Simple Syrup

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Simple syrup is a great all-purpose glaze for cakes and fruitcakes, adding moisture and a bit of sweetness. It's also a key element in certain mixed drinks. Looking for a simple recipe for simple syrup? You've found it.

Note: Don't expect this syrup to be thick and syrup-like; it's not. It's a bit thicker than water, though not much — which is exactly how it should be.

4 mins
4 mins
1 1/3 cups
Simple Syrup


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

  3. Simmer for 3 minutes, without stirring. Remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature.

  4. Store airtight in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make a flavored version of simple syrup? Try one of these variations, which each makes about 1/2 cup (113g) of syrup:

    • Vanilla simple syrup: Combine 1/3 cup (67g) sugar, 5 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt. Heat briefly, just to dissolve the sugar, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
    • Lemon simple syrup: Mix the juice of 1 lemon (about 50g) with 1/2 cup (99g) sugar, and heat until the sugar dissolves. 
    • Rum simple syrup: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons (26g) water, 1/2 cup (99g) sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup (57g) rum. Bring to a rapid boil, reduce to simmer, and cook (without stirring) for about 5 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
    • Coffee simple syrup: Mix together 2 tablespoons (28g) coffee liqueur, 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder, 2 tablespoons (23g) sugar, and 1/2 cup (113g) hot water.