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Better Than Mrs. Butterworth’s Pancake Syrup

Better than Mrs. Butterworths Syrup

There is nothing that says "Hello Saturday" morning better than a grand slam breakfast. It is actually more like lunch and breakfast combined by the time my two sleepy head teenagers finally come out from their caves.

The boys wanted eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit and even pancakes.  I said sure as those all items I usually have in stock. I baked the crispy bacon in the oven, sliced up the strawberries, scrambled the last of the eggs and everything was fine and dandy until it came to making the pancakes.

Better than Mrs. Butterworth's pancakes

I had intended to make just some easy and quick bisquick pancakes, that by the way call for both eggs and milk. Hmm well have no fear I did have a bit of plain yogurt in refrigerator as eggs and milk are so over rated. This subsitution worked lovely. Now the boys were asking if we could make chocoloate chip pancakes. We live in Hong Kong and they do not have chocolate chips except in the specialty stores. Plan B, I had found some hershey kisses I stashed in the freezer for emergencies under the frozen brocoli and put those to good use. Now here comes the sticky part, no pun intended, someone not pointing any fingers, has finished off the last drop of Mr. Butterworths syrup. I only realized this after batches of my delicious fluffy chocolate chip pancakes were coming hot off the griddle.

Better than Mrs. Butterworth's pancakes

I asked the boys if they could just use honey, drizzle some corn syrup or sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top as these were rough times and this calls for desperate measures. However, really I thought to myself how hard can it possibly be to make a quick pancake syrup as really all it is a simple syrup made with brown sugar.

So off I went to Bam's Kitchen to give it the good old college try to make homemade pancake syrup. My first attempt was actually not a complete failure as it made a delicious molasses hard candy. (FYI if you take your simple syrup temperature to a hearty boil and you will make candy) Note to self do not try to help your kids with their calculus homework, talk on the phone or decide to unload the dishwasher while you are making pancake syrup.

Molasses Candy

My second attempt took three minutes and it was a perfectly delightful rich and thick syrup that takes it time dripping down the tower of pancakes. My kids said it tasted even better than Mrs. Butterworths and I could not agree more.

Better than Mrs. Butterworth's pancakes

All I used was three simple ingredients; brown sugar, vanilla and water. Here is the list of ingredients on the back of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup; High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, salt, cellulose gum, molasses, potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium hexametaphosphate, citric acid, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors. What exactly is sodium hexametaphosphate and why would I want this in my pancake syrup?

Thermometers and measuring devices (such as a candy thermometer) are for those sissy cooks but in hindsight this might have been slightly helpful.

All you need is about 3 minutes and 3 ingredients and you can have thick, rich and delicious syrup without a trip up to the local store in your PJ's. 



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Better Than Mrs. Butterworth’s Pancake Syrup

By HWC Magazine  , , , ,

September 11, 2013

Perfectly delightful thick and rich syrup that takes it time dripping down the tower of pancakes. My kids said it tasted even better than Mrs. Butterworths.

  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yields: 2 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


Brown sugar - 1 cup (packed firmly)

water - little less than 1/2 cup

vanilla - 1 teaspoon


1Mix brown sugar, water and vanilla in saucepan and bring to a very gentle boil for 3 minutes. Do not cover and stir frequently. The goal according to our dear friend Charles from Five Euro Food is "you need to be looking for the thread stage when boiling the sugar so do not allow the temperature to go above 111 degrees Celsius"

2Remove from burner and allow to cool. The syrup will thicken upon cooling. Do not allow the syrup to boil vigourously or leave on longer or your will have hard candy. If after 10 minutes of cooling your syrup is still not thick enough then reboil for another 30 seconds to a minute.

3Serve immediately over pancakes, icecream or other desserts.

  • That syrup sounds great–I like the idea of making your own!

  • Nothing beats soft and fluffy pancakes for a Saturday brunch! The homemade syrup sounds absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  • Chocolate chip pancakes are my FAVORITE 😀 I would love to make some with this syrup – delish!!

  • kitchenriffs

    This syrup certainly sounds better than Mrs. Butterworth’s! Very clever of you! Great sounding breakfast, too. Also very clever of you with the chocolate “chips.” 😉 Good stuff – thanks.

  • What an easy to make syrup! Home made is always better than the ones outside.

  • I just love it when you have to experiment, and what comes out is something better than expected!! Really nice job, and boy do those pancakes look amazing!!

  • Homemade syrup! Yummy!

  • Lovely pancake………Really tempting………..

  • Well done!
    It looks like your improvising has been very well received by the hungry teenagers 🙂 The syrup looks so lush!

  • Buona notte, BAM! Aren”t you the creative one, making your own pancake syrup? No need to try to convince me of the evils of many syrups. Even though it costs more, I buy only 100% maple syrup now, but I realize that may not be available in your neck of the woods. I say if this syrup passes the teenager test, tell Mrs. Butterworth her services are no longer needed and stick with your own recipe, Mrs. BAM’s. 🙂
    Have a great week!

  • [email protected]

    There’s nothing more satisfying is there than reading the back of a bottle and the long list of ingredients and then just making up your own recipe – and it’s better. Who would have thought just 3 ingredients hey?

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

    I had no idea how simple it is to make pancake syrup. This looks amazing Bobbi!

  • You are amazing! I love that you let nothing deter you from the perfect grand slam breakfast. The syrup and pancake stack look yummy!

  • Your boys are so lucky, place the meal order and it will be filled. Wonderful that your experiment netted you 2 new creations – a delicious molasses hard candy and pancake syrup.

  • No chocolate chips in Hong Kong? What the heck? I don’t think I would have been able to walk away from your table after a breakfast like that, but then again, I’m not a teenage boy. But you are incredibly creative coming up with your own syrup – I don’t think the thought would have crossed my mind thinking that I’d need a maple tree with a bucket to make it. I can’t imagine you not having sodium hexametaphosphate on hand though.

    • Bams Kitchen

      I know isn’t that crazy, no chocolate chips. They had some at A and M but have been sold out for some time. I guess I will have to wait for that slow shrimp boat to come across the China sea for a restock on the basics. I remember that some of the items that I used to be able to pick up at the local gas station, in the US, are not available in HK or are considered a rare specialty item. LOL

  • That list of ingredients on the label of that bottle is the very reason I started making my own syrup. The kids don’t care for maple so I and no choice really. It is better than bottled stuff, I make mine with organic sugar and vanilla and it comes put perfect just like yours. Hershey’s chocolate syrup is next to be replaced.
    So, here’s the question, will you be making your own from now on out?


    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Nanzeen, organic brown sugar sounds lovely. It is difficult to find many of these specialty items in HK but will continue on with my search. I agree that making items from scratch is the best way to go and I don’t think there is any turning back now.

  • Oh my! I am drooling at this gooey and thick pancake syrup! So cool that these are just three ingredients to make this! I wish I am one of your boys! HAHA!

  • This is so perfect, Bam! I love the fact that you have excluded all those unneeded chemicals and preservatives. Those pictures are mouth watering!

  • I used to LOVE Mrs. Butterworth when I was a child. So you know this will be tried and tested and eaten in my house lol.

  • I cannot wait to try this! Btw, I’ve made my own molassas hard candy in an attempt to make caramel sauce!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one. I bet your caramel candies were delicious!

  • I would rather have your syrup any day 🙂

  • I laughed while reading your post Bobbi! I’m sure the caramel candies are delicious and I would die to have some of your pancake syrup!

  • I don’t know why I never thought of making my own syrup, Bobbi, but it’s such an easy thing! We make our own simple syrup all the time for various uses and of course you could do it for pancakes…I just never thought about it. Thanks for such a great and easy tip! 🙂

  • Hahaha.. glad to see someone else has a few cooking catastrophes whilst running around helping kids, etc. I bet that candy would have tasted great though? Love your recipe, the whole idea of making your own syrup isn’t something I would have even thought of. It must have tasted heavenly on those pancakes.. I’ve said it before.. lucky, lucky boys!!

  • Hi Bam – we’ve all been there… sugar disasters! For what it’s worth, I think you need to be looking for the “thread stage” when boiling the sugar, so not allowing it to go above around 111 degrees Celsius – great idea to make your own though, looks lovely!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hi there Charles, you must have one of those fancy thermometers. I really do need to purchase one as making syrup would have been that much easier. I don’t have little tiny toddlers running away with all of the baking supplies…but somehow it has gone missing amongst all of our international moves. I will add your suggestion on temperature not to go over 111 degrees C. Thanks Charles

  • Nice syrup bams, actually i’m quite trauma with handling syrup
    it’s gonna hurt you badly for it’s high temperature, in my case my finger nails,
    i guess i’m sticking for the store brought…hehehe
    unfortunately, everything with ‘no preservatives and organic’ gonna hurt your wallet badly too…
    lucky you my friend!

  • Maureen

    I like the idea of homemade syrup rather than the storebought full of chemicals kind. It looks good!

  • I have had mornings like that! You handled it well and hit a grand slam 🙂

  • They look delish! i love it with lots of honey

  • I love that this luscious syrup only needs 3 ingredients! It looks wonderful on top of a big stack of pancakes!

  • Jo

    MMMmmm…yes. 3 ingredients, nothing nasty. Healthy and delicious!! Thanks Bobbi!! xo

  • Never thought of making my own pancake syrup but love the idea. Putting on my list.

  • This is a great idea when you run out of maple syrup, definitely will keep this in mind I might not need maple syrup after all.

  • Very interesting – We live in maple country, so I’ve never used anything but maple syrup before!

  • This looks like a good alternative to pancake syrup and also a great back-up if there is no maple syrup in the house 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • yum. i love a good pancake with syrup and its best to make your very own rather than to use those scary store bought stuff! I also love having pure maple syrup on my pancakes. A pure bliss!

  • mjskit

    Oh yea – I could top some pancakes with this syrup!

  • Chocolate chip pancakes was a favorite of mine as a kid, second to banana! Yes, your syrup looks way better than Mrs. Buttersworth’s!

  • Wow, what a cool title! A good pancake certainly needs a yummy syrup, doesn’t it? Another nice sharing, Bam!

  • OK now I want pancakes..WITH this syrup!!!

  • So much healthier than the store bought stuff! I’m definitely going to try this. The kids will love it!!

  • I have always done pancakes with maple syrup. Honey and golden syrup just don’t do it, even though delicious! But this one sounds like it could knock maple syrup off its pedestal 🙂 Yum!

  • I have to make my own pancake syrup here, and I bring the tiny maple flavor extracts from the US. And though I never quite get the exact flavor, it’s pretty similar. But I never made the syrup with brown sugar. What a perfect, awesome idea! Pinning it!

  • What a terrific mom you are to have cooked such a delicious breakfast….especially when you had to improvise. The “better than Mrs. Butterworth’s” had to make you very happy.

  • The pictures are stunning, so is the syrup!
    I can nearly smell it”s sweet aroma by just looking at the pictures 🙂
    Great post!

  • It seems natural that brown sugar syrup would taste better than corn syrup, but kudos to you for figuring it out. Lucky kids! 🙂

  • Yummy this looks delicious! Love it that you made your own syrup!

  • Homemade syrup! Nice. We’ve been so busy these past weeks even on weekends that we rarely had time to make pancakes and waffles. I need to make my own syrup next time I make pancakes. I bet this syrup is so delicious and addicting…

  • Count me in for breakfast round at yours! PLEASE 🙂

  • I don’t know Mrs Butterworth but you might have to take her name, Bam ! I love the fact that with just three ingredients you get better tasting syrup than one that has stuff in it you have to look up to find out what it is. (And great idea on the chocolate chip pancakes !)

  • I love how your sons challenge you and how you find solutions. 🙂

  • Cindy

    I just made this for my family. We used it on French toast. Everybody loved it!!!!!

  • kim h

    I like a buttery syrup. Could you use butter flavor like you use for cakes instead of vanilla?

    • Bams Kitchen

      Sure feel free to add butter to the recipe. After you take the syrup off the burner, add two teaspoons of butter and stir until melted. Thanks for stopping by. Take Care, BAM

  • Angela

    Thanks for the idea, I’m going to try it. Does it store well?

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Angela, I know you are going to laugh at this but I have teenage boys and I have never had lots left over. However, once we did have a little left over and I stored it in the refrigerator for over a week and then just needed to bring it back up to temperature. (As I stored it in the refrigerator a couple of sugar crystals formed on top and once it was heated up just to a luke warm temperature, it was a nice delicious thick rich syrup again.)

  • Shannah
    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Shannah, thanks for your questions. I will reply both here and at your e-mail as other readers may have the same questions. You can certainly double or triple the recipe. I also stored mine in the refrigerator (for up to one week….I have hungry teenager boys and nothing seems to last very long). However after you refrigerate the syrup, sometimes little sugar crystals can form on top of your syrup but once you heat it back up to luke warm temperature it becomes a thick and rich syrup consistency again. (sometimes you can add a couple tablespoons of corn syrup to the mixture to prevent this) I needed a candy thermometer to get the syrup to the thread stage when boiling the sugar, so do not allow the temperature to go above 111 degrees Celsius” Have a super weekend!

      • Shannah

        Bam, Thank you so much for my quick reply on the maple syrup. 🙂 Shannah

        • Bams Kitchen

          You are most welcome. Wishing you a super weekend Shannah.

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