This homemade pancake syrup has a sweet vanilla and molasses flavor and it only takes minutes to make. It is perfect for pancakes, waffles, or French toast! 

close up image of a bowl and spoon with homemade pancake syrup

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I have to admit that I do not like plain pancakes. I need some kind of syrup or topping or else my breakfast just isn’t complete. But sometimes I run out of maple syrup and need an alternative to put on my fluffy pancakes, overnight pancakes, and homemade waffles.

That is when I grab this recipe and make a quick batch of this easy pancake syrup. Then, I can finally sit down to eat!

homemade syrup poured out of a vessel over a stack of four pancakes topped with a slab of butter

Homemade Pancake Syrup Recipe

Making pancake syrup really is easy. You only need four simple ingredients that you probably already have in your house. Dark brown sugar, butter, and vanilla, plus a little water, are all it takes. Just boil those ingredients together and you will get a thick, sticky syrup that you may just like better than traditional maple syrup. 

Once you have made the pancake syrup, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a month. I love how long it stays fresh! I actually make this pancake syrup recipe in big batches so I always have some on hand. Try doing the same and you will never have to worry about eating dry pancakes ever again! 

ingredients to make homemade pancake syrup

Ingredients for Pancake Syrup

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Water
  • Dark brown sugar – Light brown sugar will also work, but dark brown sugar gives a much richer flavor to the pancake syrup. 
  • Salted butter – This is one case I actually use salted butter rather than unsalted. The salt enhances the flavor of the pancake syrup and makes it taste even better! 
  • Vanilla


  • If you only have unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the syrup. Add the salt at the end of the recipe, at the same time as the vanilla. 
  • If you use light brown sugar, add a tablespoon of molasses to make the syrup more flavorful. 
  • Replace the vanilla extract with maple extract. This will make the syrup taste almost identical to real maple syrup.

How to Make Pancake Syrup

  1. Mix the sugar: Add the brown sugar and the water to a small pot. Stir gently to make sure all the sugar is wet. 
  2. Boil: Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Boil the syrup for about 3 minutes. It will be thick and glossy. 
  3. Stir: Add the butter and vanilla to the pot and stir until the butter has melted. 
  4. Cool: Let the syrup cool slightly. It will be very hot right after it cooks. I usually wait at least 10 minutes before using the syrup. However, it is delicious when still warm! 
white bowl of homemade pancake syrup with a spoon sitting in the bowl

Quick Tip

Use a candy thermometer to make your syrup the perfect consistency. Boil the sugar until it reaches between 210 and 220ºF. At this temperature, the syrup will be nice and sticky, not too runny, and not too thick.

What to Serve with Pancake Syrup

This is the best pancake syrup to use for waffles, French toast, and, of course, any kind of pancakes. It is delicious on top of strawberry pancakes or poured over a bowl of pancake cereal. I also love pancake syrup on top of overnight oats or as a dip for pancake muffins. You will find a lot of uses for this recipe!  

How to Store Pancake Syrup

Once your pancake syrup has cooled, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to one month. You can reheat the syrup anytime you need to. Just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to have perfect, warm pancake syrup! 


What is pancake syrup made out of?

My homemade pancake syrup is made with brown sugar, vanilla, and butter. Store-bought syrup is usually made from primarily corn syrup. Real maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees.

Is pancake syrup better than maple syrup?

Pancake syrup and maple syrup are very different. Pancake syrup has a more neutral flavor but is very, very sweet. Real maple syrup has a very complex taste that is rich and very vanilla-y. Both are tasty in their own way!

What is the healthiest syrup for pancakes?

Maple syrup is typically considered the healthiest syrup since it is a natural sugar. It also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can be beneficial to your health.

More Great Breakfast Recipes

Pancake Syrup

This homemade pancake syrup has a sweet vanilla and molasses taste and only takes minutes to make. It is perfect for pancakes, waffles, or French toast! 
1 from 1 vote
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Add the water and brown sugar to a medium pot and stir to make sure the brown sugar is completely wet.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Boil for three minutes. The syrup will look thicker and the bubbles will be slower.
  • Remove the pot from the stovetop and stir in the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter in completely melted.
  • Let the syrup cool and then pour over your favorite pancakes.


This syrup can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month.


Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 51mg | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

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