Is Maple Syrup Gluten-Free? We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about gluten-free syrup, gluten-free pancake syrup and more!
Hey gluten-free friends! We’re back today with another gluten-free tip, and this one’s all about maple syrup!
Whether you’re whipping up a stack of gluten-free Belgian waffles, some french toast casserole or fluffy pancakes or mixing a little syrup into a muffin glaze or maple-flavored dessert, you’re going to need syrup!
So today we’re here to take all the guesswork out of gluten-free maple syrup. Here, you’ll find answers to common questions, like:
- Is Maple Syrup Gluten-Free?
- Is Pancake Syrup Gluten-Free?
- What Brands Of Syrup Are Gluten-Free?
…and so much more. Let’s dive in!
Are Maple Syrup And Pancake Syrup The Same Thing?
So what is the difference between maple syrup and pancake syrup? Glad you asked! They are NOT the same thing and can’t always be used interchangeably. Here’s a brief look at each one:
Maple Syrup, At A Glance
Pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener made of boiled maple tree sap that’s been reduced until it’s amber in color. The only ingredient in true maple syrup is maple syrup or organic maple syrup. Maple syrup does not contain gluten and is safe for celiacs and gluten-free diets.
Maple syrup contains trace minerals and contains no added sweetener. It adds sweetness to pancakes, french toast, waffles, and other breakfast foods, or it can add maple flavor to baked goods and savory dishes. The flavor is nuanced and often contains caramel-like undertones.
Pancake Syrup, At A Glance
Pancake syrup, on the other hand, emerged as a budget-friendly alternative to pure maple syrup and rarely contains any actual maple syrup. It’s artificial maple syrup or imitation maple syrup and has a strong artificial maple flavor.
Common ingredients for pancake syrup in the United States include sugar, corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, maple flavoring, caramel coloring, salt, and additives/preservatives like sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid. It’s meant to be used as a condiment for breakfast dishes (pancakes, waffles, french toast), but is NOT a good choice for cooking or baking.
They can both be used as a condiment, but they are NOT interchangeable in baking or cooking recipes that call for maple syrup.
Is Maple Syrup Gluten-Free?
So, is all maple syrup gluten-free? YES! Real maple syrup (sometimes called pure maple syrup) is made of 100% boiled sap from maple trees, which is naturally gluten-free. All maple syrup is gluten-free unless additional flavorings containing gluten have been added.
Look for the words “real maple syrup,” “pure maple syrup,” or “100% maple syrup,” which are all clues you’ve got the real deal. Then just double-check the ingredients list, which should only list maple syrup as an ingredient.
Note: some infused syrups will contain ingredients like maple syrup and vanilla bean, for instance, or maple syrup and cinnamon. These are still considered real or pure maple syrup and can be used in baking or as a condiment. You just don’t want to see additional ingredients like cane sugar, artificial flavors, artificial colors (like caramel color), or preservatives.
Which Brands Of Maple Syrup Are Gluten-Free?
When it comes to pure maple syrup, most brands are gluten-free, since the only ingredient is maple syrup. The good news is that this makes it easy to find gluten-free syrup! A few (of many) safe brands of gluten-free maple syrup to choose from are:
- Kirkland Signature – Often a great price!
- Spring Tree
- Shady Maple farms
- Maple Grove Farms
- Butternut Mountain Farm
- Coombs Family Farms
- 365 By Whole Foods
- Runamok – Including their infused syrups!
- Simple Truth Organic
- Private Selection
- Trader Joe’s
- Good & Gather
- King Arthur Baking
- Thrive Market – including their infused syrups.
Is Pancake Syrup Gluten-Free?
For the most part, yes! Most pancake syrup is gluten-free and safe for celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and gluten-free diets. In general, pancake syrup is made without wheat products or gluten-containing ingredients.
A few ingredients to keep an eye out for are malt or malt syrup, which is NOT gluten-free. (Malt is derived from barley, which contains gluten).
Some colorants or flavorings can contain wheat or gluten, so always double-check your labels for a “contains: wheat” or “may contain wheat” statement, which can indicate cross contamination or shared equipment during processing.
Which Brands Of Pancake Syrup Are Gluten-Free?
Now, let’s take a look at some common brands of gluten-free pancake syrup to make navigating the grocery store aisles easier than ever:
Is Log Cabin Syrup Gluten-Free?
Log Cabin pancake syrup contains no gluten-ingredients. It’s not certified gluten-free, but contains no allergen statements on its packaging.
Log Cabin is owned by ConAgra, and their gluten-free policy states that “All major food allergens are shown on the ingredient list of our products and/or will be noted in a “Contains” statement just after the ingredient list.” Log Cabin syrup has no “contains” or “may contain” statement.
It’s also worth noting that Log Cabin produces a “natural maple syrup” variety that’s based off brown rice syrup and is also gluten-free.
Is Mrs. Butterworth Syrup Gluten-Free?
Yes. Mrs Butterworth syrup contains none of the top 8 allergens. While it’s not certified gluten-free, it contains no wheat or gluten ingredients and none of the top 8 allergens.
The Mrs. Butterworth website states, “According to the FDA, the most common food allergens are milk, peanuts, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. This product does not contain any of these common food allergens”
Is Hungry Jack Syrup Gluten-Free?
Hungry Jack pancake syrup contains no gluten ingredients (and is also Kosher Pareve).
Their website states that “Hungry Jack syrup does not contain ingredients derived from gluten.” but goes on to explain that they are not certified gluten-free based on their company criteria, which includes ingredient screening, gluten testing (<20 parts per million), and stringent manufacturing procedures.
Is Pearl Milling Company Syrup Gluten-Free?
The Pearl Milling Company allergen statement says, “Any of our food products that contain the most commonly allergenic foods (peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, egg, wheat, milk and soy) will include these allergens in the ingredient statement…We also highlight any of these allergens in bold letters following the ingredient list with a ‘contains’ statement to assist all consumers in identifying products containing known allergens.”
(FYI: Pearl Milling Company is the re-branded name of the previous Aunt Jemima syrup)
Is Aunt Jemima Syrup Gluten-Free?
Aunt Jemima syrup was rebranded to Pearl Milling Company syrup in 2020 (named after the company that produced the original pancake mix). Aunt Jemima syrup was gluten-free and the re-branded Pearl Milling Company syrup is gluten-free.
FAQ: Gluten Free Maple Syrup
How Can You Tell If Syrup Is Gluten-Free? Pure maple syrup (with just maple syrup in the ingredient list) is always gluten-free, unless there are added ingredients. For pancake syrup and flavored syrup, check the label for a “contains” or “may contain” statement near the ingredients list (like “may contain wheat”), which would indicate wheat ingredients or cross contamination risk.
Can I Use Pancake Syrup Instead Of Maple Syrup For Baking? Pancake syrup is NOT a good substitute for pure maple syrup in cooking or baking. It’s sweeter and doesn’t have the same flavor, so it can throw off the taste and texture of your recipe. (The strong imitation maple flavor will overpower a recipe, where pure maple syrup will add subtle sweetness and delicate maple flavor.)
Can You Make Homemade Gluten-Free Syrup? Yes! You can make gluten-free pancake syrup at home with simple ingredients like sugar, maple exract, water, vanilla, etc. Or, use our raspberry sauce for a fun fruity twist!
What Are The Different Grades Of Maple Syrup? Maple syrup used to be categorized either Grade A or Grade B syrup. In recent years, the grading system was revised and all maple syrup falls under Grade A, with the grading now referring to the color and taste:
- Grade A Golden Color With Delicate Taste – Harvested early in the season, with most subtle flavor
- Grade A Amber Color With Rich Taste – Classic maple syrup taste
- Grade A Dark Color With Robust Taste – More intense maple flavor
- Grade A Very Dark Color With Strong Taste – Very intense maple flavor
Does It Matter Which Grade Of Maple Syrup I Use? For most recipes and uses, different grades of maple syrup are interchangeable. Keep in mind that the lighter the color, the more subtle the flavor, while the deeper amber the color, the more bold and robust the flavor.
The Bottom Line:
The short answer is that all pure maple syrup and most pancake syrups are gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet or gluten sensitivity! You can use either kind of syrup for gluten-free pancakes, french toast casserole, waffles, and more. We recommend only pure maple syrup for cooking and baking.