Dark Corn Syrup Substitutes

Baking a Pecan Pie
Baking a Pecan Pie. Gmvozd/E+/Getty Images
  • Prep Time
    2 min
  • Cook Time
    0 min
  • Total Time
    2 min
  • Yield

If you're making a pecan pie, candied sweet potatoes or another recipe that calls for dark corn syrup, and you just discovered that you don't have any in your pantry, use one of these substitutes until you're able to get to the store for more.


  • Light corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar, granulated sugar or maple syrup


Substitution for Dark Corn Syrup - Light Corn Syrup + Molasses

This is the easiest and best solution, assuming that you have both of these in your pantry. Just mix together three parts light corn syrup and one part molasses, and use this in place of the dark corn syrup called for in your recipe. 

Dark corn syrup is mostly made of the same ingredients as light corn syrup, with the addition of refiner's sugar, which is a type of molasses.

It's the refiner's sugar that gives dark corn syrup its dark color and caramel-molasses flavor. By adding molasses to light corn syrup, you'll replicate that flavor.

If you don't have light corn syrup, or you're trying to avoid using corn syrup altogether, use one of these in its place:

  • Simple sugar syrup- If you have molasses, but you don't have light corn syrup, you can make a simple sugar syrup to replace the light corn syrup. One cup of white sugar dissolved in a quarter cup of hot water, then cooled, will produce an acceptable substitute. Use it in place of one cup of dark corn syrup.
  • Honey- You can also use honey as a substitute for light corn syrup. It'll be sweeter than the corn syrup, so you may need to make some adjustments to your recipe to account for the additional sweetness.
  • See Also: Light Corn Syrup Substitute

Substitutions for Dark Corn Syrup When You Don't Have Molasses

  • Brown sugar contains some molasses. Make a simple sugar syrup from brown sugar, and water, and you'll get some of that molasses flavor that your recipe intends. Karo recommends 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar dissolved in three to four tablespoons of water. This recipe is from the company making the best-known dark corn syrup.
  • Maple-flavored syrup is often simply corn syrup with maple flavoring. It can be substituted for dark corn syrup in a pinch. Your recipe will take on a maple flavor, rather than a molasses flavor, but that could prove to be just as tasty. Consider how maple will work with the other ingredients in your recipe, and if the flavor combination sounds good to you, give it a try.

Trying to eliminate corn from your diet? Here are some more corn substitutes:

Still More Ingredient Substitutions

Bookmark or pin my complete ingredient substitution list, so you spend less time running to the store for ingredients that you're out of. It has over 75 substitutes for common (and not-so-common) ingredients.