9 Best Substitutes for Maple Syrup

Best Substitutes for Maple Syrup
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Maple syrup is a popular condiment that gives food a delicately sweet and smoky flavor.

However, maple syrup can be expensive and not always available.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative, you’re in luck – there are plenty of substitutes for maple syrup you can use that will have similar taste or texture profiles. 

People worldwide enjoy using maple syrup on their pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast foods.

Maple syrup has been a natural sweetener since ancient times because of its unique and delicious flavor.

It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron, potassium, and vitamin B6. 

But what if you need an alternative to maple syrup? Whether it’s because it’s too expensive or just not available, many great options can make your recipes still tasty without breaking the bank!

From honey to molasses to brown sugar, some delicious substitutes for maple syrup are equally appealing in taste and texture.

1. Honey

Honey is one of the great substitutes for maple syrup because it is naturally sweet and flavorful and often has both light and dark properties that give it a unique depth of flavor.

Honey is widely available in health food stores and most grocery stores making it easy to find.

Its mild flavor makes it suitable for many uses beyond just pancakes and waffles, such as added to oatmeal, tea, yogurt, or smoothies. 

Honey can also be used in baking recipes as an alternative sweetener. Unlike maple syrup, honey has some added health benefits since it contains antioxidants and vitamins that can help boost the immune system. 

Additionally, its lower glycemic index means it won’t cause blood sugar spikes like maple syrup.

Although honey costs more than maple syrup per ounce, it lasts longer in the pantry, so you don’t have to worry about replacing open containers every few weeks.

2. Molasses

Molasses is second on this list of the best substitutes for maple syrup and is a sweetener made from the by-product of sugarcane or sugar beet processing.

It has a rich flavor and is used in baking, desserts, and many other recipes as a substitute for maple syrup.

Molasses has similar properties to maple syrup and can be substituted one-to-one when using it as an alternative. 

However, it has a more intense flavor than maple syrup, so it should be used sparingly if you want to avoid an overbearing sweetness.

Molasses is also used as a natural sweetener for sauces, chutneys, and pickles due to its low glycemic index.

Additionally, thanks to its antioxidant content, it’s often used as an alternative health remedy for conditions such as arthritis and high cholesterol levels.

3. Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a popular syrup substitute for maple syrup due to its cost-effectiveness and availability.

Corn syrup is made from corn starch, water, and enzymes, while real maple syrup is made from pure maple tree sap.

Corn syrup generally has a slightly milder sweet flavor than true maple syrup and contains more calories – yet both contain significant amounts of sugar. 

Because it’s so much cheaper than the real deal, big companies typically use corn syrup for their products.

But for those looking for a more authentic experience with breakfast pancakes or French toast, you can still find organic maple syrups that have been produced with minimum additives or preservatives.

This comes third on this list of popular substitutes for maple syrup.

4. White Sugar Syrup

White sugar syrup is a great alternative to maple syrup for those looking for a cost-effective and convenient alternative.

It is made from granulated white sugar and boiling water and can be cooked in minutes.

White sugar syrup has the same sweet taste as maple syrup but does not have the same intense flavor, making it perfect for pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or French toast. 

Additionally, it is one of the substitutes for maple syrup that can be thinned with milk or cream if desired.

White sugar syrup is much cheaper than maple syrup; it is also easy to make with basic kitchen items and convenient to store since it keeps well in a covered container in the fridge.

5. Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown sugar syrup is a great substitute for maple syrup because it has a rich and caramel-like flavor.

It’s also incredibly easy to make – all you need is brown sugar, water, and some stirring. You can customize the thickness of the syrup to your liking by adding more or less water. 

To make it, dissolve packed light brown sugar into boiling water until combined.

Then let it cool for about 15 minutes before using it as a topping or in recipes that call for maple syrup or other sweeteners. 

Brown sugar syrup, one of the best substitutes for maple syrup, pairs excellently with pancakes, waffles, crepes, and French toast for an indulgent brunch.

For an extra special touch, top your breakfast treat off with a drizzle of 100% pure maple syrup alongside the brown sugar syrup – now, who could resist trying that?

6. Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is a great substitute for maple syrup due to its thick and viscous consistency.

It has a golden-brown color and an intensely sweet flavor that resembles honey or molasses with subtle nutty notes.

The viscosity makes it easier to spread, so you won’t have as much leakage when using it on pancakes or waffles. This is also one of the much cheaper substitutes for maple syrup. 

In addition, Golden syrup lasts longer in the pantry than maple syrup because of its high sugar content, which helps preserve it over time.

As a result, this makes Golden syrup an excellent choice if you’re looking for an economical option that will last you a while!

7. Caramel Syrup

Caramel syrup is not left from the list of excellent substitutes for maple syrup.

It has a wonderfully sweet and fresh taste, similar to that of maple syrup but with a unique flavor.

The color of caramel syrup is different from that of maple, however, being much darker and more golden in hue. 

Caramel syrup also has its unique texture, thicker and stickier than maple syrup. This makes it great for topping desserts or even for sweetening morning coffee or tea.

Its unique flavor profile can add an interesting element to many dishes, from pancakes and waffles to drinks such as smoothies or frappes.

Caramel syrup is a tasty alternative to regular maple syrup in any recipe!

8. Coconut Nectar

Coconut nectar is also among the increasingly popular substitutes for maple syrup.

Made from the sap of coconut flowers, it offers similar sweetness and flavor as maple syrup but with a few beneficial differences.

Coconut nectar contains natural enzymes, amino acids, and minerals that can provide additional nutritional value not present in maple syrup.

Also, it has a low glycemic index relative to many sweeteners, making it much easier on the blood sugar levels when consumed in moderation.

Additionally, it is vegan-friendly and is a great source of dietary fiber which further differs from the fructose found in maple syrup.

All of these factors make coconut nectar an excellent alternative to traditional sweeteners like the ubiquitous maple syrup.

9. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is a great substitute for maple syrup, as it has a similar flavor, texture, and consistency. It is much easier to find than maple syrup and is usually more affordable.

Additionally, brown rice syrup has fewer calories and more natural sweetness than maple syrup.

It also contains naturally occurring vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. 

Brown rice syrup can be used in recipes like sauces, baked goods, puddings, cereals, and sweetened beverages such as coffee or tea.

Although not an exact 1:1 replacement for maple syrup due to its different properties (e.g., vanilla-flavored syrups won’t work the same way), brown rice syrup can be adapted to achieve similar results if used carefully.

Brown Rice Syrup ends our list of the best substitutes for maple syrup!


In conclusion, while this delectable is an incredibly versatile and tasty ingredient in countless dishes, several suitable substitutes for maple syrup are available.

Maple-flavored syrup and honey can provide similar flavors, while agave nectar and molasses provide sweetness while adding unique flavors to dishes. 

For those seeking a vegan or gluten-free alternative, brown rice syrup or coconut nectar can achieve the same results as maple syrup without animal byproducts or gluten.

No matter which substitute is used, experimenting with different ingredients will help people find the best flavor combinations to suit their tastes and dietary needs.

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