Cooking With Maple—Beyond the Pancake

Left: crab cake with remoulade sauce. Middle: bottle of maple syrup. Right: charred Brussels sprouts.

Maple syrup and maple sugar are incredibly versatile cooking ingredients, good for far more than topping your morning pancakes.

“You can go through your entire day with maple in every dish.”

Darrin Kimbler, a UW–Madison Extension educator in Iron County.

For our May 2023 Maple Hour, Darrin gave a live cooking demonstration showing how to incorporate maple syrup into savory dishes. He suggested choosing the grade of syrup based on the type of dish you’re cooking and how prominent you want the maple flavor to be. Golden Delicate works well as a replacement for white sugar or honey. Amber Rich is a good substitute for brown sugar, adds a nice flavor to barbecued meats, and provides a Wisconsin twist on Sichuan, Korean, and Thai recipes. Dark Robust pairs well with roasted meats and charred vegetables.

In baking, you can use either maple syrup or maple sugar, Darrin noted. Maple sugar can substitute one-for-one for any other solid sugar. When using syrup instead of solid sugar, you may need to add a larger quantity of syrup and reduce the amount of another liquid.

In his demonstration, which you can watch below, Darrin whipped up a dinner featuring maple syrup in two ways. Here are his recipes so you can try them yourself!

You can register for the next Maple Hour and explore the entire archive here.

Maple Glazed Charred Brussels Sprouts


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed oil)
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup pecan or walnut pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Wisconsin maple syrup (Dark Robust)
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste


  1. Add oil to skillet or wok and heat over med-high heat to shimmering. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for 3-5 min stirring occasionally until a slight char starts to appear on cut side.
  2. Add garlic and nuts and continue to cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  3. Turn down heat to med-low stir in vinegar and reduce. Stir in maple syrup and take off heat. 
  4. Salt to taste and serve warm.

Maple Remoulade Sauce for Crab Cakes and More


  • 1 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Wisconsin maple syrup (Amber Rich)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients together and chill until time to serve.

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