5 Best Golden Syrup Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Golden syrup is a popular ingredient for vegans who do not consider honey to be vegan-friendly. However, if you live outside of the UK or Australia, it can be hard to find this ingredient at the local grocery store. Fortunately, there are several golden syrup substitutes that you might already have in your cupboards. Finding appropriate golden syrup substitutes will keep your recipes tasting great, even if you’re short on the ingredients!

Golden syrup, also called light treacle, is a popular baking sweetener. It is made from refining sugar beet cane or juice and is a byproduct of making sugar. It has a thick texture and viscosity that is similar to honey or maple syrup and is a light to medium amber color.

Substitutes for Golden Syrup

The many golden syrup substitutes include maple syrup, honey, corn syrup, molasses, and homemade golden syrup. Let us take a detailed look at them below.

Molasses in motion

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup, either light or dark, is the best substitution for golden syrup. The consistency and taste are similar enough that it can be substituted at a one-to-one ratio, although corn syrup is a bit runnier. A specific type of corn syrup called high fructose corn syrup is considered the best substitute that won’t change the flavor of the recipe.


Honey is a very popular substitute for golden syrup since most people already have it sitting in their pantry. While the sweetness and texture may be similar, using honey will change the flavor of the recipe slightly. Since honey is so expensive, many people use a half-honey, half-corn syrup mixture to substitute for golden syrup.

Maple Syrup

Real maple syrup can be used to substitute for golden syrup, but the flavor of the recipe will be different. If possible, use Grade A maple syrup, which is lighter in color and flavor than Grade B. If you’re using a maple-flavored pancake syrup, these are usually mostly composed of corn syrup but will add a strong maple taste.


Molasses is much darker in flavor and thicker in consistency than golden syrup. It also has a slightly bitter, burnt taste. If you find yourself using molasses, try using one-third molasses and two-thirds corn syrup to cut the taste.

Homemade Golden Syrup Recipe

In a pinch, with sugar and vinegar, you can make your own golden syrup on the stovetop.

  • Evenly heat one-quarter cup of sugar in a saucepan.
  • Blend one teaspoon of water with half a teaspoon of vinegar and sprinkle this over the sugar.
  • Heat the mixture on low without stirring for five minutes, then heat on medium for another five minutes.
  • Do not stir.
  • When the mixture is the color of caramel and stops bubbling, it’s ready!
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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