How to Make Maple Sugar

Learn how to make maple sugar at home by drying out maple syrup and you’ll never again wonder where to buy maple sugar or have to pay an obscene amount for it.

A tin cup on its side with homemade maple sugar spilling out

Ever stared at the price tag for maple sugar at the store in disbelief and shook your head? Us, too. Then this simple recipe for how to make maple sugar at home is for you. Making it’s not difficult or tricky or fearsome in any way. It’s ridiculously simple. All you need is maple syrup, a pan, and some patience. It’s just as paleo-friendly as the store-bought stuff. Just less expensive. Swap it for granulated sugar 1:1 in just about any recipe. Originally published January 21. 2016.Renee Schettler Rossi

Why Learn How To Make Maple Sugar?

It has been argued that while store-bought maple sugar is pretty pricey, so is the maple syrup that’s necessary to make it. There’s some truth in that. And yet we see the value of this recipe not just in financial terms. (Although we still find that making it ourselves to be cheaper.) Part of the beauty is you can customize the maple sugar, using your favorite grade of syrup. Another part of its beauty is that maple sugar isn’t that accessible as many grocery stores don’t carry it, which means when you have this recipe in your Arsenal, you still make recipes that call for maple sugar. The other part of the beauty? The simple satisfaction derived from doing it because you can.

How To Make Maple Sugar

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Special Equipment: Candy thermometer

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  • 2 cups pure maple syrup (opt for a light, not dark, maple syrup)


  • 1. Pour the maple syrup into a sorta high-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan and crank the heat to medium-high. As the syrup heats, it will begin to bubble vigorously. Don’t stir it unless the hot, sticky, bubbling syrup rises perilously close to the top edge of the pan, then stir it with a long-handled wooden spoon and the bubbling will subside. Boil until the syrup reduces to about half its original volume and turns darker in color and thicker in consistency and reaches 257°F to 262°F (125°C to 128°C) on a candy thermometer or deep-fry thermometer, which is the hard ball stage in candy making. This should take about 20 minutes. As the syrup cooks down, watch it carefully so it doesn’t boil over. And you may need to reduce the heat occasionally to keep the reducing syrup from scorching. You may also need to tip the pan towards the end to fully immerse the bulb of your thermometer in the syrup to get an accurate temperature reading.
  • 2. Once the syrup reaches the requisite temperature, remove the pan from the heat and start stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until the syrup lightens and thickens in texture and eventually becomes granulated and similar in look and feel to light brown sugar, about 5 minutes. The transformation from liquid to granulated sugar happens really quite quickly. (You could opt to use your stand mixer or a hand mixer, but it goes surprisingly quickly when you beat it by hand. Trust us. And just think how toned your arms will be! Don’t forget to you switch back and forth between right and left!)
  • 3. Sift the maple sugar through a strainer to remove the larger clumps and then toss those larger clumps into your food processor and whir until they become granulated. Then mix this back into the other maple sugar. Store the maple sugar in an airtight container at room temperature and use it 1:1 in place of granulated white sugar in almost any baking recipe. (And, because we know you’re staring at the dirty pot and dreading having to wash it, here’s an easy technique for cleaning up. Simply fill the pan with water and set it over medium heat. The warm water will turn the sugar back into its liquid state, making cleanup a cinch.)

How To Make A Bigger Batch Of Maple Sugar Variation

  • To make a bigger batch of maple sugar, follow the recipe above but use a 32-ounce (950-milliliter) bottle of maple syrup and a stock pot. You’ll end up with about 3 cups (420 grams) maple sugar.

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