Maple syrup is such a deliciously sweet condiment that we often pour it on pancakes and waffles.
It’s also a vital ingredient in many baked goods. Furthermore, maple syrup is something we can eat on its own if you need a quick fix for your sweet tooth like us! 😉
All jokes aside, we know how important maple syrup can be in many households.
But what happens if you run out of it in the kitchen and have no time to go to your supermarket?
We got you covered with the healthiest alternative to maple syrup you can use, so read on!
Top 9 Sweet Substitutes For Maple Syrup
Maple syrup comes from the xylem sap of various oak trees, such as black maple, red maple, and sugar maple. These oak trees will store starch in their roots and trunks, which then rise as sugar in sap before the spring season. (*)
The sap is then boiled to concentrate the sweetness.
We know, we know.
Nothing can replace that rich flavor we love from pure maple syrup. However, maple syrup can either be hard to find in your area, expensive, or you just ran out today.
But hey, there’s a way to turn our pastry staples into quick and affordable substitutes for maple syrup that can taste just as great for your pancakes.
1. Brown Sugar Syrup
We declare maple syrup as the best syrup for pancakes! But if that isn’t available, you can always use brown sugar syrup.
You can purchase these syrups in the grocery if they have no maple syrup available. While it doesn’t have the exact maple flavor, it has a similar consistency.
There is also such a thing as brown rice sugar, which has a similar color with a mild yet sweet flavor. Again, not the exact maple flavor, but close enough!
If there’s none in the store, you can make your own brown sugar syrup; we’ll be adding the recipe below, so continue reading!
2. Corn Syrup
We also recommend using corn syrup to replace maple syrup in a recipe, which you might even have at home! It’s a food syrup from corn starch, which we also call glucose syrup.
Usually, we use corn syrup to add volume to recipes, soften food textures, enhance flavors, and prevent sugar from crystallizing. When using this as a substitute for maple syrup, you can use an equal 1:1 ratio.
Learn more: Does Corn Syrup Go Bad? How Long Can It Last?
Honey is an excellent substitute for maple syrup, as it has a similar color and sweetness. However, comparing it to maple, honey has a much thicker texture.
We use honey as a sweetening agent in baked goods like cookies and muffins. It also works well on pancakes and waffles.
But again, do note that the consistency and sweetness won’t be the same as male syrup! Because of that, we recommend adding a bit more sugar to achieve the sweetness of maple syrup.
If the recipe calls for ¾ cup of maple syrup, use 1 cup of honey mixed with ½ cup of sugar. If you have agave nectar or coconut nectar, you can use this as well for a slightly healthier alternative, using a 1:1 ratio.
4. Maple Sugar
Maple sugar is another suitable sweet maple syrup substitute, which is a crystallized powder made from boiling the sap of maple trees.
Of course, maple sugar’s texture isn’t similar to that of syrup, so just add warm water to dissolve the sugar. Alternatively, you can use melted white or brown sugar, though it won’t have that maple flavor you probably love.
5. Pancake Syrup
Pancake syrup is almost like maple syrup. The only difference is that maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees, while pancake syrup is corn syrup with maple flavoring.
Like corn syrup, you can use an equal 1:1 ratio here, and you can use it to top your food. Of course, our favorite to use it with is on pancakes!
6. Light Molasses
Light molasses is another suitable alternative, which is a by-product of the sugar-making process. The result is a thick syrup we use as sweeteners, which has a pale color and sweetness to it.
You can also use the same amount for this substitute for maple syrup. However, only use light and not dark molasses, as the latter would have a much stronger flavor and darker color compared to the light version.
7. Jam or Compote
We recommend using jam or fruit compote on prepared dishes, like pancakes or French toast. It’s a bit thicker but does the job done in sweetening your dishes while adding more flavor to it!
Use whatever flavor you want and top it on your dishes! However, this isn’t a suitable alternative to maple syrup for baking recipes.
8. Peanut Butter or Nutella
We also love using other spreads, like peanut butter and Nutella!
Peanut butter is a great substitute for maple syrup as it adds more protein to your food, and you can make your pancakes healthier by adding this ingredient alongside bananas.
Nutella isn’t exactly healthy, but a very delicious alternative, especially if you’re a chocoholic like us!
Besides peanut butter and Nutella, there are other maple syrup substitutes like use Biscoff, Cool Whip, or whatever suitable spread you fancy in your kitchen pantry.
Learn more: Does Nutella Go Bad? How Long Can It Last?
9. Ice Cream Syrup
As people with sweet tooth, we LOVE using chocolate, caramel, or strawberry syrup whenever we can. We are sure you and your kids do, too, so use this as an excuse to have all the ice cream syrup you want!
You can make any sweet breakfast dish or pastry into a yummy dessert, whether it’s on pancakes, waffles, French toast, cinnamon rolls, croissants, you name it!
No ice cream syrup? Then simply melt caramel candy or chocolate in your microwave to create your own syrup!
10. Homemade Maple Syrup Substitution
Yes, you can make your own maple syrup!
Here are the ingredients:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of white sugar
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract (or maple extract for a more accurate taste)
Follow these directions:
Boil water in a saucepan, then adds brown sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Caramelize white sugar in a separate pan, adding your brown sugar mixture. Afterward, add butter and vanilla extract, stirring until the mixture thickens to the consistency you desire.
And you’re done! Let the syrup cool to room temperature before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are more fun facts about maple syrup you should know:
Are there different kinds of maple syrup?
Yes, there are four types of maple syrup with different uses!
- Golden maple syrup, or what the French call, sirop d’érable doré, has a light color, almost faded, even. It has a mild flavor collected from maple trees early on in the spring season. It’s suitable for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or crepes.
- Amber maple syrup (sirop d’érable ambré) has a darker color with a more pronounced flavor, perfect for pancakes, cooking, and baking.
- Dark maple syrup (sirop d’érable foncé) is dark and usually for meat coatings or for adding flavor to baked goods.
- Very dark maple syrup (sirop d’érable très foncé) is collected from maple trees at the end of the spring season. It has the strongest flavor and caramel note.
What else can I use maple syrup for?
Maple syrup isn’t only for pancake batter and waffles, nor is it only exclusive to using it as a cooking or baking ingredient. You can add maple syrup to these dishes and desserts, too!
- Ice cream
- Cooked sweet potatoes
- Cinnamon rolls
- Plain popcorn
- Plain popcorn
- Fruit salads
- Cooking veggies
- Baked beans (yes, it works!)
- Use it as a glaze over bacon, ham, or turkey
Wrapping It Up
We hope you found the best alternative to maple syrup from our list! Whether you’re making an easy recipe or need something to top off your food for better taste, then try any of our suggestions above.
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