Maple Syrup Substitute – 9 Far-Out Ideas You Can’t Ignored

We all know maple syrup is a great addition to pancakes or waffles on lazy days, or you are just simply craving some sweets. But sometimes, its price can put you off.

This is when you should start looking for some maple syrup substitutes to put on your home shelf.

Here are nine alternatives to this ingredient that you can easily find at the nearest local store. You will be surprised to know that most of these alternatives can be found in your kitchen.

You might need paper and a pen to note down our secret recipe for the finest sub for maple syrup.

What’s The Difference Between Real Maple Syrup And Others?

Difference Between Real Maple Syrup And Others
Maple Syrup

Maple syrup, known as one-ingredient syrup, is very distinguishable from others. People will only need one ingredient to make it: maple sap from sugar maple trees, which will be boiled to obtain the thick amber consistency essence. This means that no sugar, starch, or coloring is needed for this exquisite flavor.

Furthermore, one gallon of this sweetener requires a significant amount of sap. It can be up to 40-60 gallons of maple wax to make one gallon of the liquid. You can understand why pure maple syrup is so expensive.

While maple sap contains only 2% sugar and 80% water, other raw materials used to make alternatives may contain more than 2% or lower. Therefore, other alternatives are often added with artificial sugar to create sweetness, which sometimes leads to high levels of fructose.

Other sweeteners, besides sugar, often contain artificial ingredients such as corn syrup or maple extract. This will make them similar to maple syrup because of their thickness or color, but the flavor will not be exactly the same.

Substitute For Maple Syrup In Recipes- 9 Far-Out Ideas

You’re running out of this sticky ingredient while preparing breakfast for your kids? Here are 9 substitutions for maple syrup. Since the food industry has created so many options for you to choose from, some of these will definitely blow your mind.



Honey will be the first to pop up in your head when it comes to maple syrup replacement. You can find honey in almost every grocery store near your house. This alternative can sometimes be used as substitute pancake syrup for maple syrup.

In many ways, this thick liquid and honey are alike because of their low glycemic level, texture, and brown color. It is usually advised that you swap for a 1:1 ratio. You may also modify it to use a cup of honey for every ⅔ cup of the other.

Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup
Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is one of the most popular maple syrup substitutes. There are two common types of this sub: light and dark. And keep in mind that these two are different from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is not recommended.

Light and dark versions are made from cornstarch and are often used to make candy or pecan pie. They also add shine to your dishes and prevent your final product from crystallization.

Light corn syrup has a moderate sweetness added with salt and vanilla flavor. The dark version tastes a bit stronger than the light one with caramel flavor with a hint of molasses.

Both are amazing substitutions for maple syrup to make cakes, such as muffins, brownies, or cookies.

Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown Sugar Syrup
Brown Sugar Syrup

Sugar is such a great substitute for maple syrup in baking when you don’t have time to go to the grocery store for a new maple syrup jar.

With a few simple ingredients such as brown sugar, water, vanilla extract (if any), 3-5 minutes of heating, and a thick brown caramel texture is ready.

The taste of this stand-in is quite sweet and slightly bitter and can be served with eggless oatmeal pancakes or waffles on lazy Sunday mornings.

This thick liquid has become famous all over the world when used with pearls in milk tea, bringing a special flavor that makes us hard to resist.

However, you should only consume a small amount of brown sugar syrup because it is a thick texture sweetener with a high fructose concentration. You can switch between this sub and its original ingredient with a 1:1 ratio.

Brown Rice Syrup

Brown Rice Syrup
Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is an all-natural product that includes no fructose or gluten, a good substitute for maple syrup. Because of its gentle organic sweetness, this sweetener is commonly found on the ingredient list of granola bars, rice milk, and other natural foods.

While having a low glucose concentration, brown rice sugar contains a high glycemic index, which is not recommended for people with obesity or diabetes.

Buttermilk Syrup

buttermilk syrup
Buttermilk Syrup credit by Therecipecritic

Buttermilk syrup is certainly a familiar name to people who enjoy baking cakes and desserts. If your maple syrup bottle has run out, this candidate is a flavorful alternative.

This ingredient enhances the flavor of your food by combining butter, milk, and brown sugar. Its flavor can be a bit similar to caramel sauce, but it has a rich milk taste. It’s often served with German pancakes, French toast, or waffles. 



If you intend to make gingerbread and don’t have any maple syrup on hand, molasses can work just fine. It will give your bread a warm, sweet, and slightly smoky flavor.

Molasses is the product of sugarcane crushing and solidifying. As a result, it is high in vitamins and minerals, especially blackstrap.

However, the third boiling for blackstrap is the darkest and thickest texture. It will not be as sweet and good as light or dark molasses and rarely be considered “true molasses”.

You can use molasses instead of maple syrup in cooking or baking to enrich the flavor of the food while also giving it a beautiful brownish color. However, keep in mind that molasses is rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Consider using it in a small amount for your dishes.

Coconut Nectar

Coconut Nectar
Coconut Nectar

It would be a big loss if you never used coconut nectar as a maple syrup alternative. Coconut nectar can simply be understood as the final product in the process of boiling coconut sap.

When the moisture in the coconut sap has evaporated, the remaining concentrate will combine with the natural sugars in the sap to create a mild sweetness.

Coconut nectar is considered safe for people with diabetes due to its low glycemic index of 35, which is not high compared to other sweeteners used in cooking.

It’s also rich in vitamin, amino acids, and broad-spectrum vitamin B, making it a healthy maple syrup substitute.

Agave Nectar

Agave Nectar
Agave Nectar

Agave nectar, commonly known as agave or maguey syrup, is a sweetener made from the agave tree’s sap. Many of you are likely familiar with it as the primary ingredient in tequila.

This natural sweetener has a liquid consistency and is sweeter than maple syrup. It has a subtle, natural flavor, and if you taste it carefully, you will notice a slight taste of caramel.

Due to its quick dissolve, it can be used to sweeten both hot and especially cold food in Western cuisine.

Agave nectar contains a large amount of fructose and glucose. Therefore, we do not recommend this substitute for people with high blood sugar.



Maltose is one of the most common food ingredients in Asian cuisine. In recent years, as the understanding of fructose’s adverse effects has increased, people have been less likely to consume fructose-containing sweeteners in favor of maltose, which is fructose-free.

Maltose is a moderately sweetener that is fermented from several types of rice. It is only half as sweet as the original ingredient.

This is why it is commonly used to soothe sore throats and in desserts that require little sweet flavor but still have a natural taste.

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Substitute Recipe

Maple Syrup can be quite expensive, so why not make it at home? The taste may not be exactly the same, but at least you have an alternative if, unfortunately, the only store near you stops selling this sweetener.

To make maple syrup at home, you will need these basic ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup of water
  • One teaspoon of maple extract
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • One cup of brown sugar 
  • ½ cup honey

Follow the four easy steps below to have the perfect homemade recipe.

  1. Create a mixture of sugar, water, and honey. Put on medium heat and stir to melt the mixture.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for another 7-10 minutes after it reaches a boil. Stir frequently to keep the mixture from sticking to the pot.
  3. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Then add in maple and vanilla extract.
  4. It is ready to serve! You can use it while it’s warm or let it cool before storing it in the refrigerator.

If you want it to be thicker, add ½ tablespoon of cornstarch for a more intense consistency. The recipe above can serve a family with four people within a week. We recommend that first-timers make a small amount to adjust to the family’s taste.

This homemade product contains no preservatives, so keep in mind that you only need to create enough to use within 1 to 2 months. Make sure your final dish is kept refrigerated.


No more worries about running out of maple syrup because these maple syrup substitutes are absolutely easy to find and make. You can substitute honey for maple syrup for the best result.

But keep in mind that if you or someone in your family has high blood sugar, be aware of alternatives that contain high-fructose levels.

Also, making a jar of this sweetener with your loved ones on the weekends can be a fun activity. You can then enjoy hot pancakes with a little sweetness altogether.

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