This simple cardamom syrup recipe is made in a traditional way by boiling sugar and infusing the sugar with cardamom pods spice.
Perfect syrup for making iced coffee, tea, bubble tea, cocktails, mocktails or used as a flavour sauce for puddings, pancakes or other desserts. Also perfect to sweeten breakfast smoothies, porridge or oatmeal or using as a sugar syrup for flavouring and layering cakes.
This cardamom syrup recipe is perfect for beginners. It will take only about 30 minutes to make (in total, including 20 minutes of infusing time) and you’ll end up with a one jam jar of amazingly flavoured sugar syrup.
SAVE THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
MORE SUGAR SYRUP RECIPES
Why make this recipe?
- Simple & easy sugar syrup to make
- Great syrup for cocktails, mocktails, iced tea, coffee, puddings, desserts, ice-creams, pancakes etc.
- Perfect homemade gift for your friends and family
What is the cardamom sugar syrup going to taste like?
In case you are not too sure, cardamom has a very specific flavour, which adds depth to sweet dishes, but it’s also often used in savoury cooking. I’ve heard it being compared to a mix of flavours of mint and eucalyptus with a hint of pepper.
The syrup will have a strong enough flavour to add a hint of spiciness to your dishes. Depending on how strong you want the flavour to be, you can add more or less of cardamom syrup to your cooking or drink making.
My top tips on making cardamom syrup recipe
Let the sugar dissolve properly before you start to boil the mixture. Check with a back of a spoon if you can see any sugar crystals. If not, you are ready to start boiling the sugar.
Don’t stir too much once you start to boil the syrup as this will re-form the sugar crystals and makes them only stronger (e.g. you get a gritty syrup)
Add salt to your taste! Sugar is very bland ingredient and it does need salt to bring out the flavour
Don’t leave the syrup to boil for too long otherwise you might end up with a slightly bitter flavoured sugar as the cardamom might go bitter if boiled and left in for too long
What makes this cardamom sugar syrup recipe work?
Without a doubt, it’s the pinch of salt, which sharpens the flavour and also using freshly dried green cardamom pods.
What to watch out for when making this recipe
Be careful about leaving the saucepan on it’s own – you do need to watch the sugar mixture as it can easily over bubble and you might end up with sticky sugar all over your cooker.
If you see that the bubbles are coming to the top of your saucepan, either gently stir the top of the bubbles (to sort of break them), blow at the bubbles to burst them or (and….) take the pot off the heat immediately.
Also, don’t let the sugar start caramelising (going brown) when you start boiling the mixture. This will make the sugar taste caramelised and it is irreversible!
Any specialist equipment needed?
You will only need a few pieces of kitchen equipment, but nothing too specialist that you wouldn’t have already at home. Although we are working with sugar, there is no need for a thermometer in this recipe.
- Medium sided saucepan
- Measuring spoons or scales
- Wooden stirring spoon
- Jam jar & lid (or other suitable container)
Time saving tip
If you are thinking of making this simple cardamom sugar syrup as a gift, double or triple the quantity to make more syrup at the same time.
Make sure you use large saucepan or a stock pot as the sugar has a tendency to bubble over, when being boiled.
Cardamom syrup ingredients
I’ve used dried green cardamom pods for this sugar syrup recipe to get the best flavour.
I found that the 15 cardamom pods for 1/2 cup of sugar (125 grams) is about the right strength of flavour, but if you wanted the flavour to be even stronger you can add more cardamom pods.
I’ve used granulated white sugar for this recipe – it’s widely available and the cheapest of all the different types of sugars.
Whilst you can (in theory) use any kind of sugar with sugar syrups, the cardamom is such a delicate flavour, that you don’t really want to use light or brown sugars. Darker sugars, such as coconut sugar ot coconut sugar substititues have much richer flavour and will compete if not overpower the cardamom flavour.
You might need anything up to 1/8 teaspoon (like a very large pinch). I’d do about half and then add more if needed at the end of the recipe after you’ve finished infusing the cardamom pods. At that stage the syrup is just warm and easy to taste.
If you are adding more salt at that stage, make sure it’s dissolved in a tiny bit of water first before adding it in. If you don’t dissolve it first, the salt grains will not dissolve in the sugar as easily as they would in water and you might end up with slightly gritty sugar syrup.
Other flavourings you might like to add
- Fresh Lemon Juice – if you want to add a little zing to your sugar syrup add a 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (you can leave out 1 tablespoon of water to even out the ingredients). Lemon compliments the cardamom flavour perfectly
- White pepper – add a pinch of finely ground white pepper to give the sugar syrup and bit of a warming after flavour
- Citric acid – add to achieve very lemony flavour or use instead of fresh lemon
How to make simple cardamom sugar syrup – Quick Instructions
Crush open the cardamom pods with a back of a knife or something similar. You don’t need to take out the seeds, just make sure the pods are open.
Measure the sugar and it to a medium sized saucepan.
Add water, cardamom and a large pinch of salt to the saucepan and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Place on a very low heat and let the sugar slowly dissolve first.
Once the sugar is dissolved, increase the heat to medium/high and bring the cardamom syrup to boil.
Keep the syrup boiling for about 5 minutes. Stir if necessary to prevent the syrup from burning, but try to resist to stir constantly. Don’t let the sugar to start turning brown or to caramelise as this would spoil the cardamom flavour.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it somewhere safe to cool down for about 20 minutes. This will further help to infuse the sugar syrup with the cardamom flavour.
Pour the syrup through a fine mesh sieve into another bowl.
Pour the cardamom sugar syrup into a bottle or a jam jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
This cardamom syrup recipe is:
- Dairy Free
This syrup is very high in sugar, so use it sparingly – a little goes a long way!
The cardamom syrup is going to reduce a little, but it will still give you around 250 ml (1 cup ) of sugar syrup which will be enough for one medium sized jam jar.
The cardamom flavour will be quite concentrated, so you’ll only need only 1-2 teaspoons to flavour your drinks or desserts.
The one jam jar will give you about 16 tablespoons.
Scaling up or down this recipe
You can easily scale up this recipe, just double or triple the ingredients.
Scaling down this recipe is possible too, but be careful. You’ll be handling a much smaller amount of water and sugar, which can be quite easily burned.
Making smaller amount of sugar syrup in the microwave
I’ve successfully made a small amount of sugar syrup in the microwave using a small container. This way you can control the heat a little better, than in a saucepan on the cooker.
If using a microwave to make this syrup, heat for 10-20 sec maximum and check every time to make sure you don’t burn the sugar.
Also don’t leave the sugar to boil too much otherwise you might melt the container (if using plastic) as the sugar will become too hot for the plastic.
Only dissolve the sugar, heat it up a little and leave the cardamom pods to infuse in the sugar for 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes. This should be fine to give you the same amount of flavour.
Cardamom syrup is perfect for
- Simply drizzle on any lemon or vanilla flavoured pudding, vanilla ice cream, or pancakes
- Use it for making bubble tea, cocktails, mocktails or other infused drinks
- Use as a spiced sweet syrup for smoothies (cardamom works great with banana flavour)
- Use as a sugar syrup for brushing on your cakes when layering them (works great with vanilla, lemon or other lighter cake flavours)
MY FAVOURITE PANCAKE RECIPES
- Light & Fluffy Yeast Pancakes with whipped egg white >>
- Blueberry Pancakes >>
- Buckweed & Banana Pancakes >>
Can the syrup be made in advance?
This cardamom syrup has a good shelf life, so making it up to 1 week in advance should be fine.
How to store your syrup
A glass or plastic squeeze bottle works great, but any clean jam jar or airtight container will be fine too. Although nothing much can go off in this sugar syrup, I tend to keep the syrup in the fridge, to be on the safe side.
There is very little that can go off in this old-fashioned version of simple cardamom syrup, so as long as you keep it in the fridge, you should be fine for 2-3 weeks minimum.
Why did my cardamom syrup crystalise?
This is probably because the sugar wasn’t properly dissolved before you started to boil the mixture.
It can also be because you might have stirred the syrup too much whilst it was boiling. Using a spoon with leftover sugar could also be a problem, so make sure you use a clean one.
What do I do, when my cardamom syrup crystalised?
You can gently dissolve the sugar again by re-heating the syrup and adding extra water (1 tablespoon should be fine). If you are worried about the crystals re-forming again, add a tablespoon of glucose (corn syrup) to the mixture. Glucose or corn syrup (also honey) is a form of sugar, which helps to keep the sugar crystals apart.
Cardamom Syrup – Simple spice infused sugar syrup
- saucepan medium size
- wooden stirring spoon
- fine sieve
- jam jar
- 125 grams white granulated regular sugar 1/2 cup
- 125 grams water 1/2 cup
- 15 pods cardamom
- large pinch salt
- Crush open the cardamom pods with a back of a knife or something similar. You don’t need to take out the seeds, just make sure the pods are open.
- Measure the sugar and it to a medium sized saucepan.
- Add water, cardamom and a large pinch of salt to the saucepan and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Place on a very low heat and let the sugar slowly dissolve first.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, increase the heat to medium/high and bring the cardamom syrup to boil.
- Keep the syrup boiling for about 5 minutes. Stir if necessary to prevent the syrup from burning, but try to resist to stir constantly. Don’t let the sugar to start turning brown or to caramelise as this would spoil the cardamom flavour.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it somewhere safe to cool down for about 20 minutes. This will further help to infuse the sugar syrup with the cardamom flavour.
- Pour the syrup through a fine mesh sieve into another bowl.
- Pour the cardamom sugar syrup into a bottle or a jam jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
This blog post was originally written on 19 May 2022 and last updated on 25 January 2023