Corn Syrup Substitutes + Corn Syrup Substitute Recipe

substitutes for corn syrup including a corn-free homemade "corn syrup" recipe

Whether you are cooking for someone with a corn allergy, avoid corn syrup for personal reasons, or live where it is not readily available, you will occasionally find yourself in need of a substitute.

When replacing dark corn syrup, I use maple syrup or molasses. Syrup and and molasses both have a stronger flavor than dark corn syrup, but one of them will still usually blend well with the recipe that I am preparing.

My favorite substitutes for light corn syrup are Lundberg’s Brown Rice Syrup and Lyle’s Golden Syrup, both of which are difficult to find and much more expensive than corn syrup.

Corn Syrup Substitute Recipe

In a pinch, I use the corn syrup substitute recipe below that is passed around among the Navy wives who have lived overseas.  It is quick and easy to make and works well as a substitute for corn syrup. I have used my homemade corn syrup substitute in recipes that traditionally call for corn syrup like DivinityTraditional Toffee, and Chocolate Pecan Pie and it has worked well.

Corn Syrup Substitute
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash of salt
  • .
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Stir and cook over a medium-high flame until it reaches a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes (this is to get
  4. sugar crystals off the sides of the pan).
  5. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until it reaches soft ball stage on a
  6. candy thermometer.
  7. Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will
  8. keep for about 2 months


More Homemade Substitutes:

How to Make Oat Flour

How to Make Simple Syrup

How to Make Powdered Sugar

How to Make  Almond Meal (Almond Flour)

How to Make Self-Rising Flour and Baking Powder

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About Alea Milham

Alea Milham is the owner and editor of Premeditated Leftovers. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.


  1. Interesting tip! I’ll pass this on to those I know with corn allergies.

  2. Love seeing this type of substitution. Thanks.

  3. Hi, After reading this article, I am very impressed , thanks a lot

  4. Wonderful job with these posts. They are very informative.

  5. Blake Knittel says:

    I’m glad I found your webpage and this information on bing,very nice read :) thanks. I hope it is ok if I post this article on twitter?

  6. Came here via Premeditated Leftovers. Love the tip and off to check the rest of your blog.
    Thank you and am sending this off to my daughters.

  7. Love this and can’t wait to try it. thanks!

  8. Great tip. Thank you. I rarely use corn syrup so, when I do make a recipe that calls for it, I always end up having to go out in search of it. This will come in handy, I’m sure.

  9. Kate Tho says:

    is it possible to replace white sugar with brown?

  10. I usually just use honey or agave nectar instead of corn syrup. Never had any problems at all.

  11. Cheryl Godwin says:

    My sister in law was recently diagnosed with diabetes and I was wanting to make her some of the traditional (at least for my family) Christmas Candy that we have. I was wondering if this Corn Syrup Substitute can be made with a sugar substitute like Splenda?

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