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Substitute for Simple Syrup

Maybe you ran out of simple syrup, or you don’t feel like buying it. Well, guess what? You’re in luck! Let me help you find the best substitute for simple syrup to make tasty desserts, cocktails, mocktails, and coffee drinks.

A glass of simple syrup on a plate.

What Can I Use if I Don’t Have Simple Syrup?

If you find yourself without the sugary addition to drinks and dessert and you’re wondering what to substitute for simple syrup, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

What’s the Best Substitute for Simple Syrup?

1. Homemade Simple Syrup

A glass of simple syrup on a plate.

If you are making something that calls for simple syrup as an ingredient, rest assured. Making simple syrup from scratch is a breeze and only takes 15 minutes. All you need is water and sugar – it really is that SIMPLE!

2. Honey

Honey in a small bowl.

You can use honey as a substitute for simple syrup. Use the same amount of honey as simple syrup in a recipe, or make honey lavender simple syrup for a delicious flavor variation. 

3. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup in a tablespoon.

Maple syrup is a delicious, natural sweetener that you can use as a substitute for simple syrup. It has a rich, distinctive flavor to complement many recipes, especially those with a warm or spiced flavor. Use an equal amount of maple syrup as you would simple syrup.

Photo Credit: Mikey Frost

4. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a sweetener derived from the agave plant. It has a mild flavor and easily dissolves, making it a good substitute for simple syrup. Replace simple syrup with equal parts agave nectar.

More Substitutes for Simple Syrup:

  • Liquid Stevia or Monk Fruit: These sugar-free alternatives are calorie-free, plant-based sweeteners you can use as a substitute for simple syrup in some recipes. They are significantly sweeter than sugar, so you’ll only need a small amount.
  • Fruit Juice or Fruit Puree: Depending on the recipe you’re making, replace simple syrup with fruit juice or fruit puree. However, they may alter the overall flavor of the drink or dessert.

What is Simple Syrup Made of?

  • Water: Use water to dissolve the sugar to create a syrup. 
  • Sugar: The main ingredient in simple syrup is granulated white sugar. It provides sweetness and acts as the primary flavor component.

How to Make Simple Syrup

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and warm it over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves.

Water and sugar in a saucepan.

Step 2: Remove the pan from heat and let it cool before transferring it to an airtight container.

A glass of simple syrup on a plate.
A glass of simple syrup on a plate.

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Storage: Let the mixture cool and transfer it to an airtight container. Keep the sauce in the refrigerator for one month.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is simple syrup?

Simple syrup is a delicious sweetener that can be easily prepared by mixing equal parts of honey (or sugar) and water. Enhance it with flavors like cardamom, vanilla, citrus, or lavender

People often use it to sweeten their cocktails, coffee, and herbal tea, but it can also be a great addition to iced tea, lemonade, and other cold beverages.

Use simple syrup to sweeten desserts by brushing them onto cake layers or cupcakes to infuse them with flavor and keep them moist. It’s also a tasty addition to sorbet, frosting, glazes, or drizzles. Add a drop or two of the simple syrup to muffin, pancake, or waffle batter – careful not to use too much, as it can be overpowering.

Can I just use sugar instead of simple syrup?

Using granulated sugar as a direct replacement for simple syrup may not produce the same results. The syrup is a liquid sweetener made by dissolving sugar in water to create a smooth and easily mixable syrup.

If using plain sugar instead of syrup, the sugar may not dissolve completely, leaving a somewhat grainy texture in your drink or recipe.

What’s the best ratio for simple syrup?

The ratio of sweetener to water varies depending on the desired sweetness, but I typically use equal parts sweetener and water.

What other sugars can I use when making simple syrup?

Try using brown sugar, corn syrup, palm sugar, molasses, coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup, and prepare them the same way you would simple syrup with granulated sugar.

More Substitution Ideas:

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A glass of simple syrup on a plate.

Substitute for Simple Syrup

Tressa Jamil
Check out these alternatives and find the best substitute for simple syrup to make tasty desserts, cocktails, mocktails, and coffee drinks.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 96 kcal
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and warm it over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it cool before transferring it to an airtight container.
Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 96 kcal | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Sodium: 2 mg | Potassium: 1 mg | Sugar: 25 g | Calcium: 1 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating