What is Corn Syrup? Best Corn Syrup Substitute and What to Know

Photo of author
Written By Liliana Flowers

The worry of thousands of housewives is that ingredients package or out of ingredients when cooking. In this case, turning off the stove will make the food lose its taste. If you go to the grocery to buy, it wastes time. So what do we do now? If we have something to substitute corn syrup?

To deal with all of the above problems, we are here to help you. Just take advantage of the available ingredients at home or just need a few tips, you can realize that these things have many uses. Let’s find out and immediately save some very interesting and useful tips about corn syrup substitute!

What is Corn Syrup?

Corn syrup is known as a thickener or sweetener. It is also known as a moisturizer that helps maintain the freshness of foods. It appears in many pastry recipes.

Corn syrup is widely used in baking recipes to increase the sweetness as well as to smooth the cake.
Corn syrup is widely used in baking recipes to increase the sweetness as well as to smooth the cake.

Corn syrup is the common name for liquid sugars, which come in a variety of syrups. Corn syrup is a syrup made from corn starch, containing malt candy and higher in oligosaccharides.

In food processing, corn syrup is used to soften moisture, sweeten dishes and prevent sugar from crystallizing again.

Corn syrup is also used to add flavor and is often used in marshmallow gummies, making caramel. In addition, a combination of corn syrup, tartar ice cream, sugar and water can create diameter-shaped chunks to decorate the cake and ice cream

It is important to distinguish corn syrup from high molecular corn syrup (HFCS). High molecular corn syrup produced using corn syrup, which converts glucose to fructose using the enzyme D-xylose isomerase, has a much higher sweetness. Many studies show that HFCS has no health benefits.

Top 7 Best Corn Syrup Substitute and What to Know

Corn syrup is a spice but less commonly used than salt or pepper. However, when using, you still can not help wondering about chemicals or preservatives in sugar when the concern about dirty food is increasingly widespread today. List of natural corn syrup substitutes below will help you cook delicious food with safety assurance.

1. Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup

The maple syrup is usually made from the sap of the maple tree. In cold climates, these plants contain the starch in the stems and roots before winter. Starch is then converted to sugar and then into plastic in the spring. One can get the sap of the maple tree by drilling holes into the trunk and harvesting the melted sap. The sap is then heated to evaporate the water and condensed into a syrup. The syrup can then be dried, pulverized and used as maple sugar.

Maple syrup includes a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For example, one tablespoon of this preferred syrup provides about 1 percent of the daily requirement of calcium, potassium and iron. Besides, it also provides 25% magnesium – a mineral that helps in the production of collagen, beautifying skin and strong bones.

2. Pure Honey

Honey is known as the fairy wine of the Gods. It is used topically for centuries to heal wounds and fight infections. It also offers a number of other health benefits when eaten as long as you don’t overeat it. This natural sweetener has been shown to provide nutrients, antioxidants, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory compounds. You can absolutely use honey as the No. 1 corn syrup substitute.

You can use it in cooking or replacing each tablespoon of corn syrup or sugar with one teaspoon of honey
You can use it in cooking or replacing each tablespoon of corn syrup or sugar with one teaspoon of honey

A study by the University of Illinois, USA analyzed honey samples from 14 different flower sources. They found that the honey from buckwheat flowers had 20 times more antioxidants than sage honey. Another study from the University of California, USA found that daily consumption of buckwheat honey resulted in higher antioxidant levels in the blood. On the other hand, a study from the University of Memphis found that athletes who often eat honey had stable insulin and blood sugar levels for a longer time than other sweeteners.

Honey can be sold in both dried and powdered forms. You can use it in cooking or replacing each tablespoon of corn syrup or sugar with one teaspoon of honey. You can also adjust the amount depending on the amount of food or how it is cooked, such as baking, sauces or stir-fry.

3. Raw Sugar

If you’ve ever eaten raw sugar, you know it’s very sweet. That’s why this product is used as a key ingredient in so many energy sources. Raw sugar provides many important nutrients including potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, vitamin B, vitamin K and antioxidants. However, the amount of nutrients in one teaspoon of raw sugar is very small. One teaspoon of raw sugar only contains 15 calories and about 3 grams of sugar.

You can substitute corn syrup with raw sugar. However, raw sugar is not very soluble, so it is not the best choice when you drink coffee or make a smoothie. To soften raw sugar before using, you can try placing some sugar in a ceramic cup or bowl with a damp paper towel and cover with a lid overnight.

4. Coconut Sugar

A lot of people use coconut sugar as an equal substitute in recipes.
A lot of people use coconut sugar as an equal substitute in recipes.

Coconut sugar is made from the resin extracted from the shoots of the coconut tree. Like table sugar, it has about 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon.

Coconut sugar provides small amounts of nutrients including thiamin, iron, copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and antioxidants. This sweetener also contains inulin – a carbohydrate in the digestive system that acts as a precursor or “food” for the beneficial gut bacteria. A lot of people use coconut sugar as an equal substitute in recipes. On the other hand, this type of coconut sugar gives a very delicious and unique aroma to dishes.

5. Molasses

This is a by-product of sugar cane processing. In other words, it’s the liquid left over after the sugar crystallizes. Sweeteners retain some of the nutrients naturally found in sugarcane, including potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, copper, selenium and manganese. One teaspoon provides about 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar.

It also contains 6% of the daily value of iron and calcium. In addition, it has been shown to have higher antioxidant levels than any other sweetener, according to research from Virginia Tech, USA. However, those who prefer a rich aroma and flavor often do not like molasses. Molasses can be used a lot in recipes such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin smoothie, gingerbread, baked beans, so forth.

6. Stevia Sugar

Stevia sugar is a good corn syrup substitute. Stevia is extracted from the rebaudiana tree species native to Brazil and Paraguay. This type of sugar is 30 – 150 times sweeter than regular sugar, has a fixed burn rate, a fixed pH and cannot be fermented.

This natural plant-based sweetener can be extracted from one of two compounds – stevioside and rebaudioside A. Each contains zero percent of calories, it can be 350 times sweeter than sugar and has may taste slightly different from sugar.

The leaves of Stevia rebaudiana are loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals. Therefore, it is not surprising that sweeteners are associated with a number of health benefits.

Stevioside – a sweet compound in stevia has been proved to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels.

Although stevia is considered safe, more studies are needed to determine if this natural sweetener has long-term benefits for human health?
In short, Stevia is 100% natural. It contains no calories and has no harmful side effects. It has been proved to help lower blood sugar as well as blood pressure.

Stevia sugar is a good corn syrup substitute.
Stevia sugar is a good corn syrup substitute.

7. Brown Rice Syrup

It is produced by exposing cooked rice to starch-breakdown enzymes and turning them into smaller sugars, which then filter out impurities. The result is a thick and sugary syrup.

Brown rice syrup contains three types of sugars – maltotriose (52%), maltose (45%) and glucose (3%). However, don’t be fooled by the names. Maltose is just two molecules of glucose, while maltotriose is three molecules of glucose.

Hence, brown rice syrup works like 100% of the glucose inside your body.

In short, brown rice syrup is made by breaking down starch in cooked rice, turning it into easy-to-digest sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any considerations when choosing maple syrup?

When choosing this syrup, you need to consider the coloration in advance. Maple syrup is made from the sap taken in early spring. It tends to be paler compared to sap syrup in late spring. You should choose a darker maple syrup as it contains more minerals and antioxidants.

Furthermore, dark maple syrup has the strongest maple flavors, which may help you use less when cooking. In fact, it’s another benefit when compared to white sugar because the amount of sugar you need to use is less. For example, if a recipe requires four tablespoons of sugar then you can use three tablespoons of maple syrup to replace.

Alternatively, you can also dilute this syrup with water, add spices like ginger, cinnamon and then spray on foods like oatmeal, yams, baked fruit or carrots. You still get a distinct and sweet flavor but with only 4 grams of sugar and less than 20 calories.

2. Should I cook honey?

One spoon of pure honey contains up to 64 calories and the same blood sugar as a banana. However, this is the benefit from honey quality, pasteurized honey loses some quality in it.

So you don’t need to cook pure honey, be smarter by sprinkling honey in your breakfast cereals, pasta, and yogurt and salads. Or add some honey to the coffee when it’s cooled.

3. Should I use brown rice syrup as a corn syrup substitute?

Although brown rice syrup has a high nutritional value, the syrup contains very little nutrients. It may contain small amounts of minerals like calcium and potassium – but this is insignificant compared to what you get.

Remember that this brown rice syrup is a lot of sugar.

Thus, brown rice syrup provides ample calories but has almost no essential nutrients.

4. Can lemon juice be mixed with molasses?

The answer is yes. Furthermore, it is also a very nutritious and cool drink.

Fresh lemon juice is a familiar drink to everyone. The plentiful source of Vitamin C helps lemons stay on top in the ranking of cooling fruits. Hot summer days or a tired mind, drinking a glass of fresh lemon juice helps you alert and replenish energy immediately.

With this molasses lemonade, you will have the opportunity to experience a new and nutritious taste.

Raw materials to prepare:

  • 2 fresh lemons
  • 200 ml of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of molasses
  • Ice cubes (if like)


  • When you buy a lemon with a thin peel, you will get more juice. Before slicing the lemon out to squeeze, you use your hand to gently roll the lemon a few times to make it easier to squeeze. This makes more lemon juice and one more important thing is not to get the essential oils in the peel mixed into the juice. My lemonade is bitter.
  • You cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds and squeeze the juice into a cup.
  • Next, you add the clean water and molasses, stir well so that the molasses and lemon juice mix together.
  • Finally, add more ice and enjoy!


While artificial sweeteners are harmful to health and may also increase the risk of cancer, natural sweeteners would be a much better and safer choice. Hopefully this article will help you better understand corn syrup substitute and expand your daily menu with corn syrup substitute dishes.

Photo of author

About the author

Liliana Flowers

Liliana Flowers is the editor in chief for KITCHEN BAR. Reigning from Oklahoma, she’s our go-to for all things regarding Midwestern cuisine. She’s also our expert pie crimper.

Leave a Comment