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Buttermilk Syrup

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Buttermilk Syrup I One Lovely Life
Updated from the archives

Buttermilk syrup is a phenomenon, dear reader. I’ll forever have my incredible Uncle Sam to thank for this recipe. It’s almost like caramel sauce. In fact, I’ve used it on things like spice cake in a pinch. But let me tell you: it will change your breakfast life forever.

Buttermilk Syrup I One Lovely Life

I mentioned this syrup yesterday when I talked about my gingerbread waffles, and I’ve had the recipe in the archives for a while, but it was in serious need of an update, and I thought the picture was… well… terrible. So, here’s a few shots from when we had it with our gingerbread waffles.

I rarely have buttermilk on hand as a regular staple, so if you’re not serving this syrup with a waffle or pancake recipe calling for buttermilk (the gingerbread waffle recipe does), feel free to substitute 3/4c regular milk (I always use skim) + 3/4 Tbsp vinegar. I have never once had a problem with either method.

Note: You really do want to use a very large pot for this recipe. The baking soda reacts with the buttermilk, etc., and causes it to bubble VERY high while boiling until removed from the heat. It can be a sticky mess to clean up if you don’t use a large pot.

Buttermilk Syrup I One Lovely Life

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Buttermilk Syrup

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5 from 1 review


  • 1/2c butter
  • 3/4c buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. In a large pot, combine butter, buttermilk, corn syrup, sugar, and baking soda. Stir and bring to a boil (the syrup will get quite foamy). Boil 6-7 minutes, stirring very regularly. The foamy syrup will turn a golden color. Remove pan from heat. Allow bubbles to settle, then stir in vanilla. Serve warm.
  2. *IF YOU ACCIDENTALLY ADD THE VANILLA WITH THE OTHER INGREDIENTS: don’t worry. The vanilla will actually pretty much cook off during the boiling, so just add another 1-2 tsp after it comes off the heat.


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  1. Emily, you need not be so understated in singing the praises of Sam’s Buttermilk Syrup.

    We also agree this recipe is one of the all time tastiest additions to a meal, that can turn a delicious breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack into an unforgettable encounter with food heaven nirvana.

    If only I had the words…

  2. If you are an egg nog lover, I highly recommend you try this recipe with egg nog instead of buttermilk. It is just as fantastic. So yummy! I use the same recipe but minus the corn syrup. I’ll definitely have to try your recipe.

  3. Oh Emily, it looks like straight-up caramel–and completely delicious! What a perfect addition to a holiday breakfast…a or late-night snack. 🙂

  4. Emily I loved the waffles we gave them a trial run and they are a go for Christmas morning with some baby quiche on the side. I added them to our family cooking site called the Anderson Appetite. Thanks for shareing

  5. Emily, I have tried the waffles and the syrup and both were scrumptious! I usually make Blueberry Stuffed French Toast for Christmas morning but, I believe I have found another special breakfast. Super!! Janet J.

  6. Hi Emily:

    I was wondering, how long will the buttermilk syrup last? I’m hoping to make waffles Saturday but wondered if I could make the syrup in advance. Also, do you typically store the syrup at room temperature or in the refridgerator? Thank you! 🙂

    1. Kristin- You can definitely make the syrup a few days ahead of time. It keeps for about a week in the refrigerator and reheats very well in the microwave or on the stove. You for sure want it in the refrigerator because of the buttermilk/butter content, but feel free to make it in advance. Hope you like it!

  7. Thanks, Emily! I made it tonight and I must say it is absolutely delicious!!! We decided to try the syrup tonight with some green apples and it was phenomenal. This will definitely be staple in our house!

  8. I made the syrup and it was wonderful. After it cooled to room temp it started to crystalize. I went to use it the next day and it looked like watery brown sugar. I tried to warm it up and the grit didn’t go away. Any idea what I could have done wrong?

    1. Paula – I’ve never had that problem with this syrup, though I HAVE had it when making caramel. With caramel sauce, I hadn’t heated it quite long enough. I’ve “undercooked” this syrup though and not had that issue, so I’m not quite sure… SO SORRY!

      1. I just can’t imagine what I did… It was beautiful, smooth, caramely until it cooled, Maybe I had the heat too high. I guess it’s just try, try again. 🙂
        Thank you.

  9. Curious if I can sub out most of the sugar for corn syrup? I have a ton of karo syrup, but only a sugar dish full of sugar right now!

    1. Meg – I probably would wait until you can get sugar to make it. I don’t think it would work if you used corn syrup as a sub for sugar in this situation. I’m sorry!

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