In search of a new syrup for Pancakes.

With the cost of Maple syrup looking set to continue to rise, I’ve been mulling over  alternatives to quench my syrup needs. Though nothing will truly take the place of a good sticky maple syrup I have stumbled across a few potential contenders for pancake syrup suprmecy.

The trouble within the maple industry is not thanks to a trader buying up all the produce like what has  happened recently with cocoa beans, but the root of the problem comes down to the following.

Global warming seems partially to blame for the increase in maple prices with  unfavorably bad weather for many years now in rich maple tree growing regions, resulting in  very low yields. The other over whelming factor that has pushed prices sky high is the demand for maple syrup increasing as we as a collective have become more conscious and aware of eating whole foods and sugar cane alternatives.

And so my search begins…

One such syrup that tickles my fancy as a maple alternative  is a buttermilk syrup that looks set to gain a permanent spot in my refrigerator. Its super simple to produce, is rich and buttery and lasts for weeks if chilled. Despite my efforts to seek out a sugar free substitute, I couldn’t help but write about this syrup because its just so good. All things in moderation of course, as this is a treat food as is pancakes, hotcakes, drop scones, biscuits, crepes and pikelets which are the benefactors of this gorgeous concoction.

Now, please try not to let the idea of buttermilk in the recipe put you off. The sauce clarifies nicely once its on the boil and sets to thick gooey syrup once it sits in the fridge. Well worth giving this one a try!

I did in fact find another great sugar substitution in the way of Agave nectar. More on that later!

Buttermilk Syrup


Makes 500mls

170g butter ~ I use salted butter as it gives a nice balance to the syrup

175mls cultured buttermilk

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

1 tsp of vanilla extract or vanilla paste

1/2 Tbsp of baking soda


  • Into an over sized pot, heat the butter, buttermilk and caster sugar on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking.
  • Once the mixture is smooth and sleek and not grainy, remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will foam up at this stage, not to panic as it will subside once it rests. You could use the syrup at this point if you like or…
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 20 minutes before straining through a fine sieve to remove any possible lumps.
  • Poor the mixture into a couple of glass jars, seal and set in the fridge until well chilled.
  • Spoon over desired syrup recipients.
  • Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks if properly stored.



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With 20+ years working in commercial kitchens, I’m here to share with you some of the best secrets of the trade to help you cook better, faster and to eat well. You will surprise a lot of family & friends when you give some of my recipes a try.