Making maple syrup is a beloved springtime activity. It brings people out of the slumber of winter to make magic by turning tree water into sugary goodness. This homestead chore is labor-intensive for sure, but the reward of homemade maple syrup is worth it.
If you live in an area where you can make syrup or buy it locally, you might actually find yourself overflowing with this sweet treat in the springtime.
Lucky for you, maple syrup stores for a long time. Before you put it up on the shelf, consider all the wonderful things you can make with it.
The most obvious use for maple syrup is to put it on top of breakfast favorites like pancakes, waffles, and french toast, but this sweet syrup is so much more versatile.
Here’s 20 different ways to put this natural sweetener to good use.
1. Top Roasted Veggies
Roasted veggies are are an easy and delicious side dish for any meal, but adding a little maple syrup on top takes them to new levels. Pour maple syrup on your sweet potatoes, or use it as a glaze on carrots, brussels sprouts, asparagus, or squash.
2. Make Maple Preserves
If you’re a fan of making homemade preserves, you should definitely try adding some maple syrup to your concoctions. Maple flavor pairs well with figs, apples, and strawberries. It’s a great way to get sweetness into your jam without adding a lot of sugar.
3. Homemade Salad Dressing
Many commercial salad dressings are full of fake sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Making your own salad dressing is not only easy, but you can choose the best ingredients to use.
Maple syrup is an excellent addition to many dressings, it adds a bit of sweetness and flavor that can’t be rivaled by white sugar.
Try adding it to homemade balsamic dressing, dijon vinaigrette, and creamy dressings for a sweet caramel flavor that can’t be rivaled.
4. Bake with Maple Syrup
Maple syrup has roughly the same sweetness as sugar, so it can be used as a substitute in many baked goods. The general rule of thumb is to substitute 1 cup of white sugar with 3/4 cup of maple syrup, then cut the liquid in the recipe down by 3-4 tablespoons.
You can replace all or some of the sugar in any baking recipe with maple syrup, but it’s even more fun to bake recipes that feature the flavor.
There are hundreds of recipes out there for maple-flavored baked goods, from cookies and maple scones to pies and cake.
5. Delicious Maple Glaze
You can not only use maple syrup in your baked goods, you can put it on top too.
Maple glaze goes great on donuts, scones, cakes, and cookies. It’s so easy to make and adds a ton of flavor and sweetness.
How to make maple glaze:
Your basic maple glaze is made from powdered sugar and maple syrup. You can make it more runny by adding water or milk, and add flavorings like cinnamon or vanilla for a little extra pizazz.
Basic maple glaze
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or water
- optional: pinch of salt, teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to flavor
Whisk all ingredients together to a smooth consistency and brush, pipe, pour, or dip to glaze your baked goods.
6. Marinate or Glaze Meats and Fish
Maple glaze is not only good for topping baked goods, you can use it to flavor meats as well. The warm flavor goes great on baked ham, pork tenderloin, salmon, and chicken. Mix the syrup into your next marinade or brush it on top while cooking, and you’ll be delighted with how flavorful the meat is.
7. Make Granola
Using maple syrup instead of sugar in your granola recipe not only cuts down on the use of white sugar, but it also adds a ton of flavor too. Granola is so easy to make, and adding some homemade maple syrup and dehydrated fruit makes it extra special.
8. Make Maple Cream
Is there anything more delightful than making spreadable maple syrup? Maple cream is extremely easy to make and so versatile. This delicious cream goes great on toast, scones, biscuits, and cake.
9. Brew Beer & Flavor Spirits
Maple syrup is a wonderful ingredient to add to your brewing supplies and liquor cabinet.
Syrup adds a touch of sweetness and caramel flavor to your favorite adult beverages. There are loads of maple-flavored beer and cocktail recipes out there, why not try some of them out.
You can make an incredible old-fashioned by swapping the sugar for maple syrup.
10. Put It In Your Soup
Maple syrup is an excellent addition to savory or creamy soups. Try adding it to your favorite chili, chowder, or curry for some natural sweetness. We love to use it in hearty winter squash soups.
11. Make Maple Candy
If you’ve never tried maple candy, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.
This delicacy is made using only maple syrup, though if you want you can add some crushed nuts on top to make them fancier. Maple candy has a fudge-like quality, and the taste is rich and sweet.
To excel at making maple candy, be sure to get a candy thermometer, as temperature control is important. You’ll also need some candy molds, and you can get really fancy here by using maple leaf molds.
How to make maple candy
- Spray candy molds with nonstick spray.
- Pour two cups of maple syrup into a large saucepan or pot. The syrup will bubble a lot so make sure there’s room for it to do so.
- Bring the syrup to a boil then reduce heat to medium.
- Insert a candy thermometer and heat the syrup until it reaches 246 degrees.
- Beat the syrup vigorously with a wooden spoon or handheld mixer until it lightens and thickens to a creamy consistency.
- Pour the syrup into the molds and let it cool, then pop them out and enjoy.
12. Maple BBQ Sauce
Have you ever made homemade barbecue sauce before? It’s to die for, and when you add maple syrup in, it’s even better. This rich and sweet sauce is perfect for brushing on meats and serving at picnics. Try this recipe from the Prairie Homestead.
13. Flavor Oatmeal or Overnight Oats
Adding a drizzle of maple syrup to your oats packs a sweet and flavorful punch. Top it off with some cinnamon, brown sugar and chopped apples to make the most comforting and cozy meal.
14. Delicious Candied Nuts
Candied nuts are a delicious treat on their own, or on top of yogurt, ice cream, salads, and oatmeal. You can mix maple syrup with your choice of walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
You won’t believe how easy and fast it is to make this treat at home. They also make great holiday gifts!
How to make candied nuts:
- 2 cups of nuts
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Toast the nuts in a dry skillet on medium heat. Add the maple syrup and seasonings and continue stirring until the syrup caramelizes on the nuts. Remove from the pan and let cool on a piece of parchment paper. Enjoy!
15. Top Bacon and Sausage with Maple Syrup
I’ve you’ve never added maple syrup to your breakfast meats, you’re really missing out. Something about the sweetness of the syrup and the savory meats makes a mighty tasty combination.
16. Sweeten Your Coffee or Tea
Who needs boring old sugar when you can add maple syrup to your favorite morning beverage? The syrup adds a touch of sweetness and lots of flavor to any hot beverage.
17. Maple Ice Cream
If you have an ice cream maker at home, you must try adding maple syrup to your ice cream game. The maple flavor on its own is delicious, but you can also add fruit, nuts, cinnamon, or vanilla to your ice cream for more complex flavors.
Don’t have an ice cream maker? That’s okay. You can have just as much fun using the syrup as a topping on store-bought ice cream.
18. Homemade Sweet and Spicy Salsa
The best salsa packs a punch of sweet and spicy flavors. What better way to get that sweetness than to add maple syrup instead of sugar? It goes especially well with pineapple salsas and really compliments chipotle flavors.
19. Maple Candied Bacon
How do you make bacon even better? Bake it with maple syrup!
This tasty treat is great on its own but even better as a topper on cupcakes, popcorn, and apple pie.
To make maple candied bacon:
Preheat the oven to 350. Lay bacon slices on a wire rack that fits into a baking sheet. Brush maple syrup onto each slice of bacon and if you wish, top with other goodies like seasonings, brown sugar, or crushed nuts. Bake until the bacon is cooked and the syrup has carmelized, 15-18 minutes.
20. Maple Dipping Sauces
Maple syrup isn’t just for glazes and icings, you can use it to make dips too. You can mix maple syrup with cream cheese and sour cream to make a delicious dip for fruits. Or take a more savory route and mix it with mustard for a spicy and sweet dip for french fries. There are no limits to the creative ways you can make dips with this sweet confection.
As you can see, maple syrup is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen, so if you made a lot this year, never fear, there are tons of fun ways to use it!