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7 Dark Corn Syrup Substitute For Cooking And Baking

Dark corn syrup is one of the two main varieties of corn syrup(one being light corn syrup). The dark version of corn syrup contains the same ingredients as the light version but with an addition to refiner’s syrup(a type of molasses).

Because of the addition to molasses, this syrup has a dark, caramel color and a sweet, smoky taste which is perfect to add to your pecan pies and other baked goods and prevents sugar crystallization in caramel candies and other candy recipes and the formation of ice crystals in frozen desserts like ice cream.

Dark corn syrup is not that easy to find in your local grocery stores and even if it is, it might come with a pretty hefty price. If you’re wondering if there are substitutes for this syrup, there are. Here are our suggestions for substituting it.

Dark corn syrup substitutes are

  1. Maple Syrup
  2. Golden Syrup
  3. A Simple Syrup
  4. Brown Rice Syrup
  5. Dark Brown Sugar
  6. Light Corn Syrup And Molasses
  7. Cane Syrup

Dark Corn Syrup Substitutes

Maple SyrupMaple Grove Farms Pure Maple Syrup, 12.5 Oz

Maple syrup or also known as pancake syrup really needs no introduction. This breakfast essential is the best substitute for corn syrup(either dark or light) and is very easy to find in the stores if you don’t already have it at home.

Maple syrup has a nutty and mild caramel-like flavor, and it’s used for sweetening your favorite breakfast dishes like pancakes, waffles, French toast, and even oatmeal. You can also add some maple syrup instead of dark corn syrup to your baked goods to give them a subtle nutty flavor.

Golden SyrupLyle's Golden Syrup Tin 454g (3 Pack)

Golden syrup is an amber-colored syrup with an acidic, sweet flavor made from white sugar, water, and citric acid(lemon). Golden syrup is a kitchen staple in British cuisine as well as Australia and New Zealand.

You can use this syrup to add an acidic flavor in jams, use it instead of maple syrup for pancakes and waffles, and to sweeten your refreshing drinks like lemonade or orange juice.

How To Make A Golden Syrup From Scratch

This recipe is very easy to make, it takes a small portion of your time and you only need three ingredients. Now, let’s get cooking.

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Ingredient List

  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sugar or 100 grams of granulated sugar(if you want a dark syrup you can use brown sugar)
  • 4 slices fresh lemon 
  • Deep-bottom saucepan 


Combine the water, lemon slices, and sugar in the saucepan and swirl it around to mix it up well. Heat up the mixture to a medium temperature(100/110 degrees C) and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

The mixture should cook for about 15 to 20 minutes and as time passes, your mixture will start to turn an amber-brown color. After 20 minutes, your syrup should be ready but, to check if it’s really ready and syrupy try this technique.

Take a small amount of the syrup and put it in a bowl of water. If your syrup starts dissolving into sugar, then you’ve done a good job and your syrup is ready to get out of the heat.

If by any chance it starts to harden and form a solid shape then you may have overcooked it a bit. But don’t worry, all is not lost. Just add a tablespoon of water to your saucepan and stir it well.

Cool syrup completely before transferring it to an air-tight jar. It’s best to give your syrup a little time before using it as it gets thicker with time. I suggest leaving it at room temperature for at least five days before using it. Your syrup will have a beautiful caramel flavor as well as color.

A Simple Syrup

This is another recipe on how to make a very simple syrup from scratch and this one is with only two ingredients. If you’re really in a hurry and you need some type of syrup immediately then I highly suggest your try this recipe.

Ingredients Needed

  • 1/2 cup or 64 grams of sugar(for a dark syrup and a more robust flavor you can use brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup of hot water.

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and mix it well until the sugar dissolves on medium heat.

Transfer your syrup to a jar and let it cool off completely before closing the lid. You can use this simple syrup immediately or you can store it in the fridge for up to a month.

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Brown Rice SyrupLundberg Family Farms - Organic Sweet Dreams Brown Rice Syrup, Substitute Sweetener, Replaces Sugar, Honey, Corn Syrup, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, USDA Certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher (21 oz, 3-Pack)

Brown rice syrup is a type of sweetener that is derived from brown rice. This product is vegan and completely gluten-free, making it a healthier alternative for dark corn syrup and sugar in general.

It is mainly used in many Asian dishes(sweet and savory) but it has been popularised in the United States as well. This syrup can be used instead of sugar and other types of syrups cooking or baking.

Dark Brown SugarBillington's Natural Dark Brown Molasses Sugar, 1 LB (Pack of 10)

Dark brown sugar is a popular type of sugar in the dietary world and it makes a decent substitute for dark corn syrup. Light brown sugar is simply just white sugar with the addition of molasses in it. Dark brown sugar contains twice as much molasses as light sugar and therefore it has a richer caramel flavor.

You can use this type of sugar to add amazing color and distinct flavor to your coffee, tea, Mohitos, sweet and savory recipes. You can also use it as a topping for your ice cream, cookies, and of course the famous Creme Brulee.

Light Corn Syrup And MolassesWholesome Sweeteners Organic Light Corn Syrup, 11.2 oz

This is the best alternative to dark corn syrup. If you happen to have these two ingredients in your pantries then you’re in luck. Mix three cups of light corn syrup with one cup of molasses and shake it well until the two ingredients are combined.

Since dark corn syrup is mainly made of the same ingredients as the light one except with the addition of molasses, it will replicate the exact caramel flavor.

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Cane SyrupSteen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup, 16fl. oz

Cane sugar is made by chopping up the sugar cane and extracting all the liquid from it. Then the liquid is boiled until the consistency resembles a dark, thick syrup. This cane sugar product is called unrefined molasses or cane syrup.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Dark Corn Syrup Vs Light

Dark corn syrup is made with refiners syrup which is a type of molasses. Light corn syrup is used for light sweetening in most candies and it’s a clear-colored syrup made by extracting sugars from cornstarch.

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Dark Corn Syrup Recipe

The easiest way to make your own dark corn syrup is to mix one cup of molasses with three cups of light corn syrup to give your syrup a more dominant caramel flavor.

Dark Corn Syrup Uses

You can use dark corn syrup for every dessert or baked good that needs a bit of smoky, and caramel flavor. This syrup is a great addition to pecan pies, pancakes, waffles, banana bread, and ice cream. Since this syrup has a dark brown color, don’t be alarmed if your baked goods turn out to be a little bit darker than expected. 

Is Dark Corn Syrup And Molasses The Same

No. Molasses has a much stronger and more dominant flavor than dark corn syrup. The dark corn syrup, on the other hand, is sweeter and much more light than molasses.

If you’re using molasses as a substitute for dark corn syrup be careful with how much you’re using because the flavor can easily become bitter and not so enjoyable. I recommend using half the amount for dark corn syrup.