Whether it’s in ice cream, cake frosting or salad dressing, corn syrup is an important ingredient in many household products and commercial foods.
It’s also been linked to obesity and diabetes, so you may want to think twice before buying a product with corn syrup listed as one of its ingredients.
While we may have to live without corn syrup, there are plenty of alternatives out there.
One of the most popular is honey, which is both delicious and relatively low-glycemic.
Here’s everything you need to know about replacing corn syrup with honey.
What are some substitutes for corn syrup?
What are the benefits of using a corn syrup substitute?
- Some corn syrup substitutes are healthier than regular corn syrup
- Many corn syrup substitutes are lower in calories, sugar and carbs than their counterparts
- Several corn syrup substitutes won’t spike your blood sugar like regular corn syrup will
- Certain corn syrup substitutes are made from more sustainable sources
- A few corn syrup substitutes are vegan-friendly
- Corn syrup substitutes are less expensive than regular corn syrup
- You can customize the sweetness level of a corn syrup substitute by adding more or less honey/maple syrup/etc.
- A corn syrup substitute can replace other sugars if you don’t like the taste.
What are the drawbacks of using a corn syrup substitute?
- Most corn syrup substitutes aren’t widely available in health food stores or supermarkets
- Some corn syrup substitutes are high in fructose (a type of sugar) and not ideal for people who have fructose malabsorption
- You cannot mix different corn syrup substitutes together like you can with regular corn syrup
- Even though honey is considered a healthy sweetener, it still contains trace amounts of protein and minerals that should not exceed 2% of the total weight of the honey being consumed.
- You’ll have to buy separate containers for honey, maple syrup etc. rather than just one container labeled “sweetener.” This means you could end up with extra jars of each item that you might not necessarily need.
- If you have a lot of leftover corn syrup that you’d like to use up, it would be wise to freeze it first.
What is the best corn syrup substitute?
The best corn syrup substitute is probably agave nectar because it has all of the above benefits while costing significantly less than regular corn syrup.
If you’re looking for something even cheaper, try brown rice syrup instead.
Brown rice syrup costs only $1 per pound, but it does not have quite as many health benefits as agave nectar.
You can also make a DIY corn syrup substitute by combining equal parts honey and maple syrup.
What is the worst corn syrup substitute?
Inexpensive corn syrup substitutes such as honey and agave nectar tend to have a very strong (almost bitter) flavor that can overwhelm a dish.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you start with a small amount of these types of sweeteners and add more until you find a mixture that you like.
For example, if you’re making pancakes, start with 1 teaspoon of honey and increase the amount gradually over several days until you get to the desired consistency.
How do I make a corn syrup substitute?
There are multiple ways that you can create a corn syrup substitute at home.
Here are two simple methods:
- Combine equal parts honey and maple syrup (or another type of sweetener). Stir well and let sit overnight or in a warm place for a couple of hours.
- Add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of any type of sweetener. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
What are some recipes that use a corn syrup substitute?
Because corn syrup is often used in baking and cooking, it is fairly easy to adjust recipes to accommodate corn syrup substitutes.
Some examples include:
- Frostings – use honey or agave nectar to decrease the sugar content and prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Cakes – use honey or agave nectar instead of white granulated sugar to save money.
- Muffins – use honey or agave nectar in lieu of white granulated sugar when baking muffins.
- Ice cream – use honey or agave nectar in place of white granulated sugar to save on calories and sugar.
- Pancakes – substitute half of the flour with sweetener to cut down on the calorie count.
- Desserts – use honey or agave nectar in place of white granulated sugar to save on sugar.
- Salad dressings – use a honey/agave nectar blend in place of white granulated sugar to save on sugar.
- Soups – substitute honey/agave nectar for white granulated sugar to save on sugar and calories.
What are some tips for using a corn syrup substitute?
Using a corn syrup substitute doesn’t mean you have to throw out all of your existing recipes.
Instead, follow these tips to ensure that the substitution works smoothly:
- Start with a small amount of sweetener and add more until you reach the correct ratio.
- Try not to add too much sweetener at once, as it can cause the sauce to curdle.
- Adjust the temperature of the sweetener based on how hot the dish is going to be cooked. A milder sweetener such as agave nectar will work better in a cold dish, whereas a hotter sweetener such as honey will work better in a hot dish.
- If you’re using honey as a corn syrup substitute, you can combine it with other sweeteners such as molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup or sorghum syrup to improve the flavor. Combine equal parts honey and molasses, and then gradually add more molasses until you achieve the desired flavor profile.
How do I store a corn syrup substitute?
Store your substitute in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.
Once opened, store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
What are some common uses for a corn syrup substitute?
In addition to using a corn syrup substitute in baking and cooking, you can also use them for homemade candy, marinades, beverages and more.
Check out our article on 10 uses for corn syrup substitutes to find out more.
- 1 microwave
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix them well together. Make sure to have no lumps.
- Add in melted butter, milk, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk until a batter is formed. Again, no lumps!
- Grease a microwave-safe plate with butter or cooking spray. Make sure to leave no space ungreased.
- Use a spoon to place a large scoop of pancake batter into the center of a microwave-safe plate.
- Preheat your microwave for a minute, and then place the bowl in the microwave carefully.
- Remove and use a tester to make sure it is cooked through. Microwave in 10-second intervals until no batter is left on your tester.
- Top with a pat of butter, drizzle with delicious syrup, and enjoy!