Scandinavian Dark Syrup recipe

How to make Scandinavian Dark Syrup

Skip to recipe

Many of my blog’s readers have been asking me about dark syrup and how to replace it in recipes. Dark syrup is a sugar beet and cane sugar syrup used in Scandinavian cooking and baking. It might be difficult to find outside of Europe.

The flavor of dark syrup is different from brown syrup, even though both syrups are made with brown cane sugar. It has a stronger caramel taste and it’s thicker than brown sugar syrup. Brown sugar syrup has a relatively mild flavor and it’s often used to sweeten beverages like ice coffee. In Finland, dark syrup is often used in cooking and baking.  I use it in traditional dishes like Christmas-time casseroles, Christmas biscuits, carrot cakes and the traditional Finnish archipelago bread.

After one afternoon of experimenting in the kitchen, I managed to create a syrup that tastes and looks exactly like the one sold in Scandinavian food stores. The ingredients are easy to find ( you will only need brown cane sugar and water), so you should be able to make this syrup at home regardless of where you live. You will also need two pots, a measuring cup and a spoon for stirring the syrup.


If you are in the US and have a hard time finding dark syrup in the stores, one of my blog’s readers shared her best tips for the search:

In Cincinnati, OH I can buy the Dansukker mörk and ljus (dark and light) sirap (syrup) at Jungle Jim’s and pay about $6.50 each. I recommend looking for local specialty stores that carry international items. Due to the weight, some online companies charge quite a bit for shipping, but you can buy two of them at Amazon for $20, which as far as I can tell is more affordable than some of the Scandinavian shops that carry the product and offer shipping.

10 comments on “How to make Scandinavian Dark SyrupAdd yours →

  1. Thank you, I wish I knew this while living in Switzerland! A must have in Finnish gingerbread.

    1. Yeah, this is such an essential ingredient for Finns living abroad! I’m so happy that I figured out how to make it. 🙂 I got so much dark syrup left after yesterday’s kitchen experiments that I might have to try making Finnish liquorice at home now… 🙂

      1. Thank you Veera, its so easy! I didnt realize I could do it with brown cane sugar. That is great!

        1. You’re welcome! I was really happy to notice that the process isn’t complicated at all. 🙂

  2. Most Swedish and Norwegian recipes use sugar beet syrup and I think it is a big difference in taste from sugar cane. Finish recipes might be different. I grew up in Sweden, but amazingly enough have never been to Finland. It is nowadays easy to find both the light and dark Swedish Dansukker syrup (sirap) in the US (made from sugar beets) at specialty stores and online, but I don’t know how to make it myself and I have not tried your recipe.

    1. Hi Åsa,
      Thanks for pointing that out! It’s awesome to hear that Dansukker products are available in the US! Many of my blog’s readers seem to have had trouble finding them. If you have any info on which stores sell them, I’d love to hear so that I can pass on the information. 🙂 The dark Dansukker syrup that I have at home is a combination of cane sugar and sugar beet sugar (I updated the sugar beet in the description of the recipe now). For this recipe I used only cane sugar and the resulting product is very close to the Dansukker syrup in flavor, so you can use this recipe for replacing that syrup if needed. 🙂

  3. I might try your recipe sometime, but in Cincinnati, OH I can buy the Dansukker mörk and ljus (dark and light) sirap (syrup) at Jungle Jim’s and pay about $6.50 each. I recommend looking for local specialty stores that carry international items. Due to the weight, some online companies charge quite a bit for shipping, but you can buy two of them at Amazon for $20, which as far as I can tell is more affordable than some of the Scandinavian shops that carry the product and offer shipping.

    1. Hi Åsa,
      Thank you so much getting back to me and for the info! I will attach your comment to the blog post, so that people can find it more easily. 🙂

  4. I have Dansukker Mørk sugar syrup at home and a few careful licks from a teaspoon creates an unpleasant sensation on my tounge and roof of mouth. This is in addition to the sweetness of course. Do you experience the same from the homemade (brown sugar cane) syrup? Any idea why a syrup would be unpleasant?

    1. Hi Simon!
      I just tried my Dansukker syrup and I would describe the flavor as “very strong caramel fudge”. Dark syrup is supposed to taste a lot stronger than maple syrup for example, but I don’t notice any unpleasant undertones. My recipe for home-made dark syrup gives the same dark flavor in the syrup as the Dansukker dark syrup has. The Dansukker syrup stores well (I bought a new bottle last week and it’s good for another three years), so unfortunately I’m not sure what the problem could be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.