Move over maple syrup, this Buttermilk Caramel Syrup is a thick, delicious treat for pouring over pancakes, waffles, french toast, or even ice cream! It’s like liquid gold!
Buttermilk Caramel Syrup
When I was a kid, I had an obsession with pancake houses that had syrup jars with multiple varieties of syrup to pour over pancakes, waffles, or french toast. You know what I’m talking about? Those glass bulb jars (<– affiliate link) with the retracting lids for easy pouring? Anytime we ate breakfast out, I just had to sample every syrup option there was.
I’m not so different as an adult except that I tend to prefer eating breakfast at home rather than going out. And that means making my own special syrups, like this buttermilk caramel syrup. If you are a syrup lover too, you also need to try this coconut syrup and apple cider syrup. One of these days I’ll get around to apricot syrup and blackberry syrup as well, since those were always favorites as well.
We especially love this caramel syrup drizzled over German pancakes, but it’s every bit as delicious over buttermilk pancakes, french toast, or waffles. I especially love pairing this buttermilk caramel syrup with bananas or peaches. It’s sooooo good.
If I’m being completely honest, we love this so much we almost never use maple syrup anymore because we would rather have buttermilk caramel syrup instead.
Be sure to use a large pot even though it will seem too big for the amount of ingredients. The baking soda will react with the buttermilk and cause the syrup to bubble and foam and you don’t want this sticky, sweet syrup to overflow onto your stove or countertops, which has definitely happened to me before!
How to Make Caramel Syrup
- First, combine the buttermilk, sugar, butter, and baking soda in a large pot. Seriously, you want the pot to be bigger than you think you need. I usually use the same pot I use for making soup just to be on the safe side.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. You need to stir so the sugar doesn’t burn and the butter can melt and combine with the other ingredients.
- As soon as the butter is melted and the syrup starts to boil, decrease the heat to medium-low and let the syrup simmer for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. It will foam on top, but if you keep stirring, you can check the color of the syrup beneath the foam. Once it is a light golden brown, remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Tips for the Best Buttermilk Syrup
- Don’t cook it too long or it will turn into more of a caramel sauce (thicker) and less of a caramel syrup (thinner). It’s still good, just remember that the caramel syrup will thicken as it cools.
- If you haven’t cooked the syrup long enough and it seems too thin, just put it back on the stove on medium-low heat for another minute or two to thicken it a bit more. But again, keep in mind that it will thicken up a bit as the syrup cools down.
- The cooking process and the sugar in the recipe will help preserve the buttermilk caramel syrup, so it will last about 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Just reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, give it a good stir, then use it like normal.
- I do not recommend replacing the buttermilk with a substitute made from milk combined with lemon juice or vinegar for this recipe. It works o.k., but I just don’t think the syrup is as good as when it’s made with actual buttermilk. You can use any leftover buttermilk to make pancakes, marinate chicken before frying, or use in cakes and other baked goods. I’ve also heard that it freezes well.
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Bring the syrup ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently until the syrup is a light golden brown.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then let the syrup cool slightly for a few minutes while still stirring occasionally before transferring to a heat-safe jar.
- Pour over pancakes, waffles, french toast, German pancakes, ice cream, or anything else you can think of!
- The syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Just reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and stir before using.
Be sure to use a large pot even though it will seem too big for the amount of ingredients. The baking soda will react with the buttermilk and cause the syrup to bubble and foam and you don't want this sticky, sweet syrup to overflow onto your stove or countertops, which has definitely happened to me before!
I do not recommend using a buttermilk substitute made from milk combined with lemon juice or vinegar for this particular recipe. It turns out o.k., but not nearly as good, and you run this risk of having your syrup curdle.
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