Does a recipe you are using call for golden syrup, but you have run out of it? In this article, we will introduce you to eight fantastic choices that you can substitute for golden syrup that can be easily found in your pantry or local grocery store.
Whether you’re baking a dessert or whipping up a sauce, these substitutes will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but also add unique flavors and textures to your dishes.
So let’s dive in and explore the world of delicious golden syrup substitutes! In this post, I will list all my favorite replacements for golden syrup and give you a short comparison of them.
What Is Golden Syrup?
First, for those who are still wondering what exactly golden syrup is and what it is used for, I will briefly explain.
Golden syrup is a natural product made from the sugarcane refining process.
The syrup is also called a light treacle and has a color similar to amber. It is commonly used in recipes, especially for baking and making desserts. It serves as a natural sweetener.
Golden Syrup and sugar have no difference in terms of chemical compositions, since they both include 50 percent of glucose and 50 percent of fructose. Golden Syrup is easier to use because it is a liquid, but sugar is in hardened form.
Each tbsp of golden syrup has 60 calories and 17g of carbohydrates, being more or less the same with sugar, which contains 49 calories and a little less than 13 carbohydrates per tbsp.
8 Best Ingredients To Use As A Substitute For Golden Syrup
Take a look below to learn about some of the choices that you can use as a substitute for golden syrup and to see which one works best for you!
Light Corn Syrup
This is my first choice after reading many reviews on the Internet and having tried myself to bake cookies with it. Corn Syrup (also called Maize Syrup) originates from corn starch.
It is commonly used in many recipes with plenty of uses such as preventing sugar crystallization, flavoring, adding volume, softening the texture.
There are two types of corn syrup: light syrup and dark. While the former is basically a light-color sweetener, the latter is a bit more intense in flavor with caramel color.
I would recommend the light one since its taste is closer to Golden Syrup.
Basically, light corn syrup can perfectly replace Golden Syrup in every recipe. There is only slight difference that the corn one has a very mild flavor, while light treacle is uniquely light and buttery.
This is a very popular ingredient which everyone must use at least once before.
The prerequisite advantage of this ingredient is 100% natural components, so it is very healthy. Same as Golden Syrup, honey is commonly used for flavoring and sweetening.
However, unlike Golden Syrup or Light Corn Syrup, Honey has quite a strong flavor depending on its varieties. Since it is made from many types of the flower which have different smells and tastes.
Honey can have diverse flavors. Accordingly, it might seriously influence the taste of your dish. So, be careful to decide on its variety when choosing Honey as a substitute for golden syrup.
More notably, Golden Syrup is a flexible binding agent in many recipes, Whilst Honey is not. Honey might change its texture when it is combined with certain constituents.
As a result, the outcomes will be different in diverse dishes. Last but not least, Honey cannot sustain in high heat as light treacle.
3. Maple Syrup
The next choice in my list is Maple Syrup. It is derived from the sap of sugar maple, red maple or black maple trees. The liquid after being extracted will be boiled until it becomes the pure syrup.
It is classified based on its purity, the more intense it is the darker grade it gets. Regarding the taste, light treacle might be slightly sweeter than maple syrup.
One of the obvious advantages of this syrup is its rich nutrition, since it is made from purely natural maple sap. Another is its longevity. After being opened, it can be stored in the fridge for a year.
Since making this syrup takes a lot of time and effort, the selling price is fairly high, around $19 for a 50ml bottle. Personally, that is definitely a cons of this substitute.
Moreover, some maple syrups are too runny, so sometimes you might end up with biscuits that are ultra-soft, which I dislike the most when using Maple Syrup as a substitute.
A little trick is that I sometimes mix Honey with Maple Syrup, and such combination works well in terms of the taste and also the texture!
Overall, I have to admit that golden syrup has its own unique pleasant flavor that others cannot replace it in some dishes.
4. Agave Nectar
Agave Nectar is described as a mild flavor that keeps a liquid physical state at normal or room temperature. In my private opinion, agave nectar is the best choice to replace.
Agave Nectar is used as an ingredient in plenty of foods and recipes such as chocolate sauce, syrup, or pie. You can easily find it sold in the market as a natural and friendly sweetener.
According to the research, it is a good kind of sweetener because it helps control your blood sugar levels even if you have diabetes.
Agave Nectar is a substitute for some syrups in many recipes, for example, golden syrup, because it is compared sweeter than sugar, about one and a half times.
You also notice that agave syrup contains almost fructose, while golden syrup combines fructose and glucose, so the taste will be a little bit different about sweetness if you use the ratio of 1:1 to substitute.
Therefore, you will put less in your dish to get the same taste. In this way, you should cook at a lower temperature and reduce about 10C/50F.
5. Cane syrup
Cane syrup is an amber-colored liquid sweetener made from evaporating sugar cane juice until thick and syrupy.
It has a dark golden brown with medium intensity used by Creole, Caribbean, and especially British cooks for many years. People use cane syrup to make pancakes, cereals, and biscuits.
Cane syrup also is the replacement for golden syrup because they come from the same origin. It would be best to boil down cane syrup; then, you can use it as using golden syrup instead.
6. Brown Rice Syrup
Have you ever heard about Brown Rice Syrup? It is also an excellent replacement for golden syrup. It is made from rice starch which is broken down into simple sugars.
Then, sugars are boiled until concentrated and become a syrup.
The brown rice syrup has a delicious and attractive taste as cooked brown rice and is often used to make candy, sauces, or a syrup base in cocktails.
We can use brown rice syrup to replace golden syrup because it is also a liquid sweetener with nuttiness and mild sweetness.
About my experience, I sometimes use brown rice syrup to substitute the subtle sticky stuff in golden syrup when I make moon cake and treacle tart. I like its taste, so brown rice syrup is always available in my kitchen.
7. Black Treacle
Treacle is the name used in British for some syrup made during the process to make the sugar cane. The dark treacle (also black treacle) is one of the treacle which has a bitter taste.
Light treacle is known as Golden Syrup and made from the first boiling of the sugar cane. It contains 65% sucrose with the lightest color and sweetest among all of the treacles.
In comparison, Black Treacle is made from the second boilings, which have just about 55% sucrose.
About nature, they have many properties in common. Moreover, as its name, the golden syrup has a gold color, and we can see-through, while the dark treacle is darker and hard to see-through.
As an excellent substitution, the dark treacle is often used to create fruit cakes, delicious, moist cakes, and biscuits.
With the stronger flavor, richer color, and not quite sweet, we can use dark treacle to replace golden syrup in many recipes without consideration.
Molasses is a by-product of the process to refine sugar through a boiling process. As standard, the syrup is boiled three times when the sucrose is crystallized.
Then, we will get the molasses which appear with a dark color, opaque, strong flavor, and a bitter taste. It is also quite dense as a result of high concentration during its production process.
Based on inherent characteristics, golden syrup is often used in baking and gives us a better taste than molasses.
While molasses tend to produce beer more than food, maybe you don’t know that molasses play an essential role in making stout.
People also use it to prepare sauces and add color, also a flavor for savory food products. Molasses is also an ideal item as a binding agent, preservative, and natural food colorant.
However, you can use golden syrup and molasses in baked foods to add color and eye-catching flavor to your dish. They will bring you an excellent taste for your dish.