How To Make Maple Cream

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Maple cream. The gorgeous end product you get from boiling and hand-stirring maple syrup into a naturally sweet 1-ingredient delight!

Growing up, we always had a generous amount of maple syrup at an arms reach. My dad has a sugar bush (sugar shack), and that’s where he transforms maple sap into beautiful, naturally sweet maple syrup.

In this post (with video), I share my experience in making homemade maple cream.

How To Make Maple Cream

With a good quality pure maple syrup, candy thermometer, saucepot and a wooden spoon, you can make naturally sweet maple cream! Also known as maple spread or butter.

One of the best tips I can give you is never to make maple cream when you’re in a rush!

It takes time to boil the syrup and then cool it to the right temperature before starting the 30-minute stirring process. With some patience, you will transform this 1-ingredient recipe into a beautiful maple cream. 

Process steps to boil maple syrup to make maple cream.

The Process

Making this homemade maple treat is pretty simple. First, you need to prep the bowls or pots you’re going to use to cool the syrup once it’s boiled and reaches the right temperature of 234° F.

The picture below is an excellent example of the ice bath I used when making this batch.

Then cool the syrup. Once it reaches about 95° F, you start stirring the syrup. Be ready to stir for a good 30 minutes!

Ice bath: 2 saucepots, one filled with ice cubes to help cool the boiled maple syrup to make hand-stirred maple spread.

Various Instructions

When I decided that I wanted to make a batch of this maple goodness, I called my dad to find out how he does it. He’s been making maple recipes with his own maple syrup for years. I trust his instructions—with a few tweaks 😉

By curiosity, I did quickly search the web and YouTube for similar recipes. There’s a lot but I did particularly like this one because she prepared her maple butter with only maple syrup as well.

How-To Video

Get Ready to Stir!

You will need to stir for a good 30 minutes. Get your arm ready, find a partner, turn on some music and get stirring!

See below to see what the texture looks like after 10, 20 and 30 minutes of good old hand-powered stirring!

First stage of mixing boiling and mixing maple syrup for maple cream.

After 10 minutes of stirring the boiled pure maple syrup.

Stirring boiled maple syrup in a pot with wooden spoon.

20 minutes later, after stirring continuously.

Stirring boiled maple syrup in saucepot with wooden spoon.

Finally, after 30 minutes of hard work, your cream should be nice and thick. And it will thicken even more once refrigerated.

Maple Cream Bars

Two allergen-friendly dessert bars in a white plate
Maple Cream Bars Recipe (No Gluten, Eggs or Dairy with Nut-Free Option)
Soft 1-ingredient maple butter oozing off a spoon into a small bowl.
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Soft maple cream oozing off a spoon into a small bowl with more maple cream.

How To Make Maple Cream

  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1-3/4
  • Category: Desserts, Sauce, Treat
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Plant-Based
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

With a good quality pure maple syrup, candy thermometer, saucepot and a wooden spoon, you can make naturally sweet maple cream! Also known as maple spread or butter. One of the best tips I can give you is never to make maple cream when you’re in a rush! 

It takes time to boil the syrup and then cool it to the right temperature before you start the 30-minute stirring process. With some patience, you will transform this 1-ingredient recipe into a beautiful maple cream. If you’re vegan, this is an excellent honey alternative.

CAUTION: Boiling syrup is extremely hot!


Ingredients

– 2 cups pure maple syrup

Tools

a) 1 medium to large pot (8-in)(to boil syrup)*
b) 1 medium pot (7.5-in) or stainless steel bowl (to mix)
c) 1 large pot (9.5-in) or large stainless steel bowl (for ice bath)
d) Candy thermometer
e) Wooden spoon 
f) Ice cubes 
g) Glass jar(s) with lid


Instructions

Before you begin, please watch the How-To Video.

Step 1
Place the medium pot (b) for cooling down and mixing the boiled syrup into the freezer. This pot can be smaller than the one to boil your syrup. Prepare a saucepot or stainless steel bowl to use as an ice bath. Add a generous amount of ice cubes to the bottom and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready for it. Getting those saucepots prepared before you start is key. 

Step 2
Attached your candy thermometer to a medium to large saucepot*. On low to medium heat, bring 2 cups of pure maple syrup to a gentle boil. Do not stir the syrup while it’s boiling.  Keep an eye on your boiling syrup at all times, don’t walk away. If your syrup boils too close to the edge, reduce your heat to prevent overflowing. Once the syrup reaches 234° F (some wait until 235° F, but that makes it thicker), remove it from the heat. 

Step 3
Immediately transfer the boiled syrup to the medium pot (b) placed overtop the larger pot (c) with the ice cubes. Be very careful hot maple syrup can burn you! Cooldown the maple syrup to about 95° F. Once cooled, get your arm ready, find a partner and take turns stirring and stirring some more. The process takes about 30 minutes to transform the syrup into a gorgeous golden, thickened maple cream.

Step 4
As soon as the cream is ready, transfer it to a glass jar with a lid. Store the cream in the refrigerator. Enjoy!


Notes

*Make sure your pot is large enough to prevent overflowing. An 8-inch pot should do the trick.

Keywords: Maple Cream, Maple Butter, Maple Spread, Crème à l’érable

29 Comments

  1. We tried this recipe. We bright it to 234*. Gave an ice bath to bring it to 95* while sorting a little. then we stirred for 25 minutes. For some reason it turned out more like taffy. What did I do wrong?

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    • Hi Teresa! Did you see the photos in the recipe post? If you look at the maple syrup/cream after 20 minutes of hand stirring, it still looks likes taffy but with another 10 minutes of hand mixing, it all of sudden starts to look lighter and creamier. Is it possible that you did not stir long enough?

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  2. Can you use like a kitchen aid mixer to stir?

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    • Hi! You could try but the mixing bowl would have to be really cold and as the cream thickens, you might have to finish by hand. I wouldn’t want your machine to break. But if your machine is heavy duty, it could work.

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  3. I’m sorry if this question sounds ridiculous but I really don’t know. Other than eating it straight off the spoon, what is maple cream used for?

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  4. I can’t wait to try this… getting fresh maple syrup next month!

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    • Hi Betty! I was thinking the same thing! I can’t wait to make more, but I’m out of maple syrup! I can’t believe it’s almost maple syrup season. The weather has been warming up here, so it could be an early start.

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  5. Great video!!!
    I own a Pick your own apple orchard
    Do you know anyone who sells maple cream wholesale?

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  6. I’m hoping to make Maple cream cheese frosting to use in a pumpkin roll cake. Have you ever used it this way? Or used it for making frosting? I wanted to use real syrup in the frosting without it getting too thin.

    View Comment
    • Hi Patty! That sounds yummy! Were you hoping to combine only the gorgeous maple cream with cream cheese (vegan or not) to replace the butter and confectioners’ sugar you would typically find in a maple cream cheese frosting? You could always combine a small amount of homemade maple cream with some cream cheese to see if it blends well. I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. Keep the maple cream on the thinner side, so remove the boiling maple syrup from the heat as soon as it reaches 234° (235°F will make the syrup much thicker). If you try it, please let me know how it turns out. But please note that the maple cream makes wonderful icing too!

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  7. This turned out fantastic. I made it to go with maple cream puffs. Only things I changed were I added a little squirt of vanilla bean paste (maybe 1/2 tsp) and I used my kitchen aid w/ whisk attachment to stir. It worked perfectly! Thanks for the recipe!

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    • Hi! Yay! I’m so happy you tried making tasty Maple Cream! Thank you so much for letting us know that using your stand mixer with whisk attachment worked well! Do you remember how long you mixed for?

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  8. Just curious, why a wooden spoon as opposed to a whisk? Also, could a stand mixer with the paddle attachment do the hard work for you?

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    • Hi! I’m guessing that using a wooden spoon is the old-fashion/traditional way of stirring the maple syrup into maple cream. You can try with a whisk if you wish. I’m not sure if it would work equally well, but it might. As for a stand mixer, I did try it, but I felt that it was almost taking as long and took it off the machine to finish by hand. I only tried it once with a mixer. Commercial businesses use a mixer, but maybe they have different tricks to transform the syrup into maple cream. Again, you can try and do what works best for you. My recipe was for a smaller portion 😉 Let me know if you try it! I’ll make another batch soon!

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    • Loreen Miner

      So I tried it in my Kitchen Aid, and it worked great! I brought it to 232 degrees, cooled it till 95 degrees. It was like VERY THICK corn syrup! I whipped it with the paddle attachment and in about 15 minutes, it looked like it was suppose to be. I left it going for another 8 minutes and then poured it in my jars. After a few minutes, it became a a soft “hard” solid. So, maybe next time I will stop after 15 mins. of mixing.

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      • Do you remember the grade of your maple syrup? Thank you for sharing what you tried!

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      • I made this last night and it came out with some dark, harder, crystallized chunks in it. It was veeeery thick / sticky / hard to stir. I thought my wooden spoon mught break, so I switched to a big metal serving spoon. It was toffee texture for the last 10 min and got lighter, but never got a creamy texture. I left it in the stirring bowl after the 30 min of stirring and when I came back, it was lighter, and did look more like maple cream, but it’s crumbly instead of creamy. Any idea what might have caused all this? Thank you 🙂

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        • Hi! If you feel like there’s crumbly bits in the cream it could be because it was boiled just a tad too long. Next time, experiment with removing the boiled syrup from the heat just a little bit sooner.

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  9. Peter Lawrence

    The correct temperature to bring the maple syrup to, will depend on elevation and barometer, bring the syrup to 22°F to 24°F above the boiling point of water on that particular day. 234 isn’t always the case. So always start with establishing that first.

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  10. Hi Crystal! Is it possible that your pure maple syrup was very thick before boiling? So you were not able to stir it at all?

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  11. We still have some syrup left we boiled from our trees and making maple cream from it sounds like an amazing idea! Is there any way to preserve the cream so I can mail it to my relatives in Germany? Thank you!

    View Comment
    • Hi Hanna! The cream will be ok if shipped in cooler or cold temperatures. It might get softer if exposed to warmer temps, but it’s sugar, so it should be ok to ship. They can place it in the refrigerator once it arrives for longer storage. You could also consider packing it in a few soft gel ice packs of some sort. Your relatives are lucky to have you! They will love it if it ships and arrives successfully!

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  12. I tried making this earlier today, and I will say the next time I will not let it go to 234º
    I am using a gas stove and I think it is too hot for this temp. I am going to try again and this time take it off the stove at 228º-230º and see how it looks. What I got was awesome but got so thick I couldn’t stir it any longer, so it is more like a thick spread. Delicious just the same.

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    • Hi Becky! Thank you for sharing your experience! Yes, it does turn out yummy if thinner or thicker for sure! Pure maple syrup goodness! My dad has already started tapping the maple trees at our family sugar bush! We’re so excited!

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  13. Chantal,
    Your photo (the circular one inside the pot with the thermometer) is FANTASTIC!!! So clever! Just love it!
    I will be making this one day soon … and I won’t forget that photo any time soon.
    Thank for all the recipes & helpful guidance … I’m keeping my Sorghum Sourdough Starter (named Chantal) and baking
    & cooking up a storm with all my discard. I keep forgetting to get pictures of my creations.
    Just HAD to comment on that photo — TERRIFIC!
    Aloha,
    Sue

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