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How to Make Maple Butter and Maple Cream

Molded maple butter

Molded maple butter

Maple Butter vs. Maple Cream

Maple Butter: Made by mixing pure maple syrup with butter.

Maple Cream: Made by cooking pure maple syrup to a softball stage, cooling it, and beating it until it is thick and creamy like peanut butter.

Growing up in California, my family had "imitation maple syrup" on our pancakes until we traveled to Vermont and had the real thing. However, real maple syrup can get expensive, so I was excited to develop this recipe for maple butter, which my family found was not only tastier than plain syrup but also stretched the syrup to last longer.

On another trip, I purchased a jar of "maple cream," which was so delicious I had to find a way to make it myself when that one was used up. I searched through many recipes and finally found one that worked best for me. If you love maple syrup, you may want to try these two recipes, as well!

Uses of Maple Butter vs. Maple Cream

  • Maple butter is quick and easy to make and looks terrific for a party if you either mold it in silicone ice cube molds or use a melon baller to make it into butter balls. The taste is buttery and lightly sweet. I think that butter is best on baked goods and as a substitute for syrup.
  • Maple cream made using my recipe is thicker and much sweeter and tastes terrific on ice cream. If you've ever read the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, The Little House in the Big Woods, you might remember the party where Laura's family boils the maple syrup, and then they cool it in the snow and eat it like candy. I've tried pouring maple syrup on snow with my kids, and it never really worked; it just tasted like maple-flavored water. After making maple cream, I'm pretty sure that is what Laura's grandmother was making. So if you make some with your kids, you may want to pull out that story and read it.

My kids loved it. As a matter of fact, they grabbed some of it and started having a mini-maple taffy pull when I was stirring it. I ended up having to hide it away. After sitting overnight, it turned a bit softer and really looked and spread just like peanut butter but tasted like thick and creamy maple syrup. It is really wonderful!

To tell you the truth, making homemade cream is a bit of a chore, and since it boils down to about half the original amount of syrup, it can be expensive if you don't have a way of getting pure maple syrup inexpensively. We had a great time, but I think I wouldn't do it too often since it is so much easier to purchase it ready-made, and it is probably about the same price.

Advantages of Maple Butter

Maple butter is actually preferred by many people to syrup because:

  • It is spreadable and thick.
  • You can use it on more than just pancakes.
  • It doesn't make the pancakes soggy like syrup can.
  • You can mold it into beautiful shapes.
  • Maple butter makes your syrup go further, so it is less expensive.
Maple butter can be shaped using any silicone ice cube mold.

Maple butter can be shaped using any silicone ice cube mold.

Maple Butter Recipe


  • 1/2 cup butter (salted)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup


  1. Let butter stand at room temperature until soft, or soften in the microwave for 10 seconds.
  2. Pour syrup on butter and mix with a fork until well blended. Keep on mixing until the maple butter is very smooth and pulls together.
  3. Put in a butter crock, a serving dish, or silicone ice cube molds and chill until ready to use.
  4. To mold into shapes, put the butter into silicone ice cube molds and press across the back with a knife. Put in refrigerator until firm. Right before unmolding, it helps to put the tray in the freezer for a few minutes. Pop the silicone ice tray shapes, and these unmold beautifully. You can put them on a plate for serving.

Yield: Makes 3/4 cup of butter or about 12 servings of 1 TB each.

Optional Flavors

There are many variations to this recipe. You can add any sort of flavor you would like to either butter or cream.

  • Pumpkin: Add 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice to the recipe and mix thoroughly.
  • Coffee: Mix 1 teaspoon of instant coffee with just enough hot water to melt it. Add to the mixture and stir.
  • Cinnamon: Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the recipe and mix.

20 Ideas for Using Maple Butter

As the video above shows, maple butter can make any baked good taste better. You can use this recipe for anything that you might ordinarily spread with butter. Here are some ideas:

  1. Use on pancakes and waffles instead of syrup. It doesn't make them soggy and gives them a great flavor.
  2. Great on toast, bagels, and English muffins.
  3. Use for topping homemade donuts.
  4. Spread on crepes and then fill with fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, blackberries, or raspberries.
  5. Use instead of frosting cupcakes or muffins.
  6. Try it as a sweetener for coffee or tea.
  7. Serve as a topping for sweet potatoes, yams, or baked acorn squash.
  8. Use it as a topping for barbecue chicken or as a dipping sauce for wings.
  9. Mix in some pecans and use them to fill sandwich cookies.
  10. Heat a little and use it as a topping on vanilla ice cream.
  11. Put on roasted carrots.
  12. Serve on top of baked potatoes instead of regular butter.
  13. Heat it for 10 seconds in the microwave, and use it as a dip for sliced apples or other fruit.
  14. Drizzle cream on top of a vanilla cake for flavor and decoration.
  15. Maple cream is great as a fruit topping and is especially good drizzled over bananas.
  16. Use it as a topping for ham or as a final glaze for a rack of ribs.
  17. Make a maple cream, banana, and peanut butter sandwich.
  18. Use maple flavoring in icing recipes.
  19. Serve at a shower or wedding breakfast.
  20. Eat a spoonful straight out of the jar, especially after a hard day!
Maple cream topping for ice cream

Maple cream topping for ice cream

Maple Cream Recipe

Prep time: 5 min Cook time: 30 min Ready in: 35 min


  • 2 cups 100% pure maple syrup (Grade A works best)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tea. vegetable oil


  1. Put maple syrup in a pot on low to medium heat on the stove. Put a candy thermometer in the pan with the tip in the middle of the syrup (don't let it touch the bottom of the pan). You can add a pinch of salt and a few drops of vegetable oil to keep it from boiling over. Heat the mixture without stirring until it reaches a soft boil (235 degrees). You can test to see if it is done by putting a drop of the mixture into a cup of ice water. When the drop makes a soft ball that holds together, the syrup is ready for the next step.
  2. Remove the pan from the head and place it into a large bowl filled with ice. Let the mixture cool until the thermometer says 125 degrees. Use a fork or spoon to vigorously stir the syrup until it is light and fluffy. It will look opaque and creamy when it is done. Stirring takes a while, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes but gets easier as the mixture is firming up.
  3. When finished, maple cream should look like peanut butter, and it will run off the spoon when you pull it up. Store in an airtight jar. To serve, you may want to heat it up in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds if it gets too firm.

Yield: 1 cup, or about 26 servings of 1 TB each

How to Use Maple Cream

To tell you the truth, just eating a spoonful of this right out of the jar makes me happy, and if you try my recipe, you may not have a chance to try all of the ways to use it before it is all gone. That is why I sometimes "cheat" and purchase Maple Cream, especially if I want to use it for the holidays or a party at my house. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Ice cream topping
  • On a charcuterie board with cheeses, crackers, and meats
  • Filling for crepes, cream puffs, or eclairs
  • Topping for oatmeal
  • Mixed with Dijon mustard as a topping for pork or chicken
  • Mix it into cream cheese as a dip for apples and other cut fruit.
  • Use 2-3 TB as a glaze for carrots.
  • Use it as a spread for muffins, cornbread, bagels, or other breads.
  • Use as a topping on baked ham.
  • Add it to sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
  • Serve it on top of hot apple pie.