Maple Syrup Snow Recipe

This maple syrup snow lets you embrace your latent Little House on the Prairie fantasies with a quaint, toffee-like candy made by drizzling maple syrup onto fresh snow. Its provenance may be outdated, but its appeal transcends time.

Maple Syrup Snow Recipe

Author Diana Henry first read about maple syrup snow candy, a kind of toffee, in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Little House in the Big Woods, which is in the Little House on the Prairie series. As Henry explains, Native Americans used to watch for the “sugar moon,” the first sign that it was time to tap the trees (and make this maple syrup snow candy), in February. We just watch the weather reports to tell us when it’s time to make certain we have maple syrup and butter on hand. This recipe has been updated. Originally published January 21, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

What Is A Sugar Moon?

We’ve no idea what a “sugar moon” is, either. But we find it unspeakably comforting to know that there’s such a thing watching over us.

Special Equipment: candy thermometer

Maple Syrup Snow Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 45 M
  • Servings vary


  • 2 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • Fresh snow you’ve collected in a large bowl


  • 1. Warm the maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 235°F (113°C) on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes or so. Don’t walk away. You’re going to want to watch it carefully and reduce the temperature under the pan if at any point the mixture threatens to boil over. When it reaches the desired temperature, remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  • 2. Spoon 1 tablespoon maple syrup mixture on some of the snow in the bowl. If the syrup sits on top of the snow and sets into a weblike toffee, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, return the pan to medium heat for a few minutes and then try again. When the syrup is ready, drizzle blobs of the syrup mixture on the snow in whatever pattern or non-pattern you prefer and then indulge as soon as the maple syrup snow candy is cool enough to pick up with your fingers.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Hey, there. Just a reminder that all our content is copyright protected. Like a photo? Please don't use it without our written permission. Like a recipe? Kindly contact the publisher listed above for permission before you post it (that's what we did) and rewrite it in your own words. That's the law, kids. And don't forget to link back to this page, where you found it. Thanks!

Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Julie Dreyfoos

Jan 23, 2016

This maple syrup snow candy was so yummy! The maple mixture creates this gooey caramel or toffee on top of the snow. It makes quite a bit, so I called my neighbors to bring over a bowl of snow and it was so cute, they sent their 9 year old over with this big mixing bowl full of snow, so I just poured it on. (I wish you could have seen the neighbor boy with his boots and gloves on and this big bowl of snow. Very cute!) They all loved it and described it as “a really good caramel.” The mom and dad finished their dessert off with a glass of Bailey’s. I jarred the leftovers, which will make a great caramel ice cream topping when the snow is gone–or maybe I’ll drizzle some over the whipped cream on my latte.

  1. Gary says:

    We used to make our own maple syrup (& syruped snow). The best thing I recall about making syrup was the first day’s run… it was richer, tasting almost like it already contained melted butter. The quality of the syrup seemed to gradually decline after that first batch — perhaps most of the syrup you buy is blended to some uniform standard? Or maybe it’s just a gold-infused memory?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Or, as you say, perhaps they just don’t make things like they used to, Gary…

  2. Amanda says:

    I’m sorry, but this is just cruel. Having recently been in Vancouver I have just discovered how very pricey maple syrup is in Oz. I haven’t bought any home with me as it is a little risky to carry, and bringing home litres of the stuff seemed impractical (if not illegal). I may sulk for a while now.

    • Julie Dreyfoos, LC Production Manager says:

      Amanda, don’t waste the pricey stuff on this treat. I used the Trader Joe’s brand of syrup for this and it worked out just perfectly.

  3. Sara says:

    This looks so good! I just stuck a half sheet pan outside. Hopefully the snow keeps up!

    • Julie Dreyfoos, LC Production Manager says:

      Forget the pan and put a bowl out there! Just spent the last week in a winter blast and have to say this was one of the best treats for us after being stranded for 5 days. You won’t regret this treat and if you have little ones around it will be something fun to do with them.

      • Sara says:

        Sadly, last year the snow didn’t keep up. But it did last night! We made some this morning and it was fabulous! I’m not usually a snow fan, but I now have a new reason to look forward to it.

  4. Mike says:

    Where can I get some of this “snow” you speak of. I’m in Central Florida. Do you think Whole Foods will have some. I hope it’s organic, free trade, and glutin free. :)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Mike, you crack me up. We still have snow here in Manhattan…..what’s your address?

      • Mike says:

        I wish!

        Do you know how boring it is wearing tee-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops in January (and February, March, etc. etc….)?

        • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

          I’m originally from Iowa, Mike, although we moved to Arizona when I was a teen, so actually, I do know…and I think you’re being a tease, because it’s 18 degrees out in the city now. One of the most curious things I experienced there was seeing folks in Phoenix have a pickup truckbed full of snow plopped on their front yard on Christmas day…though I never saw them drizzling this toffeelike syrup over it…

    • Dan Kraan, LC Community Moderator says:

      I can’t speak for your place Mike, but in almost any given month I could probably scrape a bowlful of this “snow” substance off of the walls in my freezer! Organic? maybe. Free Trade? definitely. Gluten Free? depends on what exploded in there last…

  5. sweetmaddy says:

    I still think of the Little House books whenever I eat maple syrup (from CA so can’t really eat it on snow like they did! but I have always wanted to try!) :)

  6. Lauralee Hensley says:

    The first full moon during the sap running season is called the Maple Moon or the Sugar Moon. The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls the month of March the Full Sap Moon, while February has the Full Hunger Moon.

  7. Penny Wolf says:

    Sounds like it could be a fun twist to an apple margarita…

  8. Susan says:

    I have been trying to think (for years!) what it was that my Mom made for us in the snow one time when I was a kid. I knew it was candy, but could not remember exactly what it was. This was it! It has to be. She took us all outside with her pan full of “something”. She found a fresh patch of deep, packed snow and drizzled it on and she let us eat it. It was so much fun and such a treat for my Mom to do something so out of the ordinary with us. She was very conservative about letting us have sweet treats. Four kids and all that sugar? She knew! Gosh…I’m so glad you featured this!

  9. Rick Casner says:

    Every year, at the end of the ski season, there is a ski race held here in Stowe. It is when all the kids who’ve been slugging away, trying to be ski racers, all get together for one last race of the year, mostly just for the fun of it. Kids who are no longer kids but on the U.S. Ski Team come home. College racers take a break. Some of the coaches and a few nitwit locals set up grills back in the woods and eat venison and drink bourbon, straight from the bottle. It is a grand day and a fine tradition. At the bottom of the hill, usually near the finsih line, wooden tables or trays are hammered together, set up and covered with snow, then doused with local Maple syrup. The name of this race??? The Sugar Slalom

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Love to see a little respect for nature taking place, Casner.

  10. handmadebyjo says:

    We gather and boil sap every March in a place on the Vermont line. I grew up with sugar on snow but have to tell you when you’re in the midst of sugar season it’d just not that appealing. We pack pans with snow when it’s clean and deep earlier in the winter, put them in the freezer and take them out in July. Now there’s a treat.

  11. Randi K says:

    Have had this in Vermont with just the maple syrup, it tasted like those big daddy lolli-pops from years ago. The addition of butter sounds delicious. Maybe drizzling it over fresh cut apples, pears or bananas would taste good too. And maybe some chocolate and ………. I could go on and on….I think I’m hungry now :)

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.


Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail