10 Maple Syrup Substitutes (+ Recipe)
Canada’s gastronomic symbol, Maple syrup has a rich, decadent, complex flavor. It can be difficult to replace it when you run out of it. But you can find a tasty, adequate maple syrup substitute for your recipe! So, you don’t have to rethink your menu or postpone your cravings!
Is there anything better than pancakes drizzled all over with maple syrup? Is there anything better than a mouthful of moist, buttery, smooth French toast, oozing with maple syrup? Is there anything better than the goodness of waffles and fruit, topped with powdered sugar and decadent waves of maple syrup?
Well, when you discover the bottle is empty, you may think you have to find another comfort food to start your day with. But there are plenty of maple syrup substitutes!
We ranked them all. We even thought of a DIY maple syrup recipe for you to work your magic on. And we found a quick, make-your-own swap. Don’t quit on your fave food! You just need some creativity; and one of the following ingredients. Here is what to use instead of maple syrup.
Choose your favorite maple syrup substitute!
Maple syrup has a woodsy, earthy, buttery, toffee kind of flavor. It has a deep caramel color, with slightly smoky and salty undertones. Its consistency is rich, thick, and gorgeous. And you’d think it can be hard to find a swap.
If you’re looking for something sugary and syrupy to top off your delish breakfast or brunch, you’re in for a treat! Some of the following alternatives are even suited for baking. And all of them are ideal for pouring over your stack of pancakes. Drooling over here, but let’s go!
Molasses is one of the best alternatives for maple syrup. If you’re a heavy maple syrup consumer, you might want to keep some molasses around as well. It has a warm, sweet, slightly smoky flavor, similar to maple syrup.
We recommend you use a 1:1 swap with this gooey sweetness, especially if you have light molasses around. Dark molasses can be too robust and intense for your dish, and can overwhelm other ingredients.
Extra tip: molasses is one of the best options for replacing maple syrup in baked goods too, as well as frostings, creams, and other sweet treats. It can also be used to make fruit salads, cooked veggies, roasts, or sweet potatoes even better.
Honey is a healthy substitute for maple syrup. You can find dark types of honey that mimic the taste of maple syrup, while their consistency will differ. Honey is usually thinner than maple syrup and not as sweet, but if you have it around, it works great as a sub.
In terms of ratio, when using honey as a maple syrup substitute, you can go for a 1:1. You can even drizzle extra honey, to get the same sweetness. Just like molasses, honey can make a great glaze for ham, turkey, bacon, veggies, starchy foods, and roasts.
3. Corn Syrup
What can you use instead of maple syrup? Good ol’ corn syrup can be a good choice. Particularly as it’s one of the cheapest options out there and it’s pretty hard not to find it around!
It’s sweet. It has a caramel flavor that will remind you of maple syrup. And you can find it both light and dark. The darker version resembles maple syrup in terms of appearance as well. A 1:1 ratio will do.
4. Brown Sugar Syrup
You can use brown sugar when you don’t have maple syrup around. A fresh batch of brown sugar syrup will make everyone happy, even if the big star of the show is missing.
Follow this recipe for one of the most similar substitutes for maple syrup: mix together water, brown sugar, vanilla, or maple syrup extract. Let them simmer a little to make it syrupy and call everybody to the table! Use a 1:1 ratio for this ingredient as well.
5. Agave Nectar
Agave is one of the healthiest alternatives for maple syrup since it has a lower glycemic index. You can use agave nectar in baking and cooking, as well as topping your sweet breakfast or brunch with it.
Agave nectar is sweet and resembles honey. You may need a little extra since it has a slightly bitter aftertaste. The consistency and texture of agave are runny, compared to the rich, thick appearance of maple syrup, but it will do.
6. Coconut Nectar
What can you replace maple syrup with? If you have it around, coconut nectar is a fabulous swap! Coconut nectar is similar to maple syrup in terms of taste and flavor, even when it comes to consistency. Coconut nectar has a rich caramel taste and can be used as a replacement in all recipes that mention maple syrup. In fact, it would make a nice surprise!
7. White Sugar Syrup
While it’s not as sweet and decadent as the original, white sugar syrup is one of the best maple syrup alternatives. We’re pretty sure you have white sugar around you can make a fresh batch of syrup with for breakfast.
We recommend you use a cup of sugar for every ⅔ cup of maple syrup. And if you want to get a similar consistency to maple syrup, reduce the liquid you add to your nectar.
8. Brown Rice Syrup
It’s mild in flavor and sweet like honey with nutty, earthy undertones. That is why we’re suggesting brown rice syrup as a maple syrup replacement. Brown rice syrup even mimics maple syrup in terms of consistency since they are both thick and sticky. A 1:1 ratio works well.
9. Caramel Syrup
How to substitute maple syrup for an even more decadent and rich option? Go for the king of decadence: caramel syrup! Treat yourself to this as a topping for your pancakes or waffles.
Since maple syrup has caramel notes, caramel syrup makes a good alternative, especially one that contains some butter, making things even better. Extra tip: drizzle some caramel syrup on your bacon or roast and thank us later.
10. Buttermilk Syrup
Buttermilk syrup is yet another maple syrup substitute. It will satisfy your syrupy, sweet and decadent craving, that’s for sure. This swap can be more expensive and you’d have to eat it rather fast because it doesn’t store well in the fridge (like that’s gonna be a problem!). You can either buy it or make your own. Just simmer some buttermilk and sugar for about four minutes in a saucepan and then let in rest before digging in!
Make your own maple syrup substitute in a jiffy!
If your pancakes are hot, your waffles are done, and your French toast is steamy, waiting for some rich goodness to drizzle all over them but you discover you’re out of maple syrup, don’t despair. Of course, you could add chocolate syrup and save the day. But if everyone was expecting maple syrup, you can whip up a fresh batch. You only need the following ingredients:
- Brown sugar
- Hot water
- Vanilla or maple extract
Mix together the water, sugar, and honey and bring them to a boil. Let them simmer for 8-10 minutes. A saucepan is ideal, because it heats everything evenly, creating a syrupy texture. Stir frequently and make sure it doesn’t burn. After removing the saucepan from the heat, add the flavoring extract and mix. Let it sit for 5 minutes, although that will be hard. Yum on the go!
Maple syrup substitute recipe
What can you use if you don’t have syrup around? You can always make your own decadent, luscious, pampering option. Here is how to make a maple syrup replacement with a couple of simple ingredients and a couple of minutes to spare:
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- 1 teaspoon of maple extract or vanilla extract
Grab a heavy skillet and spread the white sugar in an even layer. Caramelize the sugar until it starts to melt and turn brown, on medium heat. Fold the liquifying sugar from the edges to the center. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. As soon as you get a caramel-like golden sauce, remove the skillet from the heat. Let it rest.
In a saucepan, add the brown sugar and boiling water. Let the sugar dissolve in the water, without stirring. Incorporate the caramelized white sugar into the melted brown sugar and water syrup. Keep it simmering and stir frequently. The mixture will start to thicken and become syrupy.
Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter. Add the maple or vanilla extract. Drizzle all over your bacon and pancakes and enjoy! You’ve got yourself a fabulous maple syrup substitute to munch on!
While maple syrup is a staple when it comes to pancakes, waffles, and French toast, our suggestions of substitutes will do. And if you think of more alternatives, do let us know. Just not before breakfast, alright?