Can you substitute syrup for honey? 

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you substitute syrup for honey?”, and what are the benefits of these substitutions.

Can you substitute syrup for honey? 

Yes, you can use maple syrup or corn syrup as substitutes for honey because they can be added in the same ratio as honey. 

However, there are some differences among honey, corn syrup and maple syrup that you should be aware of. They don’t have the same composition, although they are liquid forms of sweeteners. 

Can I substitute honey for maple syrup?

Yes, you can use maple syrup to replace honey. In recent years, maple syrup has sparked much interest as a healthy natural sweetener. 

Maple syrup contains 66% sugar which is mainly sucrose. It also contains minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc), organic acids, vitamins, phenolic compounds and phytohormones (1).

What are the benefits of using maple syrup in the place of honey?

The benefits of using maple syrup in the place of honey is the presence of phytochemicals (lignan, coumarin, stilbene, and phenolic derivatives). Due to its composition rich in phenolic compounds, maple syrup possesses many positive effects to health, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic (3).

Another advantage of maple syrup is the fact that it does not crystallize as honey, unless it is concentrated by removal of water. Honey, on the other hand, can crystallize with time. Crystallization of honey is negative, as the non-crystallized portion of honey will contain higher moisture content, which makes the honey vulnerable to yeast growth (2).

What are the disadvantages of using maple syrup in the place of honey?

The disadvantage of using maple syrup in the place of honey is that the properties of honey are not found in the syrup. Similar to maple syrup, honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity. Besides, honey has a protective effect on cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems (4). 

Honey, differently from maple syrup, which is mainly composed of sucrose, contains 37% fructose, 26% glucose, 2% maltose and only 1% sucrose. Besides, there is evidence that demonstrates a beneficial effect of honey on type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Honey has the ability to both prevent and improve the changes in structure that happen as a result of an allergen-induced asthma attack. 

Additionally, honey has been shown to decrease the amount of inflammatory cells found in the fluid produced by washing out the lungs and to prevent an increase in the number of goblet cells, which can contribute to bronchial hyperplasia. 

How to use maple syrup in the place of honey?

To use maple syrup in place of honey, use the same amount or less of syrup as you would use honey. Maple syrup is less sweet than honey. Pure maple syrup has a very similar consistency to honey. 

When substituting for a marinade like in a savory dish, use a 1:1 ratio. When replacing honey with maple syrup in desserts or baking, use ½ cup sugar + ¾  cup maple syrup for 1 cup honey.

Can I substitute honey for corn syrup? 

Yes, you can use corn syrup to replace honey. Corn syrup is typically composed of 55% fructose and 45% glucose. It contains the least amount of phenolic compounds among all types of syrup, according to studies (1).

What are the benefits of using corn syrup in the place of honey?

The benefit of using corn syrup in the place of honey is the fact that corn syrup does not crystallize. As mentioned earlier in the article, the crystallization of honey could result in the risk of fungal growth in honey.

In addition, crystallized honey is difficult to handle. Corn syrup is always liquid and clear.

What are disadvantages of using corn syrup in the place of honey?

The disadvantages of using corn syrup in the place of honey are the poor nutrients in corn syrup and the risk of developing health problems, if you ingest corn syrup in large quantities.

Differently from honey, which contains minerals, vitamins and other compounds of high positive biological effects, corn syrup is mainly sugar.

According to research, fructose and glucose are processed and used differently by the body. This difference can lead to an increased chance of consuming more energy, which can contribute to obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. However, there is no unique relationship between corn syrup and obesity (5).

On the other side, corn syrup is a sweetener causing high glycaemic rise, which causes a greater insulin secretion. The long-term intake of such sugars may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (1).

How to use corn syrup in the place of honey?

Light or dark corn syrup can be substituted for honey in a 1:1 ratio. However, the former is more similar tasting to honey.

Other FAQs about Syrup which you may be interested in.

Can syrup go bad?

Does corn syrup go bad?

Does syrup go bad?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you substitute syrup for honey?”, and what are the advantages of this substitution. 


  1. St-Pierre, Philippe, et al. Comparative analysis of maple syrup to other natural sweeteners and evaluation of their metabolic responses in healthy rats. j func foods, 2014, 11, 460-471. 
  2. Umesh Hebbar, H., N. K. Rastogi, and R. Subramanian. Properties of dried and intermediate moisture honey products: A review. Int J Food Prop, 2008, 11, 804-819.  
  3. Ramadan, Mohamed Fawzy, Haidy A. Gad, and Mohamed A. Farag. Chemistry, processing, and functionality of maple food products: An updated comprehensive review. J Food Biochem, 2021, 45, e13832.
  4. Cianciosi, Danila, et al. Phenolic Compounds in Honey and Their Associated Health Benefits: A Review. Molecules, 2018, 23.
  5. Rippe, James M., and Theodore J. Angelopoulos. Sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, and fructose, their metabolism and potential health effects: what do we really know?. Adv nutr, 2013, 4, 236-245.