Here’s how to make date syrup at home for a natural sweetener to add to drinks, recipes, and so much more!

Spoon drizzling date syrup into jar

Cutting down on refined sugars? Ran out of agave or maple syrup? This date syrup recipe is going to be your new best friend. Once you know how to make date syrup, it’s going to become a staple in your kitchen for sweetening everything from high-protein overnight oats to your morning coffee.

It really is as simple as cooking Medjool dates in water—okay, there are a few more steps than that, but the bottom line is that making date syrup is easy and requires only two ingredients. Who knew you could make your own sweetener at home?!

Date syrup swirled into bowl of yogurt with fresh berries

Why You’ll Love Date Syrup

  • Versatile. You can use date syrup all the ways you use agave nectar, maple syrup, and other liquid sweeteners. 
  • Natural alternative to sugar. If sweeteners formulated in a laboratory make your nervous, you’ll appreciate that date syrup is completely natural.
  • Delicious. Date syrup tastes absolutely divine, with notes of caramel and a lovely, deep colour. You know how some sugar substitutes just taste kind of “off”? That’s not the case with date syrup!
  • Two ingredients. And one of the ingredients is water! So really, all you need to pick up at the grocery store is a package of dates.
Overhead view of ingredients for how to make date syrup

Notes on Ingredients

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

  • Medjool dates – You’ll need pitted dates, so if yours still have the pits inside, remove them and then weigh out one pound. 
  • Boiled water – For soaking and simmering the dates.

Can I Make This Recipe With Another Type of Date?

You can use deglet noor dates to make date syrup, but they may take longer to soak and soften when boiling. I also think medjool dates make the most delicious syrup!

How to Make Date Syrup

  • Soak. Combine the dates and boiling water in a pot and let them soak for 15 minutes, or until the dates are very soft.
  • Boil. Bring the dates and water to a boil on the stovetop.
  • Simmer and mash. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, mashing the dates every 5 minutes or so. At the end of the simmering time, the mixture should look like loose applesauce.
  • Remove from heat. Let the date mixture cool for 15 minutes.
  • Extract the liquid. Strain the dates and liquid through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag, then squeeze the dates to extract as much liquid as possible. 
  • Reduce. Transfer the liquid back to the pot; bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Cool. Let the syrup cool, then use it or store it for later.

Tips for Success

  • Make sure the dates are clean. Scrub the outsides of the dates since they’ll be soaking and cooking in the same liquid. Another option is to discard the soaking water and add new water for boiling.
  • Don’t throw away the pulp. You’ll have about a cup of date paste left after extracting the liquid. You can use this as a spread for toast, waffles, and more!
  • Adjust the consistency if needed. For thicker syrup, simply simmer it longer. If you’d like the syrup to be thinner, you can add more water. 
Spoon drizzling date syrup into glass jar

My Favourite Ways to Use Date Syrup

Use this syrup anywhere you would use maple syrup or agave! Here are some ideas:

How to Store

Refrigerate the date syrup in a jar or airtight container for up to 3 weeks. You can warm it in the microwave before using if you need to.

More Kitchen Basics