11 Best Ways to Make Corn Syrup Substitute for Healthier Alternatives

Corn Syrup Substitute

Are you thinking healthy? Then it is time to let go of your usual over-the-counter corn syrups. Instead, you can use a corn syrup substitute which is natural, retains the consistency, and gives you the exact flavor.

What are corn syrups?

The corn syrups that we buy from the grocery stores are sugar substitutes and are a form of invert sugar. Invert sugars are components that prevent the formation of sugar crystals even in high cooking temperatures. The syrups give a smooth and shiny texture to the cooked foods. They are used for making baked foods, frosting, candies, and sweet sauces. The corn syrups prevent the formation of crystals in ice cream and other forms of dessert.

Corn syrups are found in light and dark textures. The light textures are used mainly for making candies. The dark corn syrups are more robust and have a deeper flavor and texture.

Why should we use a corn syrup substitute?

There have been many controversies regarding the use of corn syrups in food. Though the corn syrups that we use are cheap and mix well with all kinds of ingredients, they can be harmful to our health. Many medical reports and research studies discourage the long-term use of high-fructose corn syrups.

Evidence shows that long-term use of corn syrups can cause:

  • Tooth decay
  • High cholesterol

A corn syrup substitute is a healthy alternative to the regular corn syrups available in the market. They are natural sweeteners and are good for our health.

Too tired to visit the grocery shop? Here is a list of corn syrup substitutes that are easily available and some can be even made at home.

1. Honey

Did you know that honey is an excellent substitute for corn syrups? The sweet golden nectar is not only nutritious but has a rich texture and a very definite taste.  So, what are you waiting for? Grab that bottle of honey from your pantry and be ready for some amazing sweet recipes.

Honey is a natural corn syrup substitute and is not only healthy but will give a whole new dimension to your desserts. Honey is nutritious. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes and you can substitute it with an equal amount of corn syrup. Moreover, you can consume honey every day as it is good for your skin, prevents ulcers, and cancers. It is an excellent home remedy for sore throat and infection.

The benefits of using honey as a corn syrup substitute are:

  • It is rich in texture and has its own distinct taste. Corn syrup is just sweet and does not have a specific taste.
  • Honey is thicker and stickier than corn syrup and can be used in small portions.
  • It is sweeter than corn syrup.
  • Its moisture content is more than synthetic corn syrup and hence a better glaze.
  • The light pale color is so subtle that it does not make any difference to your dishes.

To use honey as a substitute for corn syrup:

  • Be ready with the measuring spoons or cups.
  • You can take equal amounts of honey or slightly less in comparison to the corn syrup as it is sweeter.
  • Add sugar to your recipe if needed.

2. Agave Nectar

Agave Nectar is a brilliant corn syrup substitute and can be used as a liquid sweetener for a variety of sweet dishes. It is derived from a plant called the Agave tequilana and is mostly grown in Mexico. So, if you are one of those health-conscious moms who only like to use natural ingredients for their kid’s pastry dishes, you should definitely try Agave Nectar.

Agave Nectar can be used in desserts, salad dressings, sauces, and all kinds of sweet dishes. It is thicker than corn syrup and you only need 3/4th portions in comparison to the amount of corn syrup. You also need to increase the volume of other liquids by 1/3 cup. If you are using Agave nectar for the first time, it can be a bit tricky. Here are a few tips:

  • Do not directly add Agave nectar in the baking mixture. The syrup should be mixed with other liquids before using it in the mixture or filling.
  • Agave nectar can be extra sticky. Always use a parchment paper so that it does not stick into the pan while baking.
  • Agave tends to brown faster than sugar or other syrups. Cover your pan with a foil to prevent excessive browning.
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3. Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is made from concentrated sugarcane juice and is a healthy substitute for corn syrup. The light gold syrup is more concentrated and is sweeter than sugar. The flavor is mild and the light hue of the syrup makes it a perfect choice for your sweet dishes.

One of the drawbacks of golden syrup is that it is not readily available in the markets and only a few specialty stores sell them. However, it is not as bland as corn syrup and has a unique taste.

Syrups obtained from organically grown canes are free from any pesticides, so it is one of the healthiest options for a corn syrup substitute. The calorie intake of golden syrup is however higher than normal table sugar.

4. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup can be used as a corn syrup substitute and is obtained by the breaking down of the rice starches. The rice is fermented with enzymes and cooked into a syrup. The syrup is then strained and boiled further and reduced into a thick brown sticky liquid. Brown rice syrup is not so sweet as sugar but has a nutty flavor and has the consistency of honey.

The sticky and greasy texture of the syrup makes it an excellent binder and can be used in making home-made granola bars. You can drizzle a few drops of the syrup over pancakes or even use it in tea as a substitute for honey.

The syrup is used extensively in baking cakes and brownies and gives dense texture and tender crumbs. In addition, the nutty flavor of the syrup compliments the taste of the baked products.

Brown rice syrup is readily available in the markets and does not need refrigeration. However, the texture is slightly dense and thick compared to other syrups. So, before using you can warm the syrup for a few minutes in the microwave. It makes it easy to pour the liquid from the jar and mix it with other ingredients.

5. Simple Sugar Syrup

Want to go traditional? Why not make your own home-made corn syrup substitute? It is easy, simple and just needs two basic ingredients, sugar and water. Simple sugar syrup can easily replace a light corn syrup and can be made at home. Here are the ingredients to make a home-made sugar syrup:

  • Take one cup of water.
  • Three cups of sugar.
  • A tablespoon of pure lemon juice.


  • Take a glass bowl and pour all the ingredients. Mix them well.
  • Stir them well.
  • Pour the mixture in a pan and put it on the flame.
  • S simmer for ten minutes until it transforms into a thick golden syrup. The addition of lemon acts as an acid and dissolves the sugar granules faster.

Keep aside the liquid syrup and allow it to cool down. It can be used as a corn syrup substitute icing and for frosting in cakes. It can be used in pies and also for coating fruits.  However, simple sugar syrups crystallize in high temperatures and cannot be used in making candies.

6. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is obtained from the sap of the maple tree and is a natural substitute for dark corn syrups. This syrup has its nutritional values. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals like potassium and calcium, and vitamins. The maple flavor is an added advantage and works well with desserts and pastries when added with other ingredients.

7. Molasses

Molasses were quite popular in the United States during the early 20th century. The dark and thick syrup was extracted from sugar beets and sugarcane. The dark sweetness was used in traditional recipes like gingerbread, barbecue sauces, and baked beans.

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Most people add light molasses for pancake drizzles and often in hot cereals for breakfast.  Molasses help make brown sugars, rums, and dark brews for commercial purposes. Dark molasses come with a rich and smoky flavor. The bitter essence of the ingredient is perfect to bake cakes.

Molasses are rich in vitamins and minerals and are a good source for calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The Blackstrap molasses has the most amount of nutritional value as they are highly concentrated and has lesser amounts of sugar content.

Molasses are easily available in the local grocery stores and supermarkets. They can be kept at room temperature and has a shelf life of about one to two years.

 8. Glucose Syrup

Glucose syrup is derived from certain vegetables and fruits like apricots, grapes, cranberries, plantains, and jackfruits. Most of the glucose syrups that are available in the market are extracted from wheat or corn. Liquid glucose is used in making a variety of products like candies, baked foods, ice creams, jams, and even cough syrups.

The sweet syrup adds moisture and gives a shine and gloss to the baked foods and is used for icing and frosting. Glucose is also a good substitute for corn syrup, especially for home candy makers. Liquid glucose is not so sweet and has to be used with other sweeteners for baking purposes.

9. Home-made DIY Maple Syrup Recipe

Who doesn’t like maple syrups? Imagine the sweet drizzles of pure joy on warm pancakes. It can really make your day. But you suddenly realize that you are on a strict keto diet. So, here is a 10-minute corn syrup substitute keto recipe that is low in carbs, sugar-free and tastes amazing.

Maple syrups are delicious but have too much sugar in them. This recipe only needs four ingredients and uses a natural maple syrup extract.


  • Maple syrup
  • Erythritol powder or any low-carb sweetener.
  • Xanthum Gum.


  • Mix the water, maple syrup and erythritol powder in a mixing bowl.
  • Put the mixture to boil.
  • Sprinkle small portions of xanthum gum on the mixture and stir.
  • In a few minutes, the mixture will thicken into a sweet syrup.
  • Store the warm luscious keto syrup in a glass jar for later use.

10. Corn syrup substitute for candy

This is a simple home-made corn syrup recipe. The ingredients are easily available and are a cheaper alternative compared to the synthetic corn syrups available in the market. This recipe can be used in desserts, cakes, sweet dishes, and to make home-made candies.

You need the following ingredients:

  • A 3/4th cup of water.
  • 2 cups of sugar.
  • A 1/4th teaspoon of the cream of tartar.
  • A pinch of salt for taste.


  • Take a mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients.
  • Pour the mix into a pan and bring it to boil.
  • Keep stirring the mixture.
  • Now reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3 minutes until all the sugar crystals dissolve.
  • Cook and keep stirring the mixture until it becomes thick and sticky.
  • Turn off the gas.
  • Let it cool.

You need to store the mixture in a glass. It does not require any preservatives and can be used for two months.

11. Corn Syrup Substitute for Pecan Pie

Do not want to use corn syrup in your favorite pecan pie recipe? Your wait is over. Create that gooey and buttery pecan pie filling with the use of two simple ingredients-brown sugar and water. This corn syrup substitute will give a caramel flavor and a lovely dark-brown color to the pecan pie.

If you are looking for a dark corn syrup alternative, this brown sugar syrup is the perfect match. It is delicious, will bring beautiful glaze to your dishes and can be easily made at home.


  • Four tablespoons of normal water.
  • Take one or one-fourth cup of brown sugar.


  • Mix the two ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Put the pan on heat.
  • Stir the ingredients continuously until it starts to boil.
  • Simmer the gas and let it boil for few minutes until all the sugar crystals dissolve.
  • Let it turn into a thick caramelly solution.

As the mixture thickens, keep it aside from flame and let it cool. Pour the mixture into your pecan pie filling and mix it well. You can keep the brown sugar syrup aside in a glass jar and use it later.