The best keto syrup recipe to make at home in 15 minutes and use top of your keto pancakes or keto crepes! Bonus, this keto maple syrup recipe contains ZERO net carbs and zero calories.
I love syrup on my keto pancakes and when I started the keto diet I had so many questions about liquid sweeteners! (that I am sure you have too!?)
What syrup can I use on keto? Can you have maple syrup on keto? Is maple syrup keto-friendly?
Unfortunately, NO, maple syrup is pure sugar, so it’s out of the question to use this on keto. And since most sugar-free syrups from the store are not keto-friendly either, I came up with my own keto syrup for pancakes to enjoy a safe, keto-friendly syrup.
But before sharing this keto simple syrup recipe, let me answer a few questions that you probably have about keto and syrup.
Is Starbucks’ sugar-free vanilla syrup keto-friendly?
No, I am sorry to tell you that, but on a keto diet, you shouldn’t ask for Starbucks’ Sugar-free syrup in your drinks.
The sugar-free syrup from your favorite coffee store contains a combination of artificial sweeteners that increases your blood sugar levels and can take you out of ketosis.
These are the sugar-free artificial sweetener present in sugar-free Starbucks syrup or most store-bought sugar-free syrup. It contains a combination of:
Sucralose – Sucralose is keto-friendly in the sense that it has no carbs and a glycemic index of 0. But this is only if used on its own and not mixed with a real sugar like maltodextrin. Also keep in mind that sucralose is quite controversial, with suspected gut damage, etc.
Maltodextrin – it’s an artificial sweetener made from starchy plants like rice, corn, etc. and it contains the same amount of carbs and calories as sugar.
Starbucks’ sugar-free syrup combines sucralose with maltodextrin. When both ingredients are combined, the glycemic index goes up to 80 – sugar is 65!
So next time you order a drink from your favorite coffee store, think about these extra pumps of sugar-free syrup! Is it worth adding this sugar-free syrup when you can order a keto-friendly drink asking for safer ingredients like a touch of:
Unsweetened heavy whipped cream
Almond milk – most stores have an almond steaming milk option.
Sprinkle of cinnamon for flavoring.
Because remember that even if consumed in small amounts, the sugar-free syrup from Starbucks will impact your blood sugar level and can kick you out of ketosis.
Or, simply order a black coffee or brewed coffee with no additives! This is the safest option.
Are all sugar-free syrups keto-friendly?
Not all sugar-free syrups can be consumed on keto. As mentioned above, sugar-free syrups made of artificial sweeteners like maltodextrin and sucralose can take you out of ketosis.
However, there are some safe keto-friendly maple syrups on the market from brands like:
Now that answer all your questions about keto and syrup, you probably want to know how to make your own keto syrup recipe in your kitchen.
The ingredients you need to make a keto-friendly syrup for pancakes at home are pretty simple:
Xylitol – if it’s your first time making your own keto syrup, you must know that the 3 most common keto sweeteners have different properties, especially different melting points! Xylitol is the only keto sweetener that can melt below the water boiling temperature – it melts at 92C/197F. Therefore, it’s the best choice to make an easy clear keto syrup, without fancy kitchen tools like a thermometer.
Unflavored beef gelatin powder – most recipes use xanthan gum in their syrups but I don’t recommend this option. In fact, most of the time xanthan gum coagulates and creates a jelly-like texture in your syrup. The best option for a keto syrup with no lumps is unflavored beef gelatin powder. Plus, it is good for your health on keto, providing benefits to your joints and bones.
Pure maple extract – this is the key ingredient to adding a maple flavor to your simple keto syrup.
Heating the sweetener to its melting point
Making syrup is pure science and chemistry. It is not difficult to make keto syrup at home, but if you want to achieve a clear syrup with no crystals you must use xylitol as a keto sweetener.
In fact, the first step in making a keto syrup is to melt the sugar alcohol, bringing it to its melting point.
There are three keto-friendly sweeteners that can be used in most keto recipes: erythritol, xylitol, and allulose. However, these three sugar alternatives have very different melting points as listed below.
Keto sweeteners melting point
Allulose – 110C (230F)
Xylitol – 92C (197F)
Erythritol – 121C (249F)
Water boils at 100C (212F) so xylitol is the easiest sweetener to use in a keto syrup recipe. It melts and dissolves fast, even before the water boils and it ensures that the syrup won’t re-crystallize when cooling down.
Erythritol and allulose can be used too. But if you want to avoid crystallization when the syrup cools down, you must control the melting process with a kitchen thermometer, making sure the syrup stays for 5 minutes at its melting point listed above.
Thickening the syrup
The next step consists of thickening your syrup. There are two keto-friendly thickening agents possible for keto staples like keto condensed milk recipe or keto syrup.
Unflavored gelatin powder – that’s the best thickener for keto syrup! It creates the best texture, clear, slurry with no clumping. First, dissolve the gelatin in water before adding to the syrup, then bring back to medium heat, stir until your sugar-free maple syrup lightly thickens.
Xanthan gum – it’s not my recommended option for a keto syrup because it’s very hard to prevent xanthan gum from clumping in liquids that don’t contain fat.
Flavoring the syrup
To make a sugar-free maple-flavored syrup you must use pure maple flavor. It not only adds flavor but also a lovely brown color to your syrup.
How to store keto maple syrup?
You can store this keto syrup in a sealed glass mason jar in the pantry for up to 1 month.
Troubleshooting your keto maple syrup
Are you struggling to make your own keto maple syrup? Get your answers below!
Why is my syrup forming crystals?
This happens if you didn’t reach the melting point of your sweetener in the first step of the recipe.
If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, always use xylitol, it melts before the water boils so it’s easy to know that you have passed the melting point without checking the temperature.
Why is my syrup clumping?
This happens if you used xanthan gum as a thickener or you didn’t pre-dissolve the beef gelatin powder in cold water before adding to the syrup.
How to fix a crystalised syrup?
If your keto syrup has crystallized when cooling down, don’t worry. Microwave the entire batch, or bring it back to a saucepan under medium heat.
Don’t stir at any point, let the heat melt the crystal again, and use immediately.
How does this syrup taste?
This homemade keto syrup has a strong maple flavor like any classic maple syrup. It’s a bit runnier, less stick or thick than a store-bought version but it coats keto pancakes or keto crepes to perfection.
More keto pantry staples
If you love to make your own keto pantry staples, I have plenty of other recipes for you to try below:
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Before you start, remember that this syrup is to serve onto your favorite food like keto pancakes, keto crepes, or chaffles. It can't be used as a maple syrup replacer into keto baking recipes!
In a non-stick saucepan, whisk in the xylitol and water.
Bring the non-stick saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. You want to melt the sweetener to avoid crystallization when the syrup cools down. To do so, the syrup should reach the melting point of the sweetener (92°C/198°F) for xylitol meaning if the water boils you are good!) Read my post above regarding melting point of others keto sweeteners like erythritol or allulose to understand why I don't recommend these if you don't have a kitchen thermometer!
Cook the syrup on a light boil for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the syrup from sticking to the sides of the saucepan.
Meanwhile, prepare the thickener and flavors. In a small mixing bowl, whisk unflavored beef gelatin powder with water, vanilla extract, and pure maple extract.
Reduce the heat to low, and gently stir in the gelatin mixture. Cook 1 minute to dissolve, then remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes in the saucepan. Don't transfer to a cold glass jar yet or it could crystallize the syrup!
Serve lukewarm syrup onto pancakes or transfer into a glass mason jar to cool.
How to fix a crystalized syrup?
Simply microwave the entire batch for 60 seconds, or rewarm in a saucepan over medium heat but DON'T stir or blend. Wait for the sweetener to melt and return into a syrup. Crystallized syrup is harmless, and you can rewarm this syrup every time you want to use it without affecting the syrup properties, it can simply lose some maple flavor with time.
Why does my syrup form crystals when cooling down? Is it safe to eat?Your keto syrup may crystallize for many reasons, mainly because you didn’t reach the melting point of the sweetener in the first step and that’s OK! Making your homemade syrup is all about chemistry, and you will get better with practice or using a kitchen thermometer.Read the recipe instruction to fix this issue and eat the syrup safely.Beef gelatin swap : replace by 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum, use the same method to dissolve but beware, some lumps may form!