Nana’s Buttery Brown Sugar Syrup

5 from 3 votes
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There is NO other recipe that I get asked for more than my Nana’s brown sugar syrup, which is what we use as our homemade waffle or pancake syrup. This homemade syrup recipe is made with brown sugar, butter and makes 2 cups of syrup in a jiffy!

Just like I did, my kids grew up using this instead of store bought syrup and they prefer it to all else. We use it on my homemade pancakes, my Belgian waffles and just plain classic waffles as well.

Brown Sugar Syrup on a stack of waffle with butter in a green plate
Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown sugar syrup is a life saver

I am writing this on a Saturday morning as I look at the snow that has been drifting down since last night here in Edmonton with our first real big snowfall. It reminds me that it’s these times when no one wants (or should!) to head to the store on icy, snowy roads for a bottle of pancake syrup.

I grew up in the country, meaning that if we wanted syrup it was going to be homemade unless we had some in the pantry. I don’t even recall ever using bottled syrup as a kid, because who doesn’t always have butter and brown sugar in the house? Most store bought syrups have that artificial flavor to them that I’m not used to after growing up eating this buttery brown sugar syrup,

Brown sugar syrup ingredients written on a piece of paper

My recipe card is pretty beaten up, so I decided that it was time to write up the recipe here on The Kitchen Magpie so that I don’t lose it, though really I do have it memorized by heart at this point.

Brown sugar syrup ingredients

This is SO simple and I can guarantee that you will almost always have the ingredients in your pantry.Not only that, it only takes about five minutes to make which means that if you have a family waiting for their pancake syrup you can whip this up in no time at all. There is a reason that this recipe has been used by the cooks in my family for generations now.

  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • water
  • cornstarch

close up stack of waffle with Brown sugar syrup and butter

How to make brown sugar syrup

it really doesn’t get easier than this recipe. The main thing that you want to remember is that you are caramelizing the brown sugar and the salted butter. You’re going to cook it until it almost looks like toffee candy. However, when it reaches this point the water is going to spit when you added to the pot. It’s just how it goes and you’re going to have to watch out for that. My sister and I have learned you just pour the water from a safe distance away and jump back if it starts to spit.

If you want to avoid this don’t cook the brown sugar and butter until it looks like a toffee, simply just cook them until they’re combined but you are going to miss out on that almost burnt brown sugar taste makes this so good.

Happy cooking everyone! I hope you love this recipe and use it over and over again!




This brown sugar syrup recipe is made from better and brown sugar, and is the best homemade pancake or waffle syrup recipe out there!

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Buttery Brown Sugar Syrup

This brown sugar syrup recipe is made from better and brown sugar, and is the best homemade waffle or pancake syrup recipe out there!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • Cornstarch Slurry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


  • Combine the sugar and butter in a medium sized saucepan. Melt on medium heat, then bring to a bubbling boil, letting the sugar darken somewhat. Do not boil until it's hard candy however.
  • Once the butter and sugar have started bubbling, let boil for another 2-3 minutes, then slowly and carefully pour in the hot water. It most likely WILL SPIT so be careful!
  • Stir together and bring to a boil again.
  • To thicken, combine the cornstarch and cold water, then whisk into the boiling brown sugar mixture. Cook until it thickens up slightly then remove from the heat.
  • Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • You can easily double this recipe if you are feeding a large crowd in the mornings.
  • This will keep in your refrigerator for a solid 4-5 days, just simply reheat and stir and it will all come together again

Nutrition Information

Calories: 135kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 59mg, Potassium: 27mg, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 177IU, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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