Homemade Piloncillo Syrup (Miel)

Piloncillo & water simmer together and create a sweet molasses flavored homemade syrup like nothing you’ve ever tasted. Delicious!

A small bowl with dark syrup.

Hello my friends! Today we’re talking about this popular Mexican condiment that I’m sure you heard about before.

Piloncillo Syrup is a beautiful condiment and spice made with Piloncillo cones that is perfect for Mexican desserts like Marranitos, Buñuelos, Capirotada, Atole, to sweeten coffee and drinks like Champurrado and Atole or to use in your favorite meal.

It has a dark smoky syrup taste with a lovely balance of sweet with a touch of sweet. This keeps for 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge – so make a big batch!

A clear measuring cup with piloncillo syrup in it and a piloncillo on the side.

What is Piloncillo?

Piloncillo is similar to brown sugar and many people refer to it as the Mexican brown sugar but the product is not exactly the same. Regular brown sugar is refined white sugar with added molasses back into it for that deep color.

Piloncillo (pronounced pee-lon-SEE-yoh) is a very natural condiment made of unrefined pure cane sugar (the cane juice) molded into cones or cubes to preserve the freshness. It has been around for at least 500 years! You can also find it by the following names: panela, chancaca or panocha.

What does it taste like?

The flavor has an earthy-caramel character so it has bitter and sweet touches. Similar to brown sugar, there are two types of piloncillo available: light white and dark dark. The white piloncillo will have a more subtle flavor while the dark piloncillo is richer and more like molasses.

A bowl with chopped piloncillo and 2 whole piloncillos on the side.
You can easily cut the piloncillo by microwaving it first for 15 to 30 seconds!

Ingredients

Only two ingredients are needed to make this easy sugarcane Mexican syrup.

  • 1 (8) oz. piloncillo cone. You can find it in any latin stores, on the latin isle at your regular grocery store or even online.
  • ⅓ cup water.
  • 1 small cinnamon stick Optional.

***Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

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How To Make Piloncillo Syrup

  • In a heavy-bottomed small saucepan, over medium heat, add the piloncillo, water and cinnamon if using.
  • Stir constantly while breaking down the code with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Once the cone dissolves, turn down the heat and let the syrup simmer steadily until it becomes a slightly slightly thick syrup that drips off your spatula slowly. About two minutes.

This recipe makes 1 cup of piloncillo syrup.

Chopped piloncillo on a cutting board with a knife on the side.

Note: if you want to speed up the melting process, or only want to make half of a cone, microwave the cone for about 30 seconds to soften it up.

This will make it easy to cut with a serrated knife right where you want to. Another simple technique is to grate it on a cheese grater to make a finer texture like brown sugar consistency.


Storage Icon Graphic.

How to Store

To store simply place it in an airtight container (preferably glass) and keep in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

When ready to use, heat it back up again in microwave for about 15 seconds at the time.

Piloncillo syrup in a small bowl with a wooden spoon.

💫 If you enjoyed this recipe I’d love it if you take 5 seconds to rate and review it below on the blog. It’s also super helpful to me and other readers if you share any changes you made to the recipe. I’m so grateful you’re here! 🙏🏼

Print Recipe:

A clear measuring cup with piloncillo syrup in it and a piloncillo on the side.

Homemade Piloncillo Syrup

Servings 16 tablespoons
Ana Frias
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Piloncillo Syrup is possibly the simplest condiment/sweetener, a classic that everyone should know off by heart! Made with 2 simple ingredients: piloncillo and water. A fantastic standby for many Mexican dishes!
16 tablespoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (8) oz. piloncillo cone
  • cup water
  • 1 small cinnamon stick Optional

Instructions
 

  • In a heavy-bottomed small saucepan, over medium heat, add the piloncillo, water and cinnamon if using.
  • Stir constantly while breaking down the code with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Once the cone dissolves, turn down the heat and let the syrup simmer steadily until it becomes a slightly slightly thick syrup that drips off your spatula slowly. About two minutes.
  • Note: if you want to speed up the melting process, or only want to make half of a cone, microwave the cone for about 30 seconds to soften it up. This will make it easy to cut with a knife right where you want to.

*Ana’s Notes:

It will last 3-4 weeks in an airtight container in refrigerator. When ready to use, heat it back up again in microwave for about 15 seconds at the time. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1Tablespoon | Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 293mg | Sugar: 15g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

Health Benefits

Piloncillo contains vitamin B1 which helps to carry out mental processes and is effective in treating depression. It also contains vitamin B2 that keeps the immune system healthy and helps restore tissues. It is a good source of vitamin B6 which helps keep our nervous system in good condition. And as if all this were not enough, piloncillo also contains vitamin C, which protects the body from oxidation.

In addition to vitamins, piloncillo has minerals such as copper that helps reduce the risk of anemia and osteoporosis, calcium and phosphorus that keep bones and teeth healthy, potassium, zinc that makes proteins, magnesium that regulates blood pressure and levels of blood sugar and iron which is necessary in the production of hemoglobin.

Thanks to all these components, piloncillo is an excellent source of energy and the best alternative in sweeteners because it does not steal nutrients from your body as white sugar does.

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3 Comments

  1. Ana, thank you so much for your clear, concise directions. I could not find molasses anywhere (La Paz, BCS) and was told to use piloncillo – but with no more instruction than that. I enjoy your site – especially the Notes and Cook Mode features.

    1. I’m glad you found this helpful Karen! I really appreciate the feedback and don’t hesitate to ask any questions. enjoy La Paz! Such a beautiful place in Mexico.