This blue syrup is a homemade simple syrup prepared with the amazing butterfly pea flowers. Deliciously sweet and floral, it's perfect to give a pop of colour to drinks, desserts, and bakes. Let us show you how to make it!
Simple syrups are traditionally made by boiling down a 1:1 water and sugar solution. This process concentrates the sugar, turning the mixture into a thick and glossy syrup. Super easy!
Here, we used the same method but replaced plain water with a blue pea-infused tea. So the syrup won't look clear but will have a super pretty blue hue.
Also called blue pea, butterfly pea flowers are edible flowers with vibrant blue-violet petals. They have a sweet and floral taste with slightly earthy and grassy notes, similar to matcha but not as bitter.
Native to Southeast Asia, butterfly pea flowers are widely used in Thai and Malay cuisines for desserts, drinks, and colourful recipes.
Because the petals are rich in blue pigments, they can give the most wonderful blue hue to cakes, cookies, lattes and cheesecakes. And yes, even to a simple sugar syrup!
For this recipe, you'll need to get dried butterfly pea flowers which you can find at your local Asian food store or online. Then, we'll show how to use the flowers to prepare the blue pea tea from scratch.
The blue tea will then be the base of the syrup, which you'll simmer with sugar until glossy and concentrated.
Then, depending on how long you simmer the blue syrup, you can get different consistencies: runny like maple syrup or thick like honey. But don't worry, we'll show you exactly how to get one or the other in the steps below!
And once the butterfly pea syrup is ready, the fun begins!
You can drizzle this blue syrup over pancakes and waffles just like you would do with maple syrup. Or why not drizzle it over a spongy blue cake for extra moisture and sweetness?
You can also use this blue pea syrup to prepare fancy cocktails, colourful iced teas, and even a colour-changing lemonade. And another way you can use it is to garnish ice creams, sorbets, and fruit salads. Awesome!
If you're watching your sugar intake and would like to try a healthier option, check the recipe below and we'll tell you how to swap sugar with zero-sugar sweetener erythritol.
This way, the syrup will have practically zero calories — totally guilt-free!
Blue Tea Base
- Boiling Water
- Dried Butterfly Pea Flowers
- Caster Sugar (or sugar-free erythritol)
Start by preparing the blue tea which will be the base of the syrup.
Steep dried butterfly pea flowers in hot water for about 5 minutes or until the tea looks light blue.
If you start with this light blue tea, the syrup will have a nice delicate colour, like the one in the picture at the top of the page.
If you prefer a darker syrup instead, increase the amount of flowers or steep them for longer to get a dark blue tea.
You can see how the dark blue tea would look in our dedicated butterfly pea tea recipe.
In the recipe, we also give precise instructions on how to steep the tea to get different shades of blue — so check it out if you need more tips!
We recommend infusing the butterfly pea tea in a clear glass or white bowl, so you can see how light or dark it is.
Once the blue tea base is ready, pour it into a pot and stir in the sugar.
If you want to make the butterfly pea syrup sugar-free, you can replace sugar with the same amount of erythritol.
Erythritol is a safe and natural zero-calorie sweetener. It looks just like sugar, and it's almost as sweet. So you can use it in a 1:1 ratio.
Bring the sugar-blue tea mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Now that the mixture boils, you have to let it simmer.
The sugar will concentrate as the water evaporates, and the sweetened blue tea will turn into a thick and glossy syrup.
The longer you simmer it, the denser and more concentrated the blue syrup will be.
So, you have two options:
Simmer it over low heat for 3-5 minutes;
The blue pea syrup will be runny, similar to maple syrup, as the sugar concentration will be about 60%.
The syrup should weigh 250 g (8.8 oz) for the default ingredients.
Simmer it over low heat for 8-10 minutes.
The butterfly pea syrup will be thicker (and sweeter), similar to honey, as the sugar concentration will be about 80%.
The syrup should weigh 180 g (6 oz) for the default ingredients.
Anything between these two simmering times or weights will still be good; the syrup will have the sweetness and texture of something between maple syrup and honey.
Just don't cook the syrup for too long, or it will turn into caramel!
Also, keep in mind that the longer you simmer the syrup, the less blue it will look.
That's because the blue pigments in the butterfly pea tea will turn slightly greenish when heated. So, the syrup can take on a teal/mermaid blue colour — still super pretty!
Follow our cooking times for guidance, or check our tip section below on how to weigh the syrup accurately while it simmers.
Once ready, turn off the heat and let the syrup cool down in the pot for a few minutes.
Then, transfer it into a clear glass jar and let it cool down completely in the fridge.
The syrup will become much thicker as it cools.
Your amazing blue butterfly pea syrup is ready!
Keep it sealed in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and have fun using it in your favourite recipes!
Measure the syrup weight while it simmers to get the exact consistency you'd like, runnier like maple syrup or thicker like honey. To do it:
First, note down how much the empty pot weighs.
Then, place a plate or coaster on a kitchen scale to protect it from the pot's heat, and tare it.
Measure and note down the weight of the pot with the syrup in it as soon as it starts to boil.
As the syrup simmers and time passes, regularly weigh the pot on the tared scale.
You'll notice the weight will go down as the water evaporates and the syrup gets more concentrated with sugar.
Because you know the pot weight and the pot-syrup initial weight, you can calculate how much the syrup weighs and can keep boiling it if you need to.