Make Your Own Natural Sweeteners – Date Syrup

by Pamela

date syrup, natural sweeteners

With all the talk about natural sweeteners lately I thought I’d share a recipe with you that I got from a chef a couple of years ago. This date syrup is one of the easiest natural sweeteners you can actually make at home. The thing I love about date syrup is that you can use it in or on just about anything you currently use sweetener in.

Date syrup is sweeter than agave nectar and honey, but not quite as sweet as regular white sugar. I don’t have a list of equivalents for you because I pretty much use the date syrup in things that don’t necessarily require measurements. I just kind of use it “to taste.” But I know you can find plenty of sites that can give you a measure for measure chart. Remember? I’m not much of a baker. I’m more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” cook. 😉

I do like to use this date syrup to make sorbets. It’s flavor is more fruit like than standard white sugar is. I also think it allows me to sweeten the fruit only as much as it really needs to be (flavor by taste). If you’re making sorbet with a fruit, like strawberries, that are in season you’ll need less sweetener than if you were making a pear sorbet this time of year. Get it?

Homemade Date Syrup

Today, I’m just covering the natural sweeteners thing and telling you how to make the date syrup. Next week I’ll be using it in one of my favorite sorbet recipes. So you might need to make an extra large batch so you have plenty to eat now and still have some for next week’s recipe. I’m just sayin’.

Make Your Own Natural Sweeteners - Date Syrup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This date syrup is one of the easiest natural sweeteners you can make at home. Plus, you can use it in and on just about everything.
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 1
  • 10 Dried, Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1⅛ Cups Water
  1. Add the dates and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water boils, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until water has reduced by ½. Gently break up the dates as they cook.
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let sit until cool.
  4. Set a large sieve over a bowl and pour dates and water into the sieve.
  5. Run the back of a spoon over the dates to remove all of the syrupy water they're holding onto. You'll end up with a a mushy pile of mashed dates when you're done.
  6. The sticky brown liquid in the bowl is your date syrup.
  7. Put it into a covered container and store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  8. You can also stir that date mash into your morning oatmeal, a granola recipe or make your own power bars and stir these dates in too. (You'll be surprised how sweet they still are.)
You'll get about ⅓ cup of date syrup out of this recipe. Feel free to double or triple as you need.


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t summz July 22, 2015 at 11:35 pm

is there a certain amount of duration or a set temparature that youre meant to boil the dates at so that there is nothing wrong in the taste or does it not really matter? i dont want to boil it to a certain extent that chemical reactions start taking place during the boiling process.

Pamela July 23, 2015 at 9:59 am

Hi T. You don’t boil the dates for the whole time they’re cooking. Just bring the water to a boil then reduce the cooking temperature and bring the water to a simmer (small bubbles on the surface of the liquid). I didn’t give a specific time to simmer because everyone’s cook top is different and puts out different amounts of heat. Just keep an eye on the water and once it’s reduced by half, remove the pan from the heat and strain.

Steffan December 29, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Haha yes it was a lot of dates! I used that many because I went on to make pumpkin spice syrup for coffee. It’s incredible, tastes so sweet and not a spoonful of sugar involved! I used three cups of the juice and 1/8 of maple syrup two sweeten it.

Pamela December 30, 2014 at 9:57 am

That sounds delicious Steffan!

Steffan December 29, 2014 at 5:39 am

I used 31 dates and 3 cups of water. My syrup came out as a deep red juice. It’s still amazing though! Can’t get over how sweet it is!

Pamela December 29, 2014 at 5:34 pm

That’s a lot of dates Steffan! I’m so glad you like it. If you want it thicker, it will probably thicken up if you cook it down some more. Happy Holidays!

james k November 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm

i already love dates (i get some amazing ones from southern california; a place called flying disc ranch comes to our farmer’s markets by the bay–nope, not a paid shill, just a huge fan, heheh), so this was kind of a no-brainer, but the result was far beyond imagining. so simple, so stinkin’ good.

i used a flour sack towel to squeeze every single drop of moisture out possible.

Pamela November 14, 2014 at 8:23 am

I’m so jealous James. I used to be able to get dates at the farmer’s market too, but not anymore since the move. 🙁 A flour sack is perfect for squeezing everything out! I’m so glad you are enjoying the date syrup.

Georgie June 11, 2014 at 10:04 am

I love this stuff. I use date syrup often especially in bbq sauce… it gives it a delicious flavor. I don’t mind eating the dates on their own too.

Pamela June 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Hi Georgie, I haven’t tried it in bbq sauce, but I’ll bet it tastes better in most sauces, as compared to molasses (which is used a lot). I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!

John@Kitchen Riffs June 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

Love the idea of this! I can see so many ways to use it. Looking forward to that sorbet recipe. 😉

Pamela June 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Hi John, The sorbet recipe is ridiculously easy…I think you and Mrs. Riffs will really like it.

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