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.
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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.”
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.
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.
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!
- sugar (or brown sugar!)
- corn syrup
- kosher salt
- baking soda
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.
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…
And BOOM! Volcanic action!! Stir as it foams upward toward the top of the pan. Look at all those fizzy bubbles! yum.
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.
Here she is all calmed down a bit. This recipe makes a little more than 2 cups once the foaming has come down.
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!
What to serve Buttermilk Syrup with
- The Best Pancakes I’ve Ever Made << the title does not lie. I’ve been making these pancakes for years now and they are still the best!
- Try this syrup with my mother-in-law’s famous Waffles! It’s such a good combo!
- And of course it would also be amazing with Liege Waffles. YUM.
- Caramelized French Toast with buttermilk Syrup, anyone? Yes please.
- Use it instead of the glaze on this Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Or this Carrot Cake!!
- Two words: German Pancakes!! (or are the two words “Dutch Babies”? 😂)
- Imagine buttermilk syrup over my Brioche Cinnamon Rolls. OMG!
Frequently asked questions
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.
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:
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.
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!
- Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Syrup << these pancakes are SO good. I made a lemon version of today’s buttermilk syrup to go with them! Divine!
- If you love fancy syrups, be sure to try out my Hawaiian Coconut Syrup. Sooo good with Banana Macadamia Pancakes!
- Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
- Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole
- Maple Butter Twist Coffee Cake
- Blueberry Buttermilk Pancake Muffins with Maple Syrup
- Dark Chocolate Waffles with Ganache and Strawberries
- Peanut Butter Syrup from Barefeet in the Kitchen
- Homemade Apple Cider Syrup from the Carefree Kitchen
- Cream Cheese Syrup from Mindee’s Cooking Obsession
- 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.