Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more details.
This brown sugar syrup is quick and easy-to-make, using only 2 ingredients: brown sugar and water. Use it to give cocktails a sweet caramel undertone, or to drizzle over pancakes for a decadent breakfast.
Why you’ll love this brown sugar syrup recipe:
- It has only 2 ingredients. Just brown sugar and water — which you probably already have on hand.
- It’s like regular simple syrup but with a twist. Brown sugar instead of granulated sugar adds a caramel, rich sweetness that is so addictively tasty.
- It can be made thick or thin. You can choose whether you want a thin, runny syrup (perfect for drinks), or a thicker, gooey syrup (perfect for drizzling). The longer you heat the syrup, the thicker it will be.
What’s the difference between brown sugar syrup and brown sugar simple syrup?
You may see recipes for one or the other and wonder which one is right for you or if there is even a difference.
The difference between the two is in the consistency of the syrup. Brown sugar simple syrup is a thinner, runnier, almost liquid syrup — very similar to plain simple syrup made with granulated sugar. This type of syrup is best for mixing into any type of drink (with the exception of bubble tea).
Brown sugar syrup is a thicker, gooey syrup that has a more classic “syrup” consistency. This type is great for pouring over breakfast food or desserts.
The ingredients are the same for both these “types” of syrups. All that changes is how long you heat them for. For a thinner syrup, heat only until the sugar is dissolved. For a thicker syrup, simmer for an extra 5 - 8 minutes to let some of the water evaporate.
Is this syrup the same as Starbucks brown sugar syrup?
Yes, this syrup is perfect for Starbucks drinks that use brown sugar flavoring! Follow the instructions to make a thin syrup— heating only until the brown sugar has dissolved. A thin brown sugar simple syrup will mix more easily into Starbucks drinks.
Ways to use:
- Cocktails: This syrup can be used in any type of cocktail, but works particularly well in bourbon or whiskey based drinks.
- Coffee: Replace your regular sugar with this syrup instead. Add in some milk or cream for a latte with slight caramel undertones.
- Bubble tea: This syrup is perfect for this Instagram-worthy tiger milk tea which has streaks of brown sugar down the side of the glass as it mixes with the milk.
- Pancakes, waffles & ice cream. If you have a sweet tooth, you will love this drizzled (in moderation) over your favorite pancakes or even on ice cream.
Put it back on the stove and simmer it for a little longer.
Before it fully cools, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time and mix it into the syrup until you get the consistency you like. You may need to heat the syrup on low to loosen it up as you do this.
- Don’t boil the syrup. There is a fine line between making a tasty, gooey syrup and a massive sticky mess. Boiling the syrup can evaporate the water too quickly. Aim for a gentle simmer, not a boil.
- Don’t cook the syrup for too long. Just like boiling the syrup on too high heat, heating the syrup for too long can also create a gooey mess. This syrup thickens up a lot as it cools, and if it’s heated for too long, it will turn rock solid at room temperature, sticking to anything it touches. Err on the side of caution, you can always put it back on the stove and heat it a bit more if it is not thick enough.
- If syrup sticks to dishes, soak them in hot, soapy water. If you make a mistake and end up making a syrup that sticks to everything, you will have to start over. To save your dishes, let them sit in hot, soapy water for a few minutes and the syrup should be easy to scrape off.
- Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to several weeks.
- If you made a thicker syrup, it may thicken up a lot in the fridge. Before serving, warm up the portion you want to use by letting it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. If needed, re-warm on a stovetop on low heat.