Your #1 Online Baking Destination!


How to Make Simple Syrup

Save Recipe

Add more flavor to your baking and drinks with my 4 easy homemade Simple Syrup Recipes!


Hi Bold Bakers!

One of my favorite things to share with you are the basic tools and ingredients needed to be an incredibly Bold Baker — one who can bake anytime, anywhere, with confidence. My Bold Baking Basics series has included recipes for how to make staple ingredients like Homemade Cream Cheese, Homemade Butter, and one of my favorites: How to Make Homemade Extracts.

This fall we are bringing Bold Baking Basics back! We are going bigger and bolder, and first up is How to Make Simple Syrups. My recipe includes 4 of my favorite variations and in the video, I share some awesome ways you can put these syrups to good use in baking, cooking, drinks, and more!

What is a simple syrup?

Simple syrup is a thin syrup made of just two base ingredients, sugar and water, hence the name “simple” syrup. It’s a syrup base of sorts and can be used on its own or infused with your favorite ingredients.

I’m so excited to share with you my favorite infusions, which are: vanilla, mint, orange, and cinnamon. To make a simple syrup all you do is combine the sugar, water, and flavoring you want to infuse in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, I simmer my syrups for 7-8 minutes. This is just enough time to develop the syrupy texture and infuse the flavors you’re adding, all while keeping the finished product thin and clear.

[ Visit all my previous Bold Baking Basics Recipes! ]

How to Make Simple Syrup, Simple Syrups, Vanilla Simple Syrup

What can simple syrup be used for?

Simple Syrup can be used to flavor drinks, moisten cakes, and add flavor and sweetness to so many things.

In cocktails and blended drinks, I love to use simple syrup as they are often infusions like my cinnamon, mint, or orange syrup. Not only do these syrups add a layer of flavor, but they dissolve easily and add a nice body to any drink.

In baking, I love to use these syrups in place of liquids to add flavor and sweetness. My vanilla simple syrup is perfect for brushing over cakes and sweet loaves — this keeps the cake moist and adds the perfect hint of sweetness. The options really are endless, once you get creative with all the flavor combinations. You’ll always want to have these simple syrups on hand.

Simple Syrup, Homemade Simple Syrup, Simple Syrups

Are these like the simple syrups that Starbucks uses?

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with stock syrups or simple syrups like the ones they add to drinks at Starbucks to achieve flavors like a peppermint mocha, vanilla, or hazelnut. These syrups are usually made with artificial ingredients and are often only for blended and hot beverages.

My stock syrups are made of all natural ingredients, no added flavors, colors or preservatives. Additionally, my syrups can be used for cooking and baking, they are not just for hot or blended drinks. So yes, on one hand they are like the syrups Starbucks uses — but you can use these for so much more.

Simple Syrup, How to Make Simple Syrups, Homemade Simple Syrups

How long will simple syrups last?

As these simple syrups are made of all natural ingredients they don’t have as long of a shelf life as the kinds you might see in the store. That said, they do last really well covered and stored in an airtight jar for up to 2 months. These beautiful aromatic syrups are a must for any baker or cook, and I can’t wait for you to get creative with this method and come up with your own simple syrups.

Simple Syrup, Homemade Simple Syrup, How to Make Simple Syrup, Cinnamon Simple Syrup

Get more Basics!

Have you followed us on Pinterest, yet?

Buy the glass bottles I use on Amazon.

4.62 from 13 votes
How to Make Simple Syrup
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
13 mins
 

Add more flavor to your baking, cooking, and drinks with my four easy homemade Simple Syrup Recipes!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (8floz/225ml) water
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) sugar*
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 (2 inch) pieces orange zest
  • 2-3 vanilla pods
Instructions
Vanilla Simple Syrup
  1. In a small pot add *sugar, water, and vanilla. Dissolve sugar and then simmer for about 7-8 minutes on medium heat. 

  2. Turn the heat off and allow the syrup to continue to infuse. 

  3. Transfer to an airtight container and keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Mint Simple Syrup
  1. In a small pot add *sugar, water, and mint. Dissolve sugar and then simmer for about 7-8 minutes on medium heat. 

  2. Turn the heat off and allow the syrup to continue to infuse. 

  3. Transfer to an airtight container and keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  1. In a small pot add *sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks. Dissolve sugar and then simmer for about 7-8 minutes on medium heat. 

  2. Turn the heat off and allow the syrup to continue to infuse. 

  3. Transfer to an airtight container and keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Orange Simple Syrup
  1. In a small pot add *sugar, water, and orange zest. Dissolve sugar and then simmer for about 7-8 minutes on medium heat. 

  2. Turn the heat off and allow the syrup to continue to infuse. 

  3. Transfer to an airtight container and keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

* To make these simple syrups with alternative sugars, substitute Lakanto Sugar or Swerve Sugar Substitute for the same amount of sugar used in the recipe. 

* Buy the glass bottles I use on Amazon.

SUBMIT YOUR OWN PHOTOS OF THIS RECIPE

1 Images
Submit Your Photos
D.j. van Baaren
mug_logo_150
Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

And don't miss my NEW Bold Baking recipes and tips. Sign up for my weekly email newsletter.

41 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Cindy on November 23, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Hi Gemma, unless I missed it in the comments, but do you have any other flavoured syrups like caramel or toffee or butterscotch?

    Also how would you make the toffee nut praline syrup like they have in Starbucks?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Hi Cindy,
      I had that question earlier. My suggestion was to add dulce de leche for a caramel syrup. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/ice-cream-sauce-chocolate-raspberry-butterscotch/) these will also work well in the creamer recipe. The praline one, I will have to think about, I suspect you would use a burnt toffee flavor, I will add it to my list to try,
      Thank you for the suggestion,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Susan on November 21, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Hi Gemma I am quite keen on purchasing some of your products. Is there a site where we can purchase them? I’m keen on some vanilla extract
    Thank you Susan

  3. Deborah on November 8, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Gemma I love this post. But I want to ask if this are more healthier than the regular white sugar

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2018 at 3:49 am

      Hi Deborah,
      I thing white granulated sugar works best for this. The sugar needs to be able to become syrupy for this, and that means that it needs to be able to caramelize. It is also a good idea to keep it a clear color. Some of the new age sweeteners, like Lakanto may work for this purpose, but I have not tried it!
      Let us know if you do,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. karen on November 4, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Hello again. I just realised that i dont see anything about straining the fruit/herbs before, or as bottling. did I miss it?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 4, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Karen,

      Remove the mint as it gets very bitter but the lemon, orange and vanilla are fine to leave in there.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  5. karen on November 4, 2018 at 6:57 am

    for people not aware, I believe lemon melisse is lemon balm which is a great idea. got me thinking that i will gather some lemon verbena, the most powerful lemon scented/tastin herb, and do the same. I love just about anything lemony except eating the lemons themselves! LOL

  6. D.j. van Baaren on November 3, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Gemma, i just did try out your recipe of making syrop.
    Im from The Netherlands Europe, and i make a lemon melisse leaves of the plant, and cook it with water,sugar and simmer 8 minutes.and its really works good.
    I really love eating apples every kind of them, so i tought let me try apple syrop and peel bit think slices of skin of the apple with some fruitmeat, and simmer 8 minutes, but i only use now gelatine sugar becours my cristal sugar whas empty, but even with gelatine sugar you can make it to than use the half of sugar for gelatine sugar than simmer it 8 minutes, get the apples skin out and pore in a jam jar.
    becours i make many jam in jars so i us gelatine sugar, and that i have plenty of it.
    So i make allso lemon melisse/apple syrop have had some leave over and apple skin allso with gelatine sugar, and its works too.
    And 1 TIP Gemma with gelatine sugar specially for making jam or marmelade its stay much longer good than with crystal sugar.
    Greetings D.J , i go make your recipe of flatbread i love them too as lunch or with dinner with shoarma meat between it.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 4, 2018 at 5:05 am

      Hi D.j.
      Thank you for these lovely tips.
      When you say gelatin sugar I am not too sure what you mean! this is not generally available as far as I know. We do get a sugar which has pectin added, to help set up the jams and jellies, interesting though!
      Interesting too that you described a way to extract pectin from the apples! That is what I would do too. Apples skins, core, seeds too, a crab apple is great for this, boiled down to make pectin, to set up jams and jellies, all natural too.
      For general information: You can sometimes buy sugar specifically for jam making, which has added pectin, or you can but a pectin powder. This helps with low pectin fruits.
      You can also make pectin, from the skins, cores and seeds of sour apples. Save these when making pies, and simmer the skins, cores and seeds, barely covered with water, for about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, lined with cheesecloth and store in the fridge in a sterile jar, or freeze in an ice cube tray. This can be added to any jam to assist the set.
      Chia seeds/flax seeds and hemp seeds can also be used to set jam, and other foods too. Two tablespoons of chia seeds will set about two cups of chopped strawberries for instance. Chia and strawberries work very well together, and the flavor of the strawberries will stay bright.
      So, I know you have this figured, but you have started an interesting conversation, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. karen on October 22, 2018 at 9:43 am

    hola Gemma
    I used to buy a simple hot syrup from the local super store. it was truly wonderful poured on savoury dishes like potato cakes. Friends visiting used it on their eggs! Then they stopped supplying it. I looked up how to do this myself. I used one whole dried habanero and removed it before the syrup was finished – too soon actually. But, the syrup was too thin so am wondering if there is a timed process to get between candy and a thin syrup. BTW I happen to think that hot salsas/syrups are great with potatos!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 23, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Hi Karen,
      Yes! haha! what a cheeky idea, with potato indeed, lol, the Irish would be horrified, but I see where you are going!
      A brilliant idea, I would not have known about this if you did not tell me. Makes great sense too, the sweet and the spicy.
      Yes, there is a point at which the sugar moves through the stages, from light syrup, to soft ball, to hard ball to caramel.
      You are looking for a soft ball stage. Before I had a candy thermometer here is how I judged it.
      Get your simple syrup going.
      Simmer it, you should see some evaporation, and the bubbles should become tighter, closer together. The liquid will became more syrupy. Through the process keep a cold plate beside you. From time to time drop a few drops of the syrup on to the plate, when it is coo enough to touch place your finger on it, pull it away, it will be right for you when is very slightly resists. You stop it at this point by touching the bottom of the pan into cold water.
      Try it, you will be an expert in no time at all. On a thermometer this is about 240F/120C.
      I hope this is of help, thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • karen on October 23, 2018 at 2:12 pm

        well, LOL, Gemma there is more to potatoes than boiled and buttered LOL but I grew up Irish catholic and the only other way for potatoes was scalloped or fried!!! Didnt discover the wonderful versatility of this root veg until i left home. And am now living in a country where potatoes originated – well on the continent I guess – Ecuador. There are so many varieties it makes your mouth water – if you are “into” potatoes 😉 there is even a local Andes version of potato soup!
        Anyway, thanks so much for the reply. Cant wait for my cayennes to ripen. take care.

        • Gemma Stafford on October 24, 2018 at 2:44 am

          Hi Karen,
          Yes, and I agree, the potato is so versatile. My mum visited Peru, to do the Machu Picchu trail some time ago and was intrigued by the variety and flavor of this wonderful food. Oneard and upwards to the noble SPUD, as we call it. So many ways to do it now. The recipes which I loved at home were the potato cakes, pan fried, lots of butter, made out of left over mash. Boxty an odd but delicious thing, now has a restaurant in Dublin devoted to it.
          Delighted with your suggestion, I will have to ‘export’ this idea to home!
          Gemma 🙂

          • karen on October 24, 2018 at 7:55 am

            Gemma, I LUV leftover ‘mash’ potato cakes!
            The cheese is like farmer’s cheese – white, fresh, salted or unsalted. In southern Ecuador the ‘side’ is salted popcorn: As noted in the recipe links, achiote can be replaced by mild paprika which not only lends the right colour to the dish but actually adds a little extra flavour. In Canada we would just use orange cheddar, period
            thanks again,. I DO love this site and your genuine enthusiasm.

            • Gemma Stafford on October 25, 2018 at 4:41 am

              Hi Karen,
              thank you so much. I have copied and sent that link to my mum, she will be delighted to try it. Always looking for new ways with the potato!
              It is an interesting fact that Ireland in earlier times lived on the potato/butter/buttermilk and if they were lucky eggs. The failure of the potato crop in the mid 1800’s was one of the main causes of the famine in Ireland in that time. It was the food the peasant/tenant farmers grew for their own use.
              A different story now, so much variety, but the potato is still a staple.
              Thank you for your kind words, and for your lovely input, it is great to have you with us,
              Gemma 🙂



  8. Mazzik on October 14, 2018 at 6:24 am

    These syrups look great. I hope to use them as a substitute for extract because i cant use the alcohol in extract. Hope that will be ok? Have you used vanilla powder before instead of extract. Be good to know how to make if possible. Thanks Gemma. Absolutely love your recipes and posts.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 3:53 am

      Hi Mazzik,
      You can make vanilla powder by drying vanilla pods then grinding them to a pulp in a blender or coffee grinder.
      It will take a time to dry the beans, a few weeks, possible three, in the open in the kitchen. You can also use a low oven 65C/170F for about 1 hour, depending on the quality of the beans. You can poke vanilla pods into some granulated/caster sugar and use that for your baking, refilling the sugar as you use it. There are ways!
      I am not sure if the simple syrup will carry the flavor through to your cake. You can brush it on to the cake, which adds moisture and the flavor too.
      If you can get vanilla pods at a reasonable price the first method will serve you well.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Yvonne LeCornu on October 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I would like some sauce recipes for meats to give them a french twist
    do you have some of those? Love your recipes and tips

    • Gemma Stafford on October 4, 2018 at 2:25 am

      Hi Yvonne,
      I do! and we may yet get to savory things. I will pop it on my list. The most delicious french sauce I know is Bernaise, for beef/steak/burgers. It is an emulsion sauce as are so many French sauces. Google this one, choose an easy recipe to start from a well known chef. Mushrooms make super sauces too for lots of dishes, a little garlic, butter, lots of mushrooms cooked down to the point where they are almost dry, then a little white wine and creme fraiche/cream, lots of black pepper and a little salt, delicious!
      Thank you for being here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Marina on October 3, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I am curious, would this work with honey, molasses or coconut sugar? Would it work with dried/powder spices? And would it work with more savory type herbs or spices (maybe like sage)?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 4, 2018 at 3:50 am

      Hi Marina,
      A simple syrup in simple terms is a sugar which is on the way to being caramelized. This is a useful thing for lots of things like sorbet/fondant/drinks/cakes etc. If you add spices to this it will need to be compatible, and powdered spices would need to be strained out before use.
      Really I do not see this working with herbs. You may be looking for an extract recipe (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-extracts/) that ould be better for your need I think,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Ellen Bandy on October 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I will definitely try this. Sounds good. I am making your 3 ingredient jam with all kinds of fruits. I have even used canned fruits that work really well too. I use honey in place of sugar. I cook it a while and mash the fruit with a potato masher. I have also added a heaping teaspoon of unflavored gelatin to give it thicker. You do a wonderful service for us that like to make things from scratch. Thank You Sooooo much.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 3, 2018 at 3:16 am

      Hi Ellen,
      Thank you for this very kind review and especially for the great tips. This is invaluable for our bold Baking community here, everyone helping out.
      Adding the gelatin is a super tip, and this makes it possible to use all the different fruits, especially the ones which are low in pectin.
      well done you, I am delighted,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Denise on October 2, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Hi Gemma, can vanilla extract be substituted for the vanilla pods?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 4, 2018 at 6:12 am

      Hi Denise,
      Yes! I think that will work well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Lily Azimi on October 1, 2018 at 5:23 am

    Hey,
    I love this recipe.
    Can I use it with cake for more flavor

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 6:30 am

      Hi Lily,
      I am not sure how you would use it, it depends on the recipe. In some recipes it works as a liquid sugar, like honey/corn syrup etc.
      Here is what I tell you here: Simple Syrup can be used to flavor drinks, moisten cakes, and add flavor and sweetness to so many things.

      In cocktails and blended drinks, I love to use simple syrup as they are often infusions like my cinnamon, mint, or orange syrup. Not only do these syrups add a layer of flavor, but they dissolve easily and add a nice body to any drink.
      In baking, I love to use these syrups in place of liquids to add flavor and sweetness. My vanilla simple syrup is perfect for brushing over cakes and sweet loaves — this keeps the cake moist and adds the perfect hint of sweetness. The options really are endless, once you get creative with all the flavor combinations. You’ll always want to have these simple syrups on hand.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Julie H on October 1, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Gemma,
    I love how you teach us to make our own scratch products to use like, butter, extracts, simple syrups cream cheese, etc…
    I love all your recipes. They are simple and taste so much better than most. You also teach us different techniques. This over 50 is still learning. I want to try the ice creams as ice cream is one of my mom’s favorite foods. Thanks, and keep teaching!!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 2, 2018 at 3:39 am

      Hi Julie,
      thank you, that is very kind. I love to hear from people who have been cooking for a long time, you add to the store of knowledge here, so add your ideas too!
      It is good to have you with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Chit on October 1, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Hi Gemma. Can the vanilla be used as vanilla extract as well in baking goods? Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Chit,
      Yes, but it is not really a concentrate and the flavor may be lost. It can be good brushed on to a baked cake, for moisture and flavor.
      Also simple syrup is great for fruit compote, frostings, fondant etc. it can be used without any flavors too as a liquid sugar.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Marie Ruzzano on October 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm

        Gemma why can’t I pin any of your recips

        • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 7:39 pm

          Hi Marie,

          I just went to the simple syrups post and was able to pin all the pictures. What are you seeing? Is it coming up just black?

          Let me know,
          Gemma.

  16. Barbara Dunn on September 30, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Do you have a recipe for lemon simple syrup ? Have you ever used orange extract or juice instead of the orange zest ? I was wondering how it would taste.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Barbara,

      You can just replace the orange rind with lemon. That will taste great. Use on fruit or in drinks like iced tea or cocktails.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  17. lida on September 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    can these simple syrups be canned for longer term shelf stable storage? Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Keep them in the fridge and they will last quite a long time Lida. 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  18. Bunny on September 30, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Also, try adding a teaspoon of Maple flavoring to the simple syrup. My kids never knew the difference on pancakes and waffles and I was comfortable saving money, and giving them something I made.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Really glad you liked this recipe. If you haven’t already check out my other basics like how to make butter and cream cheese 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

Write a Comment and Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This