Bonbon Sirop Recipe

“Goodgood syrup, goodgood syrup…” – I can still hear my dad using those words to refer to this special sweet treat. It was one of his favorite plays of word. He would repeat it over and over until he got a reaction from us.

In French, it meant bonbon sirop. Bon = good, so bonbon=goodgood? Get it? I always giggled when he renamed it this way.

Bonbon sirop is a type of cake prepared with gros sirop (sugarcane syrup) and a mix of sweet spices.

When we were young kids we loved grandma’s bonbon sirop recipe. It was one of her many specialties, and perhaps all her grandkids’ favorite specialty. Even though she had shared her recipe with us, up until I was a senior in high school that I was still requesting that she cook me a special batch. Somehow we couldn’t beat her magic cordon bleu hands.

We had to have her bonbon sirop or no bonbon sirop at all.

I don’t really remember when she started sending them home to us. All I know is that, as we became older and more demanding, we were requesting bonbon sirop from her so often that she started making pans devoted to a specific grandkid at a time.

This bonbon sirop recipe is packed with sweet spices and molasses. Its composition is really close to a gingerbread cake. A must try. |

It was her way of giving each of us individual attention, even though it still stirred some jealousy among us. Not only did we cry a little when one of us got sent a pan – we were four grandkids at my house – but we also complained when we found out she had sent a pan to another house and not to ours.

As if requesting our own batch wasn’t enough, we also started requesting that she send the bonbon in the pan it was cooked in. The reason? We loved the sticky syrupy crumbs that got stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. We even managed to convince her that a rounded pan was the way to go so that we would get more gooey deliciousness. She gave in for otherwise, there would be too much arguing over who would get the most syrupy edges.

I stopped eating bonbon sirop a couple of years ago when she couldn’t prepare them anymore. Store-bought versions always left me disappointed as they were almost always on the dry side with strong spice flavors.

See, my grandmother made the best bonbon sirop ever.

Hers were chewy and gooey with just the right amount of spices and moisture. And I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to beat her recipe.

Her bonbon sirop was simply unlike any other bonbon sirop. It was heaven!

Even though we have two of her bonbon sirop recipes, one of which I am sharing below, something tells me that all her grandkids will always feel the same way. We may find someone who makes them as well as she used to, or we may even master one of her recipes, but we will always miss one key ingredient…

That ingredient is our grandma’s love for us, her grandchildren.

This bonbon sirop recipe is packed with sweet spices and molasses. Its composition is really close to a gingerbread cake. A must try. |

Bonbon Sirop

This bonbon sirop is made with dark sugarcane syrup and a combination of sweet spices. It's one of my favorite treats from my grandmother. She used to prepare it with so much love. 
Cook Time 45 minutes


  • 1 lb flour 3 1/3 cup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp clove optional
  • 1 ¼ tsp of ginger
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 cup of gros sirop dark sugarcane syrup – molasses might work as a substitute
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp butter


  • Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder
  • In a separate bowl mix the gros sirop, sugar, milk, spices and butter
  • Gradually incorporate the sifted mix making sure to mix it well
  • Transfer to a greased pan
  • Cook for 30 to 45 minutes
  • Cool down and serve
Keyword bonbon sirop, cinnamon, dessert, ginger, haitian food, molasses, nutmeg, sweets
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  • Nathalie

    Bonjour , la recette est pour combien de personnes ?

  • Nathalie

    Bonsoir , cette recette est pour combien de personnes

  • Ricardo Polycarpe

    Bonjour, c’est pour savoir s’il est possible de commander ( it’s for a get together) une recette que avez l’amabilite de partager : ce serait parfait de demarrer la nouvelle annee avec de bons bonbons sirops donc n’hesitez pas a me contacter directement par email.

  • I just found out my Grandmother was part Haitian and have been looking for recipes to try. This one looks amazing. I did not see what size pan to use although one of the commenters said she used a 9″ square pan. What would be your recommendation? Thank you in advance

  • Milwaukeelrm

    only a few survived.

  • Valérie

    Je suis Québécoise pure laine😂 mais j’ai un frère adopté en Haïti. J’ai beaucoup ce genre de gâteau. Merci pour la recette, c’est au four. J’ai utilisé de la mélasse et une once de rhum (juste pcq j’aime). J’ai utilisé 2 moules à pain. Bien hâte de goûter!

    • annick

      Bonjour Valérie, j’espère que vous l’avez aimé!

  • Florence

    Delicious …tout le monde aime. Merci d’avoir partager la recette.

    • annick

      Heureuse que vous l’ayez aimée 🙂

  • Regine

    I had not seen temperature you used for this cake so I used 325 (took 38 minutes). However, I just read in one of your comments in response to someone’s question that you bake yours at 300F for 45 minutes. Maybe you should add this in the instructions for your recipe.

  • Regine

    Hello. I am Haitian American. I just made this cake in a 9 inch square pan at 325 F for 38 minutes. It looks perfect but I have not yet eaten it as it is almost midnight. Once I eat it, I will let you know how I like it. But it looks really nice. My aunt has a smilar recipe which I love but I like to try other recipes. Hers has these ingredients.

    Tante Monique’s Bonbon Sirop
    3 cups flour
    1 heaping tsp baking soda
    2 tbsp crisco and 3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
    1 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp clove
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup molasses
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla – my addition

    325 30 minutes for 2 8 inch round pans then 5/10 minutes at 300.

    Tante Monique mixes dry ingredients in bowl, makes a well and pour liquids (melted fat, molasses, water), then mixes by hand. But you can also use standing mixer.

  • Tasha

    Hello, I noticed that the recipe doesn’t mention any eggs. Is this a mistake or am I missing something?

    • annick

      This recipe was my grandma’s and she was allergic to eggs, thus why they are missing from this recipe. 🙂

      • Rose Haulsey

        My mother has two versions of making this. One made with eggs (to be more like cake) and the other without eggs to be made more like a soft sweet bread (which is my all-time favorite) 🙂

        • annick

          Yes, I do know there’s a version with eggs. My grandmother couldn’t eat eggs, so most of her recipes omit them.

  • Lucie

    Excellent! Je cherchais la recette pour mes enfants devenus grands (33, 30 et 25). Souvenir de leur grand-mère. Merci Annick.

  • Katie

    Thank you for sharing your story and the recipe! At what temperature do you bake the bread? I may have missed reading it, but don’t see it in your story. Thank you so much!!

    • annick

      Katie, bake it at 300F for about 45 minutes.

  • Raud

    This is a great recipe, I tried it. It worked very well.

    • annick

      great! Happy to hear that 🙂

  • C’est un vrai plaisir d’échanger avec vous Annick. Je suis “retombée” amoureuse de mon pays. Partie tôt je n’ai pas eu le temps d’apprendre beaucoup de choses et j’ai depuis quelques années une soif intense de savoir, de me ré-approprier ma culture . Je suis une fana du naturel, de l’authentique et ça me ramène souvent à mes 14 premières années en Haïti, mes lointains souvenirs.

    J’aime beaucoup le gingembre, là encore souvenir d’enfance. Il y a beaucoup de saveurs que j’apprécie et que les gens ici en Guadeloupe n’aiment pas particulièrement. L’acide, l’amer, le piquant…. que des saveurs auxquelles on habitue les enfants chez nous, le jus de citron, le thé de l’associe, le café, le thé de gingembre, le piment etc… Je risque donc d’apprécier la version bonbon sirop avec le gingembre.

    Désolée Annick mais quand je suis passionnée je “parle” beaucoup. Lol 😉

  • De rien Annick. Ben oui Daphné il faut nous donner des nouvelles. Alors moi je n’ai pas résisté à l’envie de tester cette recette et je peux dire que c’est du tonnerre. J’ai réduit les proportions pour le test avec bien entendu mon extrait de vanille maison. Ah il manquait le gingembre. Je me suis rendue compte que je n’en avais plus. Pas grave j’ai fait sans. Faut que je pense à en acheter d’ailleurs pour le prochain “bonbon sirop” qui ne va pas tarder. A bientôt.

    • annick

      Missmo, contente que vous ayez réussi votre bonbon sirop. Certains n’aiment pas le goût fort du gingembre et en réduisent souvent les proportions, donc pas trop grave que vous l’ayez omis. Mais, faudra nous dire laquelle des versions vous préférez, avec ou sans. J’apprécie nos échanges. Vous m’encouragez à continuer. Merci 🙂

  • Hello, excellent. Merci pour cette recette Annick qu’il me tarde de tester. Pour répondre à Daphné, vous pouvez parfaitement mettre les graines vanille soit directement soit en les faisant infuser dans le lait puis filtré. Bien sûr vous laisserez refroidir le lait parfumé et suivre la recette de Annick.

    Sinon, je confirme. Vous pouvez également fabriquer votre extrait de vanille qui sera encore mieux que ceux du commerce. Il suffit simplement de laisser macérer la vanille dans du rhum. La Vodka est aussi un bon solvant mais en tant qu’Antillaise vous imaginez bien que ma préférence va au rhum. Avec son parfum rien de comparable avec la Vodka. Vous pouvez même faire avec du rhum vieux, expérience vécue.

    Je me permets de mettre le lien vers la recette qui est sur mon blog :

    Bon bonbon sirop à tous

    • annick

      Mille mercis Missmo. Je vais de ce pas consulter votre blog. Daphné faudra nous donner des nouvelles.

  • Daphné

    Je suis en Suisse. Oui ici aussi il y a plein d’arômes de vanille mais ils sont tous mélangés avec autre chose et n’ont pas le même goût ni la même odeur que l’extrait de vanille de lakay ;). Sauf la gousse et encore faut il la dégrafer 😀

    • annick

      En effet, il n’y a rien comme notre essence de vanille lakay 🙂 J’ai fait des recherches et apparemment c’est possible de préparer un extrait de vanille maison à partir des gousses que l’on fait infuser quelques semaines dans du rhum ou de la vodka. Je n’ose pas vous proposer une des recettes que j’ai retrouvées ne sachant si elles sont bonnes, mais si vous tentez l’aventure faites-moi signe 🙂

  • Daphné

    Cool la recette mais, par quoi je pourrais remplacer l’essence de vanille? il n’y a que la gousse de vanille ici.

    • Natalie

      Couper la gousse de vanille pour obtenir les grains sont à l’intérieur et ça suffira à la place de l’essence de vanille. Vous pouvez utiliser la peau pour faire du sucre de vanille; juste ajouter dans le sucre.

      • annick

        merci pour ce truc Natalie! Le goût ne sera certainement pas le même (notre essence de vanille local est unique en son genre), mais c’est une excellente alternative.

    • annick

      Daphné, vous êtes où? Certains pays comme les Etats-Unis ont l’extrait de vanille qui n’a pas un arôme aussi fort que notre essence locale mais fait quand même l’affaire.

  • Debra

    I’m so pleased I found your site! I have a Haitian woman visiting us for 3 weeks in September and want to make some ‘comfort food’ for her while she is here.
    I have a convection oven that can switch to regular baking when needed. I like to use convection when I bake cakes to heat them evenly, but I use the regular baking setting when baking cookies so I can make them chewier. Since you spoke about the gooey goodness at the bottom of the pan, I wondered which setting you thought would work best for this cake.

    • Genevieve

      Where are you & when in September are you ladies meeting?I’d love to join if physically possible.

    • annick

      Hi Debra, I have never used a convection oven before, and neither did my grandma. We typically use conventional ovens here in Haiti so I am tempted to say go with the regular baking settings. The important thing is that the bonbon sirop retains its moisture which is where the gooeyness comes from. So I’d say use your best judgement and knowledge of your oven on this one 🙂 If you chose to use the convection settings please let me know how it comes out, I would love to know.

  • This is a very simple recipe and I’d like to try it, but I don’t have molasses in my country (it is not found in the markets because is considered a residual substance, after processing sugar, molasses is thrown away or is used in the alcohol fabrication). With what could I replace it?

    • admin

      Johanna, do you have access to dark sugarcane syrup?

      By the way, if I may ask, where are you from?

      • No, we don’t use sugarcane here, we use white beet. I am from Romania, Eastern Europe.

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