​​Make Mine REAL Maple Syrup!

There is no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than to enjoy the true New England flavor of real maple syrup. Having grown up in Vermont, I have a true affinity for real maple syrup and cannot be fooled by substitutes. The arrival of maple cream, maple sugar candy, or maple syrup is cause for a moment of silence in my home. It is a burst of nature’s wonder in my mouth that satisfies my soul.

The bounty of maple-based products goes far beyond the traditional maple syrup on pancakes. Have you tried maple coated nuts, maple cream, maple butter, maple taffy, maple cotton candy, or maple sugar candy? Take an opportunity to explore the world of maple products and a sugar house on Maine Maple Weekend celebrated across the state on March 26 and 27, 2022. 

Most people associate maple syrup with pancakes. Consider using the UMaine Extension’s Rolled Oats Convenience Mix to make your next batch of pancakes. Rolled oats are a source of whole grains and provide a boost of fiber beyond typical pancake recipes. Preparing and using your own homemade convenience mix is a way for busy families to be prepared in advance for those early morning pancake breakfast requests while saving money and having greater control over the nutritional value of foods.

Using Maple Syrup in Baking

If you are wondering how much maple syrup you should use in place of white sugar, it depends on whether that recipe is for baking or general cooking. Use the following guide when using maple syrup in your baked recipes:

  • Instead of 1 cup granulated sugar, use 3/4 cup maple syrup. Granulated sugar is less sweet than maple syrup.
  • In baking, decrease liquid by 2 to 4 tablespoons per cup of syrup used. Maple syrup contains more moisture than the granulated sugar that the recipe calls for.
  • Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.* Maple syrup has a slight acidity that needs to be neutralized for the batter to rise and form properly. *Do not add additional baking soda if the recipe calls for buttermilk, sour milk or sour cream since these liquids do the same thing.
  • Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees. Maple syrup will tend to caramelize and burn on the top and edges quicker than a batter using a dry sweetener like sugar.

Using Maple Syrup in Cooking

To substitute maple syrup for sugar in other types of general cooking, use three quarters of maple syrup as the sugar called for. See the chart below for a helpful guide:

Substitution Chart

Sugar Maple Syrup
 2 cups  1-1/2 cups
 1-1/2 cups   1-1/8 cups
 1 cup  3/4 cup
 3/4 cup  1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon 
 1/2 cup  1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons 
 1/4 cup  3 Tablespoons

Preserving Maple Syrup

Should you find yourself in a situation where you have extra maple syrup and want to preserve it, we recommend putting it in your freezer for long-term storage. Straight-sided glass jars (ex. wide mouth canning jars) are the preferred vessel for freezing in. Leave at least 1” of headspace to allow for expansion and remember to label and date your jars. Frozen syrup can stay in your freezer indefinitely but may have some quality loss over time. Once you remove the jars from the freezer to use, they need to be stored in the refrigerator.

Enjoy the sweetness of the season!


By Kathy Savoie, Extension Educator