Maple syrup is one of the most comforting items in our kitchens. Made from the sap of maple trees, the liquid sap is boiled down to make a pure maple syrup out of the sugars. Maple glazed ham, baking recipes, maple frosting, and of course maple syrup for your pancakes and waffles. No matter how you use this natural sweetener, it's a pantry staple.
But what if you run out of nature's liquid sweetener and your French toast is laying naked on the breakfast table? To avoid that horror, we have some suggestions for maple syrup alternatives that you can find on Amazon or in your grocery store. You'll never have a syrup emergency if you keep some alternatives in the pantry.
There's only one difference between pancake syrup and real maple syrup. Pancake syrup is simply a maple-flavored corn syrup. They taste the same and pancake syrup can be used in place of maple syrup in any recipe.
Did you know that there are four different classes of maple syrup!? Yup, you heard me. It's a hierarchy of maple goodness.
Maple Syrup Classes
Golden maple syrup is extremely light in color and texture with a very mild flavor. It's collected early in the season. Amber is the next level up from golden. Darker and deeper in flavor, amber syrup is perfect for breakfast and baking. Dark maple syrup is used when glazing meats or for a more intense maple flavor when baking. And very dark maple syrup is the last of the season with the most intensity.
Best Maple Syrup Substitutes
Brown Rice Syrup
Brown rice syrup is made by breaking down the starch in cooked rice and turning it into easier to digest sugars. But don't be fooled by the words 'brown rice' in the name. It still turns into 100% sugar. Many athletes like the longer lasting energy you get from sugary brown rice syrup so if you're a runner, this is a great substitute for maple syrup on your pancakes.
Honey is a more subtle sweetness than maple syrup so to make honey a good substitute, add a half cup of sugar to one cup of honey. You can use this ratio when scrambling for ingredients for the school baked goods sale. Problem solved.
Agave syrup comes from the native Mexican agave plant. It can also be called agave nectar. Made in a similar way to maple syrup, agave sap is boiled down and refined. The flavor isn't as deep as maple syrup, but the sweetness is there to dress up your waffles with a light drizzle.
Brown Sugar Syrup
Brown sugar syrup is easy to find in the sweetener section of the grocery store. But you can also make your own brown sugar syrup!
Heat 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon maple extract, and 1/2 cup brown sugar over medium heat in a saucepan on the stove.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cool the syrup at room temperature and then store in an airtight container.
Crystalized maple sugar is made by boiling the maple tree's sap. To make the sugar crystals a pourable thick liquid, add warm water to dissolve the granulated maple sugar until the desired consistency. In recipes that call for white sugar, maple sugar can be used as a great alternative.
The sweet flavor of light molasses is an easy maple syrup replacement. One cup of maple syrup is equal to one cup of molasses. Light molasses gives that caramel flavor and color your brain needs when life calls for a substitute maple syrup.
Also known as glucose syrup, corn syrup comes from corn starch. Corn starch can make food softer and with a fuller texture. It almost sounds like a hair product, but in a pinch, adding a drizzle to pancakes will do the trick.
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