Maple syrup is a staple sweetener found in most Canadian and US households.
It is used for toast, pancakes, different baked goods, and dishes, and as an ingredient for certain cocktails and a sweetener for other hot or cold beverages.
Maple syrup is made from the boiled and concentrated sap of maple trees.
Even though maple syrup is commonly available in just about any store in North America, if you are elsewhere around the world, you may have trouble finding it readily available everywhere.
So, if you don’t have access to real maple syrup, or if for some reason you don’t want to use it for a specific recipe or need, we have accumulated a list of the best replacements for it you can resort to.
Read on to find out which these replacements are so you can choose the best substitute for maple syrup for your specific need.
Substitutes for Maple syrup
Honey is an absolutely unique product. It is the only food that includes every single substance necessary to sustain the life of animals and humans, including water.
Pure honey will never go bad. And it takes hundreds of honeybees to make the honey you will find in a single jar.
But aside from these exciting facts, you must know that honey is one of the best replacements for maple syrup too.
Honey contains 80% sugars and 20% water. Maple syrup has a very similar texture and sweetness.
The amount of honey to use when replacing maple syrup depends on your recipe and your personal preferences.
You can safely use the same amount of honey as you would use maple syrup. But if you find the honey too sweet, you can use about a cup of honey for every 2/3 cups of maple syrup.
Our recommendation is to adjust the quantity depending on your taste and on the type of dish, dessert, or beverage you are preparing.
Molasses has a viscous texture. The syrup is made via the process of refining the sugar beets or sugarcane into sugar. It is commonly used as a sweetener and for adding flavor to different sweet and savory dishes.
As such, molasses is an excellent substitute for maple syrup for most recipes.
It has a slightly smoky flavor with added warmth and sweetness. No wonder it is the number one ingredient for distilling rum.
Keep in mind that there is a difference in the texture and taste of dark and light molasses.
The dark one has a stronger flavor.
When using molasses as a substitute for maple syrup, use the same quantity required for the maple syrup by the recipe.
This is an excellent replacement for maple syrup, especially if you are making candies, cake, or other delicious desserts.
Another easy and simple alternative to maple syrup is corn syrup.
It has a sweet caramel flavor which makes it perfect for preparing different sweets and desserts. You can also use it as a sweetener for tea or other hot or cold drinks.
When using corn syrup instead of maple syrup, make sure you use the exact same amount as you would when following the original recipe. In other words, use a 1:1 ratio when replacing maple with corn syrup.
White sugar syrup
White sugar syrup is very easy to make at home and requires the same amount of white sugar and water. The two ingredients are mixed and reduced into a syrupy consistency.
It can then be stored in the fridge and used as a sweetener for making desserts or cocktails, and as a maple syrup replacement.
When using white sugar syrup instead of maple syrup, you should use a cup of white sugar syrup for every 2/3 cup of maple syrup. The reason is that the latter has a sweeter and stronger flavor than the former.
Brown sugar syrup
Brown sugar syrup is an essential ingredient for a number of cocktails, including the Lemon Drop Martini and Old Fashioned.
It is made like white sugar syrup but with brown sugar instead.
Brown sugar syrup has a caramel-like taste and look and is another excellent substitute for maple syrup when used for making pancakes, other desserts, candies, cocktails, or as a sweetener.
If you choose to use brown sugar syrup instead of maple syrup, then you can safely swap it in a 1:1 ratio.
Also, when you prepare the brown sugar syrup, the best news is that you can store it in the refrigerator safely for up to a month.
If you are familiar with British baking recipes, then you must be familiar with Golden syrup too.
It is made of sugar, water, and added citric acid and has a delicious buttery and caramelized flavor.
You can buy ready-made Golden syrup or prepare it easily at home too.
The best news is that it is an excellent alternative for maple syrup for most recipes.
But keep in mind that this amber-colored syrup can be thicker than maple syrup, so adjust the quantities accordingly when using it as a replacement for making a dessert or as a sweetener.
Agave nectar which is also known as maguey syrup, is made from the core of the agave plant. It has a syrupy texture which is a little bit thinner than honey. The color of agave nectar can vary from dark to light amber.
This syrup is another great alternative for maple juice for making sweets, desserts, and mixing cocktails.
But remember that the agave syrup can have a slightly bitter aftertaste, which, although unique, may not be to the liking of everyone.
Coconut nectar is the thick syrup produced from the sap of the coconut tree flowers.
Although it does not have a coconut taste, coconut nectar has a very specific flavor, which has some floral and earthy hints and a mild bittersweet finish.
Even though it is an excellent substitute for maple syrup, we suggest that you experiment first. It is more suitable for use as a replacement for lighter maple syrup.
Brown rice syrup
Brown rice syrup is a gluten-free and vegan substitute for sugar which has been derived from brown rice.
It has a texture that is similar to that of honey and a similar sweetness.
This syrup is used for sweetening drinks and is a very fitting replacement for maple syrup or for honey.
The rich and delicious caramel syrup is not only one of the best sweeteners for your coffee and tea but is also a very suitable maple syrup substitute.
You can buy it from the store or make it yourself at home with sugar, water, a teaspoon of corn syrup, some vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
My Favorite Homemade Maple Syrup Recipe
If you prefer to make your own maple syrup imitation substitute, then here is our favorite recipe you can follow. It is easy to make and an inexpensive alternative to maple syrup or any other sweetener and syrup you may need.
- Brown sugar – 2 cups
- White sugar – 1 cup
- Maple extract – 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Water – 1 cup
- Add all of the ingredients and the water to a saucepan
- Bring to a boil over medium heat
- Reduce the heat and let the liquid simmer
- Stir the mixture frequently
If you want a thinner maple syrup alternative, use only one cup of brown sugar
You can store your homemade maple syrup replacement in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 months