10 Substitutes for Syrup

Substitutes for syrup can come in handy when you run out of pure maple syrup, which is a natural sweetener that can enhance the taste of any dessert and is commonly used as a pancake topping. Although it’s easily available in most grocery stores and kitchens, what do you do if you only have a small amount left while preparing a recipe?

Although it’s difficult to replicate the taste of maple syrup, there are some natural and processed alternatives that can be used as substitutes.

These are some alternatives to use instead of syrup

  • Honey
  • Coconut Nectar
  • Agave Nectar
  • Molasses
  • Corn Syrup
  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Homemade Syrup
  • Golden Syrup
  • Stevia

When choosing a substitute for syrup, it is important to consider texture and composition, both of which will be discussed below for each option. Additionally, the glycemic index is another factor to keep in mind, although it may require further explanation.

Glycemic Index, also known as GI, is a rating system ranging from 1 to 100 that measures the effect of a substance on the levels of glucose in the blood.

Food items and substances that do not significantly impact blood sugar levels are considered low on the glycemic index, with a score of 50 or less. Conversely, those that cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels are high on the scale, with a score of 70 or above. Foods falling in between these two categories have a moderate effect on blood sugar.

Considering these aspects, let’s examine the best alternatives for maple sugar.


Honey is a convenient alternative to syrup, as it can be found in most supermarkets, including natural and locally sourced varieties, as well as more refined and commercialized options like the iconic bear-shaped container.

Honey can be substituted for syrup in any recipe at a 1-to-1 ratio, making it a simple replacement option for baking. With a glycemic index of 50, it falls on the lower end of the GI scale and is a natural alternative for those seeking one.

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Coconut Nectar

Coconut nectar may not be as readily available as other syrup substitutes, making it pricier, but it is an excellent alternative that can be used in a 1-to-1 ratio. Its appearance is dark and thick, resembling maple syrup, but its flavor has more pronounced coconut undertones.

If you are searching for a syrupy sweetener that is low on the GI scale, coconut nectar may be a preferable substitute for maple syrup. With a ranking of 35 on the scale, it is almost 20 points lower than maple syrup. Additionally, it is an excellent alternative for those following a vegan diet since it is derived from coconut palm sugar.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar has a texture similar to maple syrup and a flavor akin to honey with subtle floral hints. It comes in different shades, ranging from light to dark, with the latter having a more pronounced caramel or molasses taste. Agave nectar can be substituted for maple syrup in equal amounts and is among the most delightful toppings available.

Agave nectar has a low GI of approximately 15, making it a suitable option for individuals who adhere to a low sugar diet.


Molasses can be used as a substitute for maple syrup in a 1-to-1 ratio, despite being darker and thicker. Unlike maple syrup, which is derived from sugar maple tree sap, molasses is made from sugar cane and has a less sweet taste but a similar texture.

Having a glycemic index (GI) of 55, molasses is comparable to maple syrup and can be an excellent alternative for individuals seeking a natural substitute.

Corn Syrup

Although corn syrup is not a natural sweetener, it is widely available and commonly found in most households. Unlike maple syrup, it has a milder taste and can be substituted in equal amounts without altering the flavor of your recipe.

Corn syrup has a glycemic index (GI) of 90, which means it is almost as high on the scale as glucose. If you don’t have any issues with an additional increase in blood sugar levels, corn syrup can be a convenient replacement for maple syrup.

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White Sugar

When it comes to baking, granulated sugar is typically a suitable replacement for other sweeteners because of its lack of distinct flavor. This option is both cost-effective and widely available, making it an excellent choice if your recipe calls for a solid sweetener.

The GI of sucrose, also known as table sugar, is 65 which places it in the middle of the GI Scale and makes it appropriate for almost all types of diets.

Brown Sugar

Just like granulated sugar, brown sugar can be used as a simple replacement for other sweeteners. It is easily accessible and inexpensive, and it also imparts a stronger molasses taste to your dish. If your recipe doesn’t demand a neutral flavor, brown sugar can serve as a delightful alternative.

Brown sugar has a glycemic index of 65, which is similar to table sugar. However, adding brown sugar to your diet is generally well-tolerated by most people.

Homemade Syrup

If you only have white and brown sugar available but desire a substitute that has the same consistency as maple syrup, it is simple to create a syrup using these granulated sugars.

Mix your white and brown sugars with water and heat until the sugars dissolve – then stir over low heat until the mixture thickens like a syrup. If you possess maple or vanilla extract, include it to enhance the taste!

With a glycemic index (GI) of 65, this syrup made from a blend of white and brown sugars falls in the moderate range and is usually well-tolerated. Prepare a quantity and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature to have it readily available!

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup, which is more prevalent in European countries than North America, has a rich and buttery taste that can serve as a delectable alternative to maple syrup when used as a topping.

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While it may be pricier and less readily available, golden syrup is a delightful alternative to maple syrup, serving as a suitable substitute in equal amounts, although you may want to use slightly less due to its high sweetness.

Golden syrup falls in the middle of the glycemic index scale with a score of 60, making it a viable choice for the majority.


The final substitute for syrup is Stevia, a plant-based natural sweetener that is commonly used by individuals following a low-calorie diet due to its zero calorie content.

Maple syrup can be found in various forms, including powdered, granulated, and liquid extract, making it a highly adaptable ingredient that can be incorporated into almost any recipe; however, it is generally considered to be a pricier option.

Stevia is an excellent sweetening option for individuals with diabetes since it has a glycemic index of 0, which implies that it will not affect blood sugar levels at all; furthermore, those who adhere to a low-calorie diet like keto can also benefit from using Stevia as their preferred sweetener because it is significantly sweeter than maple syrup and requires only a small amount compared to maple syrup.

In general, there exist numerous excellent alternatives to maple syrup. If you intend to replace it with another natural element, honey, molasses, agave nectar, coconut nectar, and Stevia are all exceptional choices.

If you prioritize a low GI diet, Stevia, agave nectar, and coconut nectar are suitable substitutes for syrup as they maintain a GI below 50. Additionally, if you desire to replicate the taste of syrup, molasses and homemade maple syrup are simple alternatives. Select the replacement that suits your requirements and enjoy baking or topping!

You can also check this video about “10 Substitutes for Syrup”

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