Pancakes are somewhat of a religion in our household, but contrary to what most people think, we don’t enjoy them exclusively with pure maple syrup. Yes, around here it is easily accessible and somewhat affordable, but I like to change things up for pancake toppings from time to time.
A favorite of ours is fresh yogurt with apple butter, but we get even more creative than that and today I’m showing you some of those variations. Pictured above from left to right: buttery maple, honey-orange, molasses-cinnamon, vanilla-rice syrup, and blueberry syrups!
When I was growing up, we scooped local honey from a big bucket into a small cast iron pot and set it on the wood stove to melt for our pancakes. With store-bought pancake syrups consisting basically of corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring, my mother made sure to keep all Aunt Jemima and Log Cabin bottles far from our breakfast table.
Now my children also enjoy all-natural syrups on their pancakes and waffles, their current favorite being the Molasses-Cinnamon. These are recipes that I’ll be teaching them to make before they move out on their own and hopefully the tradition of homemade pancake syrups will be passed down to their children as well.
A few things to note about these recipes:
As much as possible, all ingredients are organic.
For the best flavor and consistency, these syrups are made to be served warm. They will be stiff if you serve them straight from the refrigerator, so set the glass jar in a pan of hot water and let them warm up. Alternately, scoop out a portion of syrup into a small bowl and warm it for a few seconds in the microwave.
Store all syrups in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, although they probably won’t last that long.
A jar of homemade pancake syrup makes a lovely gift. Perhaps alongside a jar of homemade pancake mix? Sounds like a smashing start to a breakfast basket to me.
If you like a warm molasses cookie, then you’ll love this dark syrup. The butter adds an irresistible glossy sheen to the syrup while smoothing out the sharp bite of the molasses. Serve over this baked apple gingerbread pancake for a real treat.
- 1/2 cup demerera sugar (or brown)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 6 Tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter
- In a small pot, whisk together sugar, molasses, water, and cinnamon over medium heat.
- Bring to a slow boil and continue stirring until ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Cool slightly. Transfer to a jug for serving or a glass jar for storing.
Yields: 3/4 cup syrup
Buttery Maple Syrup
This isn’t anything more than maple syrup and butter melted together, but it’s a favorite when we’re making ‘stacked pancakes’. Inspired by Wilder’s ‘Farmer Boy’, I layer piping hot, 3-inch pancakes with warm buttery maple syrup until they tower tall, then serve them to the kids. Nothing makes them happier.
It’s also a great way to stretch maple syrup.
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- In a small pot, whisk maple syrup and water together and warm over a burner.
- When syrup is hot, whisk in butter all at once.
- Continue stirring over medium low heat until butter is melted and syrup is hot. Pour into pitcher and serve, or make stacked pancakes.
Yields: 1 1/4 cups syrup
For Stacked Pancakes:
Keep syrup hot on the back of the stove while you fry pancakes. Place pancakes in a 9×13 pan and drench with buttery maple syrup. Keep pan in a low oven while you continue to cook pancakes. Keep adding to the stacks and brushing on syrup after every addition. Serve warm.
This glistening, citrus-infused syrup is like a beam of sunshine in the morning. Absolutely amazing over cornmeal pancakes or a bowl of fresh fruit.
- 1 cup organic honey
- Zest of one orange
- Juice of one orange
- (optional: 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier)
- Wash an orange and zest completely ( I use a microplane). Juice the orange.
- In a small pot, whisk together honey and the freshly squeezed orange juice over medium heat. Continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil and the orange juice is completely incorporated.
- Remove from heat and stir in orange zest.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Transfer to a jug for serving or a glass jar for storing.
Yields: 1 cup syrup
Last summer I capitalized on the low prices and abundance of local blueberries and made my own blueberry syrup. I knew it would be good, but not THIS good. We became smitten, pouring it over ice cream sundaes, cheesecake, yogurt, and of course, our pancakes. I bought crates of berries, canned the syrup, and we’ve been enjoying it all winter long.
You should definitely bookmark the recipe for next June, but for now you can use frozen, thawed blueberries for a delicious, tart alternative to the sweeter syrups.
Plenty of pure vanilla and rich butter in this recipe transform organic brown rice syrup into a luxurious topping.
- 1 cup brown rice syrup (I use Lundburg)
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- (optional: 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded)
- In a small pot, whisk brown rice syrup and water together and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- When syrup is hot, remove from heat and add vanilla and butter.
- Whisk until butter is melted and ingredients are incorporated. Cool slightly. Transfer to a jug for serving or a glass jar for storing.
Yields: 1 cup syrup
Don’t worry, we’ve got our favorite pancake recipe coming next week!
Pancakes, waffles or French Toast, what is your household favorite?