Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fructose-Free Mock Maple Syrup! with Fluffy Pancakes

fructose-free mock maple syrup, gluten-free fluffy pancakes

I woke up last Saturday morning thinking, "mock maple syrup." I had thought about trying it before, but I knew that would be the day I would try making it. My idea was to make a syrup out of dextrose and water and add maple extract to flavor it. But would it work? I couldn't wait to try it.

It was kind of like a science experiment. I tried three different ratios of dextrose to water. 1 to 1, 2 to 1 and 4 to 1. I hoped that one of those would work. At first I was excited about the 4 to 1 ratio. I had a nice thick syrup, but as it cooled it turned into this:

A solid mass. I was worried a had ruined my dish and spoon! Luckily a little soaking in hot water took care of it. So I turned to the 2 to 1 ratio of dextrose to water. I thought it was too runny at first, but it had thickened up as it cooled into the perfect syrupy consistency. The 1 to 1 syrup was just too liquid, so 2 to 1 was the best option. I added some maple flavored extract (I used Watkins, but McCormick also makes one) and found a cute syrup dispenser at Walmart for about $3.

Now the bad news. This syrup is a one time use only deal, because it turns into this after about 24 hours:

It can't be stored it for more than a few hours because it crystallizes and turns back into a powder. Maybe I just need a more airtight container, but I think it would still crystallize. I'm not a food scientist to fully understand how dextrose works, but I'm happy with this for now. I think that's a small price to pay for being able to have pancakes with syrup again. I did think about using glucose syrup, but it is so impossibly sticky, I didn't even want to try it.  So the syrup will have to be made each time I make pancakes. I was so excited about my new recipe, I thought it deserved an exclamation point in the name!

I've been working on a basic fluffy pancake recipe and getting ready to finalize it, so it was the perfect time to test out my new syrup. When I used to eat wheat, I had a favorite pancake recipe that I used called Fluffy Pancakes (in fact, that's my photo allrecipes is using). I loved it because the texture was so light and fluffy and I didn't have to have any buttermilk on hand to make them (I never have buttermilk, but I do always have milk and lemon juice or vinegar).

low-fructose, gluten-free, fluffy pancakes, sorghum flour

I found a gluten-free pancake recipe that looked similar: Light and Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes from Barefoot in the Kitchen. I made my own tweaks to make them low-fructose and to use the soured milk component of the Fluffy Pancakes from

The fluffy pancakes and mock maple syrup are a wonderful pairing. It felt like we were eating breakfast at Perkins, complete with the syrup dispenser! See below for step-by-step instructions.

                                                                                                                                              print recipe
Fructose-Free Mock Maple Syrup!
serves 3 to 4,
depending on how much syrup you like to use
fructose-free mock maple syrup


1/2 cup powdered dextrose
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon maple flavored extract


In a small saucepan, heat the dextrose and water over medium heat, while stirring. Cook and stir until the dextrose has dissolved and the mixture starts to simmer. Simmer a couple of minutes or until it starts to thicken up. Remove from heat and stir in the maple extract. Let cool a little to thicken up more and serve over your favorite pancakes or waffles.

*This syrup is for one time use. It will start to crystallize and dry out after several hours.

                                                                                                                                           print recipe
Low-Fructose & Gluten-Free Fluffy Pancakes
makes about 8 pancakes
serves 3 to 4
fructose-free mock maple syrup, gluten-free fluffy pancakes


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk*
3/4 cup sorghum flour or white rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered dextrose
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a glass measuring cup, add the lemon juice or vinegar. Pour in milk to measure 1 cup total. Stir and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sorghum or white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, dextrose, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk mixture, egg, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir briefly, then stir in the butter until smooth. Let batter rest (it will puff up as it sits).
  4. Heat a griddle to 375 degrees F or a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray if desired. For each pancake, pour a 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. Flip when bubbles form on the surface. Flip. Cook until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batches, spraying the griddle as needed. Serve.
*If you require non-dairy, just replace the milk and butter with your favorite non-dairy milk and butter substitutes.

How to Make Fructose-Free Mock Maple Syrup

All you need is some powdered dextrose, maple flavoring and water.

Combine the dextrose and water in a pan over medium heat.

Stir until dextrose is dissolved and mixture starts to simmer. Simmer for a couple minutes, until it thickens slightly.

Stir in the maple flavor. Mixture will thicken up more as it cools. Serve!

How to Make Low-Fructose & Gluten-Free Fluffy Pancakes

Measure the 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (or vinegar) in a glass measuring cup.

Add the milk to measure 1 cup.

Stir the dry ingredients together.

Whisk together the egg, milk mixture and vanilla

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir briefly.

Stir in the butter.

The batter will puff up as it sits.

Pour by 1/4 cup-fuls onto the griddle or skillet.

Flip when browned and cook until the other side is browned.


  1. Wow! I can't wait to try the syrup!!!

  2. That syrup is fascinating. I never would have thought to try that. I'm glad you liked my pancakes! Thanks for linking back to the recipe. Have a blessed day!

    1. Thank you for sharing your pancake recipe, Mary! It turned out to be perfect for adapting to a low-fructose diet. We love them!

  3. Do you if molasses is in the maple flavoring? I can't have molasses. What are the ingredients in your maple flavoring? I'd really love to do this, but trying not to be too hopeful...Thank you!

    1. I use Watkins imitation maple flavoring. The ingredients are: water, propylene glycol, caramel color, natural and artificial flavor (contains glucose syrup, glycerin, sugar). Watkins is a Minnesota business, but they are becoming more widely available. You might be able to order it online. Hope this helps!

  4. I tried these a while ago and they were great! Replacement for Bisquik for me, because the sugar in Bisquik makes me feel reeeaaally full afterwards, and this recipe didn't (as much). Would these work as crepes too if you made them really thin?

    Off Topic: I remember you used to have a post with a meal plan for a typical day, and now I can't find it... did you, by any chance, delete that post? It used to be linked at the bottom of your Recipe Index page.

    1. Glad you liked the recipe! It's been forever since I've made crepes, so I couldn't tell you whether this recipe would work for that. I have been doing some updating to my blog and that post probably did get taken off-line since it is out-dated, but I will see if I can find it.

    2. So, I found out that the reason why I felt full was because of the LF milk I was adding... had an awful episode a couple months ago after having 1/2 cup of it with your cocoa mix, then realized that it was the milk, not the mix (I had been feeling full and not so great after rice pudding, pancakes, waffles, ice cream (homemade), even your cupcakes because they had milk!). I recently switched to oat milk and that problem no longer occurs - so I will be trying this recipe out tonight - breakfast for dinner, anyone?

    3. It seems lactose intolerance often goes along with fructose malabsorption. I'm glad you figured it out!