Guide to Pancake and Waffle Syrups

Pancakes and waffles are bland when left plain; a drench of sweet and tasty syrup completes them. A syrup is a thick liquid made mostly of sugar and other flavorings, whether natural or artificial. While maple syrup is most probably the first thing that comes to mind when you hear syrup, there’s a whole lot more of other syrup types in the world. Here are some of them:


1. Maple syrup

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is very popular and common, especially among the West. Real maple syrup comes from the sap of a maple tree, which is boiled down until it is thick and sweet. Commonly drenched over pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal, maple syrup is a natural sweetener that is touted as more nutritious and healthier than sugar. Artificial maple syrup is more common and can be seen on almost all grocery stores as they are much cheaper than the real ones, but they do not contain the same nutritional value of pure maple syrup.

2. Sugar syrup

Sugar syrup, also called simple syrup or bar syrup, is made by simply dissolving sugar in water over medium heat. It is stirred continually until sugar dissolves completely, making a sticky concoction. This syrup is typically used by bartenders to sweeten mixed drinks and cocktails because granulated sugar won’t easily dissolve in cold drinks. Some people prefer sugar syrup to sweeten their fluffy goodies.

3. Chocolate syrup

Chocolate syrup

One of the crowd’s favorites, chocolate syrup is another perfect companion to pancakes and waffles. This syrup is made of cocoa powder, corn syrup, and flavorings. It can be found in different variants such as milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate varieties, among others. When drizzled in pancakes and waffles, it is best paired with ice cream or fresh fruit.

4. Honey

Honey is another naturally-made syrup produced by bees and other related insects. It’s a simple and exotic sweetener, which taste differs depending on the flowers that the bees got it from. Plus, it’s loaded with health benefits as compared to sugar, which is empty calories. Honey is typically used as a sweetener for beverages and for baked goods. But like maple, not all honey products that you can find in your grocery aisle are pure and made with all-natural honey.

5. Corn syrup

Whether you know it or not, corn syrup is one of the staple ingredients in common food products like soda, ketchup, ice cream and more. It is made from corn starch that has been processed to convert some of its glucose to fructose. It is also used as a base of other kinds of syrups. When used as a baking ingredient, it makes the finished product moister and with better texture.

6. Molasses


Molasses is a popular ingredient used in baked goods like pies. It is also well-known as a sweetener for candies and rum. Molasses are formed from leftover products after sugarcane crystals are removed and refined. It is known that molasses contain more nutrients than refined sugar, and its unique, rich flavor makes it a great alternative for sugar. Put it on your pancakes and waffles along with cinnamon or bananas or berries, and you’re great to go.

7. Rice syrup

Rice syrup (or malt syrup) is often included as an ingredient in some processed foods that need sweeteners. It is produced by fermenting the starch in cooked rice starch, then the liquid is removed and heated until it reaches a syrup-like consistency. For pancake and waffles, some people use it as alternative to maple syrup or honey.  It was considered as a healthy alternative to sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, but new scientific researches show otherwise.

8. Caramel syrup

Caramel gives off a smooth and delicate flavor that is perfect for blending in with fluffy pancakes and yummy waffles. It is made of sugar and butter, among other additional ingredients, that is melted and mixed over heat. Its sweet and buttery notes are well-loved by many, as it is commonly added as flavoring to coffee, lattes and frappes, as well as dessert like pudding.

9. Barley malt syrup

Barley malt syrup is an unrefined sweetener processed by extraction from sprouted and dried malted barley. It’s a sticky and dark brown syrup that looks like and tastes a bit like molasses. But it’s about half as sweet as common sugar, and has a distinctive “malty” flavor to it.

10. Fruit syrups

Fruit syrups are concentrated fruit juices are used as flavorings and sweeteners. One of the most common fruit syrups drizzled on pancakes and waffles are strawberry and blueberry syrups – as well as other berry varieties like blackberry, raspberry and wild berry. Fruit syrups can also be made from other types of fruits such as passion fruit, peach, pineapple, orange, lemon, mango, guava and more. All in all, whatever flavor they come in, fruit syrups give a distinct fruity sweetness to any pancake or waffle.