Farm To Table | Healthy Recipes | Sauces / Dips / Dressings | Tips and Tricks

How to Make Maple Sugar

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Making your own maple sugar at home is incredibly easy and only takes a few minutes. We’ve made it easier than ever with this simple trick.

Fine granulated sugar in jar.Pin
Granulated sugar

If you have ever tried to find maple sugar at the store, you know it is incredibly difficult to find. If you can find it, it is incredibly expensive ($25-$35 per pound) and may cost you your first-born.

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The thing is, there is really no reason to buy it when you can make it in just a few minutes at home.

Use your own maple syrup or buy the pure stuff at the store. Don’t buy the cheap, popular brands that have high fructose corn syrup. It won’t work.

This is really not a recipe, per se, it is more of a technique.

Maple syrup process

Briefly, to make your own maple syrup, the sap of maple trees is collected in buckets using tree taps and cooked down to reduce the moisture content of the maple sap. It’s then poured through coffee filters or layers of cheesecloth to make the syrup clear.

This is a semi- involved process and can require some specialty equipment so we won’t get too deep with that. Maybe next year we’ll do an article on making the syrup.

After the syrup is made you need to bottle the maple syrup. Once the syrup is bottled, you can proceed with making the sugar.

Block maple sugar in jar.Pin
Block maple sugar

What is maple sugar?

It is just maple syrup that has been cooked down to reduce it’s water content. Then it is stirred with a wooden spoon vigorously until it forms a granulated sugar. It is basically the same process to make cane sugar.

Which syrup to use

The grade of your syrup will affect the color and flavor of the sugar.

Maple syrup is graded into different classes. Typically the color of the sap early in the season produce a lighter colored syrup. The darker the syrup the stronger the taste. You will want a amber or dark colored syrup to make sugar with the best flavor. For more about grading, this is an interesting read.

What you need

The best part is that you only need one ingredient. Pure maple syrup. Store bought or homemade.

How to make it

The thing about making granulated maple sugar is that the syrup needs to be heated to 45° to 50°F (25° to 28°C) above the boiling point of water, according to Cornell University.

Did you know that water boils at different temperatures at different elevations? According to the USDA, “As atmospheric pressure decreases, water boils at lower temperatures. At sea level, water boils at 212 °F. With each 500-feet increase in elevation, the boiling point of water is lowered by just under 1 °F. At 7,500 feet, for example, water boils at about 198 °F. Because water boils at a lower temperature at higher elevations, foods that are prepared by boiling or simmering will cook at a lower temperature, and it will take longer to cook.

  1. Pour syrup into a large pot with high sides. It will be boiled vigorously so make sure you have a large enough pot.
  2. Boil over medium-high heat on your stove. Do not stir the syrup at this point. You can add a bit of butter to reduce the foam, but just make sure you use a deep pot.
  3. You can see the color change and how high the syrup is on the sides of the pot in the syrup here (see photo below).
  4. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. Remember, it needs to be 45-50° F above the boiling point of water at your elevation. Use the link above to determine what temp that is. It should take between 15 and 30 minutes for the hot syrup to come to temp (don’t worry if it takes longer, you may just have the burner not as high). We are less than 1000 feet, so we take ours to about 260°F. Notice here how high the bubbling syrup has gotten in the pot.
  5. Once you have reached that temp, turn off the heat or remove it from an electric burner to prevent scorching. You can either start to stir at this point or allow it to cool to about 200°F, according to the above referenced bulletin from Cornell.
  6. We wait for it to cool a bit but at this stage the liquid is still very hot so wear an apron and heat resistant gloves to avoid burns. Also, work carefully to avoid splatters to your face. Notice the texture change here.
  7. If you stir by hand, it will take 15-20 minutes to granulate. As the syrup hardens it will become increasingly difficult to stir. We prefer pouring the liquid into the Kitchenaid mixer bowl, with the paddle attachment and letting the tool do all of the hard work. Use a low speed. I suggest doing a small quantity, like a cup or two of syrup. Larger quantities will require commercial mixers. See how thick it has gotten? At this stage it is hard to stir.
  8. Once you’ve achieved granulated sugar, you can stop stirring. I allow the sugar to air dry overnight but you can eat it anytime now. Dry it in a in a low humidity environment (if your kitchen environment is higher humidity, dry it in the refrigerator spread out on rimmed cookie sheets). Pour the sugar into a fine mesh strainer (stainless steel will be the best to use). This will remove larger chunks
  9. This is what the sifted sugar looks like.
  10. Now you can run the large chunks through the food processor to try to break them down a bit. Sift the material that you processed again.
Step by step of the process for making maple sugar. See details in recipe below.Pin
Step by step of the process

You will not be able to break up all of the chunks, but that is ok. This is called block sugar or hard sugar. You can use them in hot liquids or in recipes that are cooked like Maple BBQ Sauce.

If you have a courser sieve, you can run the chunks through that and then you can have sanding sugar too, for topping cookies and cakes.

Pro tip: Immediately after you are done using tools like spoons, bowls or pots, rinse them out with very hot water. This will save you a lot of cleanup time.

What is the yield?

One quart (1 liter) of syrup yields about 2 pounds ( 1 kilogram), or one quart, of granulated sugar.

How to make powdered maple sugar

If you would like a consistency more similar to powdered sugar for frostings and the like it’s incredibly easy.

Once you have your maple sugar all dried. Place your desired quantity of granulated sugar in your food processor. Process it for 3-5 minutes. To get that nice powdered consistency, add 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch or arrowroot powder and process briefly to combine.

Store in an airtight container.

Different sized particles of maple sugar. Course, sanding and granulated.Pin
Block, sanding and granulated maple sugar

How to store it

Pour the sugar into an airtight container, we use mason jars with the two part lid and store at room temperature.

Is maple sugar healthy

Like many things in life, healthy is a relative term. This sugar can be healthier than traditional white sugar or brown sugar for a couple reasons. This sugar is less refined than commercially processed sugars.

It is high in manganese, zinc, calcium, iron and potassium. It also contains low amounts of fructose. So it may be better for diabetics to consume in moderation. You should consult your physician if you have any health concerns regarding sugar before consuming.

Maple sugar is also paleo and vegan since it is unprocessed and contains only pure maple syrup.

Why make this maple sugar?

First and foremost is the taste. The maple flavor really shines through with this sugar.

Maple sugar is the most versatile product that you can make from maple syrup. It is perfectly shelf stable because it contains no water. Therefore, it can be stored at room temperature.

Maple sugar will last indefinitely. It doesn’t mold or separate.

Use it as a natural one to one substitute for white sugar or brown sugar in baking.

It can even be reconstituted back to maple syrup and used to make maple confections such as maple candy.

It’s a sustainable source of food. As long as there are sugar maples, then you’ll be able to make sugar.

Spoon of maple syrup.Pin

How to use it

  • Use it on cereals, like oatmeal, grits and cream of rice
  • Try it as a topping for yogurt, ice cream or cottage cheese.
  • Sweeten tea, coffee, hot chocolate and other beverages. Any of the leftover chunks are great for this.
  • Make maple ice cream or pudding.
  • Perfect to substitute for brown sugar in homemade bacon
  • Apple pie and other desserts like baked apples, apple bars, etc. are delicious with it.
  • Pecan pie would be incredible.
  • Make a delicious maple cheesecake.
  • Maple- cream cheese frosting would be great on carrot cake.
  • Try a Maple BBQ sauce. Delish.
  • Use it to sweeten fruits like apples, raspberries, lemon, grapefruit and pears.
  • Use it as fun holiday or hostess gifts. Your friends and family will be impressed and most of them have never even tried maple sugar.

Other recipes with maple

More homemade syrups

Sanding sugar texture in jar.Pin
Sanding sugar

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Close up of jar of maple sugar.Pin

How to Make Maple Sugar

Making your own maple sugar at home is incredibly easy and only takes a few minutes. We've made it easier than ever with this simple trick.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment, sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Stirring time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 64 tablespoons
Calories: 40kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $20

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pour syrup into a large pot with high sides. It will be boiled vigorously so make sure you have a large enough pot.
  • Boil over medium-high heat on your stove. Do not stir the syrup at this point. You can add a bit of butter to reduce the foam, but just make sure you use a deep pot.
  • Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. Remember, it needs to be 45-50° F above the boiling point of water at your elevation. Use the link below to determine what temp that is. It should take less than 15 minutes for the hot syrup to come to temp. We are less than 1000 feet, so we take ours to about 260°F
  • Once you have reached that temp, turn off the heat or remove it from an electric burner. You can either start to stir at this point or allow it to cool to about 200°F, according to the above referenced bulletin from Cornell.
  • We wait for it to cool a bit but at this stage the liquid is till very hot so wear an apron and heat resistant gloves to avoid burns. Also, work carefully to avoid splatters to your face.
  • Once it cools a bit, start stirring the syrup. If you stir by hand, it will take 15-20 minutes to granulate. As the syrup hardens it will become increasingly difficult to stir. We prefer pouring the liquid into the Kitchenaid mixer bowl, with the paddle attachment and letting the tool do all of the hard work. Use a low speed. Unless you are doing a small quantity, you will want a commercial grade machine.
  • Now there will be some chunks so you want to strain it trough a fine mesh sieve to remove some of them. Stainless steel will be the best to use. If you let the sugar air dry, you can sift once more to minimize clumping, in a low humidity environment.
  • If chunks still remain, once the sugar has dried a bit, run some of the larger chunks through your food processor to break them up.
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Notes

Did you know that water boils at different temperatures at different elevations? You need to check the boiling point of water at your elevation. Just enter your zip code.
Be sure to heat the syrup to the proper temperature. We are only 400 feet above sea level so water boils at 212°F (100°C) for us. So we heat syrup to about 260°F (125°C). 
Spread sugar out on a baking sheet and let it air dry for an hour or so, in a low humidity environment (February and March is perfect when the heat is on). Once the sugar has dried a bit, run some of the larger chunks through your food processor to break them up.
One quart (1 liter) of syrup yields about 2 pounds ( 1 kilogram), or one quart, of granulated sugar.
Pour the sugar into an airtight container, we use mason jars with the two part lid and store at room temperature.
See article above for great ways to use maple sugar.
 
 
 
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Nutrition

Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 33mg | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this today and it came out absolutely amazing! I turned down the heat to a low simmer and put immediately in the kitchen aid mixer on a slow speed after it reached the hard crack stage. I was so excited when it turned white! Thanks for a great recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I had no idea it was so easy to make homemade maple sugar and that all I needed was maple syrup! Can’t wait to try this soon!

  3. 5 stars
    I am in awe of this recipe. I never knew you could do this. Pure maple syrup in to sugar. I can’t wait to try this.

  4. 5 stars
    I was a little scared to make this, but it really was super easy. Thanks for such a great easy to follow recipe, this turned out perfect!

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe and a wonderful read! I use maple syrup every single day. I think I need to make a batch of maple sugar though.

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