Homemade Maple Butter
Learn how to make maple butter from just one ingredient, pure maple syrup. Maple butter is smooth, sweet and irresistibly delicious!
Maple syrup season is one of my favourite times of year. I love spending days down at the sugar shack, collecting sap, boiling syrup and enjoying the spring weather here in New Brunswick, Canada.
Since we make our own maple syrup, this year I decided to branch out and try making some other maple products. Maple butter, also called maple cream or spread, has all the amazing flavour of maple syrup but in a creamy spread that can be used in different ways.
Although I love cooking with maple syrup, sometimes it can be a challenge since it is liquid. In these instances maple cream or maple sugar are great substitutes for conventional sweeteners in recipes.
My favourite ways to use maple butter (besides eating it straight with a spoon) are spreading it on toast, as a fruit dip for apple slices, using it as icing on cookies, muffins and cakes, and making maple shortbread sandwich cookies!
Tips For Making Smooth Maple Butter
The biggest challenge I have found with making maple butter is keeping the texture smooth. The first batch I made turned out very grainy, since it had crystallized. Here are some tips to help you avoid my mistakes and make smooth maple butter the first time!
- Do not use maple syrup that has crystallized. If you buy syrup from the store this will likely not be an issue, however if you use homemade maple syrup it is something to look for. Depending on how it was made, syrup can crystallize initially or over time. When choosing syrup to use for making maple butter select a bottle that is clear and without sugar crystals. This will help keep crystals from forming in your butter.
- Disrupt the syrup as little as possible! The process of making maple butter involves heating and cooling the syrup. During these steps any agitation of the syrup can cause sugar crystals to form and result in grainy butter.
- Cover your bowl as the syrup cools to prevent a film from forming on the syrup surface which can impact the smooth texture of your butter.
Things You Will Need
– Maple Syrup (Minimum 2 cups)
– High sided pot
– Spoon and/or stand mixer
How To Make MAPLE BUTTER
1. Add syrup to pot:
Put the syrup in a high sided pot. As the syrup boils it will foam up, if the pot is too low it could boil over. (*Optional: To help control foaming, take a small amount of butter or oil and rub it around the top 1 inch of your pot. When the foam hits the butter it will go down.)
Use at least 2 cups of syrup. Less than this could be challenging since a thin layer of syrup in the pot will burn more easily. Since making maple butter does take some time and can make things sticky to clean, I prefer doing a large batch.
2. Heat syrup:
Turn the burner to medium high heat. Boil the syrup until it reaches 235ºF (112ºC). I find a digital thermometer works best, I use my digital meat thermometer. Be sure the thermometer you choose reads to at least 235ºF (112ºC). Do not stir the syrup while heating!
3. Cool syrup:
Once the syrup reaches 235ºF (112ºC), gently pour it into a bowl. If you are using a stand mixture for stirring then use the bowl for your mixer. Place the bowl in a sink or bowl of ice. Allow the mixture to cool to 100ºF (38ºC). While cooling, cover the bowl with a pot cover or tin foil, which helps prevent a film from forming on top of the syrup. Do not stir or agitate the syrup as it cools.
4. Stir syrup:
Once cooled to 100ºF (38ºC) begin to slowly stir the syrup with a spoon or stand mixer. Continue to stir the syrup until it lightens in colour and loses its shine. The syrup will be very stiff as you start and slowly loosen a bit over time.
This process can take a while, between 20- 30 minutes. However it is important to base it on the look of the maple butter not the time. One good way to tell when it is done, is when you stir the maple butter it starts to pull apart a bit and looks similar to buttercream icing.
If you use a stand mixer for stirring choose the lowest setting and use the paddle attachment. The stiff syrup and the long stirring time can be hard on the motor of the mixer. Therefore, I use my mixer for the beginning but once it starts getting warm I turn it off and finish stirring by hand with a spoon.
5. Store Maple Butter:
After the maple butter is ready, pour it into containers and allow it to cool. If you wait too long the butter will not pour since it stiffens as it cools, therefore do this step as soon as it is ready. Once your butter has cooled it can be stored in the fridge for a few months.
Maple butter can be stored on the counter, however it may not last as long and can cause the butter to separate slightly. If your butter separates just give it a little stir before use. If you want to keep your butter long term, it can be frozen for later use.
BEST Ways to Use Maple Butter
You can replace conventional sugars one for one with maple butter in many baked goods. This works well when recipes call for the sugar and butter to be creamed, such as in shortbread cookies. Using maple butter gives recipes a similar sweetness but from a natural source and with a maple flavour.
My favourite way to use maple butter is as an icing on cookies, cakes or muffins. Maple shortbread sandwich cookies are by far the best maple cookie, in my opinion. In Canada these cookies are sold in stores, but are nothing compared to the amazing homemade version!
Maple butter is also a delicious fruit dip. Just like peanut butter is classic on apple slices and bananas, maple butter is a fun fruit dip to sweeten up your snack.
Before using maple butter, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. When maple butter is cold it will not spread as well.
If you have a favourite way of using maple butter I would love to hear it in the comments below!
More Favourite Recipies For You:
- High sided pot
- Spoon and/or stand mixer
- *Optional: oil or butter
- 2 (or more) Cups Maple Syrup 100% Pure
- Add syrup to pot
- *Optional: Grease top edge of pot to prevent foaming
- Heat syrup to 235ºF (112ºC)
- Pour into bowl, place in ice and cover bowl
- Cool syrup to 100ºF (38ºC)
- Slowly stir syrup with spoon or in stand mixer
- Stop stirring when butter lightens in colour, looses its shine, and starts to pull apart
- While warm pour into a container
- Store in fridge for a few months or freeze for long term use.
- Do not stir the syrup while it is heating or cooling! Agitating the syrup will cause crystals to form and make the maple butter grainy.
- Maple butter can be kept on the counter at room temperature however it may separate, if it does just give it a stir before use.
Hey, I’m Maggie. I hope you will join me and my family in getting back to the land. Here you will learn about making things yourself, cooking homegrown food, and beginning a homesteading journey.