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Maple Syrup Substitute

Maple Syrup Substitute

Whether you are making waffles or pancakes or baking a recipe that calls for maple syrup, if you realized you are all out, have no fear! There are a handful of substitutes you can use as a maple syrup replacement.

Pure maple syrup is one of my all time favorite ingredients, and I use it for more than just topping my pancakes and waffles. Just do a search at the top of this page and you will find a ton of maple inspired treats.

And because of my family and my affinity for all things maple syrup, there have been times where I’ve found myself needing to use a substitute, and in this article you will learn all the best maple syrup alternative and how to use them.

So what are the best substitutes for maple syrup?

The top maple syrup substitutes are honey, brown sugar, molasses, maple sugar, and cane sugar.

I also have some bonus suggestions and answers to common questions below so make sure to read on for the full maple syrup scoop!

Maple Syrup Alternatives

No matter if you’re baking a delicious maple flavored dessert, or topping a family sized stack of pancakes there are a number of great options you can use in place of maple syrup. We will cover those ingredients and exactly how to use them below.


jar of organic raw honey

The number one overall substitute for maple syrup is honey. This kitchen staple is similar to maple syrup in texture, sweetness and can be used in baked recipes and to top waffles or pancakes.

Honey definitely has a different flavor than maple syrup, but it works wonderfully in any recipe that calls for maple syrup. And if you’ve never topped your pancakes with honey you are in for a treat!


1 cup of maple syrup equals 1 cup of honey

Related Recipe: Honey Cocoa Puff Cookies

Brown Sugar

brown sugar in bowl

If you are looking for a sweet pancake and waffle topper and you’re out of maple syrup and honey, then you can make a great replacement with brown sugar.

Add equal parts brown sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to medium heat. Stir until your mixture blends completely and then set aside to cool.

This combo will produce a sweet syrup that is an excellent alternative to traditional maple syrup.

You can also use brown sugar to replace maple syrup in baked recipes. And because you likely already have brown sugar in your pantry, this is another great all around substitute for maple syrup.

Equivalent (baking)

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar equals 1 cup maple syrup


container of molasses

This sweet syrup is produced when cane sugar is processed. It has been used as a sweetened for ages and it works wonderfully as a maple syrup baking substitute.

While the flavor is not the same, it is similar in sweetness and texture making it a great alternative to pure maple syrup in any baked goods recipe.

While I’ve heard it can also be used to top pancakes and waffles, I’ve never tried it myself so let me know what you think in the comments below.


1 cup of molasses equals 1 cup of maple syrup

Related Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies Without Molasses

Maple Sugar

scoop of maple sugar

This extra sweet sugar is produced from the sap of maple trees. Coming in around twice as sweet as granulated sugar, maple sugar is a great substitute in baking recipes.

You not only get sweetness, but maple sugar offers a distinct maple flavoring that will go wonderfully with any recipe that calls for maple syrup.

You can find maple sugar at most large grocery stores or from numerous sellers online.


1 cup of maple sugar equals 2 cups of maple syrup

Related: Maple Sugar Substitutes

Cane Sugar

bowl of granulated sugar

So what do you use if you don’t have any of the other options above? Regular granulated sugar can be used in a pinch for baked recipes that call for maple syrup.

While you won’t be topping your pancakes with it, this common kitchen staple can be used to add sweetness to any baked dessert. You won’t get that delicious maple flavor but you will be able to make your recipe without making a run to the grocery store.


1 cup cane sugar equals 1 cup of maple syrup

Related: Maple Extract Guide

Maple Syrup Replacements for Pancakes and Waffles

So not only do you not have maple syrup, but you’re all out of honey and brown sugar as well? Or maybe you just want some ideas for ways to top your waffled without syrup. No matter the reason I’ve got a list of ideas to inspire your next pancake breakfast.

The great thing about topping pancakes and waffles is that they go well with so many different flavors. Try mixing and matching different items from the list. Let me know your favorite maple syrup alternative for pancakes and waffles in the comments.

Can I use brown sugar instead of maple syrup?

Yes you can use brown sugar instead of maple syrup. It can be combined with equal parts water and heated in a saucepan to create a brown sugar syrup perfect for topping waffles and pancakes. You can also use it as a maple syrup substitute in baked items.

How do you substitute maple syrup for baking?

When baking a recipe that calls for maple syrup you will substitute it with either honey, maple sugar, or molasses.

These ingredients will all pair well with any baked good that calls for maple syrup, but maple sugar is the only one that will provide the maple flavor. See above for how to substitute for maple syrup when baking.

What maple syrup alternatives are vegan?

If you need a vegan maple syrup substitute for topping pancakes or waffles, use brown sugar, nut butter, or fruit.

If you need a vegan substitute for maple syrup in a baked recipe then use maple sugar, molasses, or cane sugar.

What alternative for maple syrup can be used in a marinade?

If you have a marinade that calls for maple syrup you can use molasses, honey, or maple sugar if there are other liquids in your marinade.