Whether you can’t have maple syrup or just don’t have it on hand, you may find that you need a replacement. If you need a substitute for maple syrup, read on for some excellent alternatives!
Maple syrup is one of those deliciously coveted ingredients that is super versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. It is the perfect pancake or waffle topping, but can also be used as a sweetener in baked goods and other yummy recipes.
Every once in a while, I hop into the pantry to grab the syrup only to find an empty spot staring back at me. Gasp! This is always such a disappointment, especially if French toast is ready and waiting to be devoured.
In this case, I need to think fast. What are some good maple syrup alternatives that will still taste delicious and that I can throw together now, while my breakfast is still hot?!
Real Maple Syrup vs Pancake Syrup
There is a difference between real maple syrup and pancake syrup. 100% pure syrup comes from the sap of a maple tree. Once collected in the spring, it is boiled down to create a thicker consistency.
Corn syrup and other additives are mixed in with it to create pancake syrup, which is the more affordable and commonly found variety on the grocery shelves. Aunt Jemima, for example, is a variety with additives and is not considered pure.
Maple Syrup vs Agave
Maple syrup vs agave! Let’s compare these popular sweeteners so you know exactly what you are drizzling into your food. Which is the best choice for your next recipe?
What To Eat With Maple Syrup
- Drizzle over breakfast treats, such as waffles, pancakes or French toast.
- Use as a sweetener in baked goods such as muffins, bread, cake or cupcakes.
- Add it to your next batch of homemade granola bars or snack bites to act as both a binder and a sweetener.
- Tastes delicious when added to barbecue sauces.
- Drizzle it over a serving of your favorite ice cream.
- Use it to sweeten your next smoothie or shake.
- Add it to your next marinade for a touch of added sweetness.
- Adding it to a cocktail recipe will give it a natural sweet flavor.
What To Substitute For Maple Syrup – Baking and Sweeteners
Honey is the top natural sweetener replacement when it comes to baking or as a substitution for maple syrup when used as a sweetener in recipes. It has a similar consistency and similar texture, making it an ideal substitute.
Use 1 cup of honey per 1 cup of syrup.
Agave syrup is a plant-based sweetener that acts as a great alternative when looking for healthy maple syrup substitutes. It will not lend as much sweetness and offers a flowery flavor, but gets the job done.
Use 1 cup of agave nectar per 1 cup maple syrup.
Corn syrup provides a neutral flavor, but acts as a great substitute for maple syrup for the purpose of baking or candy-making.
Use 1 cup of corn syrup per 1 cup of syrup (plus flavorings, as desired).
Granulated sugar is a good substitute for syrup in baked goods or when acting as a sweetener. Note that contains a more neutral flavor and also is dry vs moist. Add flavoring and wet ingredients as needed, especially when used in baking.
Flavoring options: Maple extract or vanilla extract.
Moistening options: Honey, mashed banana, applesauce, fruit juice or fruit syrup.
Use 1 cup of white sugar per 1 cup of syrup (plus flavorings and moistening agents, as desired).
The great thing about brown sugar is that it can easily transformed into a sweet syrup itself and acts as a good maple syrup substitute! Add equal parts brown sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until smooth, then allow to cool.
The end result contains a nice caramel flavor, making this one of the best substitutes when looking for a similar flavor.
Use 1 cup of brown sugar per 1 cup of syrup.
Molasses is a thick liquid that is produced once cane sugar has been processed. It is often used as a sweetener and acts as the perfect maple syrup substitute when using it for baking.
Molasses offers a very different flavor, but has the same thick-liquidy texture as maple syrup.
Use 1 cup of dark molasses or light molasses per 1 cup of maple syrup.
What To Substitute For Maple Syrup – Pancakes and Other Breakfast Goodies
Once your tall stack of cakes has been assembled, top with pats of butter and immediately sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the tops. The sugar will melt into the butter, creating a salty-sweet, irresistible puddle of deliciousness.
Brown Sugar Syrup
Brown sugar can easily transformed into a sweet syrup itself! Add equal parts brown sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until smooth, then allow to cool. Drizzle over pancakes!
Spread peanut butter, Nutella, almond butter or any nut butter over waffles or ‘cakes to spruce them up!
Have a batch of buttercream frosting on hand? Smear a few tablespoons over top of your French toast for an extra irresistible breakfast treat.
Butter and jelly isn’t just a combo for sandwiches! Spread your favorite jam over top a homemade waffle for an extra sweet treat.
Wash your favorite fresh berries and let them marinate in a few tablespoons of sugar for a few minutes. Stir and add them to your next stack of pancakes.
Every stack of sweet breakfast food is made better with a heaping pile of whipped cream.
FAQ About Maple Syrup
Pure maple syrup is 100% gluten-free. When purchasing pancake syrup, which contains filler ingredients, check the label before purchasing.
Trees are not harmed by sap extraction, making maple syrup a top sweetening agent for vegans.
100% pure maple syrup will stay fresh for one year in the pantry. Pancake syrups made with corn syrup are about the same, possibly a few months longer. To extend the shelf life by a few months, store syrup in the refrigerator.
Maple syrup comes from the sap of the maple tree. Once collected in the spring, it is boiled down to create a thicker consistency.
Maple syrup can be frozen in airtight containers such as glass jars (mason jars work well). Note that the syrup will not freeze totally solid, but will still remain fresh longer when stored in the freezer vs room temperature or the fridge.