If you’re looking for something that’ll turn your ho-hum cuppa joe into a flavorful masterpiece that’ll make you shout “Sweet Starbucks, that’s tasty!” this easy Brown Sugar Syrup recipe is what you’re after. Made with just 3 ingredients and about 5 minutes of active time, this brown sugar simple syrup is the multitasking marvel your at-home barista station needs.
If you’ve ever found yourself sipping on a $5+ café drink and wondered how you could recreate the experience at home, you’ve come to the right place. Here at CoffeeCopycat.com, I’m all about unlocking the secrets of your favorite coffee shops right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
My quick and easy recipe for brown sugar coffee syrup is the key to making one of my favorite Starbucks summer drinks, but don’t let that fool you. It’s no one-hit wonder! Use this gorgeous mahogany elixir to sweeten everything from Arnold Palmers to layer cakes, oatmeal to iced coffee. If you need it to be sweet, this lovely nectar is here to help.
Best of all, this brown sugar simple syrup is made with just 3 simple ingredients in about 5 minutes, and a batch will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. So, forget meal prep. Make coffee prep top of your list this weekend and reap the sweet rewards for weeks to come!
- What is Demerara Syrup?
- What does it taste like?
- Why You’ll Love This Starbucks Brown Sugar Syrup Recipe
- Ingredients Needed
- How To Make Brown Sugar Syrup
- Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Success Tips
- Brown Sugar Simple Syrup Nutrition
- More Coffee Syrup Recipes
- Brown Sugar Syrup
What is Demerara Syrup?
Demerara syrup is like a sweet, caramel-y hug for your coffee. Made from demerara sugar – which is a golden variety of unrefined “brown” sugar with a delightful hint of molasses – this upscale simple syrup adds both sweetness and complexity to anything it touches. Imagine the warm, cozy aroma of freshly baked cookies mixed with a touch of toasty goodness — that's what this fancy brown sugar syrup brings!
If you can't find demerara sugar, though, don't fret. I've found that the same concept works with any number of different types of brown sugar, from conventional light or dark brown sugar to many other varieties like Mexican piloncillo or Southeast Asian jaggery.
What does it taste like?
If you love the brown sugar syrup Starbucks uses to make their Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, you’re going to love this easy homemade version. My demerara syrup recipe is that little something extra that transforms your ordinary drink into an extraordinary experience, leaving behind a delightful trail of sugary enchantment.
This homemade brown sugar syrup showcases a blend of caramelized goodness, with hints of toffee, a dash of molasses mischief, and a sprinkle of warm, golden sunshine. When added to your favorite beverages, it's like taking a delightful stroll through a candy wonderland, where every step fills your senses with a luscious sweetness that's oh-so-tempting.
Why You’ll Love This Starbucks Brown Sugar Syrup Recipe
If you’re still on the fence, it’s time to hop off. This recipe for brown sugar syrup is:
- Quick & Easy - Measure, stir, and use. It’s seriously that simple!
- Made With Just 3 Ingredients - And one of them is water.
- Super Versatile - Whether you use this brown sugar syrup for coffee, boba, iced tea, or just to add some warm sweetness to any of your favorite cooking and baking recipes, one thing is certain: it’s perfect for adding delicious depth of flavor to whatever it touches!
- Budget-Friendly - I’m always shocked when I see bottles of pre-made coffee syrup going for $7+. This homemade syrup with brown sugar costs less than $1 to make and doesn’t have any of the weird artificial ingredients that store-bought brands do!
As promised, you only need a few ingredients to make syrup with brown sugar:
- Brown Sugar - Feel free to use either light or dark brown sugar depending on what you have on hand and how much molasses flavor you like.
- Water - If possible, opt for filtered water for the best flavor.
- Vanilla Extract - Adding a touch of vanilla brings out the caramelly warmth of the brown sugar.
If you need to make some substitutions to your simple brown sugar syrup, you’re welcome to try any of the following:
- Brown Sugar - Fresh out? You can create your own brown sugar substitute by combining white sugar with molasses. For every cup of white sugar, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of molasses (depending on your desired intensity) to achieve that rich, brown sugar flavor.
- Vanilla Extract - Feel free to use an equal amount of vanilla paste. You can also experiment with other flavor extractives like maple or almond to switch things up.
How To Make Brown Sugar Syrup
It’s so easy to make brown sugar syrup, it’s no wonder that it’s called “simple!” Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat until the brown sugar is dissolved.
Step 2: Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a syrup bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
This Starbucks-style brown sugar simple syrup recipe is perfect as is, but there are also plenty of ways for you to put your own stamp on things. Here are just a few variations to consider:
- Shake Up Your Sugar - Different types of brown sugar have slightly different flavor profiles due to different vitamin and mineral contents. Coconut, maple, muscovado, demerara, or turbinado sugars are all great options. You can also use grated piloncillo or jaggery!
- Sugar-Free - Make a keto version of this syrup by swapping in homemade or store-bought sugar-free brown sugar.
- Brown Sugar Spice Syrup - Add some warmth by infusing your simple syrup brown sugar goodness with your choice of spices. Try using whole spices like cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, star anise, or cloves. You can also use spiced herbal tea bags. Add the spices after you remove the syrup from heat, then steep for an hour before discarding any solids.
- Apple Brown Sugar Syrup - If you want some fall-flavored sweetener, try steeping apple peels in your syrup for an hour before discarding them. This is a favorite for sweetening oatmeal, bread pudding, and layer cakes in our house.
Want to make the most of your DIY brown sugar syrup? Here are some fun and inventive ways to give it a spin:
- Sweet Coffee Delights: Transform your morning cup of joe into a decadent treat by adding a drizzle of brown sugar syrup. Stir it into your hot or iced coffee along with a splash of cream or milk for a luxurious and indulgent start to your day.
- Fancy Pancake Toppings: Take your pancakes or waffles to the next level by generously pouring brown sugar syrup over them. The rich, caramel-like flavor will mingle perfectly with the fluffy goodness, offering a fun (and cheap) alternative to maple syrup.
- Fabulous French Toast: Prepare a batch of French toast and drench each golden slice in the heavenly embrace of brown sugar syrup. The syrup's sweet, buttery notes will soak into the bread, creating a caramelized crust that'll make your tastebuds dance with joy. Serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of fresh berries for a burst of color.
- Flavored Lattes: Play barista at home by infusing your lattes with a touch of brown sugar syrup. Add a spoonful to your milk before frothing it, then pour the velvety milk over your espresso for a sweet and aromatic twist on your favorite coffeehouse drink.
- Creative Cocktails: From old-fashioned classics to inventive mixology newcomers, this brown sugar simple syrup adds depth and sweetness to your favorite libations. Try it in a Brown Sugar Bourbon Sour or a Brown Sugar Old Fashioned for a fun twist on a classic.
- Dessert Dazzlers: Use brown sugar syrup to take your desserts to new heights. Drizzle it over warm apple pie, pour it generously over ice cream sundaes, or use it to moisten cake layers before adding frosting. The possibilities are endless and oh-so-sweet!
- Savory Sauce Sensations: Don't limit yourself to sweet applications—brown sugar syrup can also shine in savory dishes. Use it as a glaze for roasted meats, a sticky marinade for grilled chicken, or a flavorful addition to barbecue sauces. Its natural sweetness adds complexity and caramelizes beautifully.
Recipe Success Tips
- Opt for high-quality brown sugar for the best flavor. Look for varieties like demerara or muscovado sugar, as they have a richer, more complex taste than conventional brown sugar.
- When making the syrup, ensure you measure the brown sugar and water accurately. Use measuring cups or a kitchen scale to get the right proportions. Precise measurements help maintain the proper consistency and sweetness of the syrup.
- When combining the brown sugar and water in the saucepan, stir continuously to help the sugar dissolve evenly. This prevents clumping and ensures a smooth syrup.
- Use gentle heat when simmering the syrup. Medium to low heat is usually sufficient to dissolve the sugar and infuse the water with its flavors. Avoid high heat, as it can scorch the sugar and lead to a burnt taste.
- Avoid overcooking the syrup. Once the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture has simmered for a few minutes, it's done. Overcooking can result in a thicker, caramel-like consistency that makes it difficult to stir into drinks.
- Allow the syrup to cool completely before transferring it to a storage container (preferably one with a nozzle for easy pouring). This helps it thicken and develop its full flavor profile. It should last for 2 weeks in the fridge, or can be frozen for up to 6 months.
- Before using the syrup, give it a gentle shake or stir. This helps redistribute any settled sugar and ensures a consistent flavor in every pour.
Yes, you’ll want to store any coffee syrups you make in the fridge to prevent bacterial contamination and/or mold from growing. Generally speaking, homemade brown sugar syrup should last for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
You can extend the shelf life by either doubling the amount of sugar you use (sugar is a natural preservative, and using a 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio creates what is known as a “rich syrup”), or you can freeze it.
One of the ingredients listed on Starbucks’ brown sugar syrup is “natural flavors,” so it’s possible that they use something like cinnamon extract.
You’re welcome to add your own cinnamon infusion by steeping some cinnamon sticks in the syrup after it’s off of the heat, or you can just sprinkle whatever drink you’re enjoying with a light dusting of cinnamon instead.
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup Nutrition
Brown sugar syrup is unsurprisingly primarily made from brown sugar, meaning it's definitely considered an "added sugar." General dietary guidelines state you shouldn't exceed more than about 50 grams of added sugars per day — each 2-tablespoon serving of this syrup has about 19 grams. If you're watching your sugar intake or have dietary restrictions, it's important to be mindful and use this sweetener in moderation.
Unlike granulated sugar, brown varieties retain some of the natural molasses, which gives them that rich, caramel-like flavor that we all know and love. However, while brown sugar retains a bit more of the minerals that are naturally present in molasses (like potassium, calcium, and iron), the amounts are generally negligible. In short, don't treat it any differently than regular table sugar.
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 75 calories
- Total Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Carbohydrates: 19 grams
- Sugar: 19 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
More Coffee Syrup Recipes
Brown Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on medium, whisking occasionally until the brown sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a syrup bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.