Celebrate Spring with this delicious collection of recipes using maple syrup!
In my part of the world, Spring is synonymous with Maple Syrup. This is the land of maple trees and when the sap starts to flow, we know that Spring is on it’s way! Maple Syrup festivals celebrate this Spring ritual, with pancake breakfasts and sugar bush tours to watch the magic happen.
Maple syrup making isn’t just for the big producers. Around here, anyone with some land can tap their own maple trees and boil up small batches of maple syrup for themselves. I was gifted a bit of this homebrewed maple syrup by a co-worker of my husband (thanks Louise and Matt!), so I had myself a little maple syrup celebration of my own and cooked up 3 delicious recipes that are perfect for enjoying Spring maple syrup.
Old Fashioned Johnny Cake
When I was young, fresh Spring maple syrup demanded a fresh bake of warm, old-fashioned Johnny Cake. Johnny Cake is nothing more than a simple cornmeal cake, but when enjoyed warm with butter and lots of maple syrup, it’s a little bit of heaven as the syrup and butter soaks in to the cake in the most wonderful way. Johnny Cake is probably most traditionally made using lard, but I make it with butter these days.
Maple Dumplings (Grand Péres)
Maple dumplings are a traditional way to enjoy maple syrup in Quebec. Classic biscuit dough is dropped by spoonfuls in to a boiling mixture of maple syrup and water and they cook in the syrup. The result is wonderful, syrup-soaked biscuits and a delicious maple sauce. Perfect with ice cream. To envision what it tastes like, just imagine a syrup soaked pancake and you’ve got it!
Maple Syrup Sponge Toffee
For some maple candy making fun, try maple syrup sponge toffee! It’s a treat that combines the wonderful texture of sponge toffee with maple that produces a maple-sugar like treat. You’ll need a candy thermometer to get the temperature just right, for best results.
Find the recipes for a 3 of these maple syrup treats below!
Browse more of my Maple Syrup Recipes!
Wow! I have a lot of recipes that include maple syrup. I’m so Canadian ;) Enjoy!
Maple Syrup and Pecan Hasselback Butternut Squash
Maple Walnut Squares
Classic Canadian Maple Syrup Pie
Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin
Salted Maple Walnut Brittle
Good Morning Maple Muffins
Maple White Sandwich Bread
How to Make Maple Butter
Skillet Maple Syrup Pudding Cake
Upside Down Maple Apple Cake
Muskoka Maple Granola
Get the Recipe: Old-Fashioned Johnny Cake
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup milk, or cream, for extra richness
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup soft cake flour, can use all purpose
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the 1 cup cornmeal with the 1/2 cup milk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 egg and 1 cup milk. Add the flour mixture alternately with the egg/milk mixture to the creamed butter/sugar mixture, beating until well combined. Blend in the reserved cornmeal mixture.
- Pour in to prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until set.
Get the Recipe: Maple Dumplings (Grand Pères)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using your fingers or a fork, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the milk and vanilla, stirring until the dough is smooth.
- In a large, wide saucepan or deep skillet, combine the maple syrup and water and bring to a boil. Using two spoons, drop 1-2 Tbsp spoonfulls of the batter in to the boiling syrup mixture. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.*Do be careful here. Allow to cool slightly before tasting. Hot syrup can burn your lips!Serve warm dumplings over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with some of the maple sauce from the pan.
Get the Recipe: Maple Syrup Sponge Toffee
- 2 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup less 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tsp baking soda
- Line a metal baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot, stir together sugar, maple syrup and water together. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves, and then allow to boil un-stirred until the temperature reaches 302F. Quickly whisk in the baking soda until it is well combined and then pour on to prepared baking sheet. Allow to cool completely then break in to pieces.
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Hi Jennifer !
Just discovered your site yesterday – made my day !
I’m not very tech savvy, which might explain why I cannot seem to access that yummy-looking Maple Dumpling / Grandperes recipe (photographed above, with other maple recipes). Is there a link I may be missing ?
Thank you so much, and keep up the good work !
Hi Maggie and welcome! You just need to scroll down the page and you’ll find Recipe Cards for each of these recipes.
I made the Johnny cake they were the bomb for breakfast w/bologna, eggs they really are filling Thanks for the recipe.
Sounds like a perfect breakfast, Doris :) Thanks!
I could eat anything with maple syrup on it, I am totally obsessed! Love having a whole collection of recipes here :)
Thanks so much, Phyllis :)
Thank you so much for sharing the story and the recipes ! Will be back for more ! :-)
Thanks so much :)
All these maple goodies are making me so hungry… Yet to go to one of maple sugar shacks in Quebec or any festival really. Apart from a bottle of maple syrup in my pantry for pancakes, my knowledge and use is a bit limited. Thanks for sharing so much inspiration Jennifer.
Thanks so much, Jenny :) There’s always lots of maple activity around here in Muskoka. Lots of maple trees!
Love the maple dumplings – fried dough and maple syrup is not something I would ever try to resist. I love the process of harvesting maple syrup, last year I helped my friend in Vermont for 4 days (her dad really), it was an amazing experience.
The dumplings are a treat, Milena! And yes, I’ve always found the whole maple syrup process magical :)
I’m always focusing on maple in the fall, but spring is really when I should be celebrating it, thanks for all this luscious inspiration Jennifer. I’m going to make the Johnny cake, I’ve never tasted one!
I think a lot of people think of maple as a Fall thing, but it’s hard to ignore it in Spring around here, where the smell of boiling maple hangs in the air in Spring :)
Gifted homebrewed maple syrup?? What a treat! I love maple syrup and could probably drink it out of the bottle. Love that you have not one, but THREE, awesome recipes here Jennifer. I’d definitely want one of each and definitely with a big coffee! P.S. Love that little dish that the johnny cake is in! Have a great week :)
Thanks Dawn and I may have been known to drink it out of the bottle myself ;) That dish the Johnny cake is in is a great cast iron find – a small oval. So handy!
Is there any chance you’re looking for visitors or maybe taste-testers any time soon – because I’ll be the first to sign up! These recipes are amazing! Truly! I don’t even know where I’d begin. It doesn’t matter! So so good!
Thanks so much, Annie :) Even after these, I’m still not over maple syrup. One of my favourite flavours!
Maybe I’m part Canadian and didn’t even know it. Because, spring is by far my favorite season and I ADORE anything with maple syrup! Living in the land of maple trees sounds like my idea of heaven! :) All these recipes look absolutely delicious, Jennifer!! Especially that Johnny Cake!! I NEED that. Like, immediately. Cheers, friend!
Thanks so much, Cheyanne!
I would be so excited for spring maple syrup too – you are one lucky lady! All these recipes sound and look fantastic but I agree with Chris – that Johnny cake with butter and syrup really speaks to me this morning. With a hot cup of coffee, it must be way better than pancakes! Beautiful recipes and photos. Sharing and pinning! Happy Monday :)
Thanks so much, Tricia :)
You are the maple queen Jennifer. I’m drooling over all of these but that Johnny cake is definitely calling my name!
Thanks so much, Chris and yes, the Johnny cake is a wonderful way to celebrate maple syrup, for sure :)