Skip to Content

Baking Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Corn Syrup in Caramel

Oh boy, you’re in the middle of a caramel-making session and boom, you realize there’s no corn syrup in the pantry. No sweat!

Seriously, you’re about to rock that caramel with some genius swaps that might even kick your recipe up a notch.

We’ve all been there, staring at our ingredients and wondering how we can save our sweet creations without a last-minute grocery run.

Lucky for you, I’ve got the inside scoop on the five best substitutes for corn syrup in your caramel.

Trust me, your desserts are not going to know what hit them.

Get ready to knock the socks off anyone who gets a taste.

Why Do You Add Corn Syrup to Caramel?

Caramel is a delicious, sweet treat that is enjoyed around the world.

To make it, sugar and water are boiled together until they create syrup.

While making caramel on its own results in delicious candy, adding corn syrup adds an extra level of sweetness as well as enhances the texture and flavor.

Corn syrup helps to prevent the crystallization of sugar, which also gives caramel that smooth and glossy texture that everyone loves.

Another benefit of using corn syrup is that it thickens the caramel when cooling, which makes it easier to spoon or spread when making desserts like filled chocolates or drizzled tarts.

Whether you’re a professional baker looking for a smooth caramel or just want to make an easy homemade treat for friends, corn syrup can be added early on in the cooking process and will help create a perfect end result every time.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corn Syrup in Caramel

If you’re looking to avoid corn syrup while making caramel, there are a few great alternatives that you can use instead.

Here are the five best substitutes for corn syrup in caramel:

1 – Honey

Sweet and thick, honey is an essential ingredient in cooking and baking that has become a delicacy around the world.

Its texture can vary from velvety smooth to very thick, depending on its origin and how it’s harvested or processed.

Its flavor is like no other, with subtle notes of sweetness mixed with a variety of floral, fruity, and nutty tones.

While many people are familiar with drizzling honey on toast or adding it to oatmeal as an alternative to sugar, did you know that it can be used as a healthier substitute for corn syrup in caramel recipes? With just a simple adjustment to the recipe, you can enjoy all the delectable taste of caramel treats without worrying about dangerous additives found in the most commercially produced varieties.

2 – Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a sweet syrup tapped from maple trees that is enjoyed all around the world.

It carries an unmistakable taste of rich and slightly smoky sweetness and a syrupy texture that you can savor with each bite.

Maple syrup can also be substituted for corn syrup in certain recipes, such as caramel making – just make sure to reduce the amount of sweetener in the recipe if you do.

Caramel made with natural maple syrup will have a deeper and more complex flavor than one with corn syrup, so it’s worth experimenting with both if you haven’t already.

3 – Agave Nectar

Agave nectar has been gaining popularity like wildfire due to its natural, unrefined sweeteners.

This syrup is derived from the agave plant, which offers its unique flavor and an exquisite combination of sweetness with caramelized undertones.

When used as a substitute for corn syrup in caramel-based desserts, it imbibes earthy hints that provide a very special gourmet experience.

Agave nectar can easily be melted in equal proportions for corn syrup, however, note that it is about 1/4th sweeter than normal cane sugar – so adjust the proportions accordingly until you get the desired taste.

Once you have perfected your recipe with agave nectar, you’ll never look back.

4 – Sorghum Syrup

Sorghum syrup is a unique sweetener made from the juice of the sorghum plant.

This sugary syrup has a slight molasses flavor and a thick, velvety texture.

While it might not quite match the flavor of corn syrup when used to make caramel, it can be an excellent substitute and provide a delicious variation on this classic treat.

To use sorghum in place of corn syrup when making caramel, heat the pan until it is hot enough for the mixture to bubble vigorously and frequently stir, allowing the sorghum to cook down and thicken as needed.

With its deep natural sweetness and amazing flavor, swapping out corn syrup for Sorghum Syrup can take your caramel to a whole new level.

5 – Rice Syrup

Rice syrup is a sweetener made from fermented, cooked rice and can have a slightly nutty flavor.

It has a thick consistency and a tart sweetness, making it an ideal substitute for corn syrup in caramel recipes.

Rice syrup has higher levels of glucose than other alternative sweeteners, such as agave nectar or honey, so it is easier to break down during the cooking process.

This ensures your caramel will achieve the desired chewy texture and hold its shape longer.

Simply substitute the corn syrup for an equal part of rice syrup in any recipe that calls for it.

If you’re looking for an interesting alternative to traditional sweeteners, try working with rice syrup – your taste buds are sure to be delighted.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corn Syrup in Caramel

Don't have corn syrup for your caramel recipe? Discover the 5 best substitutes that will provide the same smooth texture and sweetness to your caramel creations without corn syrup.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Agave Nectar
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Rice Syrup


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Corn Syrup in Caramel
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating