There are several options if you’re all out of maple syrup! Here’s the best maple syrup substitute for pancakes or baking.

Substitute for Maple Syrup

Ready to top your pancakes and your cupboard is bare? Or in the middle of making a recipe and don’t have maple syrup on hand? We’ve got your back. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener with a nuanced flavor; it is an obvious topping for pancakes and adds gentle sweetness to baked recipes.

No refined sugar recipes have become quite popular, so you’ll find many online recipes that use maple syrup. In fact, many of our dessert recipes use maple syrup! Alex and I also use maple syrup as a substitute for simple syrup in our cocktail recipes. But if you’re fresh out: here are your best options.

Best maple syrup substitute

Note that how these options work depend on the type of recipe and how the maple syrup is used.

1. Honey (for pancakes or baking).

The best maple syrup substitute? Honey. Honey has a similar texture to maple, and it’s perfect for topping pancakes. The flavor is slightly different, but it also works with sweets or baking recipes like no bake cookies or banana blueberry muffins. Use honey as a 1 for 1 substitute for maple syrup, though it will taste slightly different.

Note: Honey is not vegan, so take note if you’re cooking for someone with a vegan diet.

2. Brown sugar syrup (pancakes).

Need a breakfast syrup for pancakes? The next best maple syrup substitute is making your own brown sugar syrup. Here’s what to do:

  • Add ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup water to saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  • Stir until the sugar is dissolved (don’t simmer) for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using. Stores in the refrigerator for 1 month.

Here are some pancake recipes that use maple syrup, and a few sweets where you could substitute honey:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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