The Ultimate Guide to Maple Syrup Substitutes

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maple syrup substitutes

A stack of fluffy pancakes drizzled in maple syrup is what you want for breakfast every morning. You can top the pancake with fresh fruit, chocolate syrup or even whipped cream, but nothing comes close to the taste of maple syrup. 

Maple syrup is obtained from the sap of maple trees. Its deliciously sweet taste with a hint of caramel blended gives it a complex taste which is quite unmatched. It is a great way to sweeten up your breakfast food or baked goods, but what to do when you run out of maple syrup? 

If you have an intense craving for waffles, maple apple pie or pancakes and don’t go away easily, there are some maple syrup substitutes that can replace this golden sugary glow with pancakes or waffles. However, the sweet flavour it provides is tough to compete against, but you can turn some pantry staples into the best alternative to maple syrup that helps you out in a pinch. 

Keep reading to learn the best maple syrup substitutes that are quick to find in your pantry.

Best Alternatives to maple syrup

Best Alternatives to maple syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that can be used for baking, drinks, French toast, and on top of waffles and pancakes. With natural sweetness, it also provides a rich caramel flavour that enhances sweet treats. You may have run out of this delicious sweetener and are wondering what alternatives to maple syrup should be. Don’t fret; we have your back. Below is the list of best substitutes for maple syrup that can be used not on pancakes and waffles but easy to pair with a multitude of flavour profiles.

1- Honey

Regarding maple syrup substitutes, there’s no surprise that honey is a perfect replacement for pure maple syrup due to its natural sweetness. It is sweeter than maple syrup but serves as each other’s substitute in many ways. However, the taste of honey is slightly different than maple syrup which is noticeable. This is probably due to its natural flavour and is noticeable when used as a topping on waffles and pancakes. However, it will not be that noticeable when used in cooking. 

If you run out of syrup, you can replace it with honey in baking with a 1-to-1 ratio, and it can be drizzled over pancakes and muffins for a sweet alternative.

2- Corn syrup

Another simple substitute that you might have in your kitchen is corn syrup. 

It is sweet and commonly used to make caramel and candies. It has a neutral flavour and can be a great substitute for maple syrup in baking. Best of all, it doesn’t change the recipe’s taste and comes in lighter and darker versions. The darker version has a bit more complex flavour than its lighter version. The rich caramel undertones that maple syrup offers are missed in corn syrup. It not only adds sweetness to your drinks but also works well in desserts. This sweet syrup also adds volume and softens the texture. It is recommended to use corn syrup in a ratio of 1:1. It is less sweet than pure maple syrup. So if it is not quite sweet enough, you can add more.

3-Coconut nectar

Coconut nectar is another maple syrup substitute that is free from chemical processing and comes with low glycemic index score than other sweeteners. Derived from the flowers of the coconut palm, its flavour profile is similar to pure maple syrup, especially its caramel notes. Best of all, its texture is also similar to maple syrup, making it suitable for drizzling and baking as a maple syrup alternative. You can use coconut nectar in a 1:1 ratio. For every one tsp. of maple syrup, substitute in one tsp. of coconut nectar.


Molasses is one of the best maple syrup substitutes that work well in baking recipes and on the topping of pancakes and waffles. This is probably because of its warm and sweet flavour that is somewhat similar to your breakfast table’s favourite maple syrup. It is a natural sweetener, a byproduct made during the extraction of sugar from sugar beets or sugarcane. It is free from added sugar and a good source of copper, iron, and selenium, which helps to maintain healthy bones. This dark and sweet syrup can be used in place of maple syrup in a 1:1 ratio.

5- Agave Nectar

Similar to maple syrup, agave nectar is a natural sweetener and can be used in any recipe that calls for maple syrup. However, its flavour profile is more similar to honey than maple syrup. Its flavour might differ from maple syrup, but its similarities in taste to honey make it an ideal maple syrup substitute. Its dark version has a strong caramel flavour and can be used for drizzling. Despite enjoying it over the top of pancakes or waffles, you can use it in cooking and baking. It is recommended to make a swap for a ratio of 1:1


Can I Use all these Maple Syrup Substitutes in Baked Goods?

When it comes to baking, the addition of maple syrup adds moisture and sweetness to batters and dough. However, you can’t use all these substitutes in place of maple syrup in your baking recipes. To mimic the taste of maple syrup, you can make some adjustments:

  • You can use one cup of sugar for every ¾ cup of maple syrup.
  • You will need to add an extra three tsp. of liquid and decrease the quantity of baking soda by ¼ teaspoon for each cup of sugar. 

How much honey do I substitute for maple syrup?

When you are replacing honey in cooking, use ¾ cup of maple syrup for every cup of honey.

What are the maple syrup substitutes for French toast, pancakes, and waffles?

If you are looking for a maple syrup substitute to drizzle over French toast, pancakes and waffles, there are some options that you can try. Heat ¼ cup of brown sugar or coconut sugar with one tsp. Butter in the microwave oven for 30 seconds. Whisk together until it melts and uses it as topping over pancakes, French toast and waffles.

Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!