Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

You’re probably gagging just a little as you read this. Hear me out. I had this syrup at a bed and breakfast once and promptly came home to recreate it.  This is pure evil and so incredibly delicious that you’ll never go back to Aunt Jemima. I suppose that’s not an entirely fair comparison because this is caramel, not maple. But after this, you’ll say, “Maple WHAT, now?”

The best buttermilk syrup recipe

You can put this on pancakes, waffles, French toast, ice cream, or eat it with a spoon. Admit it. You know you’ll do it.

This is our go-to syrup, not only for fancy breakfast foods, but we drizzle it on cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods and it it makes an adorable gift all packed up in a sweet mason jar.  The only kind of special thing you’ll need is buttermilk (no substitutions here, it’s buttermilk syrup, guys) but everything else you probably have already in your kitchen!

The best buttermilk syrup recipe

You’ll want to put it in a larger pot than you think it needs to account for the sauce bubbling up during cooking.

The best buttermilk syrup recipe

Let it simmer until it turns a beautiful caramel brown color.  This part you just have to eyeball because it really varies depending on your pan and everything, but it generally takes 8-9 minutes or so.  It can also be tricky to see because of the bubbling, so if you need to, turn the heat down, or use a ladle to spoon some sauce up so you can see it better.   It will smell like heaven.

The best buttermilk syrup recipe

After it cools to room temp you can cover and store it in the fridge if you need to.  It will thicken (to the perfect consistency for spoon-eating, so just heat it up next time you want to serve it.

The best buttermilk syrup recipe

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Buttermilk Syrup


Your newest go-to sauce and syrup for…well, everything.


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


  1. Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda in a LARGE pot. Like one you’d make soup in. Yes, you’ll have way more pot than ingredients (and I’m not referring to the green leafy stuff), but this will boil all over your newly-cleaned stove if you put it in a smaller saucepan.
  2. Bring ingredients to a boil and reduce heat to low (as long as it’s still bubbling, you’re okay). Cook, stirring very frequently, for 8-9 minutes. You’re basically making candy here and candy-making requires constant vigilance.
  3. When it’s done, it should take on a golden-brown color. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  4. There will be foam on top. It tastes just as good, but it’s not super pretty. If you’re into aesthetics, you can skim it off; otherwise, just give it a good stir.


  1. I will have to add that to my chocolate sauce recipe. Anything with a whole stick of real butter HAS to be good!

  2. Ooooh, Erin, there’s LOTS of yummy buttermilk stuff! I think it’s kind of like liquid sour cream. I use it in cakes, pancakes, etc. You can also usually buy it in an 8-oz. container, so then you won’t waste much. I bought a quart because I was planning on making pancakes with the other 3 c. of buttermilk. I have a recipe for buttermilk pancakes that I plan on posting someday, but I’ll email it to you now if you want it. Just email me at thedailybite@gmail.com.

    1. You can make your own buttermilk if you use it a lot, and it will save you money, and it is very quick and simple. Just get a gallon of milk and pour it in a glass jar. Scoop out a cup of milk. Then pour in a cup of buttermilk (Winder is a great brand). Let it sit out on the counter for about 24 hours until cultured. Note: I like mine thick. That way I know it is completely cultured. The longer it cultures, the thicker it gets. It’s usually thicker than the store-bought buttermilk. It’s wonderful and I use it a lot in smoothies, pancakes, etc. and now I am going to try this syrup. Also, remember to always reserve a cup of your homemade buttermilk for culturing your next gallon of buttermilk.

  3. Okay, so I’m almost ashamed to admit that in my 10 1/2 years of marriage I have never purchased buttermilk. Is there some wonderful world of buttermilk I am not aware of? What would I do with the rest of the quart (besides throw it away)? Also, does the rest of it (assuming there is any left) store well in the cupboard, or do you need to keep it in the fridge?

    1. You can purchase buttermilk powder. That way you only make what you need. It takes 4 TBL of powder and 1 cup of water to make a cup of buttermilk. I just add the powder in with dry ingredients and the water with wet ingredients when I am cooking. I find it much easier than having to keep fresh buttermilk on hand when I want to make a certain recipe.

  4. ooh, someone needs caramel corn?? You ask and I deliver, my friend! Lol. I’m always looking for an excuse to make a treat, so I’ll whip some up and post in place of something coming up that I haven’t made yet!

    And this buttermilk syrup is so good. But I think the fact that it’s called “syrup” is almost misleading. It’s really a delicious caramel sauce. I made it the same day that I had made some homemade caramel sauce (the traditional way with caramelized sugar, heavy cream, and butter)and this buttermilk syrup tasted almost identical to it and is a lot easier to make. I like it on ice cream! Or on a spoon… 😉

  5. Pseudoephedrine may be a no-no, but Afrin is your friend, my friend.

    This looks SO yummy! Hmm, I might foresee breakfast for dinner in my very immediate future.

    And tell Sara that I’m STILL waiting for her caramel corn recipe 😀

  6. Cami, I bet it would turn out great either way. The ONLY thing I can think of is the whole baking soda aftertaste thing; when I only cooked it for 7 minutes, I could still taste a hint of baking soda aftertaste, but when I cooked it a little longer, that went away. Maybe cooking it kills the taste? I dunno.

  7. I’ve made this before, but it was a little different. I boiled everything but the baking soda and vanilla together. Then removed from heat and added the baking soda and vanilla and stirred like crazy.

    What difference does it make to boil the baking soda with everything else?

    P.S. Hope you feel better soon. My daughter has the same thing, too. It’s pretty miserable! (I’m really hoping it doesn’t get passed around the fam.

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