It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up a batch of homemade buttermilk syrup from scratch and your family will think you are a wizard with magical powers for creating something so delicious. It takes a regular stack of pancakes from ordinary to extraordinary with just 6 simple ingredients.

An image of a glass jar filled with homemade buttermilk caramel syrup.

Caramel Buttermilk Syrup

If you are tired of plain old maple syrup, you can elevate your pancakes and French toast with a batch of this easy buttermilk syrup that is thick, sweet, and delicious! Your family breakfasts will go from forgettable to memorable with this yummy syrup that is sure to become a tradition in your family just like it is in ours.

Caramel is one of the most heavenly flavors of all time. Some of our other favorite caramel recipes are Carmelitas (Oatmeal, Chocolate, Caramel Bars), Easy Salted Caramel Frosting, and Gourmet Homemade Caramel Apples.

An image of caramel syrup being poured over German pancakes.

Homemade Caramel Syrup Ingredients

  • Buttermilk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salted butter
  • Light corn syrup
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla extract

How to Make Caramel Syrup

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I recently discovered these Ergospout lids that let you turn any mason jar into a pouring pitcher. It's perfect for your buttermilk caramel syrup! Use the discount code HOUSEOFNASHEATS for an extra 10% off.
An image of butter, sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda in a large pot.
An image of buttermilk syrup in a pot.

Best Buttermilk Syrup Recipe Tips

  • 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.

Favorite ways to use Homemade Buttermilk Syrup

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.

Or use leftovers with some hot fudge, brownies, toasted pecans, and ice cream for an unbelievable brownie sundae.

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!

Storing Homemade Caramel Syrup

Once the syrup has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

FAQs for How to Make Buttermilk Syrup

Can you save buttermilk syrup?

Yes, you can save buttermilk syrup for a few weeks in the fridge thanks to the high sugar content. Just reheat before serving and it will taste as good as the day it was made!

Why does my buttermilk syrup separate?

Separation in buttermilk syrup can happen when the ingredients are at different temperatures or because it wasn’t mixed enough. The syrup might split into layers with fat (from the butter) floating on top and a sugary base below. To fix this, cook the syrup a little longer and stir it vigorously to bring everything back together.

How to thin out caramel?

If your caramel is too thick, it means you likely cooked it too long. If it has thickened as it cooled (totally normal) you can usually thin it out by simply reheating it in the microwave. You can also try adding a little extra milk or cream to thin it a bit.

An image of German pancakes with buttermilk caramel syrup.

More like this Caramel Syrup Recipe

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Homemade Caramel Syrup

5 from 2 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
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!


  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 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 2-3 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.


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 24mg | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Hello!...I love the idea of this syrup but was wondering if it would work with the ‘Buttermilk powder ‘...we live part of the year in Mexico and so far have not found Buttermilk, so I found the powder when travelling through the works wonderful for my biscuits, but was not sure about this recipe! ...if not I guess I will have to wait until we are back in Canada 🇨🇦 

  2. 5 stars
    I over cooked it a bit because my gas stove on the lowest setting still boils . How can I thin it a little. It’s delicious though and I’ll make it again!

    1. Hi! You can add a little more buttermilk to thin it out. It does get a little thick as it cools because the butter can start to solidify. Pop it in the microwave to warm it up and it will be good as new!

  3. Thanks! The German pancakes and especially the caramel buttermilk syrup (puts it over the top delicious…) are easy to prepare and a great addition to weekend specials.

    1. Thank you! The buttermilk syrup is seriously the best. I can't even bear the thought of making German pancakes or french toast or pancakes and not having this syrup dredged all over everything. Ha ha. So good!

    1. Oh it is very awesome! But anything made with butter and sugar is going to have quite a bit of calories, but very delicious. 😉