6 Best Maple Syrup Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Having good maple syrup substitutes on hand is important for baking or breakfast when maple syrup is difficult to find or too expensive. While it is usually stocked in most supermarkets, you may need to seek out maple syrup substitutes for other reasons.

Maple syrup is a product made from the sap of sugar maple trees. In the late winter and early spring, a tap is drilled through the bark of the tree through which the sap is drained. The sap is then heated and reduced into maple syrup. This distinctive liquid sweetener is most famously used as a topping on pancakes and waffles and is also a common ingredient in baked goods, barbecue sauces, and even cocktails. [1]

Maple Syrup Substitutes

Maple syrup is generally quite expensive because of the intensive process required to make it. It can also be difficult to find, especially outside of the northern climates where sugar maples are native. Even in these areas, supplies of maple syrup may be low in the fall and winter season. However, there are plenty of easy substitutes available such as corn syrup, sugar, honey, molasses, jams and jellies, and stevia syrup. [2]

Corn Syrup

This is the cheapest maple syrup replacement and the main ingredient of most imitation maple syrups found in supermarkets. The clear liquid has a similar texture and sweetness to maple syrup, although it’s not as flavorful.


Granulated white or brown sugar can be substituted for maple syrup in most baking recipes. To match the sweetness, use 25% more sugar than maple syrup, and add 3 tablespoons of water for each cup of sugar used.

A jar of honey with ginger and lemon on a wooden table

Honey and ginger tea make for an amazing couple. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


While it may be nearly as expensive as maple syrup, honey is more widely available and has its own distinct flavor. Although it is thicker than maple syrup, it can replace maple syrup in virtually any recipe. [3]


This thick, dark liquid is made from sugar cane or sugar beets and is commonly used in warmer climates where sugar cane grows. Molasses can even be easier to find and cheaper than maple syrup in these regions.

Jams and Jellies

These fruit spreads make excellent pancake and waffle toppings, adding sweetness and unique flavors in place of sugary maple syrup.

Stevia Syrup

Although it is not widely available everywhere in the world, stevia syrup is attractive as a maple syrup substitute because it is sugar-free. A few commercially-manufactured brands can be purchased online, or you can just make a simple stevia syrup at home by boiling a few crushed stevia leaves in a cup of water. [4]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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