Simple Syrup Recipe

filed under: Decorating on April 24, 2015
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  • Simple syrup is a baker’s secret weapon. I use it on cakes, cupcakes, cookies (on the rare occasion) and even in my cocktails! The recipe for simple syrup is easy and can be modified in a million ways. I also have a Chocolate Simple Syrup that works best on chocolate cake and red velvet cake!


    The GREATEST trick for cake makers!

    How to Make Simple Syrup

    The equation stays the same no matter how much you make. I have made a large batch and used 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water. It is a basic 1:1 ratio.

    I like to store my simple syrup in a plastic bottle that has easy pouring and can close. If you do not have a bottle you can spoon it over the cake or even brush it over the cake with a pastry brush.

    I use about 1-4 tablespoons per layer, depending on the size of the layer.

    How to make sure your cake is moist and delicious EVERY single time!

    This was a 12-inch layer of cake so I used almost 1/4 cup! (or 4 tablespoons)

    How to make sure your cake is moist and delicious EVERY single time!

    After I pour the simple syrup over the cake I will wrap it in plastic wrap then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    If I am freezing cake I will soak layer with simple syrup, wrap in plastic wrap, then place the cake in a sealable plastic bag or air-tight container. (I have seen it written that you can store up to 3 months.)

    Now for the “why” of simple syrup:

    Simply put it keeps the cake moist throughout every stage of assembly and decoration. Not only does it help keep your cake moist, but it also helps to add sweet flavor which is always good!

    Questions about Simple Syrup

    Will it make my cake too sweet?

    No. It will enhance the sweetness in your cake but not alter the flavor.

    Can I use simple syrup with fillings and frostings?

    Yes, definitely. You should use simple syrup on your cake layers and then fill/decorate as you normally would.

    Can I make it different flavors?

    Absolutely! Simple syrups can be quite diverse. Mix in spices, extracts, fruit—and you have instant flavored sweetener!

    The GREATEST trick for cake makers!


    Simple syrups are a baker’s best tool for ensuring moist, delicious, and flavorful cake!

    5 from 6 votes
    How to make sure your cake is moist and delicious EVERY single time!
    Simple Syrup
    Prep Time
    1 min
    Cook Time
    2 mins
    Total Time
    3 mins

    Simple syrup is a baker’s secret weapon.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Simple Syrup Recipe
    Servings: 2 SERVINGS
    Author: Amanda Rettke
    • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
    • 1 cup water
    1. Pour sugar into a medium saucepan and then immediately add water.
    2. Bring to a boil and stir until all sugar has dissolved. (1-2 minutes)
    3. Allow cooling then place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    I share other PROFESSIONAL BAKER’S TIPS here… like Frosting Tips & Tricks, best way to Store Tips, How to Use Russian Decorating Tips, and many more!


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  • Laura says:

    I have a suggestion with the same result! Or maybe richer …. Use the syrup from a can of fruit ????

    • Amanda says:

      Oh wow! Interesting!

  • Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the post. I have been curious about simple syrup as well. How much would you use for an 8inch round? If I am going to layer the cake right away, how long would I wait before putting the buttercream or cake filling on the cake? Is there a way to know if you’ve added too much? Thanks for the post.

    • Amanda says:

      1-2 tablespoons for an 8-inch round. You can add buttercream right after the simple syrup. 🙂

      • C says:

        if you’re just squirting it on how do you measure?

  • Angelica says:

    Wouldn’t this make the cakes extra sweet ?

    • Amanda says:

      Nope! Just enhances natural flavor. But of course, sweetness levels are specific to the individual.

  • Michelle says:

    Can this syrup bt used in all types of cakes

    • Amanda says:

      In most, yes. 🙂

  • Sheila says:

    If i put syrup do i need to less my sugar in my cake recipe

    • Amanda says:


  • Valérie says:

    Hi Amanda,
    This is very interesting! And would you recommend to use the simple syrup even with a frosting such as buttercream for exemple? or it is not necesary?

    • Amanda says:

      Yes! You can use this with buttercream and fillings. 🙂

  • Donna says:

    Good morning Amanda and Family I have celiac disease have you done any gluten free cakes or cupcakes love your blog l would love to try making
    Thank you Donna From Buffalo Ny

  • Maggie Runkle says:

    I have numerous syrups made to be added to coffee. Would they be suitable to use?

  • Barbara says:

    To add the moisture & sweetness, without the extra calories, couldn’t you make the same “syrup” using Splenda?

  • Stacy says:

    I like to use the flavored Monin syrups (depending what cake flavor is) diluted with a little water and brushed on. Works really well.

  • Sharon says:

    Will simply syrup help with the moisture of cake if it is dryy.I continue to end up with my cakes made from scratch being dry.

  • Jerri says:

    Does pouring a liquid on a cake make it mushy?

    • Amanda says:

      Nope. Not in this case.

      • Dorothy Hough says:

        Can you put peanut butter in the syrup and use it for the frosting

  • Tommie Goudeau says:

    Could I substitute fresh strawberry puree for water with equal sugar? This is for a strawberry cake.

    Thanks in advance.

  • omolara akinsanya says:

    ThankS for this beautiful class about syrup.

  • suzanne says:

    Wow, I’ve seen the squirting of a moisture onto a cake between each layer (on a few caking sites) but never understood it. We don’t do that here in Ne Zealand. What is the reason behind this please? Is the icing/ganache between layers not enough? Love to have your readers’ comments and a big thank you! 🙂

  • Gretchen Ryan says:

    Does it matter when you put it on? Should it be on cold cake or warm cake?

  • LISA says:

    About how much simple syrup would you use on each cupcake ?

  • Annie Macaspac says:

    Hi amanda! Do i have to wait for the cake completely cooled or i can put the syrup even it’s still hot? Tnx

    • Amanda says:

      Add it while the cake is warm.

  • Susan M. says:

    Hi! Could you make this w? fresh zucchini and a chocolate cake mix??
    what do you use to make the simple syrup chocolate??

  • Hauwa says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips.
    1. Do I use the simple syrup before I freeze my cakes? ie if I am going to freeze them.
    2. If I didn’t use the syrup before freezing, can I now use the sugar syrup after defrosting?

    • Amanda says:

      You can use it before freezing! 🙂

  • Vanessa says:

    Hi, how would you recommend adding simple syrup to cupcakes?

    • Amanda says:


  • Cindi Muller says:

    Thank you Amanda for sharing your outstanding recipes with us! I’m going to try your pink velvet cake you made those flowers look easy but I know it’s not! But you have inspired me to try!😉please keep sharing I look forward to your next recipe!😝

  • DeeDee says:

    I love most of your dessert recipes, you are quite an amazing Baker.

  • Linda Geremina says:

    I have used Simple Syrup in many ways but never to add moisture to my cakes! Thank you for this bit of knowledge!

  • Ahmed Safi says:

    At any stage can I add flavours like vanilla extract ?

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