The Best Maple Syrup You Can Buy, According to Our Pro Pancake Flippers
Before you flip that first pancake, make sure you've got the best maple syrup on hand to top it off. Our experts tested 10 brands to find the very best.
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Searching for the Best Maple Syrup
But we’ve all been to a diner for breakfast and suffered lackluster syrup. Or we grabbed the last bottle on the shelf only to discover it was too sweet and almost ruined your homemade waffles.
Worry no more, though. Our Test Kitchen wants to help you make the most of all these breakfast goodies by finding the best maple syrup.
Putting Maple Syrup to the Test
For this test, our Test Kitchen team gathered up 10 of the most popular syrup brands including pure maple syrups and even some of the extra-sweet variety. Each syrup was sampled blindly—no biases here! While our team tasted, they kept these three qualities in mind:
- Color: Maple syrup should have an appetizing and natural color—ideally a shade of amber.
- Consistency: When you drizzle maple syrup over your Belgian waffle, you want a decadent consistency. Runny syrups won’t pass muster in this test.
- Flavor: Most important of all, maple syrup should taste good. The best maple syrup shouldn’t be too sweet or taste artificial. The nuances of maple can differ from producer to producer, but overall it should taste earthy and delicious.
Find out which brands topped our list and get ready for your best brunch yet.
Best Vermont Maple Syrup
Runamok Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup
If you’re serious about maple, you know that Vermont is the place to source your syrup. While there are lots of Vermonters making syrup, our Test Kitchen is a fan of Runamok Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup.
This USDA-certified organic syrup hails from rural Vermont, where a collective of farmers works together to make this prime product, one marked as “sugarmaker’s cut.” What does this mean for your syrup? It means that this is the quality of syrup typically reserved for the farmers themselves—the pros that really know a good syrup.
But our culinary experts also recognize the quality in this Runamok bottle. The copper-colored syrup has a lot of nuances; it’s not just sugar or basic maple. According to Mark Neufang in the Test Kitchen, “this has sweetness with a bit of smokiness and edge.”
You may not typically associate smoke with maple, but like many foods (ranging from everything from tomatoes to wine), location, soil and weather can all influence the end product and give it some unique flavors. In this case, Runamok picks up some pleasant notes of smoke that taste great paired with classic breakfast foods but with savory dishes as well, like this Maple-Roasted Chicken & Acorn Squash.
- Price: $17.95 for a 12.7-ounce bottle
- Cost per ounce: $1.41
Best Canadian Maple Syrup
Escuminac Extra Rare Maple Syrup
While Vermont produces the most maple products in the United States, most maple syrup actually comes from Canada. Canada produces more than 70% of the world’s maple syrup including one of our Test Kitchen’s favorites: Escuminac Extra Rare Maple Syrup.
This Grade A syrup is sourced from a single forest in Quebec. Unlike our favorite Vermont syrup with its slightly smoky essence, this Canadian maple syrup has some floral and botanical notes. These sweet yet earthy flavors make Escuminac “perfect on a stack of pancakes,” according to Mark. It’s also the perfect ingredient in these maple desserts.
Escuminac’s honeyed texture is also a touch thicker than others we tried which means this chestnut-colored syrup will cover every flapjack with a good coat of maple flavor.
- Price: $23.95 for a 16.9-ounce bottle
- Cost per ounce: $1.42
Best Budget Maple Syrup
Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup
If you want real ingredients at a lower price, try Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup.
But just because Anderson’s is affordable doesn’t mean it sacrifices flavor. This deep amber syrup had the perfect consistency for drizzling over slices of French toast. Flavor-wise, this syrup has a well-rounded flavor; you’ll get maple and mild sweetness, of course, but also subtle notes of smoke and even earth.
- Price: $4.98 for an 8-ounce bottle
- Cost per ounce: $0.62
Best Pancake Syrup
Hungry Jack Syrup
In this test, real maple syrups ranked above any corn syrup-based pancake toppers. However, our team knows that some folks prefer the latter. Pancake syrups are made with corn syrup and additional maple and even butter flavors. They tend to be a bit sweeter and more affordable. If that’s more your style or you’ve got kids at home, try a bottle of Hungry Jack Syrup.
What many folks, including our Test Kitchen crew, love about this type of syrup is the nostalgic flavor. “This reminds me of when I was a kid,” says Josh Rink in the Test Kitchen. “It has a recognizable flavor that makes me think of pancake breakfasts with my family.”
What you’ll taste when topping your pancakes with this mahogany-hued syrup is a rich blend of butter and maple. Sure, it’s a little sweeter than typical maple syrup, but nothing a good pancake topped with some butter can’t handle.
- Price: $3 for a 27.6-ounce bottle
- Cost per ounce: $0.11
Taste of Home
Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products
Our Test Kitchen is constantly testing kitchen gadgets, cleaning gear and food looking for brands that deserve the right to be called Test-Kitchen Preferred.
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