So you want to make butter tarts?
But wait, there’s a problem: you’re out of corn syrup.
Don’t worry, though.
Whether you want to just use what you have on hand, or you want to try something a little different to spice up your tarts, we’ve got 10 substitutes for corn syrup that can take your butter tart game to the next level.
10 Substitutes for Corn Syrup in Butter Tarts
You don’t need to use expensive, hard-to-find corn syrup to make delicious butter tarts.
The truth is, there are 10 different substitutes that you can use to make your favorite sweet treat.
You can sub in a wide array of different items, including:
Honey is a very good substitute for corn syrup for a number of reasons.
First, it has the same effects on sweetness and moisture as corn syrup does.
It also has a similar texture to corn syrup, making it easy to incorporate into your butter tart recipe.
Just be careful not to use too much of it, or you’ll end up with a gooey mess on your hands!
Here are three common mistakes people make when using honey as a substitute:
- Using too much of it
- Overcooking the tarts
- Not letting the tarts cool enough before eating
2. Brown sugar
Brown sugar is a suitable substitute for corn syrup in butter tarts because it has a similar consistency, and it also adds a caramelized taste to the tarts, which will make them all the more delicious.
However, there are three common mistakes that people make with brown sugar as a substitute:
- Not dissolving the sugar right away. This can lead to a gritty texture in the end product.
- Using too much brown sugar. Too much brown sugar can make your tarts too sweet, and even give them an unpleasant burnt flavor.
- Using too little brown sugar. You might think you should use less brown sugar than corn syrup, but this can result in hardened chunks of undissolved sugar in your tarts.
3. Maple syrup
Many people will just straight up swap out maple syrup for corn syrup, expecting the dish to come out okay.
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when using maple syrup as a substitute for corn syrup when making butter tarts.
You can’t just swap them out 1:1—maple syrup is basically pure sugar, whereas corn syrup has a higher water content, so you’ll need to add a bit more water when you’re using maple syrup.
A mistake people make with this substitute is not checking the expiration date on their maple syrup before they use it.
Maple syrup starts to spoil after it’s been opened, so if you have an old bottle lying around, it’s likely no longer good and should be thrown away.
4. White sugar
Here’s how to use white sugar as a substitute for corn syrup in your butter tarts:
If you want your butter tart filling to be more firm and caramel-like than gooey, then white sugar is a great ingredient to use as a substitute.
Simply double the amount of white sugar that the recipe calls for, and don’t add any corn syrup at all. (You can also add 1/4 of a cup more of butter.)
Now keep in mind that you might want to adjust your filling and add a bit more of other ingredients like vanilla extract or salt to get the taste just right.
And here are 3 common mistakes people make when using this substitute:
- They don’t double the amount of white sugar.
- They add too much water, which will ruin the consistency.
- They don’t adjust the amount of eggs in their recipe.
Molasses is a thick syrup made when sugar is refined.
It has a distinct, sweet taste and is usually dark brown in color.
To use it as a substitute for corn syrup, add 1 tablespoon of molasses to your recipe for every cup of corn syrup it calls for.
3 mistakes people make with molasses as a corn syrup substitute:
- Adding too much molasses: Use the ratio suggested above. More than that will make your butter tarts taste like molasses, not butter!
- Using blackstrap molasses instead of regular molasses: Blackstrap molasses is more bitter than regular molasses and does not have that signature sweet flavor you’re looking for.
- Assuming you can use honey as a substitute for corn syrup in butter tarts: You cannot swap out these items in this recipe because they behave differently when heated.
6. Agave syrup
Agave syrup is a great substitute for corn syrup in butter tarts.
Though it has a similar texture, it’s less sweet than corn syrup.
While this is great for people who prefer less sweetness, it also makes agave syrup a bit trickier to use in cooking.
Here are three ways to avoid common mistakes with this substitute:
- Let the agave syrup boil before filling the tart shells, or else the filling will be runny.
- Since it’s not as sweet as corn syrup, add more sugar than usual—about 1/4 cup more per batch. (You can also substitute brown sugar for white sugar.)
- To make sure your tarts don’t get soggy, heat the agave before adding it to the other ingredients, and add some flour or cornstarch to thicken the filling.
Maltose is a sugar that will give you the same texture as corn syrup without sacrificing taste.
It also helps your body burn fat and prevents insulin spikes, which is great if you’re worried about your health or diet.
Here are 3 mistakes you should avoid when using maltose:
- Don’t try to use more than half as much maltose as you would have used corn syrup—it will be too sweet.
- Don’t forget to add water to the mixture—maltose is twice as concentrated as corn syrup, so you’ll need more liquid for it to work well in the recipe.
- Don’t use maltose after it’s been stored for more than two years—it becomes less effective.
If you’re looking for a substitute for corn syrup in your butter tarts, you can also use butter.
The benefits of using this alternative over the original include:
- You will be able to control how much sugar is in your recipe. This is helpful if you are trying to make a healthier version.
- Butter is an ingredient that most people already have on hand. This makes it convenient and easy to work with.
However, there are also some drawbacks associated with this substitution including:
- It will not have the same consistency as corn syrup (i.e., runnier). This could alter the taste and texture of your dessert if you’re not prepared for it.
- The flavor will be different from what you’d expect when using real butter instead of margarine or shortening; the latter two options tend to have less fat and more water content than their dairy counterparts do.
- The consistency will change depending on how long it takes to melt down into liquid form before being added into other ingredients like eggs, flour, etc.
9. Date syrup
Date syrup is a great replacement for corn syrup.
It’s not as sweet as corn syrup, but it has a full flavor that works great in butter tarts.
But don’t make these 3 mistakes when using date syrup:
- Don’t overdo it with the cinnamon. Date syrup already has a strong flavor and you don’t want to overwhelm your butter tarts with too much cinnamon.
- Don’t use instant oats. Even if they’re in the recipe, just don’t do it. You can use quick oats instead of rolled oats – just be sure to cook them first!
- Don’t forget to add salt! Salt brings out the sweetness of other ingredients, like date syrup and raisins, so it’s important not to skip this ingredient or your butter tarts will taste bland.
10. Coconut nectar
To use coconut nectar as a substitute in your recipe, simply replace the corn syrup with the same amount of coconut nectar.
However, it’s important to avoid the following three mistakes:
- If you’re using coconut nectar for its sweetness, remember that it has a glycemic index of 35, so it will affect your blood sugar levels.
- If you’re using coconut nectar for its thickness and viscosity, note that it is less viscous than corn syrup.
- If you’re using coconut nectar because you want an organic substitute for corn syrup, be aware that although this product is free from artificial ingredients, it still isn’t as healthy as other alternatives.
2 Tips for Picking the Right Substitute
When you’re looking for a substitute for corn syrup in butter tarts, you may have noticed that the list of options can be overwhelming.
We’ve collected some tips to help you choose the right one!
- Make sure the substitute you’re using is going to end up producing the same texture. Corn syrup is a great binder with a lot of fluidity, so you want to make sure whatever substitute you choose will have the same properties.
- Make sure the substitute is going to dissolve easily in the filling. If it doesn’t, it’s going to sink to the bottom and get stuck there, messing up your butter tarts’ texture and flavor.
10 Substitutes for Corn Syrup in Butter Tarts
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
- White sugar
- Agave syrup
- Date syrup
- Coconut nectar
- Pick one of the substitutes from this list to use in your dessert.
- Prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Enjoy your dessert in no time!
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.