maple syrup substitutes

Top 6 Maple Syrup Substitutes That Give The Right Amount of Sweetness

If you like pancakes, then you have surely tried maple syrup before. But did you know that this ingredient is part of many other recipes? It can be hard to cook without it, but there are plenty of alternatives that work.

What Is Maple Syrup?

This brown syrup comes from the sap of the maple tree. The biggest producer in the world is Canada, but this sweetener is popular across the globe.

There are two grades of maple syrup. Grade A can be light amber, medium amber, or dark amber, while grade B is very dark and thick.

There are two steps in maple syrup production, first can be obtained by pouring directly from the tree through a hole into a bucket. This sap is then boiled until the water evaporates, which results in a thick syrup.

When you buy maple syrup, be careful with the ingredients, as some are mostly made up of refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup instead of maple.

What Can I Replace Maple Syrup With?

If you don’t have time to go to the store or want another option, these maple syrup substitutes will work great in plenty of dishes:

For Baking, Waffles, French Toast, and Pancakes

#1. Honey

Can you substitute honey for maple syrup? Yes absolutely!

This is another natural sweetener, so it makes sense to use in place of maple syrup. Honey tastes a bit sweeter and more concentrated, so the flavor may change. Use honey in a 1:1 ratio when you replace maple syrup, particularly in baking.

You can find honey anywhere as it is a very common sweetener, but surely your grocery or convenience store will have it. Use honey when baking, on making waffles, French toasts, and pancakes.

See More: Honey Substitutes

#2. Brown Sugar

This type of sugar isn’t as sweet as maple syrup, plus it tastes a bit nutty and caramel-like. Still, you can use brown sugar to bake anything, but you can also add it as a topping in waffles, French toast, or pancakes.

Finding brown sugar shouldn’t be a problem, and your grocery store likely has it.

Since it is not as sweet, you should use a bit more in your dishes. For every one cup of maple syrup, add 1 ½ cup of brown sugar. If you are baking, you may need to reduce the temperature and total time.

See More: Brown Sugar Alternatives

#3. Agave Nectar

This syrup comes from the blue agave plant, the same one that produces tequila. While it is considered healthy, there is still some processing going on, so it will likely not be the most nutritious choice.

You can use agave nectar in baking, and as a sweetener for pancakes, waffles, French toasts, or in tea and smoothies.

Finding agave nectar these days shouldn’t be too hard, as it is now a popular alternative to sugar. Try buying it at your local grocery store or organic market. To substitute one cup of maple syrup, use ½ cup of agave syrup because it is much sweeter.

For Cookies, Muffins, Granola, and Bread

#4. Molasses

Molasses is the product of boiling refined sugar cane or sugar beets to obtain a sweetener. This choice is very sweet and has a caramel color. Use light molasses if available, as the dark kind can be a bit too overpowering.

You can find molasses in any grocery store, usually by the baking section. Add molasses to your baking recipes like cookies, muffins, and even in making bread. You can replace it in a 1:1 ratio but keep in mind that the color of your product may change.

See More: Molasses Replacements

#5. Corn Syrup

While it has a bad reputation, corn syrup is truly no worse than regular sugar. This liquid is the product of processing cornstarch into a sweetener. It contains roughly the same amount of calories as sugar, but it is a transparent liquid that can be added to any cooking process. 

Use corn syrup in baking cookies, muffins, granola, cakes, and even bread. You can find corn syrup in most grocery stores, usually by the baking products section. Use the same amount as you would maple syrup.

See More: Best Substitutes for Corn Syrup

#6. Jelly or Jam

Even though people only think of jelly and jam as a fruity spread, it can also be used as a sweetener. All you need to do is heat a small amount of the jelly, jam, or preserve in a saucepan along with a couple of tablespoons of water, and allow for it to become a thick liquid.

This new syrup can then be used as a sweetener in any dish you need, though it will have a fruity taste as well.

If you already have jam or jelly, use it without any problem, otherwise, try buying it at a local grocery or convenience store. You can replace one tablespoon of maple syrup with about 1 ½ of this homemade syrup as it can be less sweet. Add this syrup to any baked goods, including cookies, muffins, granola, and cakes.


Can I substitute regular syrup for maple syrup?

Yes, you can use simple syrup, corn syrup, or agave syrup in place of maple syrup. The same can be done if you need to replace regular syrup, but keep in mind that maple is a bit nuttier and darker.

Can you thicken maple syrup?

If you need to, you can thicken maple syrup further by boiling it down again. Whether it is a commercial kind or homemade, once it has cooled down, simply heat it down until it reaches the consistency you want. Be careful, though, as you don’t want sugar crystals to form at the bottom or for scorching to occur.

Do you need to refrigerate maple syrup?

Real maple syrup has a short shelf life, so it is best kept in the refrigerator. If you have yours in the pantry but unopened, it will probably be okay. However, once you open it, put it in the fridge and it can last up to a year.


Many of us love having waffles or pancakes with maple syrup, but it can be hard to find at times or expensive as well. If your recipe calls for it, then you probably need to know what other items can work. Add any of these 6 substitutes for baking, cooking, and sweetening your favorite meals.

Up Next: Can Maple Syrup Go Bad?

maple syrup replacements

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