Coconut Syrup

This Coconut Syrup is just like the kind they serve over pancakes and waffles in Hawaii! It is thick and rich and supremely coconut-y. Plus: stupid easy. Perfect for a lazy Mother’s Day!

Coconut Syrup from The Food Charlatan

I got coconut syrup in my hair today. In my bangs, actually. Apparently I run my fingers through my bangs to sweep them out of my eyes like every 10 seconds. I never really noticed that I did this before, but it’s hard not to take note when your fingers keep getting caught in the now-dried, hours-old coconut syrup that you still haven’t washed out of your hair.

This is probably why I get looks at the grocery store. Not only are my children disheveled, but their mother looks like someone who’s been playing with her food. Shamefully accurate.

Coconut Syrup from The Food Charlatan

I probably had BBQ sauce or frosting on my face the other day at the store, too. It would explain why my cashier was checking out my kids to see if she needed to call the cops. I had my nephew with me, who had had a nasty run-in with the edge of a counter. The first day I saw it, it was just a knot with a split down the middle, right on his temple. By the time we went on our grocery trip a day later, it had morphed into a full-on black eye. It looked pretty gnarly. Poor kid.

The checkout lady asked what happened of course, and I told her. Then she turned her attention to my son Truman, who needed a haircut so bad that his eyes were literally covered in hair. But she still managed to spot his little strawberry patch right between his eyebrows. “Oh, did he fall too?” NO I SWEAR IT’S A BIRTHMARK!! THIS BLACK-EYED KID ISN’T EVEN MINE! I’M INNOCENT!! Just ignore the syrup-bangs please.

Coconut Syrup from The Food Charlatan

Have you been to Hawaii? Eric and I went for our honeymoon, but I want to go back. We didn’t get to see a ton because we were on a budget. Eric’s parents just went a few weeks ago, and his mom told me about an amazing breakfast she had: Banana Macadamia Pancakes with Coconut Syrup. I did some research, and it seems like Bananacadamia (Let’s make this a thing!) pancakes are a popular thing there. I’ve never had them, but this recipe is so amazing that I can’t imagine how they would be better. I mean, besides the fact that there are no beaches or palm trees in sight.

But first up: the syrup. This coconut syrup gets a whole post to itself, because after trying it I knew I would be using it for more than just Bananacadamia Pancakes. (That recipe will be up on Thursday) (Here it is). I’m thinking Italian Sodas, fruit dip, (Try a banana with this syrup. Or pineapple! So. good.) regular old waffles, jazzing up my oatmeal. What would you put it on? I want to experiment using this with some grilled meat too. Coconut syrup for days!

Coconut Syrup from The Food Charlatan

On that note. You should know that I just swiped my fingers through my syrupy bangs again.

P.S. If you want to make the pancakes mentioned and are going shopping before my post goes live on Thursday, the ingredients you’ll need for the Banana Macadamia Pancakes (besides regular pancake stuff like flour, baking soda/powder, etc.) are: 2-3 ripe or overripe bananas, 1/2 cup roasted salted macadamia nuts, eggs, butter, and buttermilk. (Here’s the link to the pancakes)

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Coconut Syrup

Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Recipe by The Food Charlatan


  • 1 13 or 14 ounce can coconut milk (not lite)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or up to 3/4)
  • 1 tablespoon light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Open the can of coconut milk. Pour into a small saucepan with the heat turned off. Add the cornstarch and whisk thoroughly.*
  2. Turn the heat to medium once the cornstarch is completely incorporated. Add the sugar, salt, and corn syrup.
  3. Stir very frequently over medium heat until the liquid starts to thicken. If you start to see bubbles from boiling, take it off the heat.
  4. Add the vanilla and stir. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
  5. Serve with your favorite pancakes, waffles, or I bet it would make a great Italian soda or cocktail!


*Often coconut milk will have separated into a solid of white cream and a watery liquid. If yours has done this, pour the thin liquid into the pan and whisk the cornstarch in before adding the cream. If you add it all at once, the little bits of white cream look exactly like chunks of cornstarch, so it's hard to know if the cornstarch is all whisked in. If in doubt, whisk for a good long minute and you should be safe. If you do end up with chunks of cornstarch (I doubt it), just strain when the syrup is finished.

More Mother’s Day brunch ideas!

Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Syrup (think outside the Christmas box! These are so good, anytime of the year):

Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Syrup from The Food Charlatan


Good Old Fashioned Pancakes:

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes from

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole:

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole from The Food Charlatan


Dark Chocolate Waffles with Ganache and Strawberries:

Dark Chocolate Waffles with Ganache and Strawberries from The Food Charlatan



Pancakes from friends:

The Blueberry Pancakes of Your Dreams from Baker by Nature
Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes from How Sweet Eats
Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Crazy for Crust





  1. Diane M. says

    Yum! We lived in Hawaii for 8-1/2 years and we miss it so Very much. Thanks for sharing this recipe for Coconut syrup. Love, love banana pancakes with coconut syrup! Will have to make this soon!

  2. says

    haha oh gosh, I touch my hair all the time and I have definitely swiped food through it before! Which is why I now wear it up when cooking at all times!

    We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon and I definitely remember the coconut syrup! Love this!!
    Ashley recently posted…How To Set Up A DIY Mimosa BarMy Profile

    • says

      Yeah, I usually remember to put mine up halfway through a shoot when I realize there is blonde hair peaking in the corners of my overhead shots. and also the strap that I never put on. haha!

  3. Sheryl says

    I HAVE to try this syrup with my daughter. We used to bring home coconut syrup from Hawaii….so fun to eat pancakes here and pretend we are still there in sunny Hawaii!! :-)

    • says

      Awesome Sheryl, let me know if it tastes like what you remember! It’s funny, when my mother in law was texting me from the restaurant about this syrup, she asked the waiter if they would give her the recipe. Instead they brought out the bottle that they buy pre-made! They should start making it in-house, it’s so easy!

    • says

      Hi Linda! Do you mean coconut cream, as opposed to coconut milk? (I’m not sure what cream of coconut is) Coconut cream is just an entire can of the solid stuff that comes in a can of coconut milk. It is unsweetened and definitely doesn’t taste like this recipe! Funny that you mention it, I tested this recipe 3 times, and used coconut cream on one of them (in lieu of the coconut milk). It made the syrup too thick for my liking.

          • Linda says

            I will have to try that. Just made a coconut tres leches cake using it and evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk instead of half-n-half with the other two. Seems to me that would make it too sweet but I think the sweetened condensed was less to compensate for the extra sweet. It was a HUGE success. You have me at coconut. Thanks for the recipe!!

  4. says

    I remember having this syrup in Hawaii too! I loved it and never thought about making it myself. Genius Karen!! And haha with the check our clerk. I always think the same thing. My daughter falls all the times on her legs and has these bruises and everyone is looking probably thinking poor little girl!! I would totally get this in my hair if I could have some. :-)
    Cyndi – My Kitchen Craze recently posted…Tropical SlushieMy Profile

  5. says

    Oh this syrup looks divine and the possibilities…….. I had to laugh at your story because it is the same with me!! I usually forget little things at my major grocery trip so I have to stop and pick things up on the way home from getting my kids from school and the looks I get!! But when I get home and look in the mirror I know why! Between the kids and I our clothes and faces need some tlc.
    Malinda @countrysidecravings recently posted…Pineapple Upside Down CakeMy Profile

  6. says

    Wha? Coconut syrup is a thing? This so needs to happen! I’m always getting weirdo looks at the grocery store. I basically wake up and run to the store. I’m a straight up hot mess. So pinning this!

    • says

      Story of my life. Except I don’t wake up early, then feed my kids, then drop them off for swap, then make a hasty list, THEN go to the grocery store at 10:30 looking like I just rolled out of bed. Gross. haha.

  7. says

    What a great recipe for Mother’s Day brunch! I’m definitely going to come back for the pancake recipe on Thursday. And I’ll have to remember to add pineapple to the grocery list so I can top my stack of coconut syrup pancakes with it.

    • Joyce says

      We stayed a week at the Plantation Inn at Lahina and had macadamia pancakes at their restaurant on first floor. The syrup was so good that we consumed an entire container EVERY DAY!! We kept looking at each other saying, “Did YOU eat all that?!!”

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