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Best Malt Syrup Substitutes

Best Malt Syrup Substitutes

Are you making a recipe that calls for malt syrup but are all out and can’t find any at your local grocery store? No worries! There are a number of great alternatives you can use that work great in all types of recipes.

I don’t make a ton of recipes that call for malt syrup so I’ve found myself in need of a substitute on more than one occasion. And I have spent a good deal of time working with each of these replacements, so read on for what you can use in place of malt syrup.

So what are the top substitutes for malt syrup?

The best malt syrup substitutes are molasses, honey, maltose, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, sugar, and Korean rice syrup.

Malt Syrup Alternatives

Depending on what you are making and what you have on hand, any of these substitutions can work well in your recipe.

In general though, I use honey and brown rice syrup when making a gluten free recipe and brown rice syrup when preparing a vegan dish. When I’m not worried about either of those situations, molasses, maple syrup, honey, and Korean rice syrup are my go to replacements.

Sugar and maltose are kitchen staples that are perfect when no other alternatives are available. Read on for more about each ingredient and how to use it as a substitute.


Molasses is simply the syrup that is left over after making sugar. As it is a by-product of sugar production, it has a strong flavor, reminiscent of caramel or burnt sugar. Luckily malt syrup has the same flavor. It’s also high in sucrose which will give your recipe just the right amount of stickiness.


Honey is my personal favorite. It’s sweeter than malt syrup and it has a great synergy when used in combination with yeast. This means that honey will help your bread rise quicker and it will more likely develop that coveted airy crumb to the texture of your dough. Honey works in any recipe that calls for malt syrup.

Brown Rice Syrup

Another on of the best substitutes for malt syrup is brown rice syrup. It’s a little less sweet than honey or molasses and it has a deep, rich flavor to boot. It also has a high glycemic index, so it’ll give your bread or baked good a nice kick of energy.


Maltose is simply two malt sugar molecules bonded together. It’s not very sweet and doesn’t have much flavor but it works great as a substitute for malt syrup in any recipe. The reason being that it can be dissolved in both cold and hot liquids making it easy to add to just about any recipe. You can even dissolve maltose in water and use the liquid to proof your yeast.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a natural replacement for malt syrup. If you can’t find molasses or honey, maple syrup will do the trick. It has a slightly more distinct flavor but it’s not overwhelming like molasses.

Korean Rice Syrup

Korean rice syrup is a great substitute for malt syrup. It’s very thick and nectar-like making it a great texture enhancer. It has strong notes of honey and molasses so it can easily be used in place of either ingredient.


Granulated sugar is an excellent all-purpose substitute for most recipes calling for malt syrup. It works in place of both malt syrup and honey, plus it also works as a glazing sugar if you’re making bread.

What Is Malt Syrup

Malt syrup is basically a very concentrated solution of maltose, which is a simple sugar molecule consisting of two molecules bonded together. Maltose is what gives the syrup its characteristic golden color.

While some people use malt syrup for a variety of purposes, it’s primarily used as a sweetener in the brewing and distilling processes, commonly known as whiskey and bourbon.

Malt Syrup Uses

Baking – You can use it in place of sugar in most recipes. It’s especially good with chocolate and other sweets such as cookies, cakes, and pies.

Sauces – If you’re making a savory sauce, try adding a teaspoon or two of malt syrup instead of regular sugar or brown sugar. It’ll work particularly well with any curry or other Asian dishes.

Other Additions – Malt syrup can be used as a caramelized sugar substitute if you’re making caramel sauce and you don’t want the regular sugar. It also makes an excellent glazing sugar when you’re making bread. This means that you’ll have a little less sticky dough after baking but it also results in a beautiful, golden crust on your bread or loaf of dinner rolls.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a good substitute for malt syrup, there are several available options. Honey, brown rice syrup, molasses, maple syrup, Korean rice syrup, and even sugar can all be used as replacements in just about any recipe calling for the sweetener.