Substitutes For Corn Syrup

Many recipes call for corn syrup, there are some easy replacements you can use if necessary. This is a guide about substitutes for corn syrup.

Honey Substitute for Corn Syrup
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I need a corn syrup recipe that is easy or can I just use golden syrup? I really want to know because I was going to make homemade cotton candy and I couldn't find any corn syrup. What could I substitute or could someone tell me a recipe that works. Please.

By Anaira

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

In my book of substitutes:

corn syrup, light, 1 cup

= 1 cup golden syrup

= 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/3 cup water or other liquid from recipe, boiled down to 1 cup

corn syrup, dark, 1 cup

= 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup molasses

= 3/4 cup golden syrup plus 1/4 cup molasses

= 1 1/4 cup brown sugar plus 1/3 cup liquid boiled down to 1 cup. You can use any liquid from the recipe you are making--if there is no liquid in the recipe, add 1/3 cup water and boil down to 1 cup.

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Is Karo another name for corn syrup?

By Virginia D

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Karo is a company that manufactures corn syrup. You can check the company website for more information.

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This is a substitute for corn syrup. A cheaper alternative.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter
  • dash of salt


Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and put a cover on for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often.

Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep 2 months. Yield: almost 2 cups. For dark corn syrup add 1/4 cup molasses to the above recipe.

Time:5 Minutes Preparation Time
25 Minutes Cooking Time

By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO

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In a recipe for baked french toast, 2 Tbs. of corn syrup is needed in the topping which is in the bottom of the pan. Is there some substitution for the corn syrup? The topping, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup is cooked until thickened and poured into the pan and the bread is put on top of it. I hate to buy a whole container for 2 Tbs.

By Catey S. from Round Hill VA

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Be careful how long you cook your syrup. No one tells you that it thickens A LOT as it is cooling.

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I have used this recipe several times, I have also given this recipe to my Wilton Cake Decorating Students. One of my students went to culinary school, she told me that this recipe is a wonderful substitute for Karo Syrup.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • dash of salt


Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan (stainless). Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage, 238 -240 degrees F.

Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months.

Makes almost 2 cups.

By Mary from Atascadero, CA

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Around this time of year I like to make homemade popcorn balls for my Dad. The syrup recipe I have always used calls for light corn syrup, (such as Karo). However recently I found an all natural sweetener called agave nectar. It's about 70% as sweet as sugar, but has a very low glycemic count, so it's much healthier. Since my Dad is diabetic, this sounds like a better/healthier option for the popcorn ball syrup.

I checked online for recipes using agave instead of Karo, and the only recipes I find call for almond butter as well. I assume this is a substitute for butter, but I'm not sure I want to have them taste like almond butter. Does anyone happen to have any experience using agave nectar in a recipe for popcorn balls successfully? I am looking to keep the end result pretty much like the ones I have been making, but healthier. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

By Donna from San Diego, CA

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What You Need:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup agave

1-1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup margarine (I like Earth Balance)

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 cups popcorn, popped

What You Do:

1. In a pot, mix the water, agave, sugar, and salt. Heat on low until mixture is warm. Remove from stove and stir in margarine and vanilla.

2. Place the popcorn in a large bowl. Pour the mixture over popcorn and stir until combined.

3. Roll into balls with greased hands and let cool. Serve!

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I make a granola bar that's supposed to coat dry ingredients with a chewy, sticky sauce that's made with brown sugar, honey, and butter. We really don't like the honey flavor and it gets too sweet for our tastes. Can corn syrup be added to brown sugar and butter, and does this make it softer or harder?

I would think that corn syrup is not as sweet as honey, and would extend the volume, and hopefully would not make it too hard. Or should I add some water? Also, lately I've had a hard time melting the brown sugar in the butter. It just seems to stay granulated. Got any ideas?

wondernana from Clovis, CA

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There are so many different flavors of honey, try getting some clover honey. It is almost pure light golden color. I get mine from bee keepers. I also get stronger flavored honey that comes from alfalfa, other grains and flowers. This I for dark breads, etc great when mixing flavors in baking. Stick my finger in--I want clover.

If you are looking at sugar vs honey, the honey has minerals/vitamins, et the stuff that nature made. If you want sweetner, it is calorie for calorie the same.

If you find you need more wetting agent, use a light olive oil, which has just as many choices as honey for flavors. Don't use water. It will create sogginess.

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What can I use as a corn syrup substitute?

By George from Iraq


Substitute for Corn Syrup

I read through the Archives and found a website. Read down through the list and you'll find a substitute for corn syrup.

God bless our troups! (02/28/2010)


Substitute for Corn Syrup

Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are not the same thing. Karo Corn Syrup has been around for years and years and mothers used to put a tablespoon of it in baby formula. High fructose corn syrup is a fairly new by product of corn that is definitely bad for you. (03/01/2010)

By Ann Parker

Substitute for Corn Syrup

I live in Europe and corn syrup is unobtainable here. I've always used golden syrup as a substitute. It's not exactly the same, but I've always had good results with it. (03/02/2010)

By cett

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Another "substitute" request. I've noticed that many American based recipes mention corn syrup as an ingredient. We don't seem to have that here in Australia, at least I haven't been able to find it, so is there a substitute for corn syrup?

Thank you.
Ellie from Melbourne, AU


Substitute for Corn Syrup

Australia. Wow I want to visit. I looked up a substitute for you. 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup liquid (water),
1 cup honey, mix well in sauce pan and heat over low flame until all is mixed well and allow to cool before using. Here is the website if you could use any other help. Have a wonderful day Downunder. (07/22/2007)

By DPool from Memphis

Substitute for Corn Syrup

If you have Golden Syrup in AU, you can use that as a substitute, also. That is what I use here in the Netherlands (I'm from the USA and missed corn syrup until I discovered golden syrup). (07/22/2007)

By Luvyabye

Substitute for Corn Syrup

I think you can use treacle it should be the same thing.

Good luck.

Myrna from Surrey BC Canada (07/22/2007)

By myrna

Substitute for Corn Syrup

Treacle, honey or light molasses would also work. My grandma was from the UK and always told us those and corn syrup would work interchangeably in her recipes. (07/24/2007)

By cfbandit

Substitute for Corn Syrup

If you want a healthier version, since corn syrup has a pretty bad rap, try brown rice syrup. You won't notice the difference and it has a less drastic shock to your blood sugar. Meaning that it won't spike your sugar and then drop it right back down like corn syrup will. (07/29/2007)

By Joyanne

Substitute for Corn Syrup

Corn syrup doesn't have much flavor, really. It is just a sweet taste. If you substitute honey, or molasses, you will have those flavors. I use Roger's Golden Cane syrup in any recipe requiring corn syrup. One could also use some sort of pancake syrup. A pancake syrup is usually a little more liquid than corn syrup. Corn syrup isn't really anything exotic. It is just a liquid sweetener; use whatever sort of syrup that you have in AU.

Louise, in Saskatchewan, Canada (07/29/2007)

By louel53

Substitute for Corn Syrup

Most of those things aren't good substitutes for corn syrup. Corn syrup is light in color and only slightly sweet. Most things like honey, molasses, affect both color and taste, as well as consistency. Corn syrup is widely not available outside of the US, as it is almost never sold in a pure form, but rather has bits and bobs of everything in it, so is not accepted by many countries food testing boards. In Germany (for example) people recommend either rice syrup or glucose syrup, so binding, slightly sweet, and mostly otherwise flavor and color neutral. (06/07/2008)

By Byron

Substitute for Corn Syrup

Try this, I Googled it and found this recipe on several sites:


  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often.
Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months. Makes almost 2 cups. (07/23/2008)

By Kiki

Substitute for Corn Syrup

Lyles Golden Syrup is made from pure cane sugar. Another substitute would be Agave nectar though it's not cheap it is much better than corn syrup and can be bought over the internet. A lot of time corn syrup is called for is because aside from sweetening it makes candies, icings, etc. shine. (12/21/2008)

By bbbrownies

Substitute for Corn Syrup

You can use the recipe above and use lemon instead of cream of tarter. It's a simple sugar sauce just like they make in Egypt for Basbousa. (12/23/2008)

By Quiche

Substitute for Corn Syrup

I am also in Australia. Karo produces a corn syrup, I believe they have it at some Coles, but also at health food shops. (12/23/2008)

By Christine

Substitute for Corn Syrup

To answer a question that seems to be big on a lot of people's minds, here is a simple substitute for corn syrup in recipes:

Use one quarter (1/4) teaspoon of cream of tartar for each two cups of sugar. The cream of tartar will change some of the sugar into glucose, which prevents crystallization of the sugar as it cools. This is why corn syrup and the like is used. Cream of tartar obtains the same results without the addition of more sugars. The chemical name for cream of tartar is potassium hydrogen tartrate, (if you can't find it in the grocery store, try looking in the pharmacist's or the apothecary) and is usually obtained as a by-product of wine production. (02/11/2009)

By plk100rt

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