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12 Most Delicious Brown Rice Syrup Substitutes

With the signature sweetness and mild butterscotch aroma, brown rice syrup is widely preferred in the culinary world. From Asian, European to Middle Eastern, the rice syrup complements most recipes with its mild flavor.

However, suppose that you run out of rice syrup in the kitchen but still want to use some seasoning with a similar taste to substitute. In this case, what should you select then?

In this post, let’s dive deep into the top 12 most delicious brown rice syrup substitutes and pick out your favorite one.

What Is Brown Rice Syrup?

Honey

First, let’s clarify “What is rice syrup?”. In short, brown rice syrup is a sweetener extracted from brown rice. The rice will go through a special cooking process to absorb enzymes. That mixture will break down starches and turn rice into smaller sugar crystals.

The final step is to filter the crystal to discard the impurities and collect the final “pure” brown rice extraction. What you achieve is a thick, sweet syrup.

Top 12 Brown Rice Syrup Substitutes 

Honey 

Honey is the first selection on the list. With its signature sugariness, honey can substitute for brown rice syrup in many recipes. Let’s see how compatible they are.

First, honey provides the intense sweetness that no other sweets can. Besides, its texture is quite thick and adhesive, which is similar to the rice syrup. With 100% compatibility in texture and flavor, honey serves well as an alternative to brown rice syrup.

So, which is the best way to use honey in cooking? Honey is a “gentle” food. It can be applied to any mixture, with any cooking method like steaming, boiling, sauteing, etc. However, based on our experience, the best cooking approach is to mix it with raw greens to make salads.

Maple Syrup

Molasses is the thickest and most intensively sugary sweets used in cooking. Made from refined sugarcane with a high purity level, this composition provides the highest level of “pure” sweet as there are not many additives in it.

To add in, molasses has a thick, adhesive texture, just like honey but with higher density. It has a dark brown color, similar to caramel after burning. Sometimes, people even feel slight bitterness when tasting molasses.

With such texture, the molasses cannot blend well with other ingredients. Its intense sugariness also makes it quite hard to mix and match. Therefore, there are just a few recipes with molasses available, like granola bars, brownies, etc.

If you are substituting this brown rice sweetener with molasses, we advise using about 1 cup of molasses per 2 cups of rice syrup. Try to add a bit per pour because it will be hard to adjust the taste when you have added molasses.

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is the thick, golden-colored extraction from sugar cane with a high density. From first sight, the golden syrup impresses us with a unique buttery aroma and caramel flavor.

Given that fact, the golden syrup is significantly sweet with a thin texture. Thus, the golden syrup can blend well with most recipes, from boiling, steaming to baking and stirring.

However, when comparing golden syrup and rice syrup’s sweetness, the golden syrup is slightly stronger. So, you can substitute golden syrup with rice syrup with a ratio of 3/4.

Molasses is the thickest and most intensively sugary sweets used in cooking. Made from refined sugarcane with a high purity level, this composition provides the highest level of “pure” sweet as there are not many additives in it.

To add in, molasses has a thick, adhesive texture, just like honey but with higher density. It has a dark brown color, similar to caramel after burning. Sometimes, people even feel slight bitterness when tasting molasses.

With such texture, the molasses cannot blend well with other ingredients. Its intense sugariness also makes it quite hard to mix and match. Therefore, there are just a few recipes with molasses available, like granola bars, brownies, etc.

If you are substituting this brown rice sweetener with molasses, we advise using about 1 cup of molasses per 2 cups of rice syrup. Try to add a bit per pour because it will be hard to adjust the taste when you have added molasses.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is the most distinctive selection on this list since it is not liquid but solid. However, is brown sugar compatible with replacing brown rice syrup? In our opinion, it can.

In terms of flavor, brown sugar is sweeter than rice syrup. The syrup is made from rice, compressed, and extracted into liquid so that its sugariness drops during the process. Meanwhile, the brown sugar is “pure,” not going through much preparation.

Based on our experience, brown sugar can blend well with any kind of cooking. Through boiling, steaming, stirring, sauteing, the sugar can season other ingredients, making the overall taste better.

There is no perfect ratio to exchange from syrup to brown sugar to add in, so just add sugar as you want to and adjust later.

Date Syrup

Along with molasses, date syrup is one of the sweetest ingredients ever produced in cooking. Made from date palm fruit, the date syrup contains a high amount of vitamin A, K, C, tannins, magnesium.

The date syrup is not yet famous as other selections on this list. You still cannot find date syrup in local stores. However, if you want to afford a bottle of date syrup, go to Middle Eastern cuisine stores, and you can find it.

In fact, the date syrup is made from many different types of date palm fruits. Thus, the syrup also comes in with various textures and flavors. Some products are runny, some are dense, some look dark, and some look shiny.

Like molasses, the date syrup is intensely sugary, so there is a limit of recipes suitable for the syrup. We prefer applying date syrup in baking, in general.

Barley Malt Syrup

Barley malt syrup is another good substitute for rice syrup. Made from malted barley, the syrup contains the signature sweetness that you could never forget.

Compared to brown rice syrup, this ingredient is sweeter. The texture is also thicker and denser. The color is darker than brown rice syrup, either. You must consider these factors when applying barley malt syrup in foods.

Typically, barley malt syrup is preferred in baking bread. Its dark color coats the bread and creates a dark shade for the food. Sometimes, the dark shade makes the bread look tastier.

If you intend to alternate the brown rice syrup with barley malt syrup, use only 3/4 cup of barley for a cup of rice syrup to balance the taste. However, if you misuse the syrup and the taste is too intense, quickly heat the syrup to make it runnier.

Agave

Agave, also called agave nectar, is a sweetener made from the agave plant. To be specific, the agave is condensed from juice extracted from the core of the agave plant. The juice, going through filtered and pressured to break the original composition, leaves the simple sugar compositions in the mixture. Thus, the agave nectar is less consistent and thin than honey.

Based on the compression level, the agave juice can have a wide range of colors: from dark to light brown, sometimes even yellow. The flavor varies, too: agave nectar with light brown is quite “bland,” while the amber brown nectar provides sugariness intensely. The dark brown agave syrup has significantly sweet but also bitter, just like caramel.

Compared to the brown rice syrup, agave is much sweeter, but the texture is quite similar. Thus, if you are replacing the agave with brown rice syrup, then we advise using the 1:2 ratio with the one that belongs to agave.

You may wonder, “What is the best method for cooking agave?”. In our opinion, agave when coating the food, or blending with the mixture, works best.

Stevia

You may not know about stevia, but it has been the national sweetener of Brazil and Paraguay for a long time. Made from the leaves of native Brazillian perennial plants, stevia offers the sweetness that you will fall in love with it.

Distinct from other sweets in this list, stevia is mildly sugary with zero-calorie and zero-carbohydrate. The stevia is also quite runny and easy to blend. Therefore, it can be used as a brown rice syrup substitute with the same amount.

Typically, stevia can perform well as a sweetener in drinks, bread, boiling, steaming, or sauteing. It is suitable for any form of cooking.

Glucose Syrup

Glucose syrup is the last choice on the list. You may not know about this seasoning, but in fact, it has been widely used in commercial foods as a thickener agent and sweetener.

Since the name “glucose,” we can know that this syrup is a combination of glucose-abundant plants, such as starch, wheat, potatoes, or even brown rice.

With such origin, the glucose syrup provides mild sugariness, just like corn syrup. Its texture is thin, easy to blend and mix, too, so there is no problem cooking with glucose syrup.

You can use glucose syrup for the product’s slight sweetness with the same amount as you use for rice syrup.

How Does Brown Syrup Taste?

After going through all the brown rice syrup alternatives, let’s discuss one of the most important factors that you must consider before choosing any replacement mentioned above: how does brown syrup taste?

With the caramel scent, the brown rice syrup is usually judged as intensely sugary. However, in fact, this nectar is mildly sweet, less than honey and brown sugar. From the first encounter, this rice syrup offers the butterscotch reminiscent, which is quite impressive.

Nutrition Breakdown

Break down the rice syrup nutrition facts; brown rice syrup contains quite low calories in a serving. To be specific, there are 62.5 calories, 0-gram fat, and protein in one tablespoon of serving.

Meanwhile, a cup of rice syrup offers 15mg sodium, 11g sugar, 20 mg calcium, and 0.6 mg vitamin C. There is 0.2 mg iron to add in.

In short, the brown syrup is quite gentle with mostly healthful nutrition and necessary elements for the body. Compared to other sweeteners, which are usually called “harmful” for the body, brown rice syrup is preferred for casual usage.

Wrapping It Up

Molasses

We have gone through the top 12 brown rice syrup substitutes through the discussion mentioned above. Each ingredient has its pros and cons, so you should carefully consider those features to find out which is the most suitable to substitute brown rice syrup.

Personally, we prefer brown sugar, as it is easiest to find in any kitchen. We can also mix and match the brown sugar with many different types of recipes given.

Hope this article provides resourceful guidance for you. Good luck with your cooking!

Kevin Richard
 

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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