Pure Maple Butter Is the Dreamiest Spread You've Never Even Heard Of

One ingredient — a million ways to use it.

Fall fanatics know one of the greatest flavors of the season is sweet and earthy pure maple syrup. It can flavor a batch of baked pumpkin doughnuts, balance a balsamic vinaigrette, and even glaze chicken thighs for dinner. Plus, it's a natural sweetener. Since it comes straight from trees, it's free of additives like high fructose corn syrup.

Just a few tablespoons of the golden drizzle can take a breakfast from bland to great. So, when we learned (from TikTok, obviously) that just a simple heating and cooling method could turn liquid maple syrup into a thick, creamy, spreadable maple butter, we knew it was time to get into the kitchen.

Some other maple butter recipes call for real butter, but we wanted to see if this 1-ingredient take was as magical as it seemed to be (plus, it's dairy-free for vegan diets). If all went to plan, the quick heating, flash-cooling, and stirring process would allow the sugar to crystallize in a way that would produce a smooth and spreadable consistency.

In the first 15 minutes of stirring, the thin, sticky syrup was about the color and texture of a light molasses, creating thick ribbons as it fell from the spoon. I'll admit, after about 45 minutes of stirring it became clear that I should've used an electric mixer to speed up the process. However, seeing the maple syrup transform in front of my eyes, simply powered by a hand-stirred spoon, was incredibly gratifying.

The final product was a gorgeous opaque caramel color, thick enough it could almost form stiff peaks in my bowl. I added a pinch of salt (to balance out the sweetness) and immediately spread it on some hot buttered rolls from the oven. There's a reason this stuff is called maple butter — it spreads, smears and melts just like the real stuff, and it glided down the side of the roll in a sweet, flavorful cascade. Talk about heaven.

Not only was it perfect for breads and breakfast treats (lookin' at you, biscuits), it was wonderful on savory meats and vegetable sides. Plus, talk about the sweetest finish on top of an ice cream sundae. Save this sweet treat in an air-tight container in the fridge — it'll turn the consistency of peanut butter — and spread it on any dish that needs a little fall flair.

How to Make Pure Maple Butter

  • 2 cups 100% pure maple syrup
  • ice
  1. In a large pot (allowing for heavy bubbling), heat maple syrup on a stovetop without stirring until it reaches 230°F. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath for a large, heat-proof bowl.
  2. Carefully move the syrup to the bowl with the ice bath. Allow to cool, untouched, until it reaches 100°F. Begin stirring by hand or with an electric mixer.
  3. Continue stirring until the syrup reaches a very thick consistency and a light caramel color. Use immediately, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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