Traditional Hand Stirred Maple Cream aka Maple Butter

Maple Cream aka Maple Butter

Maple Butter, Maple Spread, Maple Cream, whatever you want to call it, now that you know it exists you’re doomed.  IT’S deadly DELICIOUS and it only takes one ingredient.  Maple syrup.

Spoonful of maple butter rests on jar of maple butter.

Skip right to the recipe.

If you’ve never had maple butter I need you to stand at attention and listen for once. You need to make it right now. There is only one ingredient – maple syrup. Maple butter is solid, creamy, spreadable maple syrup.


Like all delicious things it’s kind of complicated.  Here’s what you need to do.

Pay close attention to the following instructions:

BOIL MAPLE SYRUP … THEN STIR IT. Yup. That’s all there is to it.

 People overuse the word miracle all the time because they have no respect for the true meaning of it.  If they can fit in their pants after Christmas they say it’s a miracle. That’s not a miracle, that’s Spandex.

Maple butter however, is a maple miracle.

I make my own maple syrup by tapping my own maple tree and trees in my neighbourhood.  So I’ve been trying to figure out a few different ways to use it beyond hiding behind a curtain and chugging it straight out of the bottle.

Enter Maple Cream. (Maple butter and maple cream are the same thing)

What’s maple cream aka maple butter?

It’s maple syrup that’s been (miraculously) transformed into a creamy, spreadable, butter-like consistency through a process of crystallization.

It’s meant to be spread on English muffins, or toast or even … on a grilled cheese with bacon and green apples.

I prefer to eat the maple butter by taping the jar to my head and licking my way to the bottom like an anteater.

So you want to make some?

Let’s do this.

How to Make Maple Cream

What You Need

Wooden spoon
Maple Syrup
2 pots

Cooking pot sits in bowl of ice water.
  1. Pour 3 cups of light to medium maple syrup into a pot.
Pouring Maple Syrup into a copper pot sitting on a stainless steel range.

Do it with flair.

Thermometer reading 235 in pot of boiling maple syrup.

2. Boil over medium/low heat WITHOUT STIRRING until the syrup reaches 235 F.

3.  Immediately pour syrup into a pot set in an ice bath.  Let stand WITHOUT STIRRING until the syrup cools to 100 F.  (this will take around 10 minutes)

Pouring boiled maple syrup into pot set in ice water.

Please enjoy this Little House on the Prairie moment … I didn’t have enough ice for an ice bath so I went outside and pulled some frozen sap out of my sap buckets to use as ice.  

Maple syrup filled pot surrounded by chunks of ice taken out of sap buckets.

4. Once the syrup has lowered in temperature to 100 F., remove the pot from the ice bath and start stirring.

Don’t stir like a crazy person, you don’t want to beat air into it.  You just want to stir it.  You will be stirring for a long time.  Like, half an hour. I focused on watching television to get my mind off of my sore arm.

Karen Bertelsen stirring maple syrup in pot.

Eventually the syrup will start to lighten (after about 15 minutes of stirring) and then you have to keep stirring.   Once it gets to be this very light colour, you don’t have long to go.

Very light coloured maple cream on a wood spoon.

5. Continue to stir the syrup until it goes from shiny to dull and holds its shape as you run the spoon through it.  This means it’s set up, the crystallization process is complete and you can STOP STIRRING!

The last stages of stirring maple cream. The wood spoon leaves trails behind it.

6.  Immediately pour it into your containers before it sets up too much to pour.

Pouring thick maple cream into Weck jars on linen tea towel.

You now have maple cream which you stirred by hand which makes you a badass.

It’s now that I let you know you can also use a stand mixer to do this. But then you won’t be a badass with maple cream you’ll just be some schmo with maple cream.  The choice is yours.

To do it with a stand mixer, instead of stirring it by hand use the stand mixer set to “stir”, or “low” with the paddle attachment. Whichever your stand mixer has as the lowest setting. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides.

Weck jar filled with maple cream draped with silver chain with tag reading "Maple Cream".

Maple butter will last for 6 months in the refrigerator.  Which is a handy little tip in case you take a blow to the head and forget you own delicious Maple butter.  (There would be no other explanation for not eating it all in a week.)

Two silver spoons. The one on the left holds a light, thick, maple cream. The one on the right holds dark, thin maple syrup.

The difference in these two forms of maple syrup is amazing.  It is the exact same thing, just the structure of it has changed through the heating and then stirring of it to achieve crystallization.

The crystals are so small your tongue can’t detect them.

Display of mason jars filled with maple cream and bottles of maple syrup on an antique pine counter with a marble top. Sap bucket with wood spoon in background.


Every person I’ve had taste this has had the same reaction. Their eyes roll into the back of their heads.

Traditional Maple Cream

A spreadable version of maple syrup.
4.6 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: condiment
Cuisine: Indigenous
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Stirring Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 40
Calories: 65kcal
Author: Karen



  • Bring the Maple Syrup to a boil in a pot over medium/low heat. Boil until it reaches 235 degrees F. without stirring then remove from heat immediately.  This will take around 15 minutes.
  • While the syrup is boiling get an ice bath ready with a pot set in a bowl of ice.
  • As soon as it has reached 235 degrees F, pour the boiled syrup into the pot set in the ice bath.  Leave it until it the syrup drops in temperature to 100 degrees F.    Don’t disturb it at all while it rests.
  • Once at 100 degrees F. remove the pot from the ice bath and start stirring.  Don’t stir vigorously … you don’t want to beat air into the syrup … just stir it.
  • Keep stirring. The syrup will start to lighten.  Keep stirring. After about 30 minutes of stirring the syrup will be very light and resemble tahini but still be glossy with the consistency of cream. KEEP STIRRING.
  • The syrup will now finish crystallizing, set up and be come duller. Once your spoon starts to leave paths in the syrup you can stop stirring.
  • Pour the Maple Cream into your jars right away before it becomes to difficult to pour.


Remember to use only light to medium, Grade A maple syrup.
Do NOT stir while heating or cooling the syrup. Stirring will cause premature large crystals to form and your cream will be grainy not smooth and creamy.  
I even go so far as to leave the thermometer in my syrup as it’s cooling so I don’t have to stick it in and pull it out for temperature checking.
Maple Cream will last 6 months in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 65kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 54mg | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 26mg

If you’re wondering about that whole grilled cheese thing I mentioned at the beginning, this is the sandwich I’m thinking of trying it on. I realize maple syrup on a grilled cheese sandwich might sound gross, but it’s not.  It’s a miracle.

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Traditional Hand Stirred Maple Cream aka Maple Butter


  1. EB says:

    You forgot the warning: “Will cause Maple Orgasms”. I love this stuff. My family has a small maple syrup business in western NY. Nothing like eating maple cream. Truly a miracle !

  2. Joanne says:

    I reserved some maple syrup this year just for maple cream. I was gifted a jar some years ago and loved it. I’ve bought a few jars as a special treat to myself but this year I’m making my own. It’s a miracle I found your recipe as I was ready to try another. It has absolutely vanished from the 150 tabs I have open. 😉 so I searched. “Traditional” piqued my interest. Not only did your recipe make logical sense, knowing the characteristics of Maple Syrup from boiling it from sap, you have punctuated it with candid humour that had me LingOL and reading it to anyone who’d listen. I was quite intimidated by the process as some have tried and ended up with rock hard “cream” but now I’m ready with my grandmother’s wooden spoon, icecubes I just happen to make two days ago, and my own maple premium syrup. I’m sending this message before I make it because you’ll probably never hear from me again. I don’t expect this to fail as you have been exhaustively thorough so I won’t be writing to tell you how good it is. You know what I’ll be doing!!

  3. Lisa hedrick says:

    So easy! And OMG delicious! I’ll definitely be making this often!!!

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