syrup into a syrup carafe or dispenser, and store any extra syrup in an airtight container.


Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 34gSodium: 76mgPotassium: 40mgSugar: 34gVitamin C: 1.4mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.2mg

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • Thank you so much for all the advice on making homemade syrup! My mother used to make some for me when I was little; however, was never able to learn how to do it myself. I was unaware how easy it is to make — that is crazy! Sure looks delicious! Thanks again!

  • Best part of my syrup is splitting up the recipe for different flavours.
    If you keep your plain, simple syrup on hand (don’t add the maple flavour to the batch) you can use it for endless things!
    Even Ramsey keeps a simple syrup on hand at all times!

    Love this stuff!!

    • I try to make everything myself. My little one was allergic to red food dye, and all of them were “environmentally sensitive” and suffered when they ate or were otherwise exposed to preservatives and other chemicals.
      I had been fighting this battle alone, until I found Jillee and her amazing ideas!!

  • This recipe looks really awesome! My husband and I have been wanting to try some different pancake recipes for a while now so we will have to test this one out. We really love to use maple syrup in the recipe so we will have to fit that in somewhere. Thanks for sharing!

  • This was the only pancake syrup we ever used as a child. In fact today I rarely purchase syrup and always have this on hand. Using other flavorings or fresh fruit, I can offer a variety of tastes for those who don’t care for maple.

  • Why not use real maple syrup? It’s not good to eat a lot of sugar; we know this now. Beyond any doubt we know the deleterious effects of sugar.

    Given that, why not use real maple sugar – and use it less frequently, and enjoy it when you do use it?

    Imitation maple syrup, whether the toxic stuff you get in a store made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or this slightly better version, made with sugar, doesn’t hold a candle to real maple syrup.

    I know some folks grew up with the artificial version and prefer it. For those people, sure use it but again use it in extreme moderation. Once every few weeks on a day where you don’t eat a lot of other sugar, enjoy it.

    Eating well and enjoying your food do not have to be at odds. Eating healthily means nothing is “forbidden” – don’t go on a diet, don’t exclude – eat good things when you can, and eat things that are known to be damaging less frequently but without guilt.

    Certainly don’t feed this to kids on any consistent basis.

  • I have lived overseas now for almost 19 years and have brought maple flavoring with me so we can have maple pancake syrup. :) Been making it this way all this time and when we are stateside, my kids ask me to still make it instead of buying it.

  • Not sure if I have seen it on this site, but you can make your own brown sugar, too. Easy to do in a blender or food processor. I’ve even mixed a small amount in a cup with a spoon for cereal. Just add enough molasses to white sugar to get the color you want. how do they justify the difference in price for such a small addition?

  • Love you, Jilly Bean. Thanks for sharing with your many friends…I am going to make some for Dad and I tomorrow. It has been a long time. XO Love you, Mom

  • My mom made it a lot when I was growing up – she used 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup water, brought to boil and added Mapleine – she usually made just enough for the meal and then added some butter while it was hot – it was so good. It was just simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) I can still taste it. That Mapleine is wonderful stuff.

  • My mother used to make a honey flavored syrup that tasted so much like Dixie Dew syrup (which I have not seen in the market in years). I cannot remember how she made it, nor can I find a recipe, but I would appreciate any help.

  • I’ve made maple syrup a lot, as my mother used to do, and yes, warm syrup is the best! The Tightwad Gazette has a recipe for it as well, and I think it uses corn syrup as well as sugar.
    For fruit syrups, all we ever did was cook the blueberries, or whatever we were trying to make, with a little water and sugar to taste until the fruit was soft, juicy and pulpy, then used as is or strained it for our pancakes and waffles. We always just winged it, and it was always good. Since my kids are grown and out of the house and my husband is a diabetic, I don’t make pancakes anymore, but now I sure want to make some.

  • Thank you. My Mother sometimes used to make a syrup for our pancakes by just using brown sugar and water and cooking it until it would start to thicken. This seems like a long and tedious process, but the end result was phenomenal!

  • Love your posts.
    nothing to do with syrup, but i can’t seem to find your post on how to clean oven safely. Had a pizza collapse in hot oven (425) last night, made a real mess. Any ideas?

  • I’ve always made homemade syrup for my kids. Now that they’re grown, they think they’re really being cheated if they have to eat the stupid store bought stuff. They like their syrup hot! However, I’ve always used 2 cups of white sugar. I’m going to try with brown sugar! It sounds way more delicious! You always know how to do things better!

  • I prefer maple syrup, but my sister’s four kids have had that syrup regularly all their lives. The oldest is now 42. She will susdtitute vanilla if she has no maple flavouring. I hate the smell of vanilla. Odd I know. Brings back a lot of family breakafsts, leisurely and cheerful.

  • As kids, me & my 2 siblings really inhaled this syrup so to “slow” us down & make it so that the syrup stuck to the waffles/french toast/pancakes rather puddling like a sweet soup, our made it using 1 cup either clear or brown Karo corn syrup (whichever was handy), only 1/2 cupwater, and 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp of mapleine and 1 tbs butter. (We refrigerated our syrups.) The “pour” was not as runny as with the original recipeand tended to stick so we didn’t make syrup soup. It ended up a lot like log cabin syrup. Either way sure was…mm good!

  • Can I assume the mapleine can be substituted for other flavors? Any recommendations around what to use or how to alter for blueberry or boysenberry which are our family favorites?

  • Has anyone else tried the buttermilk syrup from scratch? It’s amazing (albeit excessively NOT very healthy). You can find it on most recipe websites. Just be really careful when you add the baking soda and vanilla – it doubles in size in the pan (which I found out the hard way). But it’s quick and my picky eater son absolutely loves it (and he’s a maple syrup monster!!)

    • OMG! Buttermilk syrup is the BEST! I once needed 1 TBSP of buttermilk for a recipe, so I went online to find other ways to use up the rest of it. That’s how I discovered Buttermilk syrup. Yum! Yum! YUM!!!! And yeah… heed the warning about using a big pot when making it.

    • In southern Utah we call this cowboy syrup and it’s AWESOME! Although as you said not necessarily very healthy but a great treat on ice cream too. I have a B&B and have turned hundreds of people into it.

  • My mom made this and now I do. I’ve never used brown sugar though. We just followed the recipe on the box of Mapeline. I’ll have to try it with this recipe. My kids won’t eat the store syrup now.

  • My Mother used to make syrup from the wild grapes and wild plums that grew in our pasture. They were both delicious. The grape syrup would turn pancakes a little green but did not effect the taste. Any recipes out there for making those. I have a lot of canned plum juice I would love to use up.

  • Sorry, but I won’t be making this, better a tiny spoon of maple or some honey than something that raises blood sugar and is generally not really that healthy. Maybe ya all can send in your healthy alternatives including using spelt flour, whole grain flour or flour alternatives which are just an awful lot more beneficial to our gut. Did you know that wheat flour turns off a raft of positive gut responses – we need to look at low-cost healthy alternatives for our families and you are all full of such great ideas – lets do it together!

    • What??? Why the whole diatribe on flours? There is no flour in this recipe and honestly, if you don’t like the recipe, rather than attacking her for this, just please scram. Jillee does such a great job with all of her household tips and hints and she has literally saved me thousands of dollars. Go complain somewhere else. wow!

      • I did not see her post as an attack. She was only sharing something that is truthful that could honestly help someone that is willing to listen to her healthier choices. No harm done in posting one’s opinion :) I love Jillee’s posts, but do tend to agree that keeping it closer to the real deal is a healthier choice for everyone’s health. It’s ok for people to post even if it doesn’t agree with our own opinions.

  • My mom also made this. She used 100% brown sugar. It was a fascination to me when I put the packed brown sugar in the shape of the measuring cup in the saucepan to see the mound dissolve right before my eyes as I poured the water on. We always stored the leftover in the fridge in a sealed container. We added vanilla, (mapeline was not in the budget back then) and since we lived on the farm we had homemade butter so we a bit of that at the end. I made that until my hubby and I graduated to 100% maple syrup.

    • I have made this with adding vanilla to my maple flavoring too and it is just so good! Thank you so much, Jillee for the reminder! I don’t have much money to spend so this is very helpful.

  • Hi Jillee! I used to make this syrup a lot when my kids were all living at home. We went through a lot of pancake syrup and this kind was way cheaper than store bought. Plus there’s no high fructose corn syrup to worry about. Now that it’s just my husband and me, we allow ourselves the luxury of pure maple syrup. :)

    I wanted to mention that it does seems to grow mold pretty quickly if you leave it in the cupboard. It’s best to refrigerate it. But then you’ll want to warm it up when you use it if you don’t want ice cold syrup on your pancakes.

  • My mother added a bit of vanilla extract to the recipe. So good! With all that sugar,
    With all that sugar, Jenny, I imagine it will last ages. If in doubt, just halve the recipe.

  • I make this also and it is BETTER then what you buy in the stores. I also add a bit of BUTTER to give it a buttery taste. Everyone loves this syrup. I got my dispenser at the dollar store.

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