Easy Substitutes for Maple Syrup

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Maple Syrup Substitute

Sometimes recipes call for maple syrup and you don’t have any in your pantry. We have you covered with substitutes for maple syrup that works for pancakes, baking, and savory cooking.

My friend was searching all over town for real maple syrup. It’s hard to find in Mexico, where I live, and when you do it’s very expensive. He needed it for a Thanksgiving side dish.

I told him to sprinkle some brown sugar over the maple syrup roasted sweet potatoes instead. He insisted on using real maple syrup and it made me think about maple syrup substitutes for recipes.

Maple syrup being poured over a bowl of oatmeal.

Substitute for Maple Syrup

Below are general substitute ideas for maple syrup. Keep scrolling down to see more specific ideas for pancakes, baking, and savory side dishes.

  1. Honey: Raw honey or pasteurized honey has a similar sweetness and can be used in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for maple syrup.
  2. Agave Nectar: Agave nectar is a liquid sweetener that works well as a maple syrup substitute.
  3. Brown Rice Syrup: Brown rice syrup has a mild, caramel-like flavor and can be used as a maple syrup alternative.
  4. Molasses: Molasses can add a rich, robust flavor when used in place of maple syrup, but it’s much thicker, and the flavor is intense so adjust accordingly.
  5. Date Syrup: Date syrup is a natural sweetener made from dates and can be used in recipes that call for maple syrup.
  6. Coconut Nectar: Coconut nectar is a sweet syrup with a hint of coconut flavor, making it a unique substitute for maple syrup.
  7. Brown Sugar Syrup: Mix brown sugar with a bit of water and bring to a low boil until it turns into syrup. This can be used as a maple syrup alternative.
  8. Maple Extract: Add the extract to the sugar replacement and use it like maple syrup.
  9. Coconut Palm Sugar: It has a caramel-like flavor and tastes similar to brown sugar.
  10. Maple Sugar: Maple sugar is maple syrup but it is dehydrated. You can use it dry or turn it into syrup by adding some water and boiling it.

Remember that the flavor and consistency of these substitutes may vary, so it’s a good idea to taste and adjust as needed when using them in a recipe.

A table filled with breakfast items like bacon, pancakes, and eggs.

Syrup Substitute for Pancakes

If you’re out of maple syrup or pancake syrup you can use these substitutes on pancakes instead of maple syrup:

  1. Fresh Fruit: Sliced bananas, berries, or sliced peaches can add natural sweetness and freshness to your pancakes.
  2. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon provides creaminess and flavor.
  3. Nut Butter: Almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter can be spread on pancakes for a nutty, protein-rich topping.
  4. Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce adds natural sweetness and moisture without added sugars.
  5. Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese mixed with a touch of honey and cinnamon makes for a protein-packed topping.
  6. Chia Jam: Make a homemade chia jam using fresh berries and chia seeds, which is lower in sugar compared to regular jam.
  7. Whipped Cream: Whipped cream or a dairy-free whip cream coconut cream, provides a creamy and slightly sweet topping.
  8. Greek Yogurt and Honey: A simple mixture of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey adds sweetness and creaminess.
  9. Cocoa Nibs and Coconut Flakes: Sprinkle unsweetened cocoa nibs and shredded coconut for a delightful texture and flavor contrast.
  10. Lemon Zest and Greek Yogurt: A combination of lemon zest and Greek yogurt adds a zesty and tangy twist.
A glass jar of honey with a honey stick.

Maple Syrup Substitute for Baking

If you’re out of maple syrup give these substitutes for maple syrup in baking a try.

These substitutes can work well in various baking recipes. Remember to adjust quantities and experiment to achieve your desired level of sweetness and flavor.

All of them except for agave nectar and stevia can be used cup for cup as a substitute for maple syrup.

  1. Honey: Raw honey or pasteurized honey is a natural sweetener that is tasty and I often use it in baking.
  2. Agave Nectar: Agave nectar is sweeter than regular sugar, so you can use less of it if you want.
  3. Date Paste: Blend soaked dates with water to create a date paste that adds natural sweetness and fiber.
  4. Brown Rice Syrup: Brown rice syrup is made from cooked brown rice and is less sweet than maple syrup, making it a good alternative.
  5. Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce can replace some or all of the maple syrup, adding moisture and natural sweetness.
  6. Mashed Bananas: Ripe mashed bananas can replace maple syrup in recipes, adding sweetness and a fruity flavor.
  7. Coconut Nectar: This sap from coconut blossoms has a mild, caramel-like taste.
  8. Stevia: Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the Stevia plant leaves. People either love it or hate it. I personally hate it. The problem with using stevia to replace any sweetener in a recipe is it decreases the volume and changes the structure. I would only use it in cake, cupcake, and muffin recipes, not in cookie recipes.
  9. Blackstrap Molasses: While it has a strong flavor, blackstrap molasses is rich in minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium. You might want to mix this with another sweetener since molasses has a very intense flavor.
  10. Maple Extract: If you want to maintain the maple flavor add a few drops of maple extract along with your sugar replacement.
  11. Coconut Palm Sugar: Derived from coconut palm sap, it has a caramel-like flavor. It tastes similar to brown sugar.
  12. Maple Sugar: Made from dehydrated maple syrup, it retains the maple flavor and can be used as a dry sweetener in cooking.
Maple Balsamic Dressing in a glass jar beside a harvest salad.

Maple Syrup Substitute for Cooking

There are so many amazing side dishes that require maple syrup like roasted carrots, brussel sprouts, etc. Sometimes we don’t have maple syrup on hand.

These ideas also work for substituting maple syrup in condiments like salad dressing.

Here’s a list of maple syrup alternatives you can use in cooking instead of maple syrup:

  1. Honey: Honey is a versatile natural sweetener that works wonderfully in savory dishes, such as marinades, dressings, and glazes, adding a delightful balance of sweetness to your savory creations.
  2. Agave Nectar: Agave nectar, with its sweeter-than-sugar taste, is an excellent replacement in various savory recipes, enhancing flavors without overwhelming them.
  3. Date Syrup: Date syrup, with its rich and fruity sweetness, can be a delightful addition to savory cooking, elevating the taste of side dishes and dinner recipes.
  4. Brown Rice Syrup: Brown rice syrup is a fantastic alternative to maple syrup in savory Asian-inspired dishes, contributing a subtle sweetness that complements the savory elements.
  5. Balsamic Reduction: Reducing balsamic vinegar creates a sweet and tangy syrup that excels in savory dishes, especially in salad dressings, glazes, and other savory applications.
  6. Molasses: Although robust in flavor, blackstrap molasses can add depth and complexity to savory recipes like sauces, stews, and marinades, giving it a unique and rich taste.
  7. Coconut Nectar: Coconut nectar can be a substitute for maple syrup in savory dishes, adding a touch of tropical sweetness.
  8. Brown Sugar Syrup: Mixing brown sugar or coconut palm sugar with water and boiling it to create a syrup-like consistency offers a maple syrup alternative that works well in both sweet and savory applications, such as glazes and sauces for meat and vegetables. You can add maple extract to give it a maple syrup taste.

Adjust quantities to suit your taste preferences and the specific dish you’re preparing.

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