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Top 14 Healthy Substitutes for Maple Syrup + Homemade Recipe

Whether you’re topping off a stack of pancakes or baking a dessert, maple syrup is a classic and delicious way to sweeten up any food.

So what happens when you start a recipe just to realize there’s none in your cabinet?

Luckily, there are many ways to bring a rich, caramel flavor to baked goods and breakfast foods.

Here’s your guide to some of the best maple syrup substitutes that you can make or buy the next time you’re looking for a sweetener.

If you’re interested in finding the best maple syrup, then check out our latest review about it.

30-Second Summary

1 c. maple syrup =

  • 1 c. honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1¼ c. barley malt syrup
  • 1 c. coconut sugar + 1-2 T. melted butter
  • 1½ c. date sugar + 1-2 T. melted butter
  • 1 c. fruit syrup (made by boiling pure, unsweetened fruit juice such as pear or apple to ⅓ or ¼ original volume)

Coconut sugar mimics maple sugar when sprinkled on top of baked goods (add pat of butter to melt on coconut sugar during baking).

You can also replace maple syrup with honey, golden syrup or molasses (cane sugar), sorghum syrup, yacon syrup, carob molasses, date molasses, agave, mayhaw (hawthorn berry) syrup, prickly pear/cactus fruit syrup, mulberry syrup, or Swedish syrup (beet sugar-derived).

Top 14 Substitutes for Maple Syrup

1. Honey


With a similar consistency and sweetness, honey is the perfect healthy substitute for maple syrup in baking.

And since most people typically have honey somewhere in their cabinets, it’s a popular substitute ingredient in many recipes.

Although the flavor is slightly different, honey can replace maple syrup in any baking recipe with a 1-to-1 ratio. It can also be drizzled over oats, pancakes, and more for a sweet alternative.

2. White or Brown Sugar Syrup

sugar syrup

If you’re looking for a sweetening substitute for maple syrup for your recipes, white or brown sugar syrup is a simple but effective replacement.

All you have to do is add water, sugar, and vanilla extract to a saucepan on medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once that cools, you’ll have a fantastic sweetener to serve over pancakes or use in baked goods.

You can use 1 cup of sugar syrup to replace ¾ cup of maple syrup.

3. Agave Nectar

agave nectar

This natural sweetener is an ideal substitute in any recipe that calls for maple syrup.

Although the flavor differs slightly from maple syrup, its similarities in taste to honey make it a perfect substitute for maple syrup in baking or cooking.

Dark agave nectar has a strong caramel flavor, so you can also enjoy it as an alternative to maple syrup drizzled over pancakes or waffles.

Substitute agave for maple syrup with a 1:1 swap.

4. Molasses


This dark syrup offers a strong caramel flavor, and the sweetness and rich consistency make it a top substitute for maple syrup in baking.

Molasses is an extremely common ingredient in bread, cakes, and other desserts. However, keep in mind that recipes cooked with molasses will become darker and slightly less sweet than when baking with maple syrup.

A 1:1 ratio is recommended when using molasses as a maple syrup alternative.

5. Corn Syrup

corn syrup

Corn syrup is a simple and inexpensive maple syrup replacement that can be used to bake, sweeten drinks, or top pancakes or waffles.

It has the same texture as maple syrup, making it a great way to achieve the same consistency in your baked goods.

You can also choose between light corn syrup, which has a more neutral flavor, or dark corn syrup, which has notes of molasses and caramel flavors.

Use a ratio of 1:1 when doing the replacement.

6. Brown Rice Syrup

brown rice syrup

Brown rice syrup has a sweet, nutty flavor and a thick, viscous texture, making it a great healthier replacement for maple syrup in any recipe.

You can bake brown rice syrup into bread or desserts, pour it over your pancakes, or use it as a sweetener in tea or coffee.

When doing the swap, using a ratio of 1:1.

If you can’t find this option, here are some brown rice syrup substitutes for you.

7. Buttermilk Syrup

buttermilk syrup

If you’re looking for a homemade alternative to maple syrup, buttermilk syrup is a delicious topping for pancakes or french toast. It’s simple to make, and you can find the ingredients in most people’s homes.

All you need is buttermilk, sugar, butter, vanilla, and baking soda. Once these are all melted together in a pan and cooled, you can pour the syrup over your breakfast for a sweet, creamy maple syrup substitute.

Substitute out the maple syrup for buttermilk syrup in a 1:1 ratio.

8. Yacon Syrup

yacon syrup

Yacon syrup is a natural sweetener with the same consistency and level of sweetness as maple syrup.

Along with offering many potential health benefits, this syrup brings a sweet taste similar to molasses to baked goods and breads. It’s also a great way to sweeten up coffees, smoothies, and more.

Yacon syrup can be used in a 1:1 ratio.

9. Golden Syrup

golden syrup

Golden syrup, made from just sugar, water, and citrus, is super simple to make at home and makes an excellent alternative to maple syrup in recipes.

It’s thick and sweet, with a buttery, caramel taste that works perfectly in pies, cookies, or baked goods.

You can also drizzle golden syrup on top of ice cream, oatmeal, or pancakes to add strong flavors and sweetness to your food.

Some people like using a 1:1 ratio, but I prefer using this formula: one cup of golden syrup and ½ cup of sugar equals 3/4 cup of maple syrup.

10. Caramel Syrup

caramel syrup

With just two ingredients – white or brown sugar and water – you can make a simple caramel syrup that can replace maple syrup in any baked goods.

The sweet, deep flavor also works perfectly served over pancakes, cakes, or stirred into coffee as a sweetener.

All you need to do is follow the 1:1 ratio and you’ll be all set.

You May Like: Caramel vs. Carmel: What’s the Difference

11. Barley Malt Syrup

barley malt syrup

While barley malt syrup is thicker than maple syrup, it has a sweet, nutty taste that makes it a perfect maple syrup alternative in baking.

With similar flavors as molasses, barley malt syrup can enhance any bread, pie, or baked good with its sweetness and strong flavors.

For every 1 cup of maple syrup, you should use 1¼ cup of barley malt syrup.

12. Coconut Nectar

coconut nectar

This natural liquid sweetener is an excellent replacement if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to maple syrup.

Coconut netctar has a thick texture and a slight caramel taste but provides a neutral sweetness that’s perfect for any baked goods.

You can also drizzle it on toast, pancakes, french toast, or put it in coffee or tea to add a unique sweet flavor.

Coconut nectar will certainly get the job done in a 1:1 ratio for any recipe,

13. Stevia


Stevia is a healthy maple syrup substitute for diabetics.

It is a natural, high-density sweetener derived from the leaves of plants. This plant extract has zero calories and can thus be used in place of maple syrup without impacting blood sugar for people who are diabetic or obese!

A 1:1 swap is recommended.

14. Homemade Maple Syrup

Making maple syrup at home is so much more simple than you might expect.

With only five ingredients, you can make a sweet, rich homemade syrup that goes perfectly with pancakes, waffles, french toast, and so much more.

Follow these steps to make flavorful and delicious homemade maple syrup:

homemade maple syrup

How to Make Homemade Maple Syrup

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

The easiest way to make maple syrup.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar and 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Honey or corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups hot water


    1. Combine sugar, water, and honey or corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
    2. Once this comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring as it simmers.
    3. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.O
    4. nce cool, stir in the maple and vanilla extract and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 0gSugar: 33gProtein: 0g


Be sure to leave a comment and rating below. I appreciate your feedback!

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FAQs About Maple Syrup Substitute

How to substitute maple syrup for sugar?

When substitute maple syrup for sugar, use ¾ cup of maple syrup for every cup of sugar. You can also adjust the ratio according to your recipe.

Can I substitute maple syrup for honey?

Absolutely! Maple syrup and honey can substitute each other since they have a similar consistency and sweetness.

Many people use ½ cup of sugar and ¾ cups maple syrup for every 1 cup of honey. But I prefer using the 1:1 swap since it’s more tasty especially in baking.

Can I substitute maple syrup for molasses?

Yes, you can! While measurements may vary per recipe, you can replace molasses with maple syrup with a ratio of 1:1.

Can I substitute maple syrup for corn syrup?

Maple syrup can be a great alternative to corn syrup especially in baking. You can replace 1 cup of light corn syrup with 1 cup of maple syrup.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re baking a dessert or topping off a delicious breakfast, these maple syrup substitutions can all bring unique flavors and sweetness to your dish.

Once you find your favorite option, it’s simple and easy to sweeten your food and drinks with a flavor you love.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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