15 Best Substitutes for Corn Syrup: Easy Substitutions

Substitutes for Corn Syrup
21 min reading time

Corn syrup is a common ingredient for many recipes, however, it can be hard to find in some grocery stores and may not fit everyone’s diet. Fear not – plenty of tasty alternatives to corn syrup will help you create the perfect dish without compromising on taste! In this guide, we’ll explore why you might want to switch out your corn syrup for something else and offer our top suggestions on what makes an excellent substitute. Whether you’re baking, cooking, or looking for a better sweetener alternative, this post has got all you need to know when it comes to finding the best substitutes for corn syrup!

What is Corn Syrup?

Corn syrup is a sweetener made from cornstarch that comes in several forms. It is a popular ingredient in many American processed foods, including soft drinks, ice cream and candy. Corn syrup can be one of two types: high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or regular corn syrup. HFCS contains 45% to 55% fructose while regular corn syrup contains no fructose.

The main purpose of using corn syrups is to add sweetness and texture to food products as well as enhance the appearance and shelf life. High-fructose corn syrups are sweeter than regular sugar so more can be used for less cost, making it an economical choice for large companies looking to keep costs down without sacrificing quality. They also do not crystalize at room temperature which makes them ideal for products like ice cream where you don’t want crystals forming on the surface when exposed to air over time. Additionally, they help retain moisture and prevent microbial growth after packaging so foods will stay fresher longer on shelves or store shelves can have fewer spoilage issues with certain products containing HFCS as an ingredient versus other sweeteners such as white sugar or honey which are more likely to spoil quickly due to their water content.

14 Best Substitutes for Corn Syrup That You Must Try!

1. Sugar and Water

sugar and water- substitute for corn syrup

Sugar and water can be used as a substitute for corn syrup when baking or cooking, but most often in very small portions. This is because sugar and water alone lack several of the properties of corn syrup that make it invaluable for certain recipes such as creating an even texture, keeping food moist longer, preventing crystallization in candy making, and controlling the viscosity of a liquid mixture due to its high sugar content.

When substituting sugar and water for corn syrup it’s important to remember not all recipes are created equal; some may require measurements to be adjusted accordingly. For instance, using 1 cup of white sugar combined with ¼ cup of hot water will only provide about three-quarters (75%) the sweetness compared to 1 cup of light corn syrup. As such you might have to increase your sweetener quantities if pursuing this substitution route. Also bear in mind that the texture won’t be quite the same either; where corn syrup provides a glossy shine with thinner structure in comparison to what plain sugar and water liquid mixtures create which tends towards a more powdery consistency – although this depends on recipe type too!

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for corn syrup.

2. Molasses

molasses-substitute for corn syrup

Molasses can be used as an effective substitute for corn syrup in certain recipes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while molasses can act as a sweetener and add structure to food items, it does not perform identically to corn syrup in all scenarios.

As far as taste is concerned, molasses provides a unique flavor of its own which is often described as intense and earthy. The intensity of the distinct flavor depends on the various types of molasses available (e.g light, dark, blackstrap). It cannot provide the same sweetness that corn syrup provides so if you’re looking for an ingredient that adds sweetness without significant flavor changes then corn syrup might be the better choice.

That being said, if you are looking for something with more nutritionally beneficial aspects than corn syrup then using Molasses may be your best option since it contains minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, Molasses also has much higher levels of calcium than any other plant based sweetener like maple or honey making it a healthier alternative when compared to those ingredients too!

In terms of functionality within baking recipes specifically; when substituting molasses for corn syrup you must make several adjustments such as reducing liquid content by 25% and increasing oven temperature by 25°F – due to these adjustments browning effects will occur quicker and longer than desired in some cases resulting in burnt edges/taste etc. Also, consider expanding leavenings (baking powder & soda) by 10-15%. These two properties are very different from one another thus necessitating various recipe modifications when attempting substitution with this particular ingredient.

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup.

3. Golden Syrup

Image with golden syrup.
Source: spatuladesserts.com

Yes, you absolutely can use golden syrup as a substitute for corn syrup in baking or cooking. Golden syrup is a thick liquid similar to honey and is made from sugar cane or beet juice which has been simmered until it thickens into a syrup-like consistency. While it’s not an exact 1:1 replacement for corn syrup, the two are relatively interchangeable in most applications.

The main difference between these two syrups lies in their flavor profiles – Corn Syrup is much milder and has less of an impact on the overall result compared to using Golden Syrup which will impart its distinct rich sweetness throughout the recipe. On the other hand, this added complexity by using Golden Syrup can result in some tough-to-achieve flavor combinations that might otherwise be difficult with just Corn Syrup alone!

Both syrups also have differing levels of sweetness; due to its higher fructose content, golden syrup offers a slightly sweeter alternative compared to that corn syrup’s lower glucose content whereas corn tends to provide more stability over heat or certain acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar used in recipes like frostings where one wants maximum control over texture and sugar crystal formation making it more preferable option than golden at times.

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup

4. Honey

honey-substitute for corn syrup

Honey can be used as a substitute for corn syrup in certain recipes, but it is important to note that honey cannot replace the sweetness and texture of corn syrup perfectly. This is because honey has its own unique flavor and properties that are distinct from those found in corn syrup.

One way to use honey instead of corn syrup is by reducing the amount of sugar needed when making desserts or other sweet dishes. For example, if a recipe calls for 2/3 cup of light corn syrup, you could try using only 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of honey to achieve a similar result. But keep in mind that since honey is sweeter than sugar already, you may need to reduce the amount of sugar even further when using it as a replacement for corn syrup.

You should also take note that thickening and texture will not be exactly the same when replacing light corn syrup with honey. Honey does not caramelize like light or dark corn syrups do, so if your dish requires this type of flavor then it won’t work as an effective substitution ingredient. Additionally, because it contains more water than pre-made versions such as Karo Syrup, your finished product may end up thinner in consistency if substituting with pure natural honey or raw wildflower honeysuckle nectar blends.

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup

5. Maple Syrup

Image with maple syrup chefd.com 1.

In many recipes you can substitute maple syrup for corn syrup. Maple syrup is a great substitute for corn syrup due to its slightly similar flavor and texture. While they are different ingredients, maple syrup has enough of the same properties to make a good substitution.

When substituting with maple syrup, the main thing to keep in mind is that it’s more flavorful than corn syrup and will affect the overall taste of your recipe. Because of this, you may want to consider reducing other sweeteners by about 25% if your recipe calls for both sugar and corn/maple syrups (e.g., brown sugar). You should also be aware that since it has more moisture than corn syrup-based substitutes like golden or light Karo Syrup, your finished product won’t be quite as crisp as when using traditional corn syrups; however, this could still be an advantage depending on the type of dish you’re making.

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup

6. Stevia

Stevia- substitute for corn syrup

Stevia is rapidly becoming a popular substitute for corn syrup in many recipes. Not only does stevia provide a healthier sweetener option with no calories, but its sweetness is naturally derived and it is much easier to find than other low-calorie sweeteners like Splenda or sucralose.

For those who want to use less processed sweeteners, stevia has been shown to be the better alternative when compared to artificial sweeteners or even honey and maple syrup because of its origin from the Stevia rebaudiana plant leaf extract. This natural source of sweetness means that your body processes it more efficiently since we are used to breaking down real food sources like fruits or vegetables in our bodies as opposed to man-made chemicals which can take more energy for our digestive systems.

When substituting corn syrup for stevia you’ll need about 1/3 cup of liquid stevia per one cup of corn syrup so you may start out by trying 1/4 cup then adjusting up if desired. Be aware that this won’t work if you’re baking something as the sugar molecules cause reactions during cooking that can’t be replicated with just liquid formulae, but for things such as sauces this should do the trick. In addition, liquid stevia doesn’t caramelize like regular sugar so don’t expect those same types of flavors or textures within your dish when substituting with any type of non-sugar based products including (but not limited) to agave nectar, monk fruit extract etc.

Ratio: Use less stevia when substituting for corn syrup–around one teaspoon of stevia for every cup of corn syrup.

7. Brown Rice Syrup

Image with brown rice syrup in jar.
Source: drweil.com

Brown rice syrup is a natural sweetener made from fermented cooked brown rice. It has a unique taste that is similar to honey or maple syrup, and the texture can be either thick or thin depending on how it is processed.

Brown rice syrup can make a great substitute for corn syrup in many recipes. For example, it can be used in place of corn syrup when making caramels, candies, ice cream toppings, glazes, and other sweet desserts. In terms of baking applications such as cookies and cakes, you may want to experiment with different measurements since the sweetness level between these two syrups varies quite a bit.

In general though, you should use three-quarters of the amount called for in your recipe if replacing corn syrup with brown rice syrup. Additionally keep in mind that since brown rice syrup does not contain any wheat or gluten products are usually safe for those who have allergies or sensitivities to those ingredients—unlike regular corn syrup which contains both wheat and gluten products.

Lastly brown rice sytrup has some nutritional benefits over corn syurp as well! Compared to its processed counterpart it has fewer calories but more minerals such as magnesium and potassium per serving than regular high fructose cornsyrup does which makes it an attractive alternative for health-conscious food lovers looking for ways to give their dishes just the right amount of sweetness without compromising nutrition value.

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup

8. Glucose Syrup

Glucose syrup, also known as corn syrup solids, is a thick liquid sweetener made from corn starch. It is commonly used as a substitute for traditional corn syrups in food processing and baking because it’s easier to work with and more economical.

Glucose syrup has many advantages over using traditional corn syrup. First, it’s cheaper than most other forms of sweetener since it’s simply extracted from the starch of the grain rather than having to be processed like white or brown sugar. Additionally, glucose syrup has a lower glycemic index than other sugars because its larger molecules are digested slower by the body overtime. This makes glucose syrup an ideal choice when trying to limit sugar intake or looking for healthier alternatives without compromising on taste and texture.

Furthermore, glucose syrups offer convenience because they can easily be added to recipes straight from their container and require no further boiling or preparation – whereas traditional corn syrups need heat before being fully incorporated into recipes which can take additional steps that can slow down production time significantly in commercial food manufacturing settings.

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for corn syrup

9. Barley Malt Syrup

Image with glucose syrup.
Source: foodsguy.com

Barley malt syrup is a great substitute for corn syrup in baking and cooking applications. It’s a rich, dark, molasses-like sweetener made from sprouted barley that has been cooked down into a thick syrup. It’s packed with simple sugars like glucose and fructose that make it an excellent choice for both baking & cooking tasks.

The flavor of barley malt syrup is strong but subtle, making it more versatile than corn syrup when used as an ingredient or topping in recipes like pancakes and dressings. While similar in sweetness to regular corn syrup, its flavor will add depth of complexity to most recipes when substituted one-to-one with the latter. In addition, it contains fewer carbs and calories than honey or agave nectar so you can enjoy your favorite dishes guilt free!

It’s no wonder why so many professional bakers are turning to barley malt syrups as their go-to option for sweetening baked goods. Not only does this natural product provide delicious flavor and texture but also contributes nutritional benefits such as amino acids, soluble dietary fiber (which helps reduce cholesterol levels), B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc! So not only can you create amazing tasting treats using this all-natural sweetener but they will also be better for your health too!

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for corn syrup

10. Cane Syrup

Image with cane sugar.
Source: mindovermunch.com

You can use cane syrup as a substitute for corn syrup. Cane syrup is made from the juice of boiled sugar cane, which gives it a unique flavor that many people prefer. It has a thicker consistency and sweet taste compared to corn syrup – making it perfect for baking recipes that call for the substitution of corn syrup with something else.

When substituting in recipes, keep in mind that cane syrup does have a higher sugar content than corn syrup so be mindful when using it in recipes where an excessive amount of sweetness is not desired. You may also need to adjust other ingredients such as butter or flour if the recipe calls for them so that everything balances out well without compromising texture or taste.

Cane Syrup also contains minerals like calcium, iron, and phosphorus due to its natural production process – much more than what typical corn syrups offer. This additional nutrient content makes switching to cane over traditional kinds of syrups even more attractive and beneficial – especially if you’re looking for health-friendly alternatives while still getting those delicious results!

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for corn syrup

11. Sorghum Syrup

sorghum syrup-substitute for corn syrup
Source: foodandwine.com

Sorghum syrup can be a great substitute for corn syrup in many recipes. It has a rich, malty flavor that lends itself well to baking and cooking. It is low in calories and free of fat and cholesterol so it’s great for anyone looking for healthy alternatives.

Sorghum syrup is made from the juice of sorghum cane, which is boiled down into a thick concentrate called sweet juice or sorghum molasses. The flavor varies depending on where the sorghum was grown as different climates will produce slightly different tasting syrups.

In comparison to corn-based syrups such as light or dark corn syrup, sorghum tastes like honey but with a distinctive hint of grassiness that you don’t get with other types of sweeteners. On its own, it’s delicious on pancakes or waffles but when used in baking recipes it adds an incredible complexity to your treats without dramatically altering their texture.

While some people claim that using this type of sweetener instead helps keep the glycemic index lower than when using traditional corn-based syrups, there isn’t enough evidence yet to support these claims — so always use as directed by the recipe if blood sugar levels are a concern for you!

Ratio: Use it as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup

13. Tapioca syrup

tapioca syrup
Source: navitalo.com

Yes, tapioca syrup can be used as a substitute for corn syrup. It is a natural sweetener that is made by extracting the starch from cassava root and then breaking it down into simple sugars. While it has a similar texture to corn syrup, it does not have the same level of sweetness and is slightly less viscous.

Tapioca syrup also has some unique benefits compared to corn syrup, including being gluten-free, non GMO certified, vegan friendly and containing no artificial ingredients or added colors. Additionally, its glycemic index (GI) rating is much lower than that of traditional table sugar or high fructose corn syrup – making tapioca an ideal choice for those who need to watch their blood glucose levels closely. This means that products using tapioca as their main sweetener are naturally low GI foods!

In terms of taste profiles between the two syrups, you’ll find that evidence suggests they are quite comparable; Classic Marshmallows were tested with both syrups and found very little difference in taste when consumed blindfolded! However many people say they notice slight differences in texture between them in baked goods such as cakes or cookies so you may want to experiment yourself if using either for baking purposes.

Ratio: You can use it as a 1:1 substitute for corn syrup

14. Grape molasses

grape molasses

Grape molasses is an excellent substitute for corn syrup in many recipes. It has all the sweetness of regular corn syrup but also offers some unique flavor and texture components that can make a dish more interesting.

Grape molasses is made by boiling fresh grape juice until it reaches a thick, syrupy consistency. It retains much of the natural sugars from the grapes as well as some of their tartness, giving it a mild-tangy taste that sets it apart from regular corn syrup. The color ranges from light amber to darker reddish-brown depending on how long it’s been boiled down. Its thickness will depend on the sugar content; if you want something thinner than honey, opt for versions with higher sugar levels.

Because of its natural fruit sugars, grape molasses typically isn’t sweet enough to replace light or dark corn syrup entirely in any recipe—it’s best used as a mix alongside sweeter syrups like honey or maple syrup instead. Of course, this also means that its contribution to your dish will be lightly flavored rather than overpowering, which makes it great if you don’t necessarily want something too zesty but still crave extra oomph in your meal!

Ratio: Use it as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup

15. Agave Syrup

Image with agave syrup.
Source: foodsguy.com

Agave syrup can make a great substitute for corn syrup in certain cases. It is an all-natural sweetener extracted from the agave plant that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its low glycemic index and lack of processed sugar components. Agave syrup is generally sweeter than corn syrup, so it will require less to achieve the desired level of sweetness. Additionally, it does not contain any artificial additives or preservatives which makes it healthier than other alternative sweeteners.

In terms of baking applications, agave syrup can substitute for light corn syrup but not dark because its flavor will be too strong when combined with heavy ingredients like molasses or dark brown sugar. However, some recipes may still call for a liquid sweetener such as honey but agave could work just as well if cooked longer and at lower temperatures (more suitable for lighter dishes). Also bear in mind that since this type of natural sweetener has higher fructose content compared to glucose present in corn syrups, they tend to “burn” more easily under high heat and long cooking times so caution must be exercised when using them on desserts that require lengthy cooking processes like flans or candies.

Ratio: It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for light corn syrup

Table for Substitution Ratio

SubstitutesSubstitute Ratio

Sugar and Water
Golden Syrup1:1
Maple Syrup1:1
Brown Rice Syrup1:1
Glucose Syrup1:1
Barley Malt Syrup1:1
Cane Syrup1:1
Sorghum Syrup1:1
Tapioca syrup1:1
Grape molasses1:1
Agave Syrup1:1

Why Should You Use Corn Syrup Substitute?

Substitute for corn syrup is a great option for those who don’t want to consume the high amounts of sugar found in corn syrup. It has become increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers as well as bakers and chefs looking for an alternative to corn syrup.

First off, let’s look at why you should consider using a corn syrup substitute:

  1. Lowered sugar content – Most commercial brands of corn syrup contain up to 16% sugars, but many substitutes have less than 10%. This cuts down on empty calories and helps avoid spikes in blood sugar levels that can come with eating too much added sugars.
  2. Improved flavor – Corn syrup substitutes often offer different flavors that can add complexity and depth to food dishes and baked goods as opposed to the sweetness from regular corn syrups which can be too overwhelming or one-dimensional.
  3. Lower carbohydrate content – Many substitutes are made from fruit juices or other natural sweeteners, so they typically have fewer carbohydrates than traditional corn syrups do. This makes them ideal for people watching their carb intake or following low-carb diets such as Atkins or Keto Diet plans .
  4. Reduced risk of cavities & tooth decay – As most alternatives are typically composed of noncariogenic sweeteners (i.e., not linked with dental caries) they pose less risk towards developing cavities/tooth decay when consumed correctly compared with sucrose-based products like white sugar or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).
  5. Vegan friendly – Alternatives made from fruit juices, honey, coconut nectar etc tend to be vegan friendly whereas some may contain traces of animal products such as eggs, dairy etc which would make them unsuitable if following a plant based diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use cornflour instead of corn syrup?

Cornflour and corn syrup are two very different ingredients, and while they may both involve corn, they cannot be used interchangeably in recipes. Corn syrup is a thick and sweet liquid that is often used in baking and candy making to give a smooth, gooey texture. On the other hand, cornflour is a fine powder commonly used as a thickening agent in sauces, gravies, and soups. So, if your recipe calls for corn syrup, you cannot use cornflour as a substitute as it won’t provide the same sweetness and texture.

Is corn syrup important in baking?

While some bakers swear by its benefits, others argue that alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup can do the job just as well. Corn syrup lends a particular chewiness and texture to baked goods that are difficult to replicate with other sweeteners. Its ability to prevent crystallization also makes it a popular choice in candy-making. However, the decision to use corn syrup in baking ultimately comes down to personal preference and taste.

What is a good substitute for corn syrup in cookies?

Fortunately, a variety of healthier alternatives can help maintain the same texture and sweetness of your cookies. Maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, and brown rice syrup are just a few examples of substitutes you can use in your recipes. Each option has its unique flavor profile and nutritional benefits, depending on your preference.

Is there any health benefit of corn syrup?

Corn syrup has become a common ingredient in many processed foods, leading to concerns about its health impact. Though not all types of corn syrup are created equal, many forms do contain high levels of fructose, which has been linked to health issues such as diabetes and obesity. However, research has also shown that moderate consumption of corn syrup may have some health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol levels and providing quick energy to fuel the body. As with many things in life, moderation is key in corn syrup.

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