Golden syrup, where have you been all my life?
Whenever I make an international dessert it usually means I miss being abroad…and yep, I was really missing the UK. Plus, I’d eaten all of the scones and clotted cream I’d made and was looking for another delicious dessert to make. So, I decided on golden syrup (also called treacle) because it’s a key ingredient in treacle tart (Harry Potter’s favorite!), which I also recently made (and now I see why it’s Harry’s favorite).
A few days before making the treacle tart (actually, I made mini treacle tarts – you can get the recipe here in my free mini tarts ebook), I cooked up a batch of English golden syrup. OMG, golden syrup is so easy and so amazingly delicious. I will never be without a jar of homemade golden syrup again!
Where to Buy Golden Syrup?
If you’re in the US, you might be thinking, I don’t have golden syrup. Where can I buy it? And what does it taste like? Is it like other syrups? Can vegans have golden syrup? What are some things to have golden syrup with?
Well, I bought a $5 bottle of Lyle’s Golden Syrup at World Market. When I got home, I immediately tried a spoonful and…wow, yum! It has a buttery, kind of caramel flavor, different from any of the syrups I typically use in the US (e.g., maple, light/dark corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup).
From what I’ve read online, you might be able to find golden syrup at Trader Joe’s or Walmart or in the international section of your local grocery store. Or you can add a bottle of Lyle’s Golden Syrup to your next Amazon order (click here to get golden syrup on Amazon). It’s much cheaper to make golden syrup yourself, though! Just be sure to make it up a day or so before you want to use it so it has time to cool and thicken.
How to use golden syrup? Here are a few ideas…make a treacle tart or a golden syrup cake. Drizzle on ice cream, Greek yogurt, pancakes, French toast or a crepe cake. Spread on scones or toast. Add a spoonful or two to oatmeal or porridge. Just to name a few ideas!
What Do I Need to Make Golden Syrup?
Not much in the way of ingredients or cooking tools! As far as golden syrup ingredients go, all you need is sugar, water, and a slice of lemon. Yep, that’s it! (Scroll down to for the complete golden syrup recipe.)
Here are the kitchen tools you need: a saucepan, a kettle to boil water in, a measuring cup, and a sterilized glass jar with a lid.
I really like Ball glass canning jars and use them for everything. (Click here to grab a set of Ball wide-mouth canning jars.) BUT…I’ve been eyeing this set of super cute Weck Tulip glass jelly jars! What a great holiday gift that would be – yummy golden syrup in a cute reusable tulip glass jelly jar!
Swirl or Stir?
Golden syrup is one of the first things I made after starting this blog. I looked at a bunch of recipes and watched videos to make sure I was doing it correctly. The first time I made it, it turned out perfectly! The second time it dried out. Arg. The third and fourth times? Again, perfect. Based on the recipes I’d found, I stirred the syrup early in the simmering processes to help dissolve the sugar.
A few months ago I made caramel for the first time, and you probably know that you swirl – but do not stir – caramel. If you look through the comments, you’ll see that some people said their golden syrup dried out and wondered if the stirring had something to do with it? Maybe swirling would be better, since you swirl caramel? But…golden syrup isn’t really caramel, it’s syrup. But…then again, the goal is to turn the syrup a nice caramel-y color and flavor.
So I conducted an experiment. I used the same saucepan, the same burner, and the same temperature so that the only difference between three batches of golden syrup was swirling vs stirring.
First, I made a batch of golden syrup using only the swirl method. There was some crystallization around the sides of the pan, but the syrup tuned out perfectly.
Then, I made a batch and stirred frequently during the first round of simmering. This batch dried out and I tossed it.
For the third batch I stirred a few times just after adding the sugar. This batch also had some crystallization around the side but the syrup turned out perfectly.
So, I don’t recommend a lot of stirring, especially once the syrup starts simmering, but a little stirring right after you add the sugar seems to be ok. That said, if you prefer to stick to just swirling, do that!
How to Make Golden Syrup at Home
First, pour 3 Tbsp water and 1/2 cup sugar into a saucepan. Swirl the pan a bit to combine water and sugar (or stir it a couple times right after adding the ingredients).
Heat to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat. Keep an eye on it as it simmers because it will look like it’s not doing much of anything for 10 or even 15 minutes, and then it will suddenly turn a golden caramel color.
When it’s a nice caramel color, slowly add 1 1/4 cups boiling water (I pre-heated the water in countertop water kettle). When you pour the water in the syrup it will sputter and steam so pour carefully.
Then add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and bring it back to a simmer. You can swirl the pot a bit or stir a couple times right after adding the sugar — or just leave it alone, as the sugar will dissolve it reheats to a simmer.
Add a slice of lemon (it keeps the syrup from crystalizing as it simmers).
Then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
When the syrup is ready, take out the now candied lemon and let the syrup cool for a few minutes.
Pour the syrup into a sterilized jar (I poured boiling water into my jar and let it sit for a couple minutes). The syrup will be thin at this point but will thicken up as it cools in the jar.
Now you have golden syrup! Delicious.
This recipe made about 16oz of golden syrup. Store in a cool, dry place.
I used my golden syrup in this mini treacle tart recipe and am now eyeing a golden syrup pudding recipe, golden syrup cake…all things golden syrup. 🙂
I have to share this with you! This inexpensive golden syrup cookbook (ebook) gives you all kinds of sweet (and savory!) recipes for biscuits (cookies), traybakes, puddings, tarts, cakes, and other breakfast, brunch, and teatime favorite. Plus helpful baking tips and suggestions. You’ll find endless ways to enjoy your homemade golden syrup!
How perfect of a holiday, birthday or shower gift would this be with a jar of golden syrup, whether homemade or Lyle’s original?
Sugar, water and a slice of lemon are all you need to make this buttery caramel flavored syrup!
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 lemon slice
Pour 3 Tbsp water and 1/2 cup sugar into a saucepan.
Bring to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat.
Once the mixture turns a caramel color, slowly and carefully add 1 1/4 cups boiling water (I pre-heated the water my countertop hot water kettle).
Add 2 1/2 cups sugar and bring to a low simmer.
Add a slice of lemon to the mixture. The lemon will keep the mixture from crystalizing at is simmers.
Turn the heat down to low and let the syrup simmer for about 45 minutes.
When the syrup is ready, remove the candied lemon slice. Let the mixture cool down for a few minutes before pouring it into a sterilized glass jar (I poured boiling water into my jar and let it sit for a couple minutes). The syrup will be thin at this point but will thicken up as it sits in the jar.
Store in a cool, dry place.
Store in a cool, dry place.
Based on this recipe
Disclaimer: The International Desserts Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my site and helping me make it the best international desserts and travel resource on the internet!
Download the Recipe!
Enter your details and get instant access to the Golden Syrup recipe PDF!