10 Healthy Maple Syrup Substitutes + Recipe

Maple syrup is a delicious addition to a wide range of food items, though it is known most commonly for being the perfect complement to a stack of pancakes or waffles. 

10 Healthy Maple Syrup Substitutes + Recipe

As scrumptious as maple syrup is, it isn’t the healthiest option. If you are looking for a somewhat healthier alternative to maple syrup, then look no further! We have compiled a list of ten of the healthiest maple syrup substitutes that are just as tasty as maple syrup. 

We have also got some recipes that you can use to whip up some awesome waffles, pancakes, or any other kind of food you want with your maple syrup substitute! Let’s get started.

Corn Syrup

This one may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about healthy maple syrup alternatives, but corn syrup is actually quite an amazing choice. 

It has more than twice the amount of natural sugar compared to regular table sugar and is much lower in calories. 

For those who love their candy, this is definitely a great choice thanks to it being a fantastic natural sweetener. 


Next on our list, we’ve got honey. Honey is a natural sweetener that is produced by bees from flower pollen and nectar. 

There are two types of honey: raw honey and processed honey. Raw honey is unprocessed and unpasteurized. This means that the honey is full of enzymes. 

Processed honey is pasteurized and heated to kill off most of its enzymes. While both types of honey are healthy, raw honey is considered more nutritious because it retains some of its enzyme content. 

There are many different varieties of honey out there, each with its own flavor and characteristics. Some kinds of honey even contain added vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium. 

Be sure to read the label before buying honey because some brands will add extra ingredients like artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors. 

Agave Nectar 

Agave nectar is another sweetener that contains fewer calories than table sugar and is sweeter than honey. It is made from the agave plant which grows in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. 

Agave nectar is low GI (glycemic index), meaning that it won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. It is also another great form of natural sweetener that can replace the regular sugar that can be found in maple syrup. 

Agave nectar is also a low-calorie alternative to honey that’s loaded with antioxidants. It has a light texture and subtle flavor and comes in several forms including liquid, crystalline, and powdered. 

When buying agave nectar, always look for 100% pure agave nectar; don’t buy anything labeled “agave syrup” or “molecularly distilled agave nectar.” If possible, choose organic versions of this product, since conventional growing methods can lead to higher levels of pesticides.

Rice Syrup 

Rice syrup is often used in Asian cooking and is a good replacement for maple syrup. It is high in fiber and very low in carbohydrates. 

One cup of rice syrup has only 3 grams of carbs, while one tablespoon of maple syrup has 44 grams of carbs. It is an excellent choice when considering a substitute for maple syrup, as it is both nutritious and flavorful. 



Molasses is similar to honey and is made by boiling down treacle until all of the water evaporates, leaving behind concentrated syrup. 

Molasses is sometimes referred to as black treacle. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients including iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, and selenium. 

Molasses can be a delicious substitute for maple syrup, with a particularly tasty form being blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap Molasses is a dark brown liquid that is rich in minerals and has a strong taste. 

It is usually sold at grocery stores near the baking aisle. You can easily make your own molasses at home by simply placing 1/8th cup of light brown sugar into a pot over medium heat and stirring regularly until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. 

Nut Butter

Many people turn to nut butter when they’re trying to cut back on sugar, making it a great maple syrup substitute. 

Almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, and macadamia nut butter are all excellent choices. 

They provide protein, healthy fats, and lots of energy – offering various health benefits – and can make for some pretty tasty desserts, particularly if you are a fan of different kinds of nuts.

Coconut Butter

Technically, coconut butter could count as a form of nut butter, but it is also very much its own thing too. It’s made by grinding up dried coconut meat and then pressing or heating it to extract the oil. 

This oil is then mixed with other oils to create a solidified version of coconut milk. Coconut butter has a consistency somewhere between peanut butter and shortening. 

It tastes quite a bit like peanut butter and is packed full of essential fatty acids and proteins. It is often used in place of dairy products in vegan recipes. 

Fruit Butter

Fruit butter is basically just fruit purée that has been pressed to remove the excess moisture. The result is a spreadable paste that is regularly used in baked goods and spreads. 

Some popular fruit butter variations include apple butter, banana butter, strawberry butter, blueberry butter, etc. These are wonderful alternatives to using maple syrup because they add flavor without adding any extra sugar, acting as a natural sweetener. 

Date Syrup

Date syrup is a concoction of dates cooked down until they become sticky and caramelized. It is regularly used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, muffins, and scones. 

Date syrup is a healthier option in comparison to regular maple syrup because it contains no refined sugars and provides a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is also lower in calories than maple syrup. 

Dates contain lots of fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and protein. 

They are also packed with antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol. So not only does date syrup taste great, it’s good for you too!

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is a type of syrup made from corn starch instead of sugar. It is typically used as a sweetener in cakes, cookies, bread, muffins, and pastries. It is less expensive than maple syrup and has a milder, buttery flavor. 

Furthermore, it comes in both clear and golden varieties, but if you are buying it rather than making it, make sure to check the ingredients to avoid any added artificial sweeteners.

So there you have ten different substitutes for maple syrup! Now, let’s have a look at how you can go about making your own versions of some of these substitutes so that you can start using them to make some delicious desserts.

How To Make Molasses

How To Make Molasses

Molasses is one of those things that most people don’t think twice about buying. However, it is surprisingly easy to make yourself at home. 

All you need to do is boil down treacle (which is essentially unrefined cane sugar) until it becomes syrupy and thick. You can either buy ready-made molasses or try this recipe out.

1. Buy Treacle – You can find treacle at many grocery stores, especially larger supermarkets. If you want to make sure you get the highest quality treacle possible, make sure you buy organic.

2. Boil Treacle – Put the treacle into a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir regularly as you let it cook. After around 10 minutes, the treacle will begin to thicken. Keep stirring regularly until it reaches the desired thickness.

3. Pour into Jars – Once the treacle has reached the correct consistency, pour it into sterilized jars and store it in a cool, dry cupboard.

How To Make Date Syrup

How To Make Date Syrup

Making date syrup is super simple and requires only three ingredients: dates, water, and a pinch of salt. 

1. Wash Your Dates – First thing first, wash your dates thoroughly. This helps remove any dirt or debris that could affect the final product. Cut off the ends of each date, then cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the pit inside each date by cutting along its side.

2. Place Water and Salt in a Pot – Next, place all three ingredients (dates, water, and salt) in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the thicker the date syrup will be.

3. Strain and Cool – Once the time is up, carefully strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Allow the strained liquid to cool completely before storing it in airtight containers.

How To Make Fruit Butter

How To Make Fruit Butter

Fruit butter is a great addition to breakfast items like pancakes, waffles, and French toast. They can be made by blending ripe fruits together until smooth. This is a simple process that requires only a food processor or blender.

1. Peel and Chop Fruit – Add 2 cups of chopped fruit to a bowl. Mix well to ensure no pieces remain separate. Transfer the fruit mixture to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

2. Mix and Blend – Add fruit to food processor/blender along with other ingredients- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. Blend on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and continue blending until the mixture turns creamy.

3. Store – Spoon the fruit butter onto wax paper and refrigerate until firm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How To Make Nut Butter

How To Make Nut Butter

Nut butter is similar to fruit butter, except that nuts replace the fruit. They can be made with almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, peanuts, and pine nuts. Simply blend them all together until smooth.

1. Chop Nuts – Chop nuts into small pieces, so they are easier to blend.

2. Add Nuts and Sugar – Add nuts and sugar to a food processor or a blender. Pulse several times to break down the nuts. Then add more sugar if necessary (though not too much, as that defeats the purpose of a healthier alternative!)

3. Blend Until Smooth – Continue blending until the nut butter becomes smooth. If it’s too thick, add more sugar.

4. Refrigerate – Spread the nut butter onto wax paper and allow it to harden. Keep in an airtight container and use within two weeks.

How To Make Coconut Butter

How To Make Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is very similar to nut butter. The main difference between coconut butter and nut butter is that coconut butter contains no added salt. Also, coconut butter does not require refrigeration.

1. Wash and Dry Coconuts – Rinse coconuts under cold running water. Pat dry with a towel.

2. Grind Coconut – Grinding coconut is easy! You just need a coffee grinder. Put the coconut in the grinder and grind into a powder.

3. Transfer Powder to Bowl – Transfer coconut powder to a mixing bowl. Add coconut oil and mix thoroughly.

4. Stir and Refrigerate – Stir the coconut butter every 15 minutes while it sits in the fridge. After 30 minutes, stir again. Repeat this step for another hour. At 45 minutes, repeat one last time.

5. Stir Again – When you take the coconut butter out of the fridge, make sure it has been stirred well. It should have a consistency similar to peanut butter. If it seems too soft, put it back in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Once it’s ready, transfer it to a jar and store it in the fridge. Use within 4 months.

How To Make Golden Syrup

How To Make Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is basically just refined white sugar boiled down until it forms a thick syrup. It is often used as a topping for desserts such as cakes and puddings. Here’s how you can make your own:

1. Measure Sugar – First measure out the amount of sugar required.

2. Heat Water – Next, put the sugar into a large pan.

3. Cook Sugar – Now add boiling water to the pan.

4. Simmer – Continue cooking the sugar and water mixture until the liquid becomes clear and the sugar dissolves.

5. Strain – When the mixture has become clear, remove the pan from the stove top and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

6. Skim off Foam – Finally, skim off any foam that may have formed on the surface of the golden syrup using a spoon.

7. Bottle – Pour the golden syrup into sterilized bottles to keep the mixture fresh. Store in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

How To Make Rice Syrup

How To Make Rice Syrup

Rice syrup is made by boiling rice until it turns translucent. You’ll need to use short-grain brown rice because long-grain brown rice takes longer to cook than regular brown rice.

1. Boil Water – Put the rice into a pot and pour over enough cold water to cover the rice by about one inch. Bring the water to a boil.

2. Reduce Heat – Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat, so the temperature remains steady.

3. Cover Pot – After reducing the heat, cover the pot.

4. Cook – Leave the covered pot alone for 30 minutes.

5. Drain water – Remove the lid and drain the excess water from the pot.

6. Cool – Allow the rice to cool completely before storing or using it.

7. Bottle & Label – Pour the cooled rice into a bottle and label it.

8. It Lasts – Store the bottled rice syrup in a cool, dark place for up to 3 years.

9. Use – Add 1 cup of rice syrup to equal amounts of water when making pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc.

10. Freeze – If you want to keep extra rice syrup around, freeze it in ice cube trays. Then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag.

How To Make Corn Syrup

How To Make Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a type of sugar syrup that can be made from corn starch. Corn syrup is commonly used as an ingredient in baked goods like bread, pies, and pastries. Here’s how to do it:

1. Combine Ingredients – In a medium saucepan, combine the corn syrup, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

2. Heat – Turn the burner on high and bring the mixture to a boil.

3. Cook – As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. The mixture should remain at a slow boil throughout this time.

4. Test for Thickness – At the end of the cooking process, test the thickness of the syrup by placing a measuring cup under the pan. If the syrup reaches the bottom of the measuring cup, then it is ready.

5. Let it Cool – Let the syrup cool completely before transferring it to a jar or other container.

6. Refrigerate – Transfer the cooled syrup to a refrigerator, where it will last for several months.

How To Make Agave Nectar

How To Make Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a sweetener that is derived from the agave plant. It is sweeter than honey and contains less fructose (a sugar) than table sugar. 

Agave nectar is often used as a substitute for honey in baking recipes. To make your own agave nectar, follow these steps:

1. Chop Ingredients – Using a sharp knife, chop the agave nectar ingredients into small pieces.

2. Measure – Place all the chopped agave nectar ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Mix – Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined.

4. Strain – Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. Pour the agave mixture through the strainer.

5. Squeeze out the Liquid – Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze out any remaining liquid.

6. Dry – Spread the strained agave nectar onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside to dry overnight.

7. Store – When the dried agave nectar has hardened, store it in airtight jars.

How To Make Honey

How To Make Honey

Most people don’t have access to a beehive to harvest their own nectar to create honey, but just in case you do, here is a look at how to make your own honey too!

To make your own honey, follow these steps:

1. Harvest Ingredients – Collect the needed flowers and place them inside a hive. Bees will collect the nectar and store it in wax cells.

2. Extract – After about 2 weeks, remove the comb containing the honey. You can use a beekeeper’s tool called an extractor to help pull the honeycomb apart.

3. Filter – Once you have removed the honeycomb, strain the honey using a fine mesh screen.

4. Press – Use a press to squeeze out excess water.

5. Bottle – Put the honey into glass bottles and store it in a dark cabinet.

It’s probably best to leave honey-making to the professionals though to avoid bee stings!

Final Thoughts

There you have various different and healthier substitutes for maple syrup, as well as how to go about making these substitutes for yourself. 

No matter how you choose to use these substitutes – whether it’s on pancakes, waffles, in yogurt, or in any other kind of way – you are sure to enjoy a tasty treat that isn’t going to raise your blood sugar levels as much as maple syrup. 

We hope this helps you on your journey to living a healthier, yet equally delicious, lifestyle!

Kunal Sharma
Latest posts by Kunal Sharma (see all)