I’ve had a long time love affair with Sweet Baby Ray’s.  That’s some tasty barbeque sauce, right there.  Most of you that have had it would certainly agree.  Unfortunately, my sweet and spicy barbeque sauce bubble was recently burst, when I finally became brave enough to turn the jug of barbeque sauce around and see what actually made up that sweet nectar.  It wasn’t pretty, friends.

High fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, modified food starch, salt, pineapple juice concentrate, smoke flavor, spices, caramel color, sodium benzoate, molasses, corn syrup, garlic sugar, tamarind, natural flavor

The high fructose corn syrup plus more regular corn syrup was enough offenses that made me finally take the plunge and throw it in the trash, and try to concoct my own homemade barbeque sauce.

Although this version isn’t dead on to my former barbeque sauce love, it still makes for a tasty sauce, and fits my requirements of sweet, slightly spicy, and slightly smokey.  It might be even more close to the original if you added pineapple juice and tamarind, but I wanted to create a simple barbecue sauce recipe with ingredients that most people have in their pantry.  If you want to experiment with adding the additional two ingredients, I bet it would be great.  Give it a shot!  

Move over, Sweet Baby Ray’s.  It’s Sweet Mama T’s for this family from now on.


Homemade barbecue sauce


  • 6 oz. organic tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 T. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika


  1. Add all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk and simmer for 5-10 minutes over medium heat until slightly thickened.