This simple brown sugar syrup comes together in 5 minutes and has a deep caramel flavor! It’s great for coffee drinks or pancakes.

Brown sugar syrup

Here’s a next level secret for all your coffee drinks: Brown Sugar Syrup! Sure, you can sweeten your lattes and iced espresso with classic simple syrup. But this unique syrup adds even more flavor: its deep caramel flavor is intensely cozy, with notes of toffee and vanilla. It’s truly transforming! This Starbucks special takes only 5 minutes to mix up at home. Use it for so many other things: pancakes, waffles, oatmeal: you name it!

How to make brown sugar syrup

Brown sugar syrup is a variation on simple syrup: it’s a liquid sweetener made with equal parts brown sugar and water. Because of the molasses content, brown sugar syrup has a deep flavor with notes of caramel and toffee. It’s become popular for its use in Starbucks drinks, but it’s very easy to make at home. All you need is brown sugar! Here’s what to do:

  • Combine sugar and water: Place ½ cup each brown sugar and water in a small saucepan on the stove.
  • Heat until dissolved: Heat over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until fully dissolved. Do not simmer!

And that’s it! It comes together in no time. Dip your spoon in for a taste, and you’ll be amazed by the nuance in flavor.

Brown sugar simple syrup

Storing homemade brown sugar syrup

Store homemade syrup for up 1 month refrigerated. Best for storage is a glass bottle for easy pouring, or a glass mason jar. The flavor stays pretty constant over time, and it may last for even longer.

Ways to use brown sugar syrup in drinks

This brown sugar syrup is endlessly versatile, from Starbucks drinks to breakfast! We created it especially for our new Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Espresso (which we highly recommend). But there are so many ways to add delicious cozy nuance to drinks…and pancakes! Here are some coffee and tea drink ideas, then we’ll move on to breakfast:

Iced brown sugar oat milk espresso

Or, use it on pancakes and waffles!

Brown sugar simple syrup works as a substitute for maple syrup! Maple syrup can be expensive, so this easy affordable option works like a charm. In fact, it tastes almost as good as the real thing! Here are some ideas for using this maple syrup substitute:

More homemade syrup recipes

It’s so easy to make simple syrups at home! Here are more ideas for coffee drinks, cocktails, and breakfasts:

This brown sugar syrup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Brown sugar syrup

Brown Sugar Syrup

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: ¾ cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This brown sugar syrup comes together in 5 minutes and has a deep caramel flavor! It’s great for coffee drinks or pancakes.


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water


  1. Add the brown sugar and water to saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved (don’t simmer) for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using. Stores in the refrigerator for 1 month.
  • Category: Syrup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Coffee

Keywords: Brown sugar syrup, brown sugar simple syrup, brown sugar syrup Starbucks

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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