Maple Syrup Snow

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 Its provenance may be outdated, but its appeal transcends time.

A bucket of maple syrup in the snow with streaks of maple syrup snow nearby

Maple syrup snow is a charming old-fashioned candy that’s sorta akin to homemade caramel. And it’s gooey and sweet enough to get excited each time it snows. It’s also reason enough to always keep a stash of maple syrup and butter on hand. Originally published January 21, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Where Did Maple Syrup Snow Originate?

We’ve no idea when exactly the tradition of maple syrup snow began. But we do that know author Diane Henry first read about it in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 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 the sap was running and that it was time to tap the trees, in February. [Editor’s Note: We don’t know what a “sugar moon” is, either. But we find it unspeakably comforting to know that there’s such a thing watching over us. Something for you to ponder as you snitch some maple syrup snow.]

Maple Syrup Snow

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 35 M
  • 45 M
  • Servings vary
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Roast Figs Sugar Snow cookbook

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Special Equipment: candy thermometer


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In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the maple syrup and butter until it registers 235°F (113°C) on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes or so. It’s going to be tempting to walk into another part of the house. Don’t. Keep a careful watch on it and if at any point the mixture threatens to boil over, reduce the temperature under the pan. When it reaches the desired temperature, remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.

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 caramel, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, return the pan to medium heat for a few minutes and then try again. Drizzle blobs of the syrup mixture on the snow in whatever pattern or neo art creation you fancy. As soon as the maple syrup snow candy is cool enough to pick up with your fingers, indulge.

Print RecipeBuy the Roast Figs Sugar Snow cookbook

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Recipe Testers Reviews

This maple syrup snow candy was so yummy! The maple mixture creates a gooey caramel or toffee on top of 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.


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  1. We have sugar maples on our farm. We are tapping them now. We need warm sunny days and below freezing nights to get lots of sap. Then we make our own maple syrup. Heaven right hear on earth. We don’t wait for the candy to cool we take Popsicle sticks and roll up the candy and eat it off the stick. The Canadian way 8-) in French it is tir sur la neige. Yummy!

    1. I love every single thing about what you wrote, Rita. And, living in the desert southwest, I am more than a little envious of your tir sur la neige tradition. Thank you for sharing that image. Happy for you!

  2. Maple Syrup was just delivered by UPS from Amazon to my door in Alaska. Fresh Snow delivered daily from Mother Nature. Butter is new. I can see the science and I Iike it.

  3. We’re about to get hit with 5-9”? 7-14”? of snow over the next 24 hours, and, here in urban America, I’ll have a short window that the snow is clean enough to collect for this wonderful purpose! With any luck, my work will be canceled for tomorrow, and we can stay home and make Maple Sugar Snow as we watch the snow continue to fall! It might not look like Little House on the Prairie outside, but we’ve got our syrup, butter, and thermometer at the ready!

  4. I’m a Canadian natural…maple syrup is part of me. Thank you for the post. However living in Portugal at the moment, it’s difficult to find maple syrup around the local supermarkets. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 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 :)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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. 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.

  10. 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!) :)

  11. 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. :)

      1. I wish!

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

        1. 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…

    1. 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…

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

  13. 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?

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