My mom’s friend, Carolyn, gave her this recipe for Buttermilk Caramel Syrup. It is hands-down the best syrup I have ever tasted in my life! Everyone who tastes it becomes instantly enamored with it. I don’t know if it’s the tang of the buttermilk that does it, or if it’s the combination of everything together, but MAN. This is seriously the best sauce EVER.
We usually serve it over pancakes or waffles, but it’s also good over ice cream, bread pudding, or basically ANYTHING. Ha! The original recipe from my mom’s friend calls for using dried buttermilk powder and water, but ever since trying it with real buttermilk…there’s no going back. It’s so, so, so much better.
The key here is to use a big enough pan that will allow for the syrup to bubble and rise up as it cooks. I’ve seen the syrup range from really light, almost clear, to this deeper caramel color. We prefer the sauce to be darker as it has a more pronounced caramel flavor. That’s totally up to you! It does become a little grainy after a few days, but if you reheat it in the microwave or a saucepan, it will quickly become smooth again. I also stopped adding corn syrup to the sauce. Pure maple syrup, honey, or even brown rice syrup is a better choice.
- 8 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or honey
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed pan (3-quarts is a good size.) Add the sugar and the remaining ingredients, except for vanilla.
- Bring to a boil while whisking constantly and cook for 4 minutes. The sauce will be very thick and foamy, and will start to turn more golden in color. You can lower the heat and cook it for longer to achieve the desired level of caramelization. We like a medium amber color best.
- Remove pan from heat and add vanilla extract. Whisk well - it will bubble up a little bit and settle back down after being whisked.
- Serve warm over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, bread pudding, or eat with a spoon.
- The sauce is best if eaten within a few days. Refrigerate any leftover sauce. It may turn a little grainy, just reheat it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir.