Make Your Own Pancake Syrup

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but warm temperatures have caused maple syrup production to drop, which may mean we’ll all be paying more for maple-y goodness at the breakfast table this year.
When I heard that, I thought immediately of a homemade “maple” syrup recipe in The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. So I doctored the recipe a bit and gave it a try. I have to say, it came out pretty good. It tastes exactly like the pancake syrup you buy in the store, maybe even better than some, and it was easy to make, too.
Best of all, homemade pancake syrup is cheaper than the store stuff. A typical bottle of syrup costs $3-$4, and this recipe costs about $1.60 to make, half the price of the store-bought syrup. Plus, there’s no corn syrup in it.
One thing to note: I added 1 tablespoon of vodka to the mix to prolong the life of the syrup. If you do this, keep in mind there will be a trace amount of alcohol in the pancake syrup that you may not feel comfortable serving at the breakfast table. It’s up to you.

Pancake Syrup

(Makes about 3 cups)


    • 3 c granulated sugar


    • 1 1/2 c water


    • 3 Tbs molasses


    • 1 tsp vanilla


    • 1 Tbs butter


    • 1 tsp maple extract


    1 Tbs vodka (optional)


In a large pot, bring all ingredients to a boil. Stir about 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and mixture turns the color of pancake syrup. Turn off the burner and let cool. (The pancake syrup will thicken as it cools.) Add in the optional vodka and transfer to a bottle. Enjoy!
ETA: For more reading, check out What is maple extract?

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21 thoughts on “Make Your Own Pancake Syrup”

  1. I made my own maple syrup the whole time my kids were growning up! Just kept refilling a store bought bottle! My recipe was different than this one. Less ingredients.

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  5. Jon and Mike, maple extract is found in the spice/baking aisle of your supermarket. It is not the same as syrup.

  6. IMHO, Bourbon would be a superior preservative over vodka. Or if one wanted to flavor the syrup, a flavored whiskey or liquor (like chambord) might be nice.

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  8. does this get stored in the fridge or at room temperature. my instinct tells me to put it in the fridge even though i don’t put store-bought in the fridge, but i i just want to be sure.

  9. Great Idea!!
    I found a similar product at Trader Joes.. “Short Stack Pancake Syrup”.. Tastes great, and had basically the same ingredients.. it was about $2.50 a bottle!
    Keep the ideas coming!

  10. Hi ! I just wanted to tell you I just made your syrup EXCEPT I omitted the vodka. I just made 1/4 of the recipe as 3 cups, even 1.5 cups is too much for the two of us. WOW !! It smells and tastes absolutely amazing !! I will never buy syrup EVER. I always have these ingredients in my cupboards and it didnt take no more than 10 minutes to get it togeather and make !! Thanks sooooooo much ! I cant wait for my pancakes tomorrow morning LOL !!

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  12. my mom made pancake syrup with nothing but brown sugar and water and Watkins maple flavoring for all 10 of us kids growing up!!

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