Save on Groceries With This Maple Syrup Substitute

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  • Prep Time
    2 min
  • Cook Time
    5 min
  • Total Time
    7 min
  • Yield

If you're looking to save money on groceries, cutting back on syrups, sauces, toppings and condiments could force you to pick between delicious flavors and your wallet. But here, we'll show you how to whip up a fast and cheap maple syrup substitute with a few pantry ingredients so that you could still enjoy your pancakes, waffles and other tasty kitchen creations. 


  • Option 1: Maple flavoring, sugar or corn syrup, and water
  • Option 2: Dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, ​and water
  • Option 3: Honey, corn syrup, molasses, or agave


Make Your Own Pancake Syrup

Top your pancakes with maple-flavored syrup, instead of real maple syrup. It’s really easy to make yourself.

If you want really thick syrup… Combine 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup sugar (brown or granulated), 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp maple flavoring. Heat until the sugar dissolves and all of the ingredients are warmed through. The Mapeline brand of flavoring seems to have a more concentrated flavor than most.

If you’re using another brand, you may find you need to increase the amount of maple flavoring used.

If you don’t want to use corn syrup… Create a simple syrup by combing equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan (one cup of sugar and one cup of water works well). Stir over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Then, add 1/2 tsp of maple flavoring (or more to taste). For the best flavor, use brown sugar (but don’t sweat it, if you only have granulated sugar on hand). This recipe will result in a thinner pancake syrup than you’re probably used to. If you want it to be as thick as real pancake syrup, double the sugar content in your simple syrup.

If you don’t have maple flavoring… Make a simple syrup with dark brown sugar and water. Then, add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. This won’t taste “mapley,” but it’ll still taste great on your pancakes.

How to Substitute Other Sweeteners for Maple Syrup

Working on a recipe that’s sweetened with maple syrup? If you don’t like the taste of maple, or you’d prefer to use something more affordable, it’s easy enough to make a switch. According to the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers’ website, you can replace the maple syrup called for with an equal amount of another liquid sweetener —​ honey, corn syrup, molasses, agave, etc. 

To swap in a granulated sweetener, like sugar or brown sugar, use 1 cup of sugar in place of 2/3 cup of maple syrup; then, add 1/4 cup of liquid to the recipe; and increase the baking temperature by 25 degrees. If you want to use a sugar replacement, stick to one that’s designed to replace sugar measure for measure.

Bare in mind that replacing the maple syrup called for with another sweetener will change the flavor of your recipe (and may impact the texture, too). Consider tweaking the spices or adding a flavoring extract to make up for any flavor loss.

Test out your maple syrup substitute on this pancake recipe.

Did this substitute save the day?

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