Maple Cream

February 10, 2014
1 Ratings
  • Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups
Author Notes

If you haven’t had maple cream (a.k.a. maple butter) before, then you’re missing out on maple syrup in one of its most decadent, delicious forms. To make maple cream, you simply heat maple syrup to the cusp of soft ball stage, cool it down, and then slowly stir it until the sugars crystallize and form a light, spreadable cream. It’s wonderful on toast, mixed into frosting, or simply eaten right off a spoon. —Carey Nershi

What You'll Need
  • 1 quart 100% pure maple syrup (Grade A Light Amber is ideal)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream (or substitute oil to keep it dairy-free)
  1. First, double check the temperature at which water boils with the thermometer you’ll be using. If it boils at 212° F, then you can follow the recipe as is and heat the syrup to 235° F. If it boils at +/- 212° F, add or subtract the difference to/from 235° F to determine your target final temperature for the syrup.
  2. Prepare an ice bath. Combine syrup and cream in a heavy sauce pan with high sides. (The syrup will bubble and rise as it boils, so choose a pan that is at least double the volume to avoid boiling over.) Clip a thermometer to the side of the pan so that it is submerged in the syrup, but not touching the bottom.
  3. Without stirring, heat the syrup to 235° F. Once it reaches 235° F, immediately remove it from the heat. If you will be stirring the syrup by hand, you can leave it in the pan and place the pan directly in the ice bath. If you will be using a stand mixer, pour the syrup into the mixing bowl (provided it’s a stainless steel bowl, not a glass one!) and place the bowl in the ice bath. Stick the entire thing in the fridge until the syrup has cooled to approximately 40 to 45° F.
  4. Once the syrup has cooled, remove it from the fridge and ice bath, and allow it to warm up a bit, to approximately 55 to 60° F. If you’re using a stand mixer, affix the paddle attachment and stir the syrup on the lowest setting. If you’re stirring by hand, stir the syrup slowly -- don’t try to whip it quickly. Also, invite some friends over to help. Your arms will thank you.
  5. Stir until the syrup begins to thicken and lighten in color, and takes on a creamy consistency that somewhat holds its shape when stirred.
  6. Store the cream in the fridge for up to 6 months. It is normal for some syrup to separate and rise to the top over time. If this happens, just give it a good stir to reincorporate. (The cream can also be safely canned and stored at room temp, then refrigerated after opening.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Debbie Cragnolin
    Debbie Cragnolin
  • Beth Hazen
    Beth Hazen
  • Carey Nershi
    Carey Nershi
  • cathy
Lover of simple food and cocktails served with a single giant ice cube. Raised in the NY Schoharie Valley; currently residing in Burlington, VT. Blogger at

11 Reviews

Debbie C. November 25, 2019
Hi. I think I followed the directions but am finding that my maple cream is very hard and sticky. I can barely stir it. Also, a lot of it has hardened on the side of the pan... wasting quite a bit. Any suggestions?
cathy June 21, 2019
can you clarify how long you would process the maple cream for shelf storage--Is 10 min in boiling water bath adequate? and does it change the consistency at all?


Sueson V. February 11, 2015
Could you use coconut cream in place of dairy?
Carey N. February 15, 2015
This would probably work as well.
Catherine February 10, 2015
Any reason that you add the cream to this? All of the maple cream/butter I have ever had was 100% pure maple syrup, as are all of the other recipes I see online.
Carey N. February 15, 2015
Sorry for the delayed reply; I've been out of the country for the past week.
The cream keeps the foaming under control. You can heat the syrup without the cream and will work exactly the same way. If it doesn't seem to be in danger of boiling over, no need to add it. But if it's bubbling up precariously close to the top, just add it in and it will calm everything down.
Beth H. February 1, 2015
I'd also like to know processing time for canning please. Water bath or pressure canned? Thanks!
nance March 21, 2014
Why not just cool it to the 55-60, rather than the lower temp and have to raise it again? I don't understand this extra step.
MomofChef March 3, 2014
Maple syrup keeps indefinitely in the freezer and for months on end in the refrigerator, before it is creamed that is. So can't imagine that creaming it changes it shelf life at all. I buy the stuff by the gallon when we are in Maine and keep it in the freezer and pour it up a quart at a time.

We take our maple seriously too. I made maple cream candies two weeks ago and they were divine. Cream maple syrup has been on my list for a couple of months. This technique is slightly different so I might try it first as it seems a bit easier.
qktiles March 2, 2014
Does this need to be canned in a pressure canner?
llcmine March 21, 2014
what is the canning process?