Best Pancake Syrup: Douse the Most Important Meal of the Day in These 7 Syrups

The best pancake syrup isn’t always the real-deal maple stuff. This taste test was one of our most surprising to date. After trying many, many brands of maple syrup, we learned that several people on the Sporked staff actually prefer fake pancake syrup to actual tap-a-tree maple syrup. “Everything tastes like ham!” Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling cried out halfway through our taste test. 

When it comes to pancake syrup, we largely preferred the fake stuff—syrup that tastes like butter and sugar and has absolutely no qualities of pig. While that might anger the citizens of Vermont, it’s the truth. Fake syrup reigns supreme. Here’s our ranking of the best pancake syrup you can buy.

The following article contains affiliate links that may generate a small commission to us when you make a purchase through the link. Learn more about how we work with affiliates here.


Best of the Best

Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup

The moment the Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup touched my tongue, I started craving pancakes. This is the syrup. It smelled like breakfast the moment you opened the bottle. The flavor was buttery and sweet and a little salty. The level of maple was powerful without being overwhelming. Sure, it isn’t pure, authentic, straight from the tree maple syrup, but nothing about it tastes artificial. It was perfect. I have no notes.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Real Maple

Escuminac Extra Rare Maple Syrup

It’s no surprise that one of the most expensive syrups we tried tasted good. Fancy things often taste good! But Escuminac Extra Rare Maple Syrup was by far the best fancy maple syrup we tried. The flavor is strong and totally authentically maple. It doesn’t have a weird aftertaste like some of the others. If you prefer real maple syrup, grab a bottle of this. And don’t worry, it’s not too rare. You can buy it on Amazon.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Buttery

Mrs. Butterworth’s Original Thick and Rich Pancake Syrup

You know her, you love her—she’s Mrs. Butterworth. This pancake syrup is a classic because it is so dang good. Like the name promises, it’s very thick and rich. It smells like delicious, buttery heaven. The scent alone makes me crave a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. This would instantly up the experience of a toaster waffle. This on a biscuit with some breakfast sausage? Get out of town! If you like a buttery syrup, Mrs. Butterworth’s is the best pancake syrup you can buy.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best Budget

Kirkland Signature Organic Pure Maple Syrup

Costco’s Kirkland brand Signature Organic Pure Maple Syrup is such a good price. You get a huge jug of good quality maple syrup at a price point that’s actually affordable, which is hard to find. It’s also organic if that’s something that’s a priority for you. It might not be the world’s most elite maple syrup, but it’s really tasty. If you have a Costco membership, grab a jug the next time you’re shopping and give it a try on your flapjacks.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Costco

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Splurge

Michele’s Gourmet Maple Creme Syrup

This syrup is so decadent it is practically a dessert. I probably would not put Michele’s Gourmet Maple Creme Syrup on a toaster waffle on a Wednesday morning before work. I would, however, pour it on top of Nashville hot chicken and waffles during a lavish weekend brunch at a bougie restaurant. Then I would immediately take a multi-hour nap. This syrup is so sweet and full of maple flavor. Plus, I feel fancy when they use the word “creme” instead of “cream.”

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best for Families

Hungry Jack Original Pancake Syrup

If you have a big family or are in charge of cooking breakfast for a big group of people, grab some jugs of Hungry Jack Original Pancake Syrup. At 27.6 ounces, the jugs are massive and the syrup itself has that classic taste we all know and love. The best part? The jug is microwavable! Not only can you have delicious pancake syrup, but you can also have piping hot, delicious pancake syrup! What an absolute treat!

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Ralphs

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Most Fun

Log Cabin Original Pancake Syrup

This is the best packaging…ever? The log cabin-shaped bottle is so cute. I would buy Log Cabin Pancake Syrup for the presentation alone. I think all foods should be sold in containers that look like other objects. Luckily, Log Cabin has the taste to back up its charming marketing ploy. The syrup had sweetness and creaminess like others we loved on the list, but it also had an unexpected hint of citrus. I never knew I wanted citrus in my maple syrup, but it turns out I very much do. I can’t wait to get a bottle of this and pour it over lemon ricotta pancakes.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Budget Runner-Up

Great Value Original Syrup

The Great Value Original Syrup (Walmart’s alternative to Target’s Market Pantry) is another excellent cost-conscious option for the sweet breakfast lover on a budget. It had a nice thick consistency that wasn’t too drippy. The flavor scratched the itch for that buttery, fake maple taste that you want from a store-bought, non-maple labeled syrup. It wasn’t quite as good as the Market Pantry syrup, but it was very, very close. If you live closer to Walmart than Target, just buy this one.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Sugar-Free

Cary’s Sugar Free Syrup

I was shocked when I tried Cary’s Sugar Free Syrup. It is maybe the only sugar-free product I’ve ever had that didn’t have a truly hellish aftertaste. There was not a hint of Splenda flavor to be found. Its texture is similar to Pearl Milling and Great Value, so this is a great option if you like a thicker, stickier syrup. If you find yourself in need of a sugar-free version of syrup, this, in my opinion, is your only option.

Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Runamok Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup, NOW Foods Certified Organic Maple Syrup, Butternut Mountain Farms, Coombs Family Farms Maple Syrup Pure Grade A, Market Pantry, Cap n Crunch Ocean Blue Maple Syrup, Crown Maple Organic Syrup, Kroger Pancake Syrup, Maple Grove Farms Maple Syrup, Anderson’s Maple Syrup, Private Maple Syrup, Good & Gather Maple Syrup, Trader Joe’s 100% Maple Syrup

Film your own pancake syrup taste test at home and share with us using #SporkedTasteTest for a chance to be featured on our social pages!


About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Please don’t call these maple syrup because have of these aren’t actually maple syrup it’s just syrup

    Reply
  • haha oh wow, this is a surprising list! I really do think real maple syrups are miles above.

    Reply
  • And once again a bunch of brands I’ve never heard of and can’t buy locally, except for Log Cabin of course. Where the heck are you getting your real maple syrup from that it tastes like pork? Are you getting a kind that’s dark and has a concentrated maple flavor? Stonewall Kitchen makes a delicious real maple syrup.

    Reply
  • Just because I like real maple syrup does not make me elitist! I heard your comments on “A Hot Dog is a Sandwich”. You followed on by saying you support local farms and grocery. I find blindly supporting fake syrup is supporting large multi-national corporations. Try cooking with this stuff.

    Reply
    • Hi Colin! Local maple syrup isn’t available in most parts of the world (including anywhere I’ve ever lived) because maple syrup isn’t produced in most parts of the world. Having limited access due to where you live and “blindly supporting” are not the same thing. If you’re buying expensive, non-local maple syrup, you’re probably also buying it from a company that’s owned by a bigger company or you’re having “local” maple syrup shipped to you, which has a negative environmental impact. Plus, food deserts exists. My point is: I think it is elitist to looks down on others for using the more affordable option without thinking about why they might prefer the more affordable option. Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Jordan,
        Thanks for the reply. First I wouldn’t have thought you or anyone would respond. I understand about locally sourced versus global. On the maple syrup front I fully understand that I live in an area where local maple syrup is readily found and I think it tastes soooo good. On the other side I don’t like our Avocados we get here. It is very random that we get a good one.

        Finally, as someone who grew up on log cabin I have no elitist tendencies for those who use it/like it. I still find it delicious.

  • Fortunate to have grown up in NY State eating the real stuff! Still go home for a maple leaf candy! Thank you guys! Love your reviews!

    Reply
  • That Cary’s Sugar Free is SO good! We were served it in a restaurant once, and I had a 3-pack of it ordered from Amazon before we left the restaurant!

    Reply
    • Thank you for that comment because I was deciding if I wanted to save the article just because of the sugar free one. You made my decision for me 😂

      Reply
  • Deeply disagree with this. Real maple syrup is miles above table syrup. This is actually a little baffling that there was a consensus, and makes me worried for other taste tests.

    Reply
  • Wanted to be excited about this website but I keep coming back to this list. Seeing this review nearly invalidates any food opinions from you guys. “After trying many, many brands of maple syrup, we learned that everyone on the Sporked staff hates actual, authentic maple syrup”. Hope you guys consider a re-do on this one. Respectfully, you got it wrong.

    Reply
    • Hi Brandon! What are some real maple syrups you enjoy that we can taste? Thanks!

      Reply
      • IMO, every Maple syrup I’ve ever had has been better than the generic fake syrups. I know some people do prefer them so I guess that leaves us at, agree to disagree.

  • “It is maybe the only sugar-free product I’ve ever had that didn’t have a truly hellish aftertaste. ”

    Slap that on the label, Cary’s!

    Reply
    • Also, I love that these are revisited, is there a way to see a change log, what replaced what, etc.?

      Reply
  • I love the premise of this site and have used it a couple times, but I really question the validity when corn syrup/HFCS is ranked higher than good quality syrup. I know it’s just personal preference, but one is just generic liquid sugar and the other has amazing natural flavors. I still love you guys, but we clearly have different tastes.

    Reply
    • Oh, I just thought of the fix. These syrups shouldn’t even be on the same list. Have a Maple Syrup list and a Pancake Syrup list. They really are different products and this way us elitist maple lovers don’t have to fight with everyone.

      Reply
      • And a list for alternate flavors – butter pecan, blueberry, other berries, etc.

  • I’m also maple syrup hater, at least when it comes to pancakes. Every one I’ve tried has completely overpowered the taste of the pancakes. Pancakes are not just a syrup delivery device, they’re the whole point of a pancake breakfast.

    Side note – While Cary’s is not my fave for pancakes, it’s outstanding as a side sauce for bacon and sausage. It’s not-too-sweet maple hit takes them to a whole new level.

    Reply