It’s not easy to find a good substitute for maple syrup.
I mean, sure, there are plenty of options out there that can get the job done—but what about when you’re looking for something that’s perfect for baking?
The best substitutes for maple syrup in baking include honey, agave nectar, golden syrup, brown rice syrup, and molasses. All of these substitutes are low on the glycemic index, vegan-friendly, and similar in sweetness to maple syrup.
If you’re looking for more options, then keep scrolling!
I’ve rounded up 19 substitutes for maple syrup in baking, so you can find the one that’s just right for your recipe.
19 Substitutes for Maple Syrup in Baking
Maple syrup is an essential ingredient in many baked goods, but it can be difficult to find, or too expensive for some people.
Here are 19 substitutes you can use in place of maple syrup when baking:
Honey is another option for those who don’t want their cake too sweet – it provides just enough sweetness without overwhelming your taste buds with sugary goodness (although it does have more carbs than regular sugar).
Benefits of using honey:
- Honey is sweeter than maple syrup, which means you can use less honey to get the same amount of sweetness.
- Honey is often thicker than maple syrup, so it won’t run as quickly from food during cooking.
- Honey contains minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium.
- Honey also has antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
2. Date paste
Date paste is made by combining dates, water, and sometimes a little bit of vanilla extract or almond extract.
It’s really easy to make, but you need a high-speed blender or food processor.
You can also buy date paste if you don’t want to make it yourself—just look for it at the grocery store in the baking aisle.
Once you have your date paste, substitute 1 tablespoon of date paste for every 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or other sweetener called for in the recipe.
3. Agave nectar
One of the most popular is agave nectar. It offers a similar flavor to honey and has a syrup-like consistency, making it a great option for cakes and cookies.
It also has a lower glycemic index than sugar, so if you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake, agave nectar could be a good choice.
4. Blackstrap molasses
Another one that’s similar in flavor is blackstrap molasses.
It’s made from sugar cane and has a rich, caramelized flavor that works well with gingerbread and other dark desserts, as well as in baking recipes where brown sugar might be used (such as chocolate chip cookies).
5. Brown rice syrup
Another substitute for maple syrup is brown rice syrup.
Brown rice syrup is very similar in taste and texture to maple syrup, and it has a caramel flavor that makes a recipe feel like fall even if you’re using this sweetener in the middle of summer.
Like date paste, it’s easy to find at the grocery store, but you can also make it on your own with just a few ingredients.
6. White or Brown Sugar Syrup
To make this syrup, all you need is sugar and water.
- If your recipe calls for 1 cup of maple syrup, just heat ½ cup of water in a saucepan until it begins to simmer.
- Then add 1 cup of white or brown sugar, depending on what flavor you want (brown sugar will add hints of molasses).
- Stir until the sugar dissolves completely and allow the mixture to cool before using it in your recipe.
7. Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is another easy substitute when it comes time to bake up something delicious.
All you need are some cornstarch and water to create this versatile ingredient that can be used in any recipe calling for maple syrup or honey!
Just mix together equal parts cornstarch with one part cold water until smooth then simmer over medium heat until thickened (about 10 minutes).
8. Buttermilk Syrup
If you have buttermilk in your fridge and some time on your hands, buttermilk syrup is a great option.
This recipe takes two hours to make, but it’s worth it if you already have the ingredients on hand.
- Just whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Then, gradually add buttermilk until all of it is incorporated, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Continue whisking the mixture until it’s smooth, then let the mixture boil for about four minutes more before taking it off the heat.
- The syrup should be thick enough for you to coat the back of a spoon with it without any drips falling off.
- Lastly, stir in vanilla extract and salt, and let the syrup cool completely before using it.
9. Yacon Syrup
Yacon syrup is an excellent all-natural sweetener that can help you avoid the refined sugars found in most syrups these days.
It’s made from dried yacon root which is ground into a powder, mixed with water and then boiled until all of its sugars are dissolved.
The mixture will then be filtered through cheesecloth or another fine mesh screen so that only pure liquid remains—and voila! You have yourself some yacon syrup.
10. Golden Syrup
Golden syrup is a thick, amber-colored syrup that has a mild flavor and is extremely sweet.
It’s made from sugar cane and is often used in baking.
It’s commonly found in the UK, but can also be found in the US at gourmet grocery stores.
It’s great to use as a maple syrup substitute because of its similar sweetness level and consistency.
11. Caramel Syrup
This is another delicious and easy-to-find substitute for maple syrup in baking, but it works best when used for things like pancakes or French toast.
You probably won’t want to slather caramel on your biscuit or use it on your hamburger bun as a condiment—but otherwise, go nuts!
12. Barley Malt Syrup
This sweetener is made by sprouting and then cooking barley to extract its sugars.
It keeps the flavor of the grain, making it an ideal substitute for maple syrup when you’re baking bread or muffins.
13. Coconut Nectar
Coconut nectar comes from the coconut palm tree, not the coconut itself.
It’s made by extracting sap from the blossoms of a coconut palm tree and then boiling it down until thick and syrupy.
This nectar has a mild caramel taste and a thin consistency similar to maple syrup, making it a good substitute for maple in many recipes.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that is made from the stevia plant.
The leaves of the stevia plant are dried and then ground up into a powder, which can be used as a substitute for maple syrup in baking.
At its best, stevia delivers a sweet flavor without any added calories or carbohydrates, but it is important to note that not all brands of stevia will taste the same.
If you plan on making the switch from maple syrup to stevia, we recommend doing a small test batch to make sure you like the taste before you roll out your new ingredient to everyone who might try your baked goods.
15. Chocolate Ice Cream Syrup
Chocolate ice cream syrup is another great solution for getting rid of maple syrup in your baking recipes.
This option will add some sweetness as well as chocolatey goodness, which is obviously never going to be a bad thing.
Be aware that this option will add some carbs and calories (unless your chocolate ice cream syrup is sugar-free), so you might want to pay attention to nutrition labels when you choose which brand of syrup to buy.
16. Fruit purées
Applesauce and pumpkin purée are good options as they can be easily mixed into any batter or dough mix.
These are especially good for muffins and quick breads!
Just keep in mind that they will alter the flavor of your recipe so they aren’t always appropriate substitutes for maple syrup if you want something more neutral-tasting like brown rice syrup or coconut sugar instead of fruit flavors like applesauce or pumpkin purée might have (but these might work well too depending on what type of recipe you’re making).
17. Mashed bananas
Not only does mashed banana add moisture and sweetness to your baked goods, but it also adds a rich, earthy flavor.
For every cup of maple syrup, substitute one cup of mashed banana.
18. Almond Butter
Almond butter makes an excellent substitute for maple syrup in baked goods because of its natural sweetness and smooth, silky texture.
If your recipe calls for one cup of maple syrup, use one cup of almond butter.
19. Homemade Maple Syrup
Don’t let the word “homemade” scare you, it’s easy as pie to make!
- 1/4 cup of honey or molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.
You have your very own delicious, homemade maple syrup.
Use this substitute in your favorite recipes while saving time and money.
What’s the Healthiest Substitute for Maple Syrup in Baking?
We think the healthiest substitute for maple syrup in baking is dates.
Their natural sugars give you all of the sweetness without any of the guilt!
Best of all, dates are super easy to use:
- Just soak them in warm water for 30 minutes until soft, then blend or mash into a paste.
One cup of pitted dates is about the same in sweetness as one cup of maple syrup, so it’s a super easy swap.
The paste will also keep in your fridge for up to one month, so you can make a big batch and have it ready whenever you need it.
Try adding 1/2 cup of date paste to your next batch of cookies—you won’t miss the maple syrup at all!
19 Substitutes for Maple Syrup in Baking
- Date paste
- Agave nectar
- Blackstrap molasses
- Brown rice syrup
- White or Brown Sugar Syrup
- Corn Syrup
- Buttermilk Syrup
- Yacon Syrup
- Golden Syrup
- Caramel Syrup
- Barley Malt Syrup
- Coconut Nectar
- Chocolate Ice Cream Syrup
- Fruit purées
- Mashed bananas
- Almond Butter
- Homemade Maple Syrup
- Pick one of the substitutes on this list to use in your baking.
- Prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Be ready to munch in no time!