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

This Coconut Syrup Recipe takes me right back to Hawaii

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.

Creative ways to use Hawaiian Coconut Syrup

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 Recipe

4.93 from 14 votes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
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!


  • 13 ounces 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


  • Open the can of coconut milk. Pour into a small saucepan with the heat turned off. Add the cornstarch and whisk thoroughly.*
  • Turn the heat to medium once the cornstarch is completely incorporated. Add the sugar, salt, and corn syrup.
  • 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.
  • Add the vanilla and stir. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • 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.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 152
Keyword: Coconut, syrup
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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

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  1. Have you tried canning this recipe? I wonder if you would need to add preservatives or if I could just use your recipe as is… I live in Hawaii with tons of coconuts!

    1. Hey Sayaka! I haven’t tried that, and I’m inexperienced with canning. Let me know how it goes!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I grew up on coconut syrup being from Hawai’i, and now that I’m a military wife away from the islands for many years now, I’ve learned how to make all my local favorites; this being one of them. Based off of other reviews I use coconut cream and coconut extract instead; and this morning while attempting to make another batch couldn’t find my Karo corn syrup! Didn’t want to sub honey, so I left it out completely. Now after having it on my sweetbread French toast, not sure what that ingredient is needed for. Perhaps so that it doesn’t turn into something we call Haupia (a Hawaiian coconut pudding dessert you can find at lu’au’s), since it’s pretty much all the same ingredients as this syrup. I’ll be happy if I no longer need to put corn syrup in this recipe. So far SOOOOO GOOOOD. MAHALO!

  3. Great simple recipe. If I use better quality ingredients, this is way better than the over the counter premade or even the restaurant one I loved. I add to many other recipes as well (ice cream, cakes, stir fry sauces, fruit dip (cream cheese or sour cream) etc. Next will try the pancakes for sure! Thank you.

  4. Loved the Coconut syrup. Made it with the coconut extract and the cream of coconut. Really easy and taste delicious. Will send picture when I have finished my cake.

    1. I haven’t tried it Nicole, but I think it would work fine! It might change the flavor a bit but probably not much. Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Mine was good but it doesn’t seem to be as thick as the picture? Maybe I should have cooked it a little longer?

    1. Hi Merry! Yes, it probably means you should have left it on the stove a couple minutes longer! The longer you cook a cornstarch mixture, the thicker it gets.

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