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15 Best Golden Syrup Substitute List You Need to Start Baking

One of the things I always have in the kitchen when baking is golden syrup, which has a ton of varieties and brands to choose from. Unfortunately, some local supermarkets may not have it, or I run out when I’m already almost done preparing to bake! But I’d rather not waste time and found a great golden syrup substitute. What’s better is that I found more alternatives to use when in a pinch!

Some of the best golden syrup substitutes include honey, agave nectar, and brown rice syrup. If you’re really in a pinch, you can also consider corn or maple syrup.

  1. Honey
  2. Agave Nectar
  3. Cane syrup
  4. Brown Rice Syrup
  5. Dark Treacle
  6. Molasses
  7. Maple Syrup
  8. Corn Syrup
  9. Homemade Golden Syrup
  10. Golden Monk Fruit
  11. Coconut Sugar
  12. Stevia
  13. Dark Corn Syrup
  14. Maltose
  15. White And Brown Sugar

Golden syrup is a must-have ingredient in everyone’s kitchen cupboard. There are a variety of foods that you can sweeten with the golden syrup, other than porridge and pudding. At times, you could have run short of golden syrup,

So read on as I show you some ideal substitutes you can use if you’ve got no golden syrup at home!

What Is Golden Syrup?​

lyles golden syrup

Many people find it difficult to differentiate golden syrup and honey. Here’s a quick fact you should know before moving on to the next section: Golden syrup and honey are entirely different!

Golden syrup is also known as light treacle. It’s a thick and amber-colored type of inverted sugar syrup. The syrup is made from refining either sugar beet juice (vegan) or sugar cane. It can also be made from treating sugar solution with an acid, with the similar appearance to honey.

Because of its similar appearance and sweet flavors, golden syrup can also be used as a substitute for honey, with it being a vegan’s choice because it is made from vegan-free products. It’s a good alternative if you’ve got no honey or if it’s expensive around your area.​

15 Best Golden Syrup Alternatives You Can Use​


What’s excellent about both golden syrup and honey is the fact that they are interchangeable and can be used for either baking or top off your desserts.

If the recipe calls for using golden syrup, but you have none available, then you can use an equal amount of honey instead. Not only will it still retain the same consistency, but it’s healthier.

Also, honey is quite expensive but uses natural sugars with traces of nutrients. It’s the ideal substitution for golden syrup and perfect when baking or adding to your porridge or bread.

There is not just ONE good golden syrup substitute; there are many you can choose from! So if you don’t have any golden syrup available, try these sweeteners as an alternative:

Agave Nectar

This is the most reliable golden syrup substitute in my opinion. Agave Nectar has a flavor that is almost similar to that of corn syrup. Its flavor is less compared to that of honey.
It can be described as a mild flavor. It retains a liquid physical state at room temperature. It is ideal for making items such as chocolate sauce and pie.

Its chemical features are different compared to those of corn syrup, and this makes it not suitable for making candy. Agave nectar is ideal for diabetic individuals because it does not affect blood sugar levels.

This is because agave nectar has GI levels which are extremely low since it contains fructose in abundance. The glucose level in agave sugar is low, and so it barely causes a rise in blood sugar levels.

The procedure of processing agave nectar ruins its health benefits since the sugars are treated with enzymes and heat. This causes the agave nectar to be deprived of its health benefits.

Cane syrup

Just as the name suggests, cane syrup is extracted from raw sugar canes. They are boiled till a thick consistency is achieved. It forms an excellent substitute for golden syrup with only a slight issue.

The issue is that it does not crystallize as it should make an awesome candy. Cane syrup strongly resembles molasses, but these two are totally different items.

The only difference is that it does not have sulfur, unlike the molasses.

Brown Rice Syrup

Would you ever think that brown rice would be a candidate to produce sugar? Brown rice syrup also known as rice syrup or rice malt syrup is another substitute for golden syrup. It is made from rice starches.
The rice starches are broken down to form simple sugars. The simple sugars created are glucose which is 3% in content, maltotriose which has a percentage of 52% and maltose whose percentage is 45%.

The sugars are then boiled till they form a syrup which goes by the name brown rice syrup. It has a nutty flavor which is similar to that of brown rice which has already been cooked.

It is ideal for making candy as it prevents the process of crystallization from taking place. Brown rice syrup is known to have a glycemic index (GI) which is very high, at 98.

[Related Article: 22 Best Wheat Flour Substitute List You Need to Start Baking]

Dark Treacle

Also known as black treacle, this is also another substitution you can use when you’ve run out of golden syrup. But take note that because of its dark colors, it WILL alter the appearance of your dish (and maybe in a good way!). Also, molasses have a bitter flavor, so be prepared for a stronger taste of dishes. You can opt to use light molasses for a less intense flavor.

See also  What Is a Good Substitute for Chocolate Syrup?

This is best used if you are focusing more on the texture of your dishes rather than its color and taste (the change isn’t a disaster, though).


Molasses are a better sweetener compared to corn syrup and white sugar which has been refined. Molasses have numerous health benefits to your body since they have not been stripped of their nutrients and minerals in the refining process. Molasses have vitamins and minerals which are important in your body.

Molasses have calcium which prevents osteoporosis and also helps in strengthening bones and teeth. Magnesium is ideal for enhancing a stable blood pressure and for maintaining good health of the heart.

The levels of cholesterol in molasses are good and protect your heart from suffering from stroke or any other heart disease.

Here is a simple recipe to make molasses.


  • Finely chopped sugar beets, approximately 8 pounds
  • Two cups of water


1. Prepare your beets with a sharp knife, cut off the top of the beets. You can save the leafy parts to be used later as veggies, or you can choose to discard them. Wash the beets using warm running water till all the dirt has been washed off, slice the beets into thin bits.

2. Cook the sliced beets in a sauce pan with water. Cook them over medium heat till they are tender. To be sure that they are ready, you can poke them with a fork. Keep stirring them to prevent the probability of having them stuck on the pan.

3. Use a colander to separate the beets from the water.

4. Boil the beet water in a medium sized sauce pan till it forms a thick consistency. Turn off the heat for the molasses to cool for approximately 30 minutes.

5. Store the molasses in an airtight container at room temperature. It will last in good condition for 18 years.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a great substitution for golden syrup because of its sugar content and thick consistency. It even has a clear appearance similar to golden syrup. BUT, expect maple syrup to be a bit runnier than honey or golden syrup if you plan on using it.

Furthermore, using maple syrup can alter its flavor quite a bit, though not as drastically (in fact, it might even taste better when baking!). I recommend dark corn syrup the most.

Maple syrup contains a variety of antioxidant substances, about 24 of them. The role of the antioxidants is to neutralize the free radicals and reduce damage caused by oxidative reactions within your body.

This will, in turn, reduces the extent to which you are prone to very many diseases and aging which are believed to be as a result of oxidative damage.

Grade B maple syrups have more antioxidants compared to grade A maple syrups. The benefits you accrue from the antioxidants are nothing compared to the damage the large amounts of sugar in maple syrup will cause to your body.

If you want to use both molasses and syrup to improve its taste and consistency, you can do so by mixing two parts of syrup with one part of molasses. You can even mix equal parts honey and syrup to imitate the thick consistency of golden syrup. For those who only have syrup, you can make it thicker by letting the syrup cook in a saucepan.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is an excellent substitute for golden syrup. It is obtained from corn starch. This is a sweetener which is ideal for making candies, frostings, and jams since it easily crystallized.
The fact that it easily crystallizes reduces any chances of the products turning out to be grainy. It has glucose as its major component.

The flavor of corn syrup is different from that of golden syrup. Corn syrup has a flavor that is so mild and blends in with almost every product that needs sweetening.

Golden syrup, on the contrary, has a taste that is unique and very strong.Once processed, corn syrup is left with no color. To it, molasses are added as well as caramel color.

Corn syrup gives a smooth, shiny and attractive appearance to products such as candy, pie and chocolate sauce. The only challenge is that corn syrup is not easy to find in the market.

Here is a simple recipe that will help you make some corn syrup at home:


  • Salt-2 teaspoons
  • Extremely hot water, just about a quarter of a cup
  • A tablespoon of vanilla
  • A cup of sugar. If you want to make light corn syrup you need white sugar and brown sugar if you want to make dark corn syrup
  • 4 ears of corn. If your corn is frozen, two cups will just be enough
  • Five-quarter cups of water.


1. Slice the corn into small pieces, In a sauce pan which is medium in size, boil some water and the corn, Once it boils, let it simmer on medium heat till half of it is left in the pan. This should take approximately 30 minutes

3. To the sauce pan, add salt, sugar, and vanilla. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Cook the mixture till you attain a soft ball. It should be cooking at 235 degrees Fahrenheit. To be certain of the temperature, use a candy thermometer

4. Reduce the heat and let the mixture cool. Once it has completely cooled, it will be ready for use.

5. If it has sugar crystals, you can microwave it with a little water to melt the crystals. This makes it perfect for use.

Homemade Golden Syrup

Another option you can follow is to create your version of golden syrup instead. The ingredients can be found at home, and it takes less than an hour to do. Here’s a recipe for making my golden syrup when I run out of it!


  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • One kilogram of sugar
  • Four cups of boiling water
  • Two lemon slices


  1. Pour the 200 grams of sugar and 1/3 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Swish the pot around, letting the sugar caramelize until it turns dark golden.
  2. Add the boiling water, remaining sugar, and the lemon slices, letting it boil under low heat for about 45 minutes until it thickens. You can either leave it alone or stir it occasionally.
  3. Turn off the heat after 45 minutes and let it cool. It might look watery at first, but it will thicken once it cools. If still not thick enough, boil it for another few minutes. Let it cool again and put it in sterilized jars and bottles. Store it in a cool place until you need it.​


​Golden Monk Fruit

Golden monk fruit is made with monk fruit sweetener and erythritol. If you are looking for a substitute with zero calories, it is the perfect ingredient. It is even a lot sweeter than sugar.

You just need to mix golden monk fruit with some water to use it as a substitute for golden syrup. If it is the first time using it, try to put in less quantity than what you would have used for golden syrup in your recipe.

Coconut Sugar


Coconut sugar is a type of palm sugar that is processed and produced from coconut trees. It is brown and delicious and will provide your final baked goods with a caramel-like flavor and a crumbly texture.

Compared to regular sugar, it has more minerals and similar nutritional content 

You can substitute golden syrup with coconut sugar at a 1:1 ratio.


There is a fair share of haters and lovers when using stevia as a substitute for golden syrup. Haters shared that they taste bitter or even like menthol. It is made from the leaves of the stevia plant and is a lot sweeter than table sugar.

The good thing about stevia is that it contains no calories, carbohydrates, or any other artificial ingredients. It is a healthier option than golden syrup for someone with diabetes issues.

Dark 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, the dark corn syrup has a dark, caramel color and a sweet, smoky taste which is perfect to add to your pecan pies and other baked goods.

It is the perfect substitute for golden syrup but may not be easily found in your local markets.


Maltose is another healthier alternative to golden syrup for your baking needs. It is one of the most commonly used and versatile sweeteners for bakers.

Maltose has high fiber and iron content as well as some protein. It is commonly used by the Chinese as a light medicinal treat for better digestion and a healthier immune system even to this day.[Source]

Another good thing is that it is less sweet than sugar and is ideal for people struggling with high blood sugar levels. You might want to substitute it with a 1.2:1 ratio with golden syrup.

White And Brown Sugar

If you are really out of options, then you can consider mixing white and brown sugar to replace golden syrup. However, you may need to be careful of your baking temperature as it can cause sugar crystals to form.

 First, mix white sugar and brown sugar in equal servings and dissolve them in warm water which is ¼ of the amount of golden syrup that you want to replace. 

Tips When Using Golden Syrup Substitutes

Wondering how to make your baked goods even better? Then follow these tips to keep your golden syrup substitutes fresh for your recipes:​

  • You have seen golden syrup always packaged in a dark container. If you do use honey or other forms of syrups as alternatives, store it in a dark glass jar and either let it stay in the fridge or your cabinet, free from pests.
  • The texture and flavor may be different from what you expect, especially if you use other flavored syrups and ingredients such as corn syrup. For syrups, it’s best to use it as is or add a bit less until it reaches your desired flavor. For other ingredients, you can dilute it with water to imitate its consistency.
  • If you’re in a pinch and need the syrup for toppings on our dessert, then remember to use it sparingly. After all, golden syrup and its substitutes are still sugar, so expect it to be high in carbs and calories.
  • Great ideas to use golden syrup substitutes include adding it to pancakes, making biscuits or cookies, even gingerbread men for a moister texture. You might even want to try making a treacle tart, a traditional treat found in Harry Potter.
See also  17 Best Amaranth Flour Substitute For Bread Or Thickener

What Is Golden Syrup In The US?

There is no US equivalent.

Its counterpart is molasses, also known as dark treacle. It’s richer than syrup in color and with stronger flavors. You can find golden syrup sold around the world made out of either sugar cane or beet. They are popularly known for baking and desserts.

And again, even if it’s popular across the globe, it’s still crucial to know its substitutes just in case you don’t have it at home. Whether you’re a vegan or not, the golden syrup may be needed in any baking recipe but can still be replaced with ingredients you can find at home, or you can create your golden syrup.​

How To Make Golden Syrup


Most Popular Golden Syrup USA Brands


If you do not have the time to make your own golden syrup, the most popular commercial golden syrup brands are Lyle’s Golden Syrup and King Golden syrup.

You should be able to get them in the US and also in several other countries in the world.

Benefits Accrued From Using Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is not affected by the change in temperature. Low temperatures do not cause it to harden, and neither does it turn too watery when exposed to extremely high temperatures. The syrup will work out for you especially if you live in a place where the temperatures are extreme.

Golden syrup is cheaper to make compared to sugar. This makes a golden syrup to be preferred by most people to sugar. The lower cost of production translates to a lower price of the product. The Golden syrup contains three sugars: sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Your body needs all these sugars since they have different functions in the body.

The liver processes fructose which is stored and used later in the body to provide you with energy. The sucrose sugar has glucose and fructose which are essential in boosting your memory.

The composition of glucose is fifty percent sugar as well as the composition of fructose. Too much sugar can be harmful to your body but golden syrup has all these sugars in the right amounts.

Is Golden Syrup The Same As Maple Syrup?

Golden syrup is not the same as maple syrup as even though they may have similar color, golden syrup have a higher sugar content while maple syrup depending on the type have a stronger and richer flavour.

The grade A maple syrup has been grouped into three, namely: light amber, medium amber, and dark amber respectively.

Grade B consists of the darkest grade but still has maple flavor which has the strongest flavor. In every a hundred grams of maple syrup, there is 7% calcium, 165% of manganese, 7% iron, 6% potassium and 28% of zinc.

I do not like using maple as a sweetening agent as much as I like using honey. I still use it in some recipes when it happens to be among the ingredients, and I am afraid of going wrong about any single step.

Is Golden Syrup Honey?

Honey and golden syrup are both liquid sweeteners but they are not the same ingredient.

Golden syrup is a very thick liquid sweetener that is a by-product of the sugar refining process and contains three sugars: sucrose, glucose, and fructose. They are ideal for making very moist cakes or slightly chewy cookies.[Source]

Honey is also an inverted sugar but its strong flavor can affect the final taste of your baking goods. It is also more expensive when compared with golden syrup even though it is a healthier version.

In Conclusion

Finding a substitute for golden syrup isn’t very difficult. You might find out that it’s in your home right now! This wondrous ingredient I use for baking creates the best batter and luckily, you can find ideal substitutes without hassling yourself of looking for golden syrup anywhere if you’re already making your recipe.

Keep in mind that sugar is a very harmful product. Too much of it leads to health problems which can be said to be the world’s biggest diseases such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.Also, for the weight watchers, sugars are what you need to keep off from. Sugars lead to an increase in a number of calories in your body.

You can get most of the minerals and vitamins found in these sweetening ingredients from consuming real food. A balanced diet from animal and plant products will provide you with all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that are necessary for the growth and development of your body.

I hope that this golden syrup substitute list helped you figure out what you need. So what are you waiting for? Don’t delay making your favorite recipe just because you don’t have golden syrup! Try any of these substitutes today and see how similar the results are!

If you are looking to buy best baking accessories then you can read our review article about 10 Best Electric Mixer for Baking And Buying Guide

Anzac Biscuits | Simplify Create Inspire

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

[…] you need a substitution, you can use corn or maple syrup, or try molasses. Alternatively, you can make your own golden syrup at […]


Saturday 18th of April 2020

I believe golden syrup is a replacement to honey as it is made from animal-free products, not vegan-free products...


Sunday 15th of March 2020

Thanks! This was very helpful for me as an American that loves English desserts.


Saturday 14th of March 2020

Please, Does the home made golden syrup last when stored, or does it crystallise?