Simple Syrup Recipe

filed under: Decorating on April 24, 2015

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!

5 from 14 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.


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

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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  • Carmen says:

    Question-ow long before baking can you make this Chocolate syrup?

    • Carmen says:

      Got my answer under the chocolate recipe, ignore my question & have a great day!

    • Amanda says:

      It can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge.

  • Viola says:

    Will this work for banana bread

  • Nancy rueb says:

    How long will a decorated cake with simple syrup stay fresh?

  • Tammie says:

    You gave us a the basic ingredients but if I want to add an extract, when would I do it? I want to make an almond simple syrup. Do I add the exact in with the two other ingredients or do I add it after the pot is off the heat?? Please answer asap. I need this by tomorrow afternoon. Thanks…

  • Geeta says:

    Hi Amanda
    I makes eggless cake, I noticed that my cakes r little hard n less fluffy ☹️please give me the best way to making 1 pound eggless cake… Please

  • Cindy says:

    This post is incredibly helpful! Thank you so much for sharing the knowledge 🙂

  • Melissa Linton says:

    I was wondering how far in advance I could make the simple syrup for my cakes? What should I store it in?

  • Trisha Stilley says:

    Thanks for such good ideas

  • Barbara Beville says:

    I was thinking my Husband could use this for his Coffee.. You can always add flavor too!!
    Can that be done?

  • Helen Burcham says:

    Does the cake need to be cut to be able to use the simple syrup, or will it also work on an uncut (not leveled) cake?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can use it on an uncut (not leveled) cake, just make sure the cake is warm and the syrup can soak in.

  • Siti says:

    Hi! Do I then need to add simple syrup again when I’m decorating the cake layers after thawing they out? Thank you.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You do not need to add it again. 🙂

  • Deborah Costello says:

    Do you put holes in the cake first?

  • Denise says:

    Awesome thank you for the tip. I will give it a try.
    By the way I made the pecan Sandies this week. They came out perfect. And last night I made the lemon blueberry cake I love the frosting! Thanks!!

  • Dorothy thieme says:

    I iced a yellow cake with homemade chocolate frosting the realized it was so dry can I salvage it ? It is so dry

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can scrape off the frosting and add simple syrup then chill, then refrost. Not sure if it will work but it is worth a try!

  • Gigi says:

    You have to add some lemon or orange juice into your sugar syrup, otherwise it’s juste tasteless water with sugar… No use at all. I always use warm water, sugar and lemon juice. Besides, the amount of sugar in this recipe is outrageous for 1 cup of water…
    Lemon juice gives that great taste and hint of: omg, so good, I can taste something else not only SUGAR, lol. But since all American cakes taste simply like sugar, the recipe is for that purpose.
    And btw, make sure to add instant coffee into your sugar syrup (and a bit of rum/brandy) if you use it for chocolate cake, or any other toffee, caramel cake..

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thank you for sharing your tips and insights, but you don’t “have” to add citrus to simple syrup. It is literally supposed to be a “simple” syrup and works effectively as thus. This is a classic recipe, handed down from the previous generation and there is nothing wrong with it in the slightest. I am not opposed to trying new things and updating when possible, but as it stands, this is a great recipe that works perfectly as is.

  • Gloria says:

    Hi Amanda what’s the ratio for the chocolate syrup?

  • Sanku Rajshree Rao says:

    Is it necessary to store the syrup in refrigerator for 2 weeks before using?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      No, you can use it as soon as it cools to room temperature.

  • Carol C says:

    This is one of the best tips that I have read. I started making cakes because of you and this extremely helpful tip. It has made such a HUGE difference. Thank you so much from one baker to another. You have my gratitude.

  • Vicki Zaros says:

    Hi Amanda. I made a walnut and cinnamon cake. The cake worked out really well, but a lot of the syrup fell to the bottom of the cake, so while the bottom third of the cake was lovely, moist and sweet, the upper part was not as sweet and it was dryer. It was lovely nonetheless. I had 1 1/2 cups of water with the same amount of sugar. I boiled it for a few minutes and let it cool to room temperature. I then added the cold syrup to the hot cake. I hope you can help because I have made this cake a few times and the syrup drops each time. Thank you ..Vicki

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Vicki- This simple syrup is to use used after the cake has been baked. I’m a little confused by your comment.

  • Vicki Zaros says:

    Hi Amanda
    Sorry for not being clear. I made a traditional Greek walnut and cinnamon cake which requires you to add syrup to it after it has been baked. I baked the cake and it worked out perfectly. I made the syrup (1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar and boiled it for 5 minutes and let it cool). As soon as the cake came out of the oven, I gradually spooned the syrup all over the cake and let it sit. When I ate it, I noticed a lot of the syrup fell to the bottom, so the bottom part of the cake was lovely and moist and sweet, but the top 2/3 of the cake was not. Usually the Greeks drench this cake with syrup, but I deliberately added much less sugar as I didn’t want it so sweet. How do I do it so the syrup is evenly distributed throughout the cake? Thanks amanda.

  • Lauren Morse says:

    Hi there! I love your site and have used your recipes for years. I have a question regarding this post: there are so many websites and informative posts which warn against using simple syrup prior to freezing, and stating that doing so will cause freezer burn, soggy layers, and ultimately ruin the cake. Have you ever had any of these issues? Do you find that the cake thaws normally? I love freezing my cakes before decorating them because it makes them firm and eliminates the need for a crumb coat, but I also love using simple syrup and I’m afraid to do both at the same time! Thank you 😊❤️❤️

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Lauren! I have not run into issues with adding simple syrup prior to freezing, but I am usually freezing overnight. (1-2nights) There wouldn’t be time to develop freezer burn. Soggy layers are usually because of using too much simple syrup. Hope that helps!

  • Hannah says:

    I am making a lemon cake and want to keep it moist, how can I do that while keeping it lemony?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Simple syrup will sweeten it, not change the flavor. You could always add a bit of lemon extract to the cooled simple syrup. 🙂

  • Missy says:

    This is the secret weapon I have been looking for. There was a woman in my small town who had the BEST pound cakes and she added something that made them super moist and even soaked a linen cloth in it and wrapped her cakes with this. I could never figure it out. But I bet this is the secret. She would never tell anyone how she did it.

  • JANE says:

    I always tried to keep my cakes moist but now I know how this tip is realy helpful and also how long you can store it for thanks