Buttermilk syrup sounds weird but I’m telling you guys: it’s legit. Most syrups that you are going to pour over your pancakes are mostly sugar. This one actually starts with butter. And who can say no to more butter on your pancakes? It has buttermilk for tang (hear me out) and a dash of baking soda for a fizzy finish. What??? Trust me.

buttermilk syrup recipe drizzled over pancakes with butter.
Table of Contents
  1. What is Buttermilk Syrup?
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to make Buttermilk Syrup
  4. Can you make buttermilk syrup without buttermilk?
  5. How to store
  6. What to serve Buttermilk Syrup with
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. More syrupy breakfast recipes you will love!
  9. Buttermilk Syrup Recipe

My son Truman is in the 5th grade and his buddies come over after school all the time, it’s the best. One afternoon I made cookies and they each had one. In the spirit of being the Cool Mom, I told them they could have one more.

Truman’s friend Jayvyn turns to me and says, “No, that’s okay, I don’t want to spoil my dinner. My body is a temple.”

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Buttermilk syrup in a glass measuring cup with blueberries in the foreground.

10 YEARS OLD my friends. I have never said no to a second cookie in my life. This kid has a will of steel!

I was about to text Jayvyn’s mom something mushy about her son’s conviction. Then Truman pulled out a bag of Dot’s Cinnamon Pretzels and Jayvyn’s eyes got all big. “Never mind, my body is not a temple. I’ll save that for tomorrow” and proceeded to shove sugary pretzels by the handful into his mouth.

overhead shot of buttermilk syrup recipe on a plate with fruit.

The best part is that later that night, during our family scripture study, we happened to be reading in 1 Corinthians. It was Truman’s turn to read: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?” We were dying laughing. What are the odds? It’s almost like God’s trying to tell us something??

Welp, moderation in all things. On to my post about Buttermilk syrup. Don’t eat it all at once, folks! (Or maybe the real lesson is that we should be dipping Dot’s Cinnamon Pretzels into this buttermilk syrup. That would be so good!! If you haven’t tried Dot’s yet, you are missing out…you are also missing out if you haven’t tried Buttermilk Syrup! It’s a whole thing, you are going to love it!)

What is Buttermilk Syrup?

Buttermilk syrup is a classic in our family. Real maple syrup is amazing of course, but also costs about $20 a bottle right now. Yeesh! Buttermilk syrup is cheap and SO delicious.

pouring buttermilk syrup over a stack of pancakes with butter and strawberry.

But it’s really not even in the same category. Buttermilk syrup is not maple flavored. It is deliciously buttery and tangy, with a strong hint of vanilla.

The best part is the “bubbly” texture that comes from adding in the baking soda. You can’t taste the bitterness from the soda at all. It makes the syrup foam up and get nice and frothy! It’s so good on pancakes, waffles, and I even drizzle it over cake sometimes. Next week I’ll be posting a Picnic Cake that this Buttermilk syrup gets drizzled over. It seeps into the cake crevices and is just so good. (The cake is to celebrate my 12 year blogging anniversary!! 😱 🦖 More on that soon!)


Here is everything you need to make this easy buttermilk syrup! The full recipe is at the bottom of the post. Check the recipe notes for cheater buttermilk!

  • Butter
  • sugar (or brown sugar!)
  • buttermilk
  • corn syrup
  • kosher salt
  • vanilla
  • baking soda
Sugar, vanilla, karo syrup, buttermilk, baking soda, butter, and salt on a white countertop.

How to make Buttermilk Syrup

We’re starting out with butter, the base of pretty much every good thing in life. I said what I said people. Add in some sugar, buttermilk and corn syrup along with it, and a pinch of salt, making sure to use a large saucepan.

buttermilk, butter, and sugar in a metal pot.

Don’t use a tiny pan! You will regret it! This syrup gets BIG. I’m using a 3 quart pot here.

You can choose to use granulated sugar or brown sugar. Both taste amazing! Granulated sugar is more traditional. Brown sugar will give you a more caramel-y flavor. (Which I love, but it also kind of competes with the buttermilk tang. You do you!)

Wait for the mixture to come to a boil over medium heat, shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the baking soda…

Adding baking soda to a pot of boiling liquid.
a metal pot of yellow boiling liquid with a wooden spoon.

And BOOM! Volcanic action!! Stir as it foams upward toward the top of the pan. Look at all those fizzy bubbles! yum.

wooden spoon holding up bubbly white syrup from a metal spoon.
Adding vanilla to a pot of bubbly syrup.

Next add in some vanilla. This brings in tons of flavor and has a big moment here for Buttermilk Syrup, so I wouldn’t skip it.

buttermilk syrup in a pot with a wooden spoon.

Here she is all calmed down a bit. This recipe makes a little more than 2 cups once the foaming has come down.

pouring syrup from a pot into a glass measuring cup on a white counter.

And that’s it! Use right away for your pancakes or waffles or over ice cream or on a cake or funnel it directly into your mouth…

Can you make buttermilk syrup without buttermilk?

I mean you can, but it’s simply not the same. This ain’t called butter syrup or vanilla syrup…it’s buttermilk syrup. The lovely tang from the buttermilk gives it its distinct flavor. Check the recipe notes for the details on how to cheat, if you must!

How to store

Buttermilk syrup keeps in the fridge for a few weeks! I like to keep it in a mason jar with a lid, but a tupperware works fine too. Reheat in the microwave. Leftovers won’t be quite as bubbly of course, but the delicious buttery flavor is still there!

homemade buttermilk syrup drizzled over pancakes with butter.

What to serve Buttermilk Syrup with

Frequently asked questions

Can I use expired buttermilk?

Expiration dates are always a bit of an estimate, right? (Do you trust me now? 😂) When in doubt, follow your nose. Buttermilk is by nature sour, so if it’s a little past the date you are probably fine. Give it a whiff and if it still smells like tangy buttermilk, go ahead and use it! If it smells rancid, toss it. If you see any mold growing or it looks pink, toss it.

Can I use heavy cream instead of buttermilk?

Yes you can! It will be a little thicker which should be delicious! Follow the instructions for cheater buttermilk (below) but use cream instead of milk:

what is the best substitute for buttermilk?

Buttermilk is best for this recipe, but if you really need a substitute, you can use cheater buttermilk: add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a glass measuring cup, then fill the rest up to the 1 cup mark with milk (or cream). Use the highest fat milk you have, whole milk is best. Stir, let sit for 5 minutes, then use as called for in the recipe. 

Homemade Buttermilk syrup in a glass measuring cup with blueberries and strawberries.

I think that’s everything guys! I’ve had this recipe on my list to get up on the blog for literally YEARS. These photos are actually from 2020, can you believe it?? They’ve just been sitting there! Ha. I kind of forgot I did the whole photo shoot.

I remembered it as I was getting ready to shoot my anniversary Picnic Cake, which is drizzled in this syrup, and comin at you on the blog next week. Picnic cake has cinnamon, pecans, chocolate chips…and RAISINS. Wait come baaaaack! I will sell you on it next week, everyone who tries it is absolutely dumbfounded. It’s SO SO GOOD.

But this syrup is definitely a stand alone recipe, so I wanted to get it to you first. My kids think it’s the hugest treat and we make it regularly, (especially for birthday breakfasts) so it’s about time I put it up on the blog! I hope you love it as much as we do. Happy weekend everyone!

More syrupy breakfast recipes you will love!

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Buttermilk Syrup

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Buttermilk syrup sounds weird but I'm telling you guys: it's legit. Most syrups that you are going to pour over your pancakes are mostly sugar. This one actually starts with butter. And who can say no to more butter on your pancakes? It has buttermilk for tang (hear me out) and a dash of baking soda for a fizzy finish. What??? Trust me.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, or brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup buttermilk, see notes for substitute
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • In a large saucepan (you really need a large one, I use a 3 quart pan) melt 1/2 cup butter (one stick) over medium heat.
  • Add 1 cup granulated sugar (or brown sugar, if you like a darker, more caramel-y syrup. This is tasty but tends to mute the tangy buttermilk flavor a bit. It's good either way! Granulated sugar is definitely more traditional)
  • Add 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon (or just a dash) of kosher salt. Stir the mixture until it reaches a boil, it should only take a couple minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add 1 teaspoon baking soda. Stir and let the mixture foam and bubble. It rises up really high, don't be alarmed! The soda is what gives this syrup it's light and bubbly flavor.
  • Add 1 tablespoon vanilla to the syrup. Serve warm right away.
  • Store leftovers in a tupperware or jar in the fridge. It will keep for several weeks! This recipe makes a little over 2 cups, which should be enough for 8 people to enjoy with pancakes or waffles. (Unless you are feeding my kids, who like to dump an entire pint over one pancake.)
  • Reheating: You can microwave the syrup (it will have solidified a bit in the fridge) or bring it back up to a low simmer on the stove. Once it's warm, it's ready to be served.


Cheater buttermilk: Buttermilk is a main flavor profile in this recipe, hence the title. You don’t want to skip it. But if you really need a cheat, you can use regular cheater buttermilk: add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a glass measuring cup, then fill the rest up to the 1 cup mark with milk. Use the highest fat milk you have, whole milk is best. Stir, let sit for 5 minutes, then use as called for in the recipe. 


Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 46mg | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 0.03mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 227
Keyword: Buttermilk, syrup
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. 5 stars
    I made 4 small batches of syrup to give away – I love the slightly butterscotch-y smooth taste of this one – even good on toast!

  2. 5 stars
    This sounds a lot like the beginnings of pecan pralines made with buttermilk! — It does have more butter in it than the usual praline recipe, which is logical, and it doesn’t have any pecans (but I bet some toasted chopped pecans, added just before you put it on the table, would be fine in it).
    Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for getting it out of the recipe stash and up onto the blog! —

    1. OOH do you have a recipe Mary?? I visited New Orleans last year and became obsessed with pecan pralines. I tried a few recipes but none of them had buttermilk and none of them tasted at all like the ones I had there. I’m going to check recipes with buttermilk now! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m excited you finally posted this. I love this syrup! Let’s be sure and make pancakes AND all the doughnuts at Christmas! Yay for breakfast!

    1. Maybe…hear me out…DONUTS WITH BUTTERMILK SYRUP ON THEM??? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      (My body is a temple…

      My body is a temple…)

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