6 Things You Can Use Instead of Light Corn Syrup (2024)

Light corn syrup is a clear-colored syrup made by extracting sugars from cornstarch. It also often includes a little vanilla flavoring. You'll find it listed as an ingredient in recipes for candy, caramel popcorn, frosting, and sweet sauces. It doesn't crystallize like sugar so it can withstand high cooking temperatures.

If you don't have a bottle in the pantry, you might not need to run to the store. There are a number of light corn syrup substitutes that should work out just fine; which you choose will depend on you're making.

Light Corn Syrup Substitutes

You can replace 1 cup of corn syrup with one of these simple substitutes:

  • 1 cup sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup light molasses
  • 1 cup maple-flavored syrup (pancake syrup)
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup

6 Things You Can Use Instead of Light Corn Syrup (2)

Which Corn Syrup Substitute Will Work Best in Your Recipe?

Corn syrup doesn't add flavor to a recipe—just sweetness—so sugar is definitely the best substitute in terms of flavor. By dissolving it in water, you're creating a concentrated simple syrup. This liquid form is a great substitute for pies (like pecan) and coated fruits. However, unlike corn syrup, sugar crystallizes at high temps, so it's not a good choice for candy recipes that you have to take past the softball stage (235 F).

See Also
FAQ | Karo®

Assuming your recipe can take the addition of maple flavoring, any maple-flavored syrup is a brilliant substitute in all situations. It's made from corn syrup, so really you're just substituting like for like when you go this route. Of course, this is not a solution if you're allergic to corn or trying to cut corn syrup from your diet.

Honey is a good stand-in in baked good recipes because it will retain the moisture. While the honey will add a bit of flavor, the difference will be subtle as long as youstick with light-colored honey.

Agave syrup (or agave nectar) has a fairly mild flavor, so it's another option to consider. It can be used in pies, sauces, and other dessert recipes, but won't work for candy making.

Light molasses is perhaps the substitute of last resort. It will give you the body you're after, but will also change the flavor of your recipe more than any of the other substitutes. Avoid using blackstrap molasses at all costs. It has a very distinct taste that is likely to overwhelm the other flavors in your recipe.

If you're making a candy that has to go to the hardball stage, corn syrup, brown rice syrup,or another glucose syrup really is the best way to go. Hard candies were made long before corn syrup existed, so consider consulting a vintage cookbook for techniques if you're determined to forgo corn syrup entirely.

Other Substitutes For Corn Syrup

If you haven't been able to find corn syrup locally, glucose syrup (also known as confectioner's glucose) or golden syrup can be used in its place. In fact, corn syrup is just a type of glucose syrup. It can also be made from potatoes, wheat, rice, and a few other things.

6 Things You Can Use Instead of Light Corn Syrup (2024)


6 Things You Can Use Instead of Light Corn Syrup? ›

The best light corn syrup substitutes are golden syrup, brown rice syrup, golden or amber maple syrup, agave, tapioca syrup, simple syrup, and light honey.

What can be substituted for light corn syrup? ›

You can replace 1 cup of corn syrup with one of these simple substitutes:
  • 1 cup sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water.
  • 1 cup honey.
  • 1 cup light molasses.
  • 1 cup maple-flavored syrup (pancake syrup)
  • 1 cup agave nectar.
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup.
Mar 18, 2024

What is a good substitute for syrup? ›

There are so many substitutes for maple syrup that can replicate the taste and texture of the real thing; honey, molasses, simple syrup, brown sugar syrup, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, golden syrup, coconut nectar, agave nectar, white sugar, brown sugar, or keto syrup alternatives.

What is a good substitute for glucose syrup? ›

To replace glucose syrup, we recommend using other naturally occurring syrups, like honey, maple syrup, and agave syrups. The textures and flavor profiles will give you a similar texture and mouthfeel to your final results.

Can you substitute sugar and water for corn syrup? ›

A modified simple syrup of four parts sugar to one-part warm water is an easy corn syrup swap in many recipes, including confections cooked to the soft-ball stage—think buttercreams, pralines and fudge. This neutral swap is similar in taste to corn syrup.

Is Karo the same as light corn syrup? ›

The clear Karo corn syrup has been called "light" since the 1940s, before "light" became a popular description for reduced-calorie products. The term "light" in this case refers to the color, and not the number of calories. Many consumers refer to light corn syrup as "white" corn syrup.

What makes light corn syrup light? ›

Two common commercial corn syrup products are light and dark corn syrup. Light corn syrup is corn syrup seasoned with vanilla flavor and salt. It is a nearly clear color. Dark corn syrup is a combination of corn syrup and refiner's syrup, caramel color and flavor, salt, and the preservative sodium benzoate.

What can be used as syrup? ›

If you're looking for a simple syrup substitute, there are three favorites you probably have right in your home: honey, maple syrup and agave. For honey or agave, add warm water to them, to help turn the mix to syrup. You can also use a sweet, juicy fruit, like an orange.

Can I substitute honey for syrup? ›

If you are wondering if you can replace maple syrup with honey, you absolutely can! You'll likely enjoy trying something new.

What are the three types of syrup? ›

Culinary syrup
  • Agave syrup, made from agave stem.
  • Cane syrup, made from sugar canes.
  • Chocolate syrup.
  • Corn syrup.
  • Glucose syrup.
  • Golden syrup, a by-product of refining crystallized sugar.
  • High fructose corn syrup, widely used in the US.
  • Maple syrup.

How to replace sugar with glucose? ›

Dextrose (glucose powder) — Dextrose is less sweet than refined sugar and the texture is like coarse icing sugar. For a straight substitution, multiply the weight of sugar in the recipe by 0.7 for the amount of dextrose needed. You may also need to add extra liquid – use your intuition here.

Can I substitute glucose syrup with glucose powder? ›

It will mix easily with various food ingredients and can be diluted by mixing in water. If you are replacing Glucose Syrup with Glucose Powder, use 75g of Glucose Powder instead of 100g of glucose syrup.

What is a good substitute for light corn syrup? ›

The best light corn syrup substitutes are golden syrup, brown rice syrup, golden or amber maple syrup, agave, tapioca syrup, simple syrup, and light honey.

What can I use if I don't have corn syrup? ›

9 Corn Syrup Substitutes for Silky Sauces and Crackly Candy
  • Agave nectar. “If I had to make a substitution, I would probably try agave first,” says New York City-based recipe developer Janine Desiderio. ...
  • Brown rice syrup. ...
  • Honey. ...
  • Golden syrup. ...
  • Black treacle. ...
  • Cane syrup. ...
  • Tapioca syrup. ...
  • Maple syrup.
Oct 24, 2022

What is a good substitute for corn syrup in pecan pie? ›

Maple syrup: Pure maple syrup will serve as the primary sweetener for this pecan pie. Coconut sugar (or brown sugar): Either coconut sugar or traditional brown sugar will work as our secondary (dry) sweetener.

What happens if you use dark corn syrup instead of light corn syrup? ›

Light and dark corn syrup can be used interchangeably in almost every instance, with slight flavor variances. In a pecan pie, for example, light corn syrup will contribute sweetness and a hint of vanilla, but that's about it. Dark corn syrup, in addition to sweetness, will add color and a more robust, toasty flavor.

Can I substitute honey for corn syrup in a pie? ›

Honey will tend to have a more distinct flavor and can be used in equal amounts to corn syrup. This means you can use one cup of honey for every one cup of corn syrup the recipe calls for. This alternative is healthier than corn syrup and is packed with antioxidants.

Is light corn syrup the same as maple syrup? ›

Here are some key points to remember: - Maple syrup is natural, while corn syrup is artificial. - Maple syrup has a unique flavor and color, while corn syrup is bland and clear. - Maple syrup contains sucrose, while corn syrup contains glucose.

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