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7 Best Substitutes for Golden Syrup

If you’re a fan of British baking and you want to recreate English flapjacks, you’ll likely need some substitutes for golden syrup.

And luckily, I have a few!

Pancake with Butter and Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is thick and sticky with a buttery caramel-like flavor that can’t be beat.

It’s a very common ingredient across the pond and down under, and you’ll find it in everything from cookies to cakes.

It’s even used as a topping for pancakes and waffles!

So if you stumbled across a recipe that calls for golden syrup but don’t have any on hand, I’ve got you covered!

In fact, you likely have some of these substitutes for golden syrup in your cupboards right now. 

What Is Golden Syrup? 

At face value, golden syrup looks nearly identical to honey, but the flavors are much more complex.

Golden syrup is a type of light treacle made during the process of refining sugar cane. It’s thick and sticky with a buttery, caramel taste that is sweet but not as sweet as corn syrup. Typically, golden syrup is a mix of inverted sugar with sucrose or a blend of sugar solution and acid.

And since it’s an inverted sugar product, it won’t crystalize during baking. 

Golden syrup has a rich, golden color and very subtle flavors. Most commonly, it’s used as a topping for waffles or ice cream, as well as in baking.

You can make it at home with simple ingredients like water, granulated sugar, and a citrus component. However, it’s a bit tricky.

So while they don’t offer the same flavors as golden syrup, try these alternatives below.

7 Best Golden Syrup Substitutes

While golden syrup lives in the baking aisle of most British grocery stores, it’s harder to find stateside.

And if you don’t feel like driving all over town looking for it, the good news is you probably have a great alternative waiting in your panty. 

These swaps provide the same texture, sweetness, and consistency as golden syrup, but their flavors are slightly different. 

Honey on a Glass Bowl

1. Honey

Honey is an excellent substitute for golden syrup because it has a nearly identical color, texture, and consistency.

I love using honey in baking because every batch is a little different. 

Different flowers yield slightly different flavors, so some will be sweeter while others taste a little tangy. 

Either way, honey is one of the best substitutes for golden syrup because it delivers complex flavors.

Plus, you get that touch of sweetness.

Use honey in equal measures to golden syrup.

Maple on a Bottle

2. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is much darker than golden syrup, and it’s also much thinner.

In fact, the purer it is, the more pourable it is. So if you have thick maple syrup, chances are it’s not pure.

That said, it’s an excellent substitute for golden syrup in a pinch. And it works best in recipes that don’t need a lot.

With it being so thin, adding a lot will change the texture of your bake. And it’ll give it a maple-like taste.

So use maple syrup in a 1:1 ratio but only in small amounts. Use something else if you have a recipe that needs a lot of golden syrup.

Brown Rice Syrup on a Saucer

3. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is thick, sticky and my go-to substitute for golden syrup.

While golden syrup is buttery and caramelly, brown rice syrup is sweet and nutty. 

Still, the warm, nutty notes of brown rice syrup work wonderfully in baked treats like cookies, toffees, and pudding. 

It’s vegan, contains no fructose, and the texture is so similar, you can easily use brown rice syrup in a 1:1 ratio.

Light Corn Syrup Poured in a White Saucer

4. Light Corn Syrup

Light corn syrup is thinner than golden syrup but don’t worry- it still works well as an alternative.

While it’s not as flavor-forward as golden syrup, it still delivers the sweetness you need.

Plus, most light corn syrups in the supermarket incorporate vanilla, adding extra flavor to your dishes. 

You can also opt for dark corn syrup for more flavor and that hint of caramel goodness.

Use corn syrup in a 1:1 ratio.

Agave Syrup in a Clear 

5. Agave Syrup

Agave syrup comes from the sap of the agave plant, famously used in tequila production. 

It’s thick, sticky, and when boiled down into syrup, yields a delightful sweetness that’s perfect for baking. 

It’s a little thinner than treacle but thicker than maple syrup. So this is a better option for when you need a lot of golden syrup.

However, the flavors of agave are incredibly mild, and you don’t get any nuttiness or caramel.

So if you want that taste, I suggest using half maple syrup and half agave.

Use agave in a 1:1 ratio.

 Molasses in a Clear Bowl

6. Molasses

Molasses is a flavor-forward sweetener, so only add it if you love it.

For some, it’s an acquired taste, with bold notes of sweet, smoky, and bitter flavors.

It’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s not for recipes that need light coloring and flavor.

That said, it works well as a replacement in recipes that don’t need a lot of golden syrup or in spiced recipes, like sticky toffee pudding.

Only use lighter molasses, and never use blackstrap. 

Use light molasses in a 1:1 ratio.

Sugar and Water for Sugar Syrup

7. Sugar 

If you scanned this list and found nothing that works- hope isn’t lost just yet!

When all else fails, a mixture of granulated sugar and water should do the trick in a pinch.

For the perfect syrup-like constancy, add three parts sugar to one part water. 

This quick and easy swap works when you need sweetness. But if you want caramel flavor too, use brown sugar instead of white (in the same measurements).

This doesn’t have the same sticky consistency as golden syrup, but the rich flavors are nearly identical. 

Use sugar syrup in a 1:1 ratio.

7 Best Substitutes for Golden Syrup

If you’re a fan of British baking and you want to recreate English flapjacks, you’ll likely need some substitutes for golden syrup. Luckily, I have a few!


  • Honey

  • Maple Syrup

  • Brown Rice Syrup

  • Light Corn Syrup

  • Agave Syrup

  • Molasses

  • Sugar Syrup


  • Select your favorite golden syrup substitute.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Substitutes for Golden Syrup

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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