Maple syrup is a delicious syrup that is popular not only as a pancake and waffle topping, but as an ingredient in all kinds of recipes. Maple syrup is only made during a small window each year in a fairly labor-intensive process, so it tends to be fairly expensive and that means that many people don’t keep it on hand all the time and that bakers faced with a recipe calling for large quantities might be reluctant to use up half a bottle, even though maple syrup delivers a flavor that you can’t quite match with any other ingredient. So I often get asked if it possible to substitute for maple syrup in recipes?
The answer is yes, it is possible to substitute other ingredients for maple syrup in recipes. It is also possible to substitute maple syrup for other sweeteners.
To substitute for maple syrup:
Honey can be directly substituted for maple syrup in terms of sweetness and consistency, although honey can also be a fairly expensive ingredient to work with. Sugar and brown sugar can be substituted for maple syrup, but because maple syrup is much sweeter than sugar and you will need about 1/3 more sugar (1 1/3 cups sugar for 1 cup maple syrup) to equal the sweetness of maple syrup in a recipe. Since maple syrup is a liquid, if you are substituting sugar you will need to increase the wet ingredients by about 3 tbsp for every cup of sugar.
To substitute maple syrup for sugar:
To substitute maple syrup for sugar, you should use 1/3 less maple syrup than the amount of sugar called for (for instance, use 2/3 cup maple syrup for 1 cup sugar) and decrease the wet ingredients by approximately 2 tbsp for every half cup of maple syrup added.
When substituting ingredients, you may find that you need to be flexible on the exact amount of dry or liquid ingredients added to ensure that the consistency turns out right. To choose a good substitute, it is also important to know how much syrup your recipe calls for and what the result will be. For instance, in a recipe that calls for maple syrup as its main flavoring agent, you might want to substitute only a portion of the maple syrup for sugar. If a recipe only calls for a small amount of maple syrup, you might want to choose to use brown sugar or honey and replace all of the maple syrup. You should not reach for “pancake syrup” – an artificially flavored corn syrup product – because you probably will be disappointed with the results if you do.
And if you find you are out of maple syrup and only need to finish off your homemade waffles or pancakes, try making a Quick Berry Syrup, a homemade caramel sauce or just heating up some jam and drizzling it on before serving instead of running out to the store.