How To Make Maple Syrup: Homemade Step-By-Step (2 Mins Prep Time)

4.84 from 6 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.

What if I told you that you could make your own maple syrup at home? And that it would be way better than the store-bought stuff, and you could use it on pancakes or waffles in minutes?

I know what you’re thinking: “This sounds too good to be true!” But hear me out.

Homemade syrup in a jar with a lid and pour spout next to a stack of breakfast pancakes

Best Maple Syrup Recipe

Making your own homemade maple syrup is SO easy and it tastes WAY better than what you’ll find in the store. And we’re going to show you how to do it—no special equipment required! All you need is four ingredients, a pot, and a little time. I love this homemade maple syrup recipe because it’s quick, easy to make, and tastes amazing. Unlike store-bought syrup, this recipe has no high fructose corn syrup or any other weird random ingredients. No need to collect sap or search for maple sap. This recipe has low sugar content and a natural sweetness that tastes so yummy.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and make some deliciousness!

Try this tasty homemade syrup recipe over our easy waffles from scratchhomemade pancakes, or our Hawaiian French toast. Explore our breakfast ideas for even more recipes where you can use this syrup!

Pure Maple Syrup vs. Imitation Maple Extract

Pure maple syrup is simply made from sap from a sugar maple tree. It is one ingredient that is boiled down into a syrup consistency. The boiling sap evaporates as the water boils in a pot on the stove, filtering the honey like consistency.  It is difficult to produce large amounts, which is why pure maple it is so expensive. For example, it takes ten gallons of sap to produce just four cups of maple syrup! Maple “extract” isn’t made like, say, vanilla extract. People don’t usually infuse the bark of a maple tree in alcohol to get the maple flavor. Instead, it is common to use fenugreek seeds as the maple flavoring agent.

Homemade maple syrup being poured from a lidded syrup jar

What are Fenugreek Seeds?

Fenugreek seeds are in no way related to maple trees, but when combined with alcohol, it smells very similar to pure maple. Fenugreek seeds are a natural flavoring and actually has some great health benefits. It isn’t one of those “natural flavors” with big “air quotes” around it. It’s simply the seed of an herb that happens to smell like maple. When concentrated into an extract, the liquid can be combined with a small amount with sugar or sugar sand and the taste is similar to pure maple syrup. Maple syrup that is made with this type of maple extract is much easier to produce, thus making it much cheaper than pure maple syrup. Most pancake syrups at the grocery store are made with this maple extract.

A stack of pancakes with homemade maple syrup being poured over the top.

What’s In Our Homemade Maple Syrup?

This easy recipe only has 4 ingredients and you probably have most of them on hand right now. It is made with sugar, brown sugar, water, and imitation maple extract… that’s it. As mentioned above, there is no high fructose corn syrup, which is why I love this recipe so much. You know exactly what it going into it. Using a darker brown sugar will add more depth to the color and flavor instead of a lighter brown sugar. As your water boils down the color will get darker too.

A jar of homemade syrup next to a stack of pancakes and a stick of butter

Maple Extract Substitutions

If you don’t have maple extract on hand, you can try using 1 Tablespoon of butter and ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract as a substitute. The flavor won’t be exactly the same as maple, but it will still taste great over pancakes and waffles. You can also try using rum extract, butter extract, walnut or almond extract. If you want to go for something different, you can try any of the syrup recipes below.

How to tell if the Maple Syrup is Done

After you combine your brown sugar, white sugar and water into a heavy pan, make sure that the water boils over medium-heat until the sugars are dissolved. Then simmer and stir constantly for a couple more minutes (at least 2-3). You can use a candy thermometer to determine when it’s done simmering. You’ll want it roughly between 200-400 degrees. Then allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes to thicken up.

Syrup being poured onto homemade waffles

READ NEXT: 33+ Super Easy Breakfast Ideas

More Homemade Syrup Recipes

Here are some more of our very favorite syrup recipes. You can easily mix and match any of these syrups with the breakfast dishes they are associated with. Store them in jars at room temperature. 

How To Make Maple Syrup

A jar of homemade maple syrup in front of a stack of pancakes and softened butter

Homemade Maple Syrup

4.84 from 6 votes
This homemade maple syrup is way better than the store-bought stuff and is perfect over pancakes or waffles. Only 4 ingredients!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 32 servings




  • Combine brown sugar, sugar, and water in a heavy saucepan.
    Brown sugar and sugar in a saucepan to make syrup
  • Heat over meadium-high heat, stirring often, until sugars dissolve and mixture begins to boil.
    Syrup made with brown sugar, water, and maple extract simmering in a saucepan
  • Reduce heat to low and add imitation maple extract. Simmer for 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly.
    Maple extract being poured into a sauce pan with homemade maple syrup
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool 20 minutes or until thickened into a syrup texture.
    Brown sugar, sugar, maple extract and water that has been simmered in a saucepan to make maple syrup
  • Pour over pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
    Homemade maple syrup being poured from a lidded syrup jar

Nutrition Information

Calories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 14mgSugar: 13gCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg

Love this recipe?

We want to hear from you! Please leave a review.

Rate and Review

Share This With the World


About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

Similar Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 4 stars
    Can we replace maple extract with vanilla, or if we do that it will taste horrible. It is fine with me because I will be needing this for my French toast. Please and thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    I will follow your Best Maple Syrup Recipe, but how much does it yield, and what is your “serving” size?
    Thank you and Happy New Year 023

    1. It ultimately yields about 2-3 cups. A serving size is 1/8 cup but realistically it is about 1/4-1/3 cup depending on how much syrup you prefer on your pancakes.

  3. Mom always made our pancake syrup. This recipe appears to be how she made it. I haven’t done it yet, but will.
    I’m 83 and remember how good it was.

  4. 5 stars
    This syrup is fabulous! I had no idea how it easy it was to make my own, not to mention how much better it tastes. I won’t be buying store bought again!

    1. You can store this in an air-tight jar or container in your refrigerator. You will want to re-heat it before serving. Since it is made with sugars instead of corn syrup, it will crystalize a bit after cooling but re-heating it should get it back to the right consistency. Hope this helps!