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Homemade Imitation Maple Syrup is super easy and way better than store bought! Making your own syrup is going to change the way you do breakfast!

The right syrup can make all the difference in your pancake and waffle experience. You have to try these other awesome syrups, Buttermilk, Strawberry and Cinnamon!

Homemade maple syrup in a pourable glass pitcher.

The Best Maple Syrup

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. I can literally get excited going to bed thinking about how when I get up in the morning, I get to eat breakfast! Breakfast is so versatile, it can be quick and easy, or complex. You can have it be sweet or savory or a combination of both. We love breakfast and one of our favorites is pancakes or waffles. And topped with this incredible homemade maple syrup makes all the difference!

Maple syrup is a must for pancakes and waffles and making your own is so easy and so delicious. Making your own syrup will save you money and you know exactly what is in your syrup. And you can avoid those harmful high fructose sugars and other fake sugars that are not good for you. If you have never tried making your own syrup the time is NOW! So let’s do this!

What You Need For Homemade Syrup

Look for pure maple extract, but in a pinch you can use mapleline.

  • Water: The base of the syrup you will need to dissolve the sugars.
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar.
  • Brown Sugar: For a bit of a richer flavor try using dark brown sugar.
  • Maple Extract: This is the star of the syrup, pure maple extract, yum!
  • Vanilla: Rounds out the flavor and combines beautifully with the maple.

How to Make Pancake Syrup

Making homemade pancake syrup takes no time at all. Through it together and let it simmer while you get the pancakes or waffles ready. Simply combine water, sugars, maple extract and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan . Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Adding ingredients to a saucepan to make maple syrup.

Tips For Easy Maple Syrup

  • Maple Extract: I like to use real maple extract because it does not have any additives. Mapeline is a great substitute if you cannot find pure maple extract. You will have incredible success with your maple syrup just the same.
  • Thick or Thin: If you want your syrup thicker, simmer longer allowing more of the water to cook off.
  • Add: You can add 1/4 cup of honey to add a nice flavor to the maple syrup. For a buttery taste, add a couple of Tablespoons of butter.

Why Homemade is Better Than Store Bought

It maybe easier to grab a bottle off of the shelf, but unless you splurge for real pure maple syrup, that syrup will be full of additives and preservatives. Most syrups are made with high fructose corn syrup or other fake sugars that can wreck on your gut. They also have preservatives and other additives to help make it shelf stable and keep its flavor over time. When you make it at home, it will have none of that. Real sugar, real flavor and nothing you cannot pronounce.  It is a breakfast syrup you can feel good about serving to your family as they drizzle it over their favorite pancakes.

Whisking a saucepan full of maple syrup.

Storing Pure Maple Syrup

You will want to use maple syrup when it is warm. Using warm syrup allows the french toast or whatever you are serving it with soak it in that much better. If you have leftovers, pour them into a glass jar or container of choice that can be tightly sealed. Once cooled, place in the fridge for up to 2 months. I do not recommend freezing homemade maple syrup. When ready to use again warm slightly in the microwave.

Pouring maple syrup over waffles.

More Breakfast Foods To Love

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, at least that’s what they say. Whether it’s true or not, it is one of the most favorite food categories to eat, for sure. Breakfast foods are just fantastic, they are easy to make and super delicious. Whether you like sweet or savory, need a  quick and easy or a lazy brunch, I have tried and true recipes for you to try.

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Homemade Imitation Maple Syrup

5 from 6 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Homemade Maple Syrup is super easy and way better than store bought! Making your own syrup is going to change the way you do breakfast!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 Ounces



  • In a medium sized saucepan add the water, sugars, maple extract and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.


  • For a thinner syrup, use one cup brown sugar.
  • Real maple syrup does come from trees but this is a great imitation with ingredients on hand. 


Calories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 1gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 50mgSugar: 52gCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I am a type two diabetic and 82 years old. Can I substitute SPLENDA for all or most of the sugars? One other thing, can I add corn starch for thickening?

  2. 5 stars
    I watched my mom make this as I was growing up, we never had store bought syrup and she passed the recipe to me. I would make this all of the time when my 4 kids were little. Great recipe and so very easy. You don’t haven’t to worry about additives you can’t pronounce.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely delish! I was shocked! I’m having guests and I got all the fixins for French toast but forgot the syrup. I always have maple extract so decided to see if maple syrup could easily be made at home. The answer is yes and it’s soooo yummy! Thank you for saving me an extra trip to the store!

  4. I’ve been making homemade syrup forever. I grew up with it. I use 2cups sugar to 1 cup water, 1 tsp maple extract & no vanilla. My kids make it too for their families. I use both white & brown sugar.

    1. Hi Sally. My mom used to make it the same way as you. What I don’t know is, should I stir it or just leave it alone during cooking time?

  5. 5 stars
    Didn”t realize rhis could be made at.home, wow! Like makinf stuff from scratch and tweaking it over time to taste, so thank you