This delicious blueberry syrup recipe takes 20 minutes to make and can be served with whole fresh blueberries for spooning over vanilla ice cream or drizzling over your favorite pancakes.
Or strain it to make a blueberry simple syrup for drinks and cocktails. I like to think of this recipe as the perfect blend of blueberry sauce and traditional syrup. We naturally thicken the sauce without cornstarch and only use 4 ingredients!
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📖Why This Recipe Works
Blueberry syrup is a great way to use up an abundance of blueberries. Whether you picked your own or found wild blueberries to use, this incredible syrup is nothing short of amazing. A delicious blueberry flavor is achieved using simple ingredients.
The best part of this recipe is its complete versatility. My blueberry syrup recipe can be frozen, canned, or stored in the fridge for up to a month.
And you can use it in so many ways, from jazzing up plain yogurt to overnight oats. It is for so much more than pancakes and cocktails.
🧾Blueberry Syrup Ingredients
For the photos for this recipe, I used in-season fresh blueberries.
Can I use frozen blueberries to make blueberry syrup?
Yes, I have had equal success with high-quality frozen blueberries. Frozen blueberries will be sweet so double check they have no sugar added.
I let the season dictate fresh vs. frozen berries. Frozen berries are a safe bet during the winter months. I have experimented with dried blueberries, but we didn't find them to work as well if they were previously sweetened.
Sugar - You can use granulated sugar or coconut sugar in this recipe. I do not recommend maple syrup or honey in place of sugar in this recipe as the thickness and texture will be off. We don't recommend trying an artificial sweetener in this recipe.
Lemon- Lemon juice adds much-needed brightness and acid to this recipe.
Vanilla- Adding vanilla extract to the blueberry syrup gives it a depth of flavor. You can also use vanilla powder or paste.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Blueberry Syrup
Before starting this recipe be sure to properly wash and rinse all your fresh berries. Removing the little green stems from your blueberries is time-consuming but necessary.
Step 1- Mash
Just like with our juneberry jam recipe, we need to mash the berries so they can quickly release their juices. Start by adding the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and half a cup of water to the pan.
Use a potato masher to mash up the berries. They don't need to be totally pureed. Just puncturing the skin is enough.
Don't have a potato masher? Use the back of a wooden spoon, a cocktail muddler, or even a drinking glass to mash.
Step 2- Boil
Place the mash in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stirring frequently, bring the berries to a soft boil, and then turn the heat down to keep them at a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes and stir occasionally to prevent burning.
At this point, you can remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the vanilla extract and serve chunky. My suggestion is to move forward with the next step for a classicly smooth syrup.
How to Serve Blueberry Syrup
I have already talked about using this fresh blueberry syrup on my gluten-free blueberry pancakes. But is stellar on cornmeal pancakes. You can also make yogurt parfaits, stir into your oatmeal, or chia pudding.
Or as a topping for ice cream or cheesecake.
You can serve fruit syrup chunky or turn it into a smoother syrup, i.e. a blueberry sauce, by following the method below,
How to Use Blueberry Syrup for Drinks
Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce for 60 seconds to break down any remaining blueberry chunks. Strain the sauce and stir in the vanilla extract. It should be nice and thick, not a thin fruit juice.
No immersion blender? Move to a regular blender or food processor.
Now that you have made a blueberry simple syrup you can use it just as you would any plain simple syrup. I particularly like it in iced tea or swap out the homemade fruit syrup in my blackberry lemonade recipe.
Use it in your favorite margarita recipe. Or any cocktails that you think need a sweet blueberry kick.
This recipe calls for a 1:1 sugar-to-water ratio, like all simple syrups. Boiling the sauce and then simmering for 15 minutes reduces the water content and kills bacteria.
So the resulting syrup can be stored for two to four weeks in an airtight container. Or freeze for up to a year.
During peak blueberry season we like to batch-process our syrup for canning.
🌡️How to Can Blueberry Syrup
There are four steps to canning homemade syrup using a simple water bath.
- Check the seal
Prep Jars & Water Bath
Once you have made the syrup you can start prepping the water bath and sanitizing the jars. Bring water to a boil in a large stock pot or canner.
Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash canning lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
Fill the Jars
Ladle strained hot Blueberry Syrup into hot clean jars leaving at least a ¼ inch headspace. Dip a paper towel into boiling water, and use that to wipe the rims clean. Center lid on jar. Apply the band until the fit is fingertip tight. Do not over-tighten.
Process the Jars
Place the jars into your pot or canner. They should be completely covered with boiling water. Tongs or a wide-mouth jar lifter is helpful here.
Process jars (i.e. boil) the jars for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude, if necessary). Remove jars and cool.
Check for Seal and Store
Check lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when the center is pressed. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use them right away.
Check out more canning basics.
The uses for our blueberry sauce seem endless, but so do the variations. Here are two of my favorites.
While our sauce does contain lemon juice more lemon is needed to make a full-flavored lemon blueberry sauce. Adding the zest of one lemon to the sauce will impart enough oils to punch up the flavor. Lemon zest has a lot more flavor than the fruit's juices. Alternatively, you can swap out the vanilla for lemon extract.
Balsamic- Blueberry Sauce
Skip the vanilla and add 2 teaspoons of high-quality balsamic vinegar. Stir in at the end. This is a great option if you are using the blueberry sauce for a savory recipe like a roasted duck or venison steak. Or turn it into a salad dressing.
You can also use different berries to make this recipe or mix them together. Hmmm... a strawberry syrup sounds nice right about now.
More Blueberry Recipes
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Blueberry sauce is naturally thickened thanks to pectin that is released during the boiling process. If the sauce is too thin return it to a boil in 5-minute increments until the desired consistency is reached. Thin out the sauce with warm water if needed.
Yes, blueberry syrup can be frozen. Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid, be sure to leave enough headspace for the syrup to expand. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
Homemade Blueberry Syrup
- Add all ingredients, except vanilla extract to a small saucepan. Lightly crush blueberries with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.1 cup fresh blueberries, ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Blueberry Pancake Syrup
- Cool sltighy and serve. voer waffles, french toast, or pancakes.
Blueberry Simple Syrup
- Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce for 30 to 60 seconds
- Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing the blueberries to extract as much juice as possible. Stir in vanilla extract. Serve warm or at room temperature.½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- You can also use whole frozen blueberries in this recipe. Thaw before using.
- Syrup can be stored for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
- See the blog post for notes about canning.