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15 Fool-Proof Lyle’s Golden Syrup Substitute Options

Lyle’s Golden Syrup is a kitchen staple, a classic since the late 1800s. It’s an awesome liquid sweetener, a delicious syrup that’s great for baking and toppings. But what if you’re in a pinch and don’t have it on hand? It’s smart to know the ideal Lyle’s Golden Syrup substitute.

The best substitute for Lyle’s Golden Syrup is either light corn syrup or brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup is healthier, whereas light corn syrup is less expensive and won’t alter the color of the finished product as much.

First off, golden syrup is a sweet syrup that has a golden color. It’s similar to honey. (In case don’t know what it is). It’s a form of inverted sugar syrup (inverted sugar is a liquid sweetener made from table sugar and water).

The amber-colored syrup is made by refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into sugar. It is a by-product of the refining process. And it’s very popular in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Suppose your dessert recipe calls for it, but you don’t have it. Don’t sweat it. Below, we’ll explore 15 ideal substitutes.

Let’s dive right in.

lyles golden syrup lg

1. Dark Treacle

Dark treacle is a dark syrup and is one of the good substitutes for golden syrup. It’s also known as black treacle, dark molasses, or black molasses. It has a strong flavor, dark color, and thick consistency.

Blackstrap molasses result from the third boiling of molasses is darker and has a bitter taste. It’s not the best alternative because it’s likely to leave a bitter aftertaste.

But if you really don’t want something sickly sweet, it’s a good choice. You can use one-to-one. In other words, use the same quantity as that of the recommended golden syrup.

Technically Lyle’s Golden Syrup is light treacle, so this is really close.

2. Molasses

But there’s also a light variant of molasses, light treacle, which is better unless you don’t mind if your baking becomes dark in color, in which case, the darker variants will be okay. But I won’t suggest blackstrap molasses because of its bitter flavor.

Use light molasses if you prefer a less intense flavor. You can use one cup of treacle instead of a cup of golden syrup.

3. Sugar (Brown and White)

In some cases, sugar can be used as a good golden syrup alternative. It’s not always ideal because sugar crystals can be formed at very high temperatures. So it’s a good substitute for most baked products, but not if you’re making candy. First, dissolve the sugar in warm water.

If you have both, it’s best to use white sugar and brown sugar. Use ½ brown sugar and ½ white sugar, and an amount of water that’s ¼ of the amount of golden syrup that you want to replace.

4. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a sweet amber liquid that’s made from the sap of maple trees, native to Canada.

It’s frequently used as a pancake syrup. It’s a good substitute but not the best because its consistency is thinner and has a different flavor. Use high-quality maple syrup (Grade A) for great taste.

A one-for-one substitution applies. So, you can use the same quantity of Maple syrup as you would have used if you were using golden syrup.

What if a recipe calls for honey, but it’s not available? Can you substitute maple syrup, agave nectar, or corn syrup?

This recent article I published explores this in some detail. I looked at how much maple syrup to substitute for honey and also the best maple syrup substitute. But I also get into whether honey or maple syrup is better for baking.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

5. Honey

Honey needs no introduction, and most people like it. It’s widely available in most stores. Apart from being incredibly sweet, it also has many health benefits. It’s an example of natural sugars.

Unless you’re allergic to it or vegan, you can use it as a substitute. It comes in different forms, such as a runny liquid or a more firmly set form. The former is closer to golden syrup, but its consistency is thinner.

The other issue is that honey has a unique flavor which may affect your desserts. As such, it may not be the best substitute.

You can replace honey one to one with golden syrup. For example, a teaspoon of golden syrup can be replaced with a teaspoon of honey.

Where is honey found in the grocery store? That’s what I get into in this recent article. In it, I looked at what aisle the honey is in at Walmart, Safeway, Kroger, and Publix. And I also revealed where you can buy real honey.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

6. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar, also known as agave syrup or maguey syrup, is made from the sap of different variants of blue agave plants.

It’s healthy because of its low glycemic index. It has a similar sweetness profile as golden syrup, but its consistency is thinner. It is a great substitute because it has a relatively neutral flavor of sweetness.

Some variants may be twice as sweet as golden syrup. So, you may want to use less agave nectar than the recipe’s requirement of golden syrup.

7. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is an excellent substitute.

To make it, brown rice is cooked until it is reduced to a sweet, highly liquid form. It has a subtle nutty flavor to its sweetness. It’s not as thick as golden syrup, but it is still a great replacement.

You can use it in a one-to-one substitution for golden syrup. In other words, use the same quantity of brown rice syrup you would have used if it were golden syrup you had.

8. Corn Syrup

Light corn syrup, also known as maize corn syrup, is close to being the best substitute for golden syrup. It’s refined sugar syrup that’s made from corn starch and is often flavored with vanilla. Its color is lighter, it’s thinner, and it has a very mild flavor, but it has a similar sweetness profile.

Golden syrup has a mild buttery flavor, while corn syrup is sickly sweet.

Golden syrup is essentially water, sugar, and citric acid. But it’s not tart, so you don’t taste the acid in it. There’s no butter in it, even though it has a subtle buttery taste.

You can use it in a one-to-one substitution for golden syrup. In other words, use the same quantity of corn syrup you would have used if it were golden syrup you had.

Keen to know the difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup? 

That’s what I explored in a recent article. Is corn syrup as bad as high fructose corn syrup? What’s the advantage of high fructose corn syrup over regular corn syrup? These and similar questions are addressed in the article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

9. Homemade Golden Syrup

If you don’t have store-bought golden syrup on hand or can’t get it at your local grocery store or specialty store, you can easily make your own. You’ll need water, sugar, and lemon. You’ll simply heat these ingredients in an uncovered heavy-bottomed saucepan for a long time on low heat.

Start by pouring in sugar, add water, and stir now and then to prevent burning. Stir gently so that the sides of the pan are not splashed. After a while, add lemon juice, and stir. Let it boil for about 45 minutes.

There’s your own golden syrup.

Leave it for a while, and it will thicken. Because it’s mainly sugar, it can be stored in a glass jar at room temperature for a long time without any fear that it could go bad.

10. Cane Syrup

Cane syrup or cane sugar syrup is an amber-colored liquid sweetener. It’s a bit darker than golden syrup, and it has notes of sugar and rum. It is made from evaporating sugar cane juice until it is thick and syrupy.

It’s used in making cereals, pancakes, and biscuits. It’s also used as a meat glaze and flavoring for beans. It’s a great replacement for golden syrup because they are made from the same substance.

A one-to-one substitution is ideal, seeing as both cane syrup and golden syrup have similar origins.

11. Golden Monk Fruit

Golden monk fruit is made with monk fruit sweetener and erythritol. Its main draw is that it contains zero calories! And it’s a lot sweeter than sugar.

Golden monk fruit and some water make for an excellent golden syrup substitute. But it’s a very sweet mixture, so you’ll want to use a quantity that’s less than what you would have used if you had golden syrup.

12. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a type of palm sugar derived from coconut trees. It is brown and delicious and has a caramel-like flavor and a crumbly texture. It has more minerals than regular sugar, but from a nutritional perspective, it’s essentially white sugar.

So, you can use the same quantity you’d use if you were using golden syrup.

13. Liquid Stevia

Stevia is not the best substitute for golden syrup because some folks think it tastes bitter while others think it tastes like menthol. It is made from the leaves of the stevia plant and is a lot sweeter than table sugar.

Its main draw is that it contains no calories, carbohydrates, or artificial ingredients. Major United States soda companies sell diet cola sweetened with stevia. It’s a good option especially if you’re concerned about blood sugar levels.

As to what ratio of stevia to golden syrup is ideal, I suggest you use a little bit less than you’d have used if you had golden syrup because it’s a lot sweeter.

14. Rice Malt Syrup

Rice malt syrup is made by soaking raw rice grains in boiling water, and then they are ground up using a milling machine. The product is then boiled until it is semi-transparent. Sugar is added while it is boiling. When it has cooled, the syrup is ready to use.

It’s not overly sweet. So, you might want to add a little bit more than the quantity you would have used if you had golden syrup.

15. Maltose

Maltose is an excellent golden syrup substitute because it has a similar taste and texture. It’s one of the most widely used sweeteners. It is made from two molecules of glucose and is turned into syrup. It has several health benefits and can be used in a variety of baking products and dishes.

It’s less sweet than sugar, so it’s ideal for those concerned with blood sugar levels. You might want to add a little bit more than the quantity you would have used if you had golden syrup.

That’s it. These are the 15 best golden syrup substitutes.

Before we wrap up, it’s good to know some of the uses of golden syrup.

Lyles golden syrup is an essential ingredient or at least a common ingredient in many dessert recipes such as treacle tarts, Anzac biscuits, cookies, pecan pie, and flapjacks.

You can also drizzle it on your ice cream or even add it to BBQ sauce. It’s a liquid sweetener, so you can use it for a lot of things. It’s used a lot in British desserts. Naturally, it’s highly popular in Great Britain. Rogers golden syrup and King golden syrup are other well-known brands.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lyle’s Golden Syrup Made From?

Golden syrup (Lyle’s or any other brand) is refined sugar cane juice, although sometimes sugar beet juice is used. Acid is used in the production and then lye is added to neutralize the acid. The resulting product will be slightly saltier than typical syrups.

What is the consistency of Lyle’s Golden Syrup?

Golden syrup (Lyle’s or any other brand) has the look and feel of regular honey. It has that golden color, pours like honey, and remains liquid at room temperature.

Does golden syrup need to be refrigerated?

Golden syrup (Lyle’s or any other brand) does not need to be refrigerated. While it can be refrigerated to extend the shelf life, it will thicken and harden in refrigeration making it problematic to use without waiting for it to come to room temperature.

In a cool dark place such as a pantry, golden syrup will last approximately 4-6 months.


We learned that light corn syrup and brown rice sugar syrup are the best golden syrup substitutes.

If you don’t have these two, honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup are also good alternatives. Of course, you can opt for a homemade version. Depending on your preferences, brown rice sugar could be the best choice.

Check out all my ingredient substitution articles:

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15 Fool-Proof Lyle’s Golden Syrup Substitute Options

Can I Substitute Maple Syrup for Honey?

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19 Best Substitutes for Potato Starch (and when to use them)

21 Best Paneer Substitutes (for your Indian recipes)

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Jeff Campbell