Cabane à Sucre at Home | How To

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
How to have a sugar shack meal at home tutorial by Plaid and Sugar

It's Spring which means it's Cabane à Sucre time here in Québec, the season in which maple syrup and maple-infused food abound. 

Due to the pandemic this year we could not go to the Sugar Shack last year, nor this year so I decided to make my own Cabane a Sucre event at home to recreate the experience! This post will tell you what foods you need but also how to get the perfect atmosphere right in your own dining room.

During March and April, the maple trees are tapped for their sweet sugar water which later becomes maple syrup, butter, candy, and more! 

So during this period, the Sugar Shack opens up to the public while the meal is the most important aspect of the Cabane a Sucre there also other things to do. 

A visit to the Sugar Shack entails petting farm animals, listening to folk music, and a walk in the woods where maple water is gathered.  Sometimes you can even witness the intense and long process in which maple water/sap becomes maple syrup.

How To Have Your own Cabane A sucre experience at home tutorial by Plaid and SUgar

Overall it's a very Québécoise activity that is fun to do and a very memorable experience!

As mentioned, this year all Sugar Shacks were closed and so I sought to recreate the experience at home, and although I do not have farm animals nor snow to do maple pull/taffy I still tried my best to get all of the required foods!

If you want to also have your own Cabane a Sucre experience at home, then keep on reading!

How To Have a Cabane A Sucre At Home 


But besides the food, the atmosphere is an important aspect of going to the Sugar Shack and so I wanted to recreate that experience. It can be done through decor, music, lighting and so much more. 

How To Have a Cabane A Sucre at Home by Plaid and Sugar

But first the meal!

the menu


Maple is, obviously, the most important part of the Sugar Shack and so most of the foods served will be sweetened in one way or another with it. 

Because there are half a dozen dishes, I decided to buy some pre-cooked foods to make the process less stressful and easier.

To make the delicious food found at the Cabane à Sucre, you'll need:

Maple Broiled Ham

This was the piece de resistance of the meal and I kinda cheated a bit because I bought a pre-cooked ham that was smaller which made the whole cooking process easier, and cheaper. It came out better than expected (you know I keep my expectations low) and was surprised by how good it smelled!

I used this recipe by Maple From Canada and added most of the ingredients minus the beer and chicken broth using instead 1.25 cups of wine. Also, because my ham was on the smaller side I cut the recipe in half. 

Pea Soup

Pea soup is a very French Canadien food for it was the staple meal of early Quebec settlers due to its nutritious nature and therefore it's a traditional entree in the Sugar Shack meal. Therefore it is one of the few savory (non-sweet) dishes, plus one of my favorite soups!

For this dish, I bought two cans of Habitant pea soup and all I had to do was warm it up and serve.

How To Have a Cabane a sucre at home by plaid and sugar

Maple Glazed Breakfast Sausages

This was one of my favorite dishes to both make and eat. It smells amazing and it tastes even better, the only downside is that they are all gone in a jiffy!

To make the maple glazed sausages, I used this recipe by The Kitchen Magpie and was surprised by how simple it is to make and I will certainly be trying this recipe again and again.

Sweet Beans with Maple Syrup

One of my favorite canned foods/dishes is sweet beans baked in maple syrup. They just taste so good!  For the Cabane a Sucre meal I warmed up a can of sweet beans and added about 1/3 cup of maple syrup to give it that extra umph!

Scrambled Eggs

This dish, along with the pea soup, was made sans maple syrup. Super simple to make and as it was savory it aided in balancing the overall sweetness of the meal. 

How To Have a Cabane A Sucre at Home by Plaid and SUgar

Sugar Pie

For the dessert I made a classic sugar pie made with, you guessed it, Canadian maple syrup which I, unfortunately, forgot to photograph :( The tarte a sucre with homemade whipping cream was the perfect ending to this traditional meal. 

Not made: 

The cabane á sucre meal usually has about 10 or so dishes but in my recreation, a couple of those dishes were missing mainly because some I knew my family would not eat and others were difficult to find. 

-  Pork rinds are salty and crunchy which contrasts greatly with all the sweet food, unfortunately, it was near impossible to find. 
- Maple taffy. The snow started to melt early this year so when we had our Sugar Shack meal the snow was all gone and so was not able to eat or make taffy.
- Pouding Chomeur was also MIA this year. This pudding cake is absolutely delicious and simple to make but unfortunately, it is super sweet so I decided that having one dessert (the sugar pie) was enough. 

All in all, this meal took me about 3.5 hours to make, the whole morning. Although I did have to adapt the recipes to the amount of ham or sausages I had on hand, I still ended up using about 1.5 540ml cans of maple syrup. Which is a lot of sugar for one meal!

But since its a once a year meal, it's not that big of a problem. 

the decor

While the meal is important the atmosphere of the feeling of the Sugar Shack is what makes the experience much more memorable. And so decorating is a must!

This is what the inside of the Cabane á Sucre looks like. Lots of plaids, wooden interior, and hanging lanterns. Overall a very rustic and wintery look. 


buffalo plaid tablecloth 


To recreate this look I used a red/black Buffalo plaid that my mom found at Fabricland and while it was originally bought for Christmas decor, it worked out amazingly as a tablecloth for our little event!

So if you can, using a buffalo plaid tablecloth will make the meal much more authentic along with...

.... lanterns!


Cabane a Sucre at home tutorial

Lighting is also an important factor in getting the perfect atmosphere 

Since I love lanterns, fun to decorate with, and very useful, I decorated the table with one that would go along with the decor. Along with a galvanized jug filled with faux tulips, because a) I feared that without it the table would look very Christmas-y and b) make it more spring-y.

Also, the galvanized jug acts as a tribute to the cans used in collecting maple sap at the Shack.

Maple sap farm found on Pixabay

Another thing to get the right atmosphere or look is white or simply decorated dishes. It will not only pop on the red tablecloth but it will also give it that traditional, folksy aesthetic. 

Metal skillets remind one of the olden days when everything was cooked over the fire, along with...

...wood items. 


Wooden cutting boards, cutlery, or even random wood items such as sticks or pot-holders can also aid in getting the country, traditional feeling. Unfortunately, I had no wood items at hand but I did have some blue + white china dishes which while it is not "country" did give it that old-timey vibe. 

and of course, maple syrup!


Also placing bottles of maple syrup on the table allows a person to easily add more syrup to their food if they wish. plus it also looks cute and traditional!

To summarize you will need:
  • Lots of plaids
  • Lanterns 
  • Wood items (sticks, cutting boards, etc)
  • Metal skillets 
  • And country, or folk, music


closing thoughts 


To my surprise, this was a fun and simple-to-plan experience that I will definitely be recreating next year. 

Another thing that surprised me was that even though I ended up cutting some of the recipes in half there was still enough food for supper and lunch the next day! So it is worth all the trouble.

I definitely recommend making your own cabane a sucre at home, it is a thrilling and memorable experience. Plus everything tastes so good!

Although word of advice, it is best to do this during late winter early spring because of the competitive prices concerning all things maple. I bought all food items for under $35 for 4 people which is about half of what we'd pay and got cans of maple syrup for $4.80 each (an amazing deal, usually it's around $7!)

Cabane a Sucre a la maison tuto Plaid and SUgar

As for decor, it is best to play around with what you have it doesn't have to perfect it just needs to be different from your usual dining room decor!

If you do recreate or make your own Cabane á Sucre event at home please let me know so I can gush at it like a proud mother hen lol!


Have you ever gone to a Sugar Shack before? Do you like maple syrup?


Til next week

Loren Camila

21 comments

  1. Overall I'd say you did a swell job! And, I learned a new word 'Québécoise.'
    When I saw the scrambled eggs, my heart rate slowed and then I read you kept it savoury and and it caught back up!
    That ham though - yes please!

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    1. Aww, thank you so much! Its great to hear that you enjoyed this post and that you learned something new. I don't think any one would dare to add maple or sugar to eggs, especially not an already sweet meal!

      Thank you so much for coming by!

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  2. I love anything maple so this all looks amazing!

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    1. Thank you, Skye. Plus it all tastes amazing too!

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  3. I've never heard of Cabane á Sucre, I'm going to have to add that to my bucket list (along with PEI, of course) for someday Canada trips. And wow, that is an impressive meal!

    I think its too warm for much any maple sugaring where I'm at, but we've driven a bit further north to attend a maple festival years ago. And there was some sort of maple pastry that was absolutely divine that I was just thinking about I haven't found any recipe that looked similar.

    I just remember reading about it too from all the Little House books and such.

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    1. Thank you, Livia it took some effort but it was worth it! It is definitely a fun bucket list activity, just beware that it only "runs" form mid-Feb to late April. Maple festivals sound like fun, I can only imagine all of the maple goodies!

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  4. I love that you recreated one of your favorite experiences at home! I had no idea the flavors of maple syrup could be used in things like eggs and beans so creatively, but it is inspiring to see how that one staple helps bring all the different tastes and textures of the foods together. The beans and ham both look delicious, as does your recreation of the decor. I can hear the folk music!

    We buy Vermont-based maple syrup, but tasting syrup made by friends or passed down to us by friends of friends lends a new appreciation to the diversity of the syrup. Your sugar pie sounds incredible! I will be looking up a recipe as I want to see how to make it and what it looks like.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Jaya. I enjoy going to the Shack and so recreating it was a fun and new experience since I was surprised to learn how much maple syrup went into the meal and what dishes are classic to the meal. Plus I love all things sweet so it wasn't that big of a bother lol.

      Wow, having homemade syrup would be amazing! Lucky you! Strangely enough, I know no one with maple trees.

      So glad you enjoyed this post, Jaya.

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  5. What a super fun idea to recreate experiences like this at home! I might try this for a birthday or something soon 😱 thank you for sharing!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it! It is a fun (and when done during the maple season) fairly cheap and would be an amazing birthday party. Thanks for reading!

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  6. Such an interesting tradition - and you did a lovely job, everything looks stylish and delicious, win win! PS, we ADORE maple syrup on porridge in the mornings :)

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    1. Aww, thank you Lisa for your kind words! Maple syrup of porridge sounds absolutely delicious, the perfect sweetner.

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  7. Oh my serious comfort food here for sure. My mom use to make a version of this with frankfurters and baked beans with honey.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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    1. That sounds absolutely delicious, Allie! I've never thought of baking beans with honey.

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  8. I don't think I've ever come across Cabane à Sucre or a sugar shack before, but it looks and sounds so delicious. But I am a maple syrup fan so definitely very tempted to try this myself. Great post, love the insight into Canadaian tradition!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post and found informative, Anika! It is unfortunately an event most people (including western Canadians) do not know about, even though it is so delicious.

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  9. This looks amazing! Kudos to you for recreating this tradition! I learnt something new today; thanks for sharing!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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    1. Thank you, Lovely! Glad that this was an informative post for you!

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  10. Thanks for sharing! It looks good!
    I follow your blog and I invite you to visit mine too! Have a nice day!

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  11. A visit to the Sugar Shack was one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences when I was staying in Quebec! I think it's so fun that you recreated that experience at home!

    If you feel like sharing, I'd love your sugar pie recipe. I haven't had one in nearly a decade!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the Sugar Shack Experience, Mykki! Isn't it amazing?
      Also, my sugar pie recipe will be coming out in late June.

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