11 Corn Syrup Substitutes In Baking

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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You are eager to reach for the corn syrup jar just to find it tragically empty. Or do you just want to try something new in your recipe? Well, you are in luck; I got some tips for you! Below is a list of 11 fantastic stand-ins! But before you start, be aware that not all of these alternatives to corn or Karo syrup are made of the same chemical properties.

Corn Syrup

What Can I Use Instead Of Corn Syrup?

1. Golden Syrup

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is only composed of sugar, water, and citric acid. With a texture that is very similar to corn syrup, it works well as a 1:1 substitute in baking and confectionery recipes due to its thick liquid state. 

I found that this refined cane sugar, which is buttery and has the same qualities as corn syrup, is perfect for high-temperature candy recipes. But remember that it has a complex flavor and golden color, which reminds me of butter and caramel and will show through in every dish you use it in.

2. Brown Rice Syrup

The rice starches in brown rice are broken down to create brown rice syrup. When swapping it for corn syrup, you can expect a kinda similar consistency and sweetness. Be prepared for a rich, nutty flavor burst, though. But for me, it’s a delightful addition to my sweet treats that keep my kids coming back for more!

For candy-making recipes that call for complimentary tastes, use a one-to-one ratio. Feel free to toss brown rice syrup in nougats, gummies, and marshmallows, as this unsung hero can fight off the creeping crawl of crystallization to a certain extent (FYI, the hard-ball stage on your candy thermometer).

3. Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

As you might guess, maple syrup is actually the condensed sap from a sugar maple tree. It’s a bit runnier than corn syrup, so it is not the best swap for corn syrup if you value the texture of your recipe.

But if you’re searching for something comparable that will introduce a distinct maple vibe with richer sweetness, this can be the best bet that you can find around your pantry. A 1:1 swap works fine for most baked goods; however, candies are a no-go for maple syrup, or else you’re begging for those pesky sugar crystals.

4. Cane Syrup

Your kiddos keep pleading for candies with their puppy eyes all the time, but you don’t have corn syrup on hand? I got you! Think about making some cane syrup! This rich amber-colored liquid is made from sugar cane stalks, and it is a mainstay in Southern homes. 

Similar to corn syrup, you don’t have to worry about crystallization here. Therefore, in confectionery recipes such as marshmallows and handmade marshmallow fluff, it may be used in place of corn syrup in the same amount. I also use it in other recipes calling for corn syrup, such as caramel sauce, chocolate cake, and sweet candied citrus.

5. Simple Syrup (AKA Simple Sugar And Water Mixture)

Okay, here comes our kitchen chameleon – simple syrup. I indeed swap it for almost any syrup, and it works in a pinch. And preparing it? A piece of cake! This is just the fancier name for water and sugar mixture, by the way. 

To replicate the texture of corn syrup, you’ll need to make this combination much thicker than simple syrup, which typically has a 1:1 sugar-to-water ratio. You may use this alternative in many dishes, such as pies, sauces, and cocktails, as it will just breathe in some sweetness.

6. Honey

Corn syrup can be replaced with honey, but keep in mind that honey has a slightly higher Brix, which is up to 80%. And it’s hard to mask the distinct “honey” taste and its floral hint in your recipes. So, I recommend going for a lighter honey paste for a milder flavor to resemble corn syrup.

Although honey crystallizes rapidly, it works well in drinks, cheesecakes, ice cream, salad dressings, marinades, etc. It will mess up your caramel or candies, though.

7. Agave Syrup

Another corn syrup alternative is agave, particularly for light syrup! Due to its mild flavor, agave may be used in a wide variety of desserts without adding any additional bit of flavor or sweetness.

This substitute for light corn syrup may be used in sauce and pie recipes with the same amount. However, similar to the mentioned alternatives, it should not be used to make candies. Remember that not all agaves are the same in sweetness!

8. Tapioca Syrup

Made from cassava, tapioca syrup boasts a pleasantly mild flavor, just like corn syrup. It has the same consistency as corn syrup and a Brix level, making it quite simple to use in baking and cooking recipes.

I love substituting it for corn syrup in bumpy cakes, quick bread, marinades, ice cream, and different sauces with a 1:1 ratio. But again, no candies!

9. Molasses


Molasses is no stranger to us home bakers; it is a thick, black syrup that is a byproduct of the sugar-producing process. The good news is that it may replace corn syrup in baked products at a 1:1 ratio because of its striking similarity in consistency.

But here is the catch: the molasses aroma is stronger and less sweet than corn syrup. Thus, I recommend you only use this one-to-one substitution with another sweetener, or else it will drastically alter the flavor of the classic dessert recipe.

10. Black Treacle

Let me introduce a relative of golden syrup – black treacle, which works well as a dark corn syrup alternative. Despite having a greater Brix level of 80%, it has a nice bitterness to offset its sweetness.

This additional staple of the British cupboard is one of the key components of the classic British baked treat, sticky toffee pudding. I’ve tried making candies with dark treacle several times. The result? A rich, dark color and a pronounced molasses scent. If that bolder flavor doesn’t turn you off, go for it!

11. Stevia

No sugar, no carbs, and no calories! That is stevia, a healthy corn syrup substitute for those watching their weight. Its ability to lower insulin and blood sugar levels compared to ordinary sugar or corn syrup also makes it a perfect replacement for those who have diabetes.

While stevia can’t replace corn syrup in all recipes, it can be used in baked products like pecan pie. Be generous when tossing in stevia because it is considerably sweeter than corn syrup or regular sugar.

Which one do you like most? Anyway, be careful with the amount and adjust the recipe as you go!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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