What is the Best Substitute for Dark Corn Syrup?

by Charlie

Dark corn syrup is one of the most famous ingredients used in making some of the best, most delicious treats available.

Whether cooking or baking, this ingredient is a lock to help you bring out the best in flavor and taste. However, there are times when you might need to make some changes and get something new. As usual, you would need a proper substitute to come in.

So, what is the best substitute for dark corn syrup? Currently, it has to be light corn syrup mixed with molasses. Thanks to its thickness and volume, honey can be the ideal replacement if you don’t have any dark corn syrup. You can easily replicate the flavor of dark corn syrup to what you’re making, and you will also get a similar feeling. 

An Overview of Dark Corn Syrup

Dark corn syrup is generally made of the same ingredient as its lighter counterpart. However, it gets its darker hue due to the addition of refined sugar. For many who know, refined sugar is a classification of molasses. The refined sugar gives dark corn syrup its almost black color and the caramel molasses flavor that you can’t resist.

Why Substitute Dark Corn Syrup?

  • No dark corn syrup available: You could possibly not have dark corn syrup at home. Or, perhaps you don’t have time to get it at a nearby store, and you need to make something quick enough. You will need a substitute in that case.  
  • Experimenting with food: If you’re the type to experiment with food, you might want to give a substitute a try to see just how well it works.

Options for Dark Corn Syrup Substitutes

Top Recommended Substitute: Light Corn Syrup and Molasses

You can easily replicate the dark corn syrup flavor by adding molasses to its lighter counterpart. Assuming that you have both at home, all you need to do is take three parts of light corn syrup and one part molasses. Whatever recipe you’re trying to make, use this combination in place of actual dark corn syrup, and you’ll be ready to go.

Substitutes With Molasses

If you don’t have dark corn syrup – or you’re looking to avoid the use of corn syrup altogether, then you could try any of the following.

Honey

Honey is another lovely substitute you could consider. Since honey is readily available, there’s no need to go so deep into how to make it. Just get some from your grocery store, and you’re good to go.

To apply honey, mix a part of molasses into three parts of honey. Just like that, you’ve got your dark corn syrup alternative. Note that while the mixture of honey and molasses will have a similar texture and volume as dark corn syrup, the taste isn’t the same. Honey and molasses will taste better than the dark corn syrup, so you might need to make some adjustments to your recipe to account for that.

Simple Syrup

If you have molasses, then you could just use a simple, thick syrup instead of dark corn syrup. This works pretty well, and it can also improve the taste of whatever it is you’re making.

To make simple syrup, stir a cup of white sugar into a quarter cup of hot water until the sugar dissolves completely. Allow the mixture to cool down for a few minutes. This will replace the cup of dark corn syrup, although you want to note that the volume might differ.

You can use the quarter cup of simple syrup to replace a cup of dark corn syrup and then add a quarter cup of molasses to complete the substitute finally. Note that you might need to make some adjustments to the other liquids in the recipe.

When There’s No Molasses

If you don’t have any molasses in the house, you will need to improvise. In that case, the following substitutes will make up for the lack of dark corn syrup:

Brown Sugar

One of the primary benefits of brown sugar is that it contains some molasses. So, it can infuse your recipe with some of that much-needed flavor of molasses.

To liquify brown sugar, just get the brown sugar and water and mix them into a syrup. Most experts recommend that you put 1¼ cups of brown sugar and dissolve it into three to four tablespoons of water. Since the proportion of sugar is pretty high, you want to ensure that the water is hot enough to dissolve it quickly. You might also want to heat the mixture while you stir.

Maple Syrup

Also known by many as “pancake syrup,” this is a form of syrup with maple flavoring. You can substitute maple syrup with an equal amount of dark corn syrup in an instant.

Keep in mind that with this, your recipe will have more of the maple flavor – not that of molasses. Still, you will find that this is just as delicious. All in all, just think about how well maple will work with the other ingredients in what you’re trying to make. If you think the flavor combination makes sense, go for it.

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