Substitutions For Maple Syrup

With the maple syrup shortage in Canada, many people are seeing a drastic spike in maple syrup prices and even empty shelves at the grocery store.

The good news is whether you are topping your pancakes, making the perfect buttercream, or baking up cookies you have several substitutions for maple syrup you can use. 

Substitutions for maple syrup

Honey in place of maple syrup

Pure maple syrup and honey are excellent substitutes for each other in recipes. These are both natural sweeteners with a lower glycemic index than many other options.

Their flavors are distinctively different, but complementary, and usually make a simple 1 to 1 substitution, so there is no need for any alterations when using honey as a substitute for maple syrup.

This is great in both baking and when you are looking to top pancakes or other sweet treats. 

For things you will not be cooking try using raw local honey in your recipes to help take advantage of the health benefits of raw honey and the ability to fight seasonal allergies from using local honey.

Simple syrup

Simple syrup makes a great substitute for maple syrup in your cooking, baking, and eating applications. If you run out of syrup you have a world of flavors to top those perfect fluffy morning pancakes or crispy homemade waffles

You can make simple syrup by boiling 1 cup water and 1 cup of sugar together. You can thicken this up with a dash of cornstarch for a more syrup-like texture. In your baking, simple syrup can be substituted for maple syrup in a 1 to 1 ratio. 

When it comes to topping your pancakes or adding to your oatmeal, you can add flavoring and extracts to create a unique syrup. By replacing the water with fruit juice and reducing the sugar by 1/3, you can create a fruit-flavored syrup that substitutes well for maple syrup.


Molasses is an excellent sweetener for baking. Molasses can add a richer flavor to baked goods, frostings, and other sweet treats, because of this you will need to test them as this will change the taste of your baked goods. 

Molasses can be used in a 1 to 1 ratio with maple syrup. If you are using it to color your dish, to avoid over-darkening your final product due to molasses having a much deeper color than maple syrup, you may want to reduce the amount used in your recipe.

Brown rice syrup

When it comes to baking and cooking, brown rice syrup makes a great substitute for maple syrup. As brown rice syrup has the same color as honey and a mild yet sweet flavor, it will help ensure you achieve the color you want.

This will not affect the final product too much. Brown rice syrup is great if you are using maple for coloring in things like frosting. This is a simple 1 to 1 substitution for maple syrup in recipes.

White or brown sugar

If you want to bake with maple syrup, you don’t have to get fancy with your substitutions. You can use whatever sweetener you have on hand, like plain old white or brown sugar.

As you can use this 1 to 1 with maple syrup, you may need to add a bit of extra liquid to some recipes if you are replacing a large amount of maple syrup due to the liquid the syrup adds to the recipe. If this is the case, adding 1/2 the amount of maple syrup to water will suffice.

If you are not using a larger amount you can skip adding more water.

Alternative sweeteners

If you are looking for a sugar-free option for health or diet reasons you can use alternative sweeteners as a substitution for maple syrup.

When doing this you should be careful to not add too much of your alternative sweetener. To get the right about converting the amount of maple syrup in the recipe to conventional sugar in a 1 to 1 ratio then use the equivalent of your alternative sweetener. 

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