70+ Unexpected Ways to Use Maple Syrup
Limiting maple syrup to the breakfast hour is selling it way short. Our best maple syrup recipes come drizzled over pork, whisked into salad dressings, and melted into decadent pies. When buying maple syrup, do your homework. Grade B is preferred for many recipes, and pancake syrup, which is made from corn syrup and maple flavoring, can be left off your list entirely.
Instead of sweet potatoes, try equally starchy, carotene-rich butternut squash for your next mash. A food processor will get the mixture silky smooth. You can also change the profile by swapping maple syrup and fresh ginger for a little ground cinnamon and curry powder or minced fresh sage and grated Parmesan cheese.
Baked Brie with Pumpkin Maple Sauce
Your friends will be astonished at the ease and delight that baked brie brings to the table before dinner is served. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and salty with benefit of a warm, gooey inside and a crispy, flaky crust on the outside. Store-bought puff pastry wraps around the entire wheel of brie, and it’s finished with a drizzle of the pumpkin-spiced maple sauce that’s decadent and sweetened with maple syrup. With a sprinkle of a few sliced almonds for a crunchy texture and a rich, nutty flavor, this starter is ideal menu item to any fall themed meal.
Orange Maple Balsamic Salmon
The balance of sweet and tangy flavors coat salmon fillets, infusing them with a delicate brightness. This simple recipe features a mixture of fresh orange juice and zest, deliciously complimented by balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Half of this orange-balsamic blend acts as a marinade, while the other half simmers into a thick sauce to drizzle over the fish fillets as they come out of the oven. This easy salmon entree is best served with hearty side dishes such as roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa.
Fried Lobster Tails with Sweet Corn Waffles and Spicy Maple Syrup
Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Gastrique
From the Kitchen of…Hugh Acheson, Longtime Cooking Light Friend
"This dish is an example of the synergy of my Northern and Southern roots. My Canadian veins are partially full of maple syrup, and I adore the Southern staple crop of the sweet potato."
The gastrique, a tangy-sweet glaze, is Thanksgiving worthy but also simple enough to pull off on a weekday.
Waffle-Crusted Buffalo Chicken Tenders with the Best Sauce Ever
Chicken and waffles are a ridiculously effective combination. A shattering-skinned piece of tender meat meets the crisp edge and pleasing pillow of baked batter, and it all gets slathered in syrup. Glory. Buffalo chicken is also a brilliant thing, with the happy sting of hot sauce (this may feel like a paid ad for Frank’s RedHot, but it’s just pure love) mellowed out by melted butter. Chicken tenders, too—they’re just perfect in their finger-borne, dippable format. In these head-spinning, heart-racing times of large, televised sports events, political apocalypse, and The Bachelor, it just makes sense to consolidate as many good things as possible and stuff them into our mouths to maximize pleasure. That’s why I made Waffle-Crusted Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Spicy Maple Syrup for you.
Gonna fess up here that they’re not technically chicken tenders because they’re not actually made from the tenderloin cut. I opted instead for dark thigh meat, which is infinitely more delicious, so perhaps you will pardon the imprecision. Toss them in a marinade of buttermilk and Frank’s (seriously, not sponsored—just accurate if you’re Buffalo-ing things), turn some frozen waffles into coating crumbs and fry away to a happier place.
Oh, and the dipping sauce of Frank’s, maple syrup, and butter is so dementedly good that I licked the little testing bowl after I nailed the ratio I liked, and I am not ashamed to admit that.
Waffle-Crusted Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Spicy Maple Syrup
The maple syrup in this pumpkin butter recipe really darkens up the spread and adds some good depth of flavor. This easy recipe makes a lot, but you can easily cut the recipe in half for a small yield.
Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies
Know someone who doesn’t love chocolate? Make them these Blondies instead of brownies. Choose use high-quality 100% pure maple syrup for these bar cookies; the fake stuff doesn’t have the same richness and aroma. The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor.
Autumn's apple abundance is well worth raising a glass to. Honeycrisp apples are sweet with a touch of tartness that lends an invigorating crisp flavor, giving this boozy beverage plenty to buzz about. Maple syrup bolsters the warmth of the bourbon.
Quick Barbecue Sauce
The ingredient list for this sauce is short and practical—you likely have most of the ingredients on hand. Smoked paprika and maple syrup round out the tang from the ketchup and add depth. Use as a glaze for pan-seared pork tenderloin or toss with shredded chicken for sandwiches.
Japanese Turnips with Maple-Miso Butter
Mona Johnson, co-owner of Tournant catering in Portland, Oregon, created this dish for a Thanksgiving dinner. She cooked mild white Japanese turnips (Tokyo or Hakurei varieties) in white miso and butter for savory richness, and added a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. If you can't find Japanese turnips, use a combination of small radishes and mustard greens--regular turnips are too strong for this delicate dish.
Sour Cherry Breakfast Parfait
If you’re a loyal local shopper and you spot sour cherries at the farmers’ market, grab as many as you can. Sour cherry season is so short, you need to make the most of it while it’s in full swing. Spend an afternoon pitting them and making the most beautiful magenta cherry sauce, which you can use for pies, dessert sauces, or my favorite, a breakfast parfait. Pitting sour cherries, also known as pie cherries, is messy work, so grab your kids, pull a stool up to the counter, and make it a family affair. All that effort and time spent in the kitchen will pay off in the perfect grab-and-go breakfast to savor all week long.
Sour Cherry Breakfast Parfait
Build a banana-maple parfait.
Layer 1 sliced banana over the yogurt, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
Build an almost-apple pie parfait.
Spoon ⅓ cup applesauce over the yogurt, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
Excerpted from Scratch: Home Cooking For Everyone Made Simple, Fun, and Totally Delicious. Copyright © 2016 by Maria Rodale. The book is available October 11, 2016. Pre-order now.
Maple Mustard-Glazed Ham
For a classic flavor profile, you absolutely can't miss with this sweet glazed ham. The combination of Dijon mustard and real maple syrup beats anything you'll get from a flavor packet. Plus, this crowd-pleasing ham is made in the slow cooker, saving you effort and oven space.
Maple Syrup Snow Candy
Channel your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder with this snow-day treat. While most candy-making is a pain in the ass, maple syrup snow candy couldn’t be easier. Safety note: Unless there are many inches of freshly fallen snow in your yard, find your ice somewhere else. Making faux snow in the blender will work just as well—simply crush ice until it’s finely chopped. You can also make snow granita-style, by filling a cake pan with an inch or two of water and placing it in the freezer, crushing the ice with a fork every half hour until the mixture is slushy, but mostly solid.
Boil maple syrup with ginger until it bubbles like a cauldron. Pour the syrup mixture over a tray packed with fresh snow and watch it begins to firm up. Working quickly, roll the strands of solidified syrup around Popsicle sticks, then sprinkle each candy with a bit of flakey sea salt to offset the sugar.
Maple Syrup Snow Candy
Baked Oatmeal Apples
If you’re looking for fall breakfast ideas, we’ve got you covered. Set aside a few extra minutes in the morning to make these baked apples and oatmeal, especially if you’re searching for ways to use up extra apples or find some new apple recipes to shake up your breakfast routine. The creamy oatmeal pairs perfectly with the crisp apple, and the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are the epitome of autumn. Scoop out insides of crisp and sweet Honeycrisp apples, then chop and work them into the oatmeal before it’s cooked. Don’t throw away the cored apples; they serve as your personal, environmentally friendly bowls—and one less dish that needs to be cleaned. Load them up with oatmeal and drizzle them with butter and maple syrup to melt into the apples as they bake. This recipe is super versatile, so make it your own. Substitute walnuts with almonds in the oatmeal, pour caramel on top, or stir in chocolate. If you’re feeling extra sweet, add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. (We’re always on #teamicecream for breakfast, but if you’re struggling to get behind that idea, try frozen yogurt.) Serve warm, right out of the oven, with a final drizzle of butter.
Baked Oatmeal Apples
Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts
Yet another way to enjoy pumpkin spice this season. Gift these to friends as a festive treat, or enjoy them yourself with an autumnal beer. Make sure to use pure maple syrup, as pancake syrup will taste artificial and will likely overwhelm the spiced flavor.
Sticky Toffee Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon rolls were in regular rotation when I was growing up. There was no clearer sign of Sunday morning than the hollow clink of the cake tin hitting the stove and the assertive pop of a vacuum-packed canister of cinnamon rolls being split open. Arranged casually in a baking dish, they would swell and snuggle in the oven, their giraffe-like pattern of flaky cinnamon topping melting to cover the rolls in a layer of perfectly-engineered sweet spice. They were really more like biscuits than “rolls”—with a questionable ingredient list and wartime-appropriate expiration date—but these were the cinnamon rolls of my youth. And I loved them.
I’ll admit I dabbled with the ‘Bons, their irresistible scent luring my tween posse toward a random alcove of the mall next to the Mrs. Fields. While most of my pals preferred the cinnamon-soaked interior, I liked the drier outer layers drizzled with gooey frosting. But as I grew older I started to find these industrialized rolls unappealing, the icing too sweet, the size intimidating. But that aroma, even after all these years, is still wholly intoxicating.
I wanted to create a more sophisticated cinnamon roll, something more reasonable, appropriately-sized, dare I say, adult. A sweet treat that would still make the house smell like a food court without sending me into an extended sugar coma.
But where’s the fun in that?
So I split the difference. Yes, I came up with cinnamon rolls of a more manageable size and I swapped some of the sugar for maple syrup and sticky sweet dates which offer a complexity that none of the big-box brands can offer. I lost the icing but went instead with a layer of nutty upside-down-cake-inspired brown sugar and butter topping. Make no mistake, these cinnamon rolls are indulgent, but they’re homemade so it’s cool, right? These aren’t necessarily good for you, but they’re good for you.
Note: For extra credit you can make your own dough for these, but a couple of balls of prepared pizza dough work just fine.
Sticky Toffee Cinnamon Rolls
Szechuan-Style Breakfast Biscuits
This is a riff on the classic sausage biscuit, China style. Or as I call it in the restaurant, “This Little Piggy Went to China.” I slather a cheddar-scallion biscuit with hoisin mayo (because it makes everything better), top it with a nice big Szechuan sausage patty, add a fried egg, and drown the whole thing in Szechuan Chile Sauce that’s been sweetened with a little maple syrup (you know, for breakfast). Then I finish it off with some blackberries to bring that bright acidity. Don’t be shy about picking this guy up to eat it, but a knife and fork can be useful. Reprinted from Gather & Graze: 120 Favorite Recipes for Tasty Good Times. Copyright © 2018 by Stephanie Izard, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Galdones Photography. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Sweet Corn Oatmeal with Peaches
We simmer fresh, sweet corn kernels with toasted rolled oats until thick and creamy for a happy cross between oatmeal and creamed corn, made even sweeter with maple syrup. To get the most from each corn ear, run the flat edge of your knife blade down the stripped cobs and add any corn liquid to the pan. Top each serving with vanilla-spiked Greek yogurt and sliced fresh peaches. You could also omit the maple syrup, yogurt, and fruit and go savory, topping with shredded Cheddar cheese, green onions, and crumbled bacon.
This recipe originally appeared on Cookinglight.com.
Smoky Chipotle Baked Beans
You might be surprised to learn that baked beans often contain a good bit of sugar--usually from brown sugar, molasses, and/or ketchup. A classic recipe might have 15g total sugars per 1/2-cup serving; ours contains just 5g (only 2g added from a little maple syrup), allowing the smoky flavors of bacon, chipotle, and smoked paprika to pop.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Oat Topping
This classic casserole often straddles the line between side and dessert (indeed, we've enjoyed the leftovers both ways). We dial down the sugar to steer the dish back to savory territory, and add a crunchy oat and nut topper for texture. A final drizzle of maple syrup just before serving gives the casserole a lovely sheen. While we call for a ricer in our master mashed potatoes, a potato masher is perfectly acceptable here since the spuds will be bound with an egg, topped, and baked.
The hot toddy truly is the perfect cold weather cocktail. We opted for maple syrup to sweeten the drink, but feel free to use honey if you prefer. Same goes for the type of tea you use; we love the subtle orange spice flavors matched with the bourbon for a toasty holiday vibe, but lemon-ginger tea would work great too.
Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Madras curry powder adds warmth and earthiness to the otherwise sweet butternut squash, apple, and maple syrup in the soup. It has a bit more heat than regular curry powder, though either can be used here. Frozen, precooked squash will save time; you can also roast 1 (1 1/2-lb.) peeled, diced butternut squash ahead and refrigerate for later in the week. We opt for a sweet, Golden Delicious apple to contrast the tangy Greek yogurt; you can also use a Fuji or Braeburn apple.
Autumn Maple Cutout Cookies
These adorable cutout cookies are flavored with maple syrup and classic fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Walnuts provide a delicious crunch.
Maple Pecan Latte Rolls
We love Maple Pecan Lattes so much that we actually decided to make cinnamon rolls with them. Here's how to do it: Grab a Maple Pecan Latte from Starbucks (or make your own by adding pecan syrup and maple syrup to a regular latte) and mix it with yeast, then beat the coffee mixture into cinnamon roll dough. Fill the rolled out dough with a smooth butter pecan mixture to boost the flavor of the latte. Bake the rolls in a muffin tin until golden and puffy, then top them with gobs of maple-sweetened cream cheese frosting. Extra points if you grabbed an extra latte to sip as you eat the rolls.
Maple Pecan Latte Rolls
Spanish Chorizo Corn Cakes
Is there any time of day when a pancake isn't welcome at the table? These sweet and savory cakes are a scrumptious choice for breakfast, dinner, or a quick snack on the go. Keep warm and toasty by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven for up to 30 minutes. Reheating is as easy as popping frozen cakes in the toaster, making them ideal for quick weekday meals.
Bourbon and Bacon Jam
Kick off the morning with a sweet and salty spread that really brings home the bacon. Sugary maple syrup, warm bourbon notes, and the smokiness of pork unite in this boozy bacon jam. After your bacon renders, strain and save the leftover bacon fat for ridiculously flavorful dishes. Once the contents in your pan begin to get glossy, throw it all into a food processor and blend it quickly, or else you’ll end up with something far too similar to candy and caramel (but honestly worse things have happened). And if you’re staying off the hard stuff, leave bourbon out of the mix; it’ll still be crazy delicious. Jam on, friends. Jam on.
Bourbon and Bacon Jam Recipe
In France, buckwheat crepes are traditionally thought of as savory, but in this recipe, they skew very slightly sweet. Buckwheat crepes are one of those warm, comforting desserts that just feel right in the fall and winter, especially when paired with brown sugar, cinnamon-laced apples, and ice cream. Best part? These sweet crepes from our latest cookbook Taste & Technique are versatile, so if you don’t have time to make the apples, toffee sauce, and ice cream, you can still enjoy the crepes with maple syrup or jam.
The apples alone are a quick and fancy no-bake dessert, perfect for when you’re craving something satisfying but not too complicated. You can use any kind of apple, but we particularly like crisp varieties that hold their shape when cooked, like Jonathan, Jonagold, Braeburn, Winesap, Melrose, or Granny Smith.
The trick to making perfect crepes is learning to pour and swirl the batter simultaneously. As soon as you pour the batter with one hand, start tilting the pan with the other so the batter coats the entire surface. Your first few crepes may turn out thicker or more wrinkled than is ideal, but with practice, the motion will become natural. Use a lightweight pan, which will be easier to pick up and swirl the batter one-handed. There are also special crepe pans that make the motion easier.
Buckwheat Crepes with Sautéed Apples and Toffee Sauce
Note: You will have some leftover spice blend, which can be used in a hot toddy or sprinkled over pies and other pastries.
Reprinted with permission from Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking by Naomi Pomeroy with Jamie Feldmar, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Roasted Pumpkin Grits
An icon of Southern cuisine, grits are a special thing. Thanks to the work of artisanal millers such as Anson Mills and Geechie Boy, grits have grown from their casual roots into something more refined. Take pumpkin grits, for example. This grits breakfast bowl from Ashley Christensen’s latest cookbook, Poole’s, continues down that road, injecting the grains with the earthy flavor of roasted pumpkin and adding the rich sweetness of barrel-aged maple syrup. Christensen says she’s usually sensitive to sweetness in savory dishes, but her pumpkin grits recipe amplifies the natural sugars of the corn, so she can’t resist. You should absolutely use the best grits you can get your hands on for this recipe.
Grits with Roasted Pumpkin, Aged Maple Syrup, and Crispy Pepitas
Excerpted with permission from Poole's by Ashley Christensen, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
No-Bake Granola Bars
Cranberry-Apple Granola Muffins
These caramel- and granola-topped muffins may look and taste like a fancy coffeehouse treat, but they're easy to whip up any fall morning. Serve with our Sticky Maple-Caramel Sauce for the ultimate wake up call. It is like grabbing an apple pie to go with baked in dried cranberries, cinnamon granola and Pink Lady apples. You can sub any apples you prefer; Granny Smith for added tartness or Honeycrisp for more sweetness.
Maple-Peach Milk Shake
Blend maple syrup, peaches, low-fat frozen yogurt, and low-fat milk to make this flavorfull milkshake.
This gluten-free quick bread features a harmonious blend of bananas and walnuts wrapped in the sweetness of pure maple syrup. It makes an easy breakfast treat or an after-school snack.
Maple-Apple Upside-Down Cake
This is one of the best upside-down cakes ever—the maple syrup infuses both the apples and the cake, making the dessert taste like a stack of apple pancakes.
Tropical Fruit Pudding
Mangoes, pineapple, and maple syrup add sweetness to this super-satisfying tropical pudding made from silken tofu and coconut. To serve, spoon pudding into bowls and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Sweet Breakfast Quinoa
"This breakfast will make your day so productive," says Jill Donenfeld about her maple syrup-sweetened quinoa. Quinoa is naturally loaded with protein and fiber.
Saucy Cranberry Maple Pudding Cake
Crusty, tender cornmeal cake over juicy, tart cranberries in maple syrup is not quite pudding and not quite cake. Reheat any leftovers in the microwave.
Rich Pistachio Shake
Satisfy your salty-sweet craving: Maple syrup and sea salt give this nutty dessert shake nuanced flavor. Garnish with additional chopped pistachios, if desired.
Reminiscent of pecan pie, gluten-free Maple-Pecan Bars deserve a spot at your holiday dessert buffet. Use pure maple syrup to form the gooey brown sugar and pecan mixture needed to make these heavenly bars.
Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes
We've combined brown sugar and maple syrup to make a delicious glaze for this simple side dish. Our Test Kitchens staff loved the sweet potatoes paired with crunchy pecans.
Asian Pear Salad with Pecans
Time: 20 minutes. This salad is all about bold contrasts: crisp pears and pecans with tender frisée, and maple syrup with sharp blue cheese.
Planked Salmon with Maple-Mustard Glaze
We can thank Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest for this simple method of cooking whole sides of salmon. They would nail the salmon to cedar or alder wood planks and set the planks around a central fire, where the fish slowly absorbed smoky aromas. I like to glaze the salmon with a mixture of maple syrup and mustard.
The Bernie Paloma
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently served up a speech complete with a custom cocktail. Made with Vermont maple syrup, fresh fruit juices, and silver tequila, the now-famous cocktail was developed by Washington bartender Miguel Marcelino Herrara.
Charlene's Maple, Bacon & Walnut "VooDoo Fudge"
The name VooDoo Fudge is because this fudge is to die for. So very yummy. I have always loved it when my maple syrup ran into my bacon and then while on a trip to Portland, I was gifted with a maple bar with bacon from VooDoo Donuts. So, I thought. why not? Let me cook up some bacon and add it to one of my favorites, Maple Fudge and VooDoo Fudge was born.
Baked Ham Glazed with Champagne
We use the term "Champagne" loosely: Feel free to use a less expensive bubbly such as prosecco, cava, or crémant. The sparkling wine lends a little razzle-dazzle to the retro-chic combo of ham and pineapple. If you're using maple syrup, try Grade B--it has more intense maple flavor than Grade A.
New England Haroset
Local ingredients have long influenced haroset recipes. In New England, cranberries and maple syrup are natural additions. The Concord grapes used to make sweet kosher wine are also a local specialty. Use good-quality maple syrup, because its subtle flavor shines in this unspiced recipe. Use Granny Smith or Gala apples, or a combination of the two. You can grind the walnuts in a food processor.
These pint-size desserts feature the best of Maple syrup, which is found in both the cupcake and the frosting. The frosting gets an extra dose of maple goodness thanks to the addition of maple flavoring. Top these cuties with a walnut or, for a sweet-and-salty twist, crumbled bacon.
Oats and Buttermilk Snack Cake
Soak steel-cut oats in buttermilk to soften them but still preserve a nice crunch. This cake makes a great afternoon snack or, with a maple syrup glaze, dessert.
Roasted Sweet-and-Sour Beets, Carrots, and Parsnips
Steam the vegetables to speed roasting. The vinegar provides fruity, acidic zip and enough liquid to prevent the sugary maple syrup from burning. Serve with ham or roast chicken.
Prep: 30 minutes; Cook: 28 minutes. Moosewood Hollow's Sweet Autumn Maple Syrup ($12 for a 7-fluid-ounce bottle at www.moosewoodhollow.com) is perfect in this recipe.
Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with Tres Leches Sauce
Time: 2 hours, plus overnight to dry bread. This hearty dessert also makes a tasty breakfast, with maple syrup in place of the tres leches sauce.
Skillet-Grilled Ham with Glazed Pineapple
A dash of curry and a maple syrup glaze transform pineapple into an elegant topping for ham. Steam asparagus or green beans for a quick side.
Prep: 1 minute; Cook: 12 minutes
Smoky "Baked" Beans
This global mash-up of a summer classic borrows the ideas of red lentils and maple syrup from celebrated Montreal restaurant Joe Beef and replaces the standard chili sauce with Korean gochujang for a bit of "what is that flavor?" flair.
Crisp Autumn Serenade
This cocktail brings together the seasonal flavors of apples, pears, ginger, and maple. Bourbon gives it a bit of bite and backbone. (For a sweeter, richer version, you could use a dark rum, like Plantation Grande Reserve or El Dorado 5-year.) You'll make more of the tangy ginger-maple syrup than you need for the recipe; save the remaining syrup for other cocktails or to sweeten and spice up tea or mulled wine.
Celebrate the end of a busy week with this classic dessert finale--Apple-Maple Turnovers.
Ginger Cake with Maple Frosting
Spinach-Apple Salad With Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
This deluxe version of spinach salad features a tangy sweet maple syrup vinaigrette, sliced apple, onion and and goat cheese and is topped with sweet curried pecans.