These Maple Dumplings, or Grandpères, are a Canadian treat that reign supreme in sugar shacks at the start of maple season. It’s a simple, yet elegant, dessert best served warm with ice cream and toasted pecans.

The ingredient list is short and sweet – literally! It’s broken down into the maple simmer sauce and the dumpling dough.

For the simmer sauce, you will need water, maple syrup, rum and salt.

For the dumplings, gather together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter and buttermilk.

Maple Syrup. Maple syrup is the star of the show, so you want to make sure you get the good stuff. I like Butternut Farms from Vermont, but Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s brands are great options. Look for it in the baking aisle or purchase online.

Butter + Buttermilk. The dumpling dough is similar to how you would make a biscuit or scone, so use cold butter and buttermilk for best results.

  • The rum is optional but recommended. It adds that extra bit of finesse, so I always make sure to use it.
  • Use cold butter and buttermilk. This creates pockets of steam and makes the dumplings that much fluffier.
  • Pulse the butter until it’s the size of peas. This is about the same texture as coarse meal.
  • Add more buttermilk, if necessary. If the dough is too dry, add 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk at a time until it easily comes together.
  • Scoop a walnut-size bit of dough. Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon for even-sized dumplings.
  • Simmer in batches. The dumplings expand during cooking, so it’s best to simmer them in batches to prevent sticking.
  • Add more water to the simmer syrup if it becomes too thick. The simmer syrup will thicken naturally from cooking and absorbing starch from the dumplings. Adding a touch more water before the second batch prevents it from becoming too gloopy.

Maple Simmer Sauce:

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon rum
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ½ Tablespoons butter cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For Serving:

  • Whipped Cream
  • No-Churn Cinnamon Ice Cream
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Toasted pecans

  • Preheat oven to warm setting, about 180° F.
  • In a large pot with a lid, or 5-quart Dutch oven, bring water, maple syrup, rum, and salt to a boil over medium heat.
  • While the syrup is coming to a boil, start the dumpling dough.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  • Add the cold butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, or until it resembles a coarse meal.
  • Pour out into a bowl and add buttermilk. Stir until combined. (If dry, add another tablespoon of buttermilk.)
  • Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop and drop dough into the sauce. Fill the pot ⅔ full. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked dumplings to a dish and place in the warm oven.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water to thin it out.
  • Serve the dumplings warm with sauce, whipped cream or ice cream, and toasted pecans.