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Top 10 Maple Syrup Substitutes And How To Make Your Own

Top 10 Maple Syrup Substitutes And How To Make Your Own

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Have you run out of your favorite maple syrup? Or are you looking for other healthy and tasty alternatives for maple syrup? 

I feel ya. Pancakes with maple syrup are my guilty pleasure, but my dietary restrictions often aren’t aligned with my desires. That’s how I started looking for the best maple syrup substitutes for topping my pancakes or baking recipes.

Guess what? I’ve finally found them all! At first, I couldn’t believe that some of these substitutes taste better than maple syrup in certain dishes.

To help you find the best substitute according to your preferences and lifestyle, I’ve compared each alternative to maple syrup in terms of their similarities and differences. So, let’s see what we’ve got! 

1. Honey

Pouring honey onto combs on wooden background

Honey’s consistency, flavor, and versatility in baking are three main reasons why this substitute is one of my favorites. 

Similarities

Color: Both honey and maple syrup come in a myriad of colors from white/golden to dark deep amber.

Consistency: Honey and maple syrup share a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Flavor: The flavor of honey depends on its nectar source, and it can be fruity, smoky, floral, woody, earthy, or nutty. On the other hand, maple syrup has a sweet, caramel-like flavor with woody vanilla undertones. 

• Nutritional value: Honey has more calories and sugar content than maple syrup. 

maple syrup and honey

Price: Honey is a cheaper alternative than maple syrup. The average price of 12 oz honey is around $5, whereas 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use honey in recipes

If you decide to use honey as an alternative to maple syrup in recipes, you can use the same amount of it (1:1 ratio). I would recommend that you use organic honey for better consistency, nutritional value, and flavor. 

2. Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown sugar Syrup in a Bowl

You can find brown sugar syrup in stores, or you can make your own (see below).

Similarities

Consistency: Both brown sugar and maple syrup have a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Color: Brown sugar syrup has a distinctive brown color, while maple syrup comes in a myriad of colors from golden to dark deep amber.

Flavor: Brown sugar syrup has a sweet flavor with a hint of molasses, while maple syrup has a sweet maple-like flavor with hints of caramel and toffee. 

Nutritional value:  Brown sugar syrup has fewer calories and less sugar than maple syrup. 

maple syrup and brown sugar

Price: The average price of 12 oz brown sugar syrup is around $15, while 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use brown sugar syrup in recipes

Brown sugar syrup is ideal for pancakes and other sweets. You can use the same amount of brown sugar syrup as a replacement for maple syrup in baking. 

How to make brown sugar syrup at home

You can buy brown sugar syrup at stores, but you can also make your own. All you need to do is mix equal amounts of water and brown sugar and cook it in a saucepan over medium heat. Cool it before use. 

3. Simple Syrup (White Sugar Syrup)

Sugar syrup in a glass bowl on a white wooden background

Why is it called simple syrup? White sugar + water = simple syrup. 

Similarities

Consistency: Both simple syrup and maple syrup have a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Color: White simple syrup has an ivory color, whereas maple syrup colors range from golden to dark deep amber.

Flavor: White simple syrup has a sweet, caramel-like flavor, while maple syrup has a sweet maple-like flavor with hints of caramel and toffee. 

Nutritional value: Simple syrup has fewer calories and less sugar content than maple syrup.

maple syrup and simple syrup

Price: The average price of 12 oz simple syrup is around $12, whereas 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use simple syrup in recipes

Use the same amount of simple syrup as a replacement for maple syrup in baking. Keep in mind that adding simple syrup won’t result in the same flavor depth, but its sweetness will do its job. 

How to make simple syrup at home

Mix equal amounts of water and white sugar and cook it in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a syrupy texture. Cool it before use. 

4. Brown Rice Syrup

Korean traditional food with hand dipping in the black syrup

Brown rice syrup is made by turning the starches from brown rice into sugars and cooking them into syrup. Simple, right? 

Similarities

Consistency: Both brown rice syrup and maple syrup have a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Price: Both brown rice syrup and maple syrup have an average price of $10 per 12 oz. 

Differences

Color: Brown rice syrup has a light, caramel color, while maple syrup comes in a myriad of colors from golden to dark deep amber.

Flavor: Brown rice syrup has a mildly sweet, nutty flavor. Contrary to it, maple syrup has a distinctive maple-like flavor with hints of caramel. 

Nutritional value: Brown rice syrup has fewer calories and less sugar than maple syrup.

maple syrup and brown rice

How to use brown rice syrup in recipes

Brown rice syrup is perfect for salad dressings, glazes, sauce, and pancakes. Given that brown rice syrup is less sweet than maple syrup, you’ll need to add more of it to the recipe as a replacement for maple syrup. Pro tip: Or you can add some sugar to it. 

5. Molasses

Pomegranate molasses in glass bowl,

Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar-making process. It is also widely used as a substitute for brown sugar. 

Similarities

Consistency: Both molasses and maple syrup have a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Color: Molasses has a brown color with a hint of gingerbread, while maple syrup colors range from golden to dark deep amber.

Flavor: Molasses has a sweet flavor with smoky undertones, while maple syrup has a sweet flavor with caramel and coffee undertones. 

Nutritional value: Molasses have more calories and sugar content than maple syrup. 

maple syrup and molasses

Price: Molasses is a cheaper alternative than maple syrup. The average price of 12 oz molasses is around $6, while 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use molasses in recipes

Molasses has a less sweet flavor than maple syrup, so you should be careful when using it as a substitute. You can make it more sweet by adding some sugar to your recipes. 

6. Golden Syrup

golden syrup on spoon

Golden syrup is easy to make at home and it can be used in various recipes. 

Similarities

Color: Golden syrup has a golden-amber color, and maple syrup colors range from golden to amber. 

Consistency: Both golden syrup and maple syrup have a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Flavor: Golden syrup has a light, butterscotch-like flavor, while maple syrup has a sweet flavor with hints of caramel and toffee.

Nutritional value: Golden syrup has more calories and sugar content than maple syrup.

maple syrup and golden syrup

Price: The average price of 12 oz golden syrup is around $12, while 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use golden syrup in recipes

You can use the same amount of golden syrup as a replacement for maple syrup in recipes. Golden syrup is best used for cookies, candies, cakes, fruit salads, and baked apples or pears. 

How to make golden syrup at home

Put equal amounts of water and white sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then stir in the lemon juice or citric acid. Let it rest for a few minutes before use. 

7. Dark Corn Syrup

Pouring Dark Corn Syrup into an Ingredient Bowl

Corn syrup also known as light corn syrup is made by extracting sugars from cornstarch. Dark corn syrup is made by mixing corn syrup with molasses. 

Similarities

Consistency: Both dark corn syrup and maple syrup share a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Price: Both brown rice syrup and maple syrup have an average price of $10 per 12 oz. 

Differences

Color: Dark corn syrup has a dark brown color, whereas maple syrup comes in a myriad of colors from golden to dark deep amber.

Flavor: Dark corn syrup has a deep and rich caramel-like sweetness, while maple syrup has a sweet flavor with hints of caramel and toffee.

Nutritional value: Dark corn syrup has more calories and less sugar than maple syrup. 

maple syrup and dark corn

How to use dark corn syrup in recipes

Dark corn syrup has a less sweet flavor than maple syrup because it contains molasses, so you should consider adding some sugar to your recipes. Additionally, dark corn syrup is great for granola bars or any other baked goods. 

How to make dark corn syrup at home

You can either buy dark corn syrup at the store or you can make your own by combining 1 ½ cup corn syrup with 1⁄2 cup molasses. Mix well and store in a jar. 

8. Coconut Nectar

Homemade granola with milk and coconut nectar

Coconut nectar is made from the sap of coconut trees. Heated sap turns into caramelized syrup. Additionally, maple sugar is a great substitute for coconut sugar. Let’s just say that they complement one another perfectly. 

Similarities

Color: Coconut nectar has an amber color, and maple syrup also comes in amber tones.

Consistency: Both coconut nectar and maple syrup have a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Flavor: Coconut nectar has a sweet flavor with coconut undertones, while maple syrup has a sweet flavor with caramel and toffee undertones. 

Nutritional value: Coconut nectar has more calories and sugar than maple syrup. 

maple syrup and coconut nectar

Price: The average price of 12 oz coconut nectar is around $12, while 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use coconut nectar in recipes

You can use the same amount of golden syrup as a substitute for maple syrup in recipes. I prefer using coconut nectar for pancakes, cookies, and bars. 

9. Agave Nectar

detail of agave syrup in glass jar with spoon inside.

As the name implies, agave nectar is a natural sweetener made from the agave plant. 

Similarities

Color: Both agave nectar and maple syrup come in a myriad of colors from golden to dark deep amber.

Consistency: Agave nectar and maple syrup share a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Flavor: Agave nectar is sweeter than sugar and more neutral than honey, while maple syrup has a sweet, maple-like flavor with caramel and toffee undertones.

• Nutritional value: Agave nectar and maple syrup have the same amount of sugar content, but agave nectar has more calories than maple syrup.

maple syrup and agave

Price: Agave nectar is cheaper than maple syrup. The average price of 12 oz agave nectar is around $4, while 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use agave nectar in recipes

Feel free to use the same amount of agave nectar as a substitute for maple syrup in recipes. It is best used as a sweetener in hot drinks or cocktails and as a topping for pancakes. 

10. Date Syrup

Natural date syrup in a bowl

This syrup is made by boiling dates and then squeezing out their liquid. 

Similarities

Consistency: Both date syrup and maple syrup have a thick, smooth, and sticky consistency.

Differences

Color: Date syrup has a dark brown color, whereas maple syrup colors range from golden to dark deep amber.

Flavor: Date syrup has a caramel-like flavor with vanilla undertones, while maple syrup has a maple-like flavor with caramel and toffee undertones.

Nutritional value: Date syrup has more calories and less sugar than maple syrup. 

maple syrup and date

Price: The average price of 12 oz date syrup is around $15, while 12 oz of maple syrup costs around $10.

How to use date syrup in recipes

You can use date syrup as a natural sweetener for smoothies, salad dressing, marinades, desserts, and so on. Use the same amount of agave nectar as a substitute for maple syrup in recipes.

How to make date syrup at home

You’ll need 1 pound of dried dates and 4 cups of water. Cut the dates and place them in a saucepan with water. Simmer the dates over medium heat for 30 minutes. 

Allow the mixture to cool for 30 minutes and then blend it until it reaches a smooth consistency. Pour the date puree through a fine-mesh strainer. You can thicken the syrup by simmering it for a few minutes in a saucepan. 

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Recipe

Maple Syrup

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Recipe

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp maple-flavored extract

Instructions

    Mix brown sugar, water, and white sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

    Reduce heat to low and add maple-flavored extract. Stir thoroughly.

    Simmer for around 3 minutes until it reaches a thicker consistency. Let the syrup cool before using it.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 734Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 189gFiber: 0gSugar: 188gProtein: 0g

To Maple Or Not To Maple, That Is No Longer In Question.

Whenever I ran out of maple syrup in the past and I couldn’t find it in stores, my misery reached “to be or not to be” Hamlet’s proportions. 

Luckily, today I know the best maple syrup substitutes and I also know how to make my own version of maple syrup at home. I might as well go make another jar of homemade maple syrup, just in case.

Top 10 Maple Syrup Substitutes And How To Make Your Own
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