How Much Sugar Should I Use For Corn Syrup?

When it comes to baking and candy manufacturing, a topic and an ingredient come up frequently. That’s all there is to it when it comes to corn syrup in recipes. I only use it when I know it will make a noticeable impact in a recipe. Regular readers of the blog and my books will notice that I nearly never use pre-packaged or convenience goods in my baking. So, if I do call for something, like corn syrup, it’ll usually be a teaspoon or a tablespoon. And, given that most recipes serve eight to twelve people, that’s a relatively tiny amount.

For example, one tablespoon of corn syrup is added to the caramel in the recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies with Salted Butter Caramel to keep it smooth. Because the recipe makes fifty cookies, each one includes less than a sixteenth of a teaspoon of corn syrup.

Yes, individuals in the United States consume far too much corn syrup. (Whether it’s high fructose or not.) This can be managed and regulated by consuming less packaged foods and limiting the amount of fast food consumed. If you’re concerned about corn syrup “hiding” in meals, read labels, cook for yourself as often as possible, and select locally-produced products from smaller manufacturers who are less likely to use additives, so you can keep track of how much you eat. I like natural and alternative liquid sweeteners like agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, rice syrup, and golden syrup, and have recipes that employ them. I encourage people to try them out where they can.

Many studies, medical reports, advertisements, propaganda, and other types of information are transmitted from many sources. Evidence suggests that high-fructose corn syrup contributes to obesity and other health problems more than other sweeteners, and you may do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Because I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or medical researcher, I’ve included some resources at the end of this piece so you can do your own research.

My personal corn syrup consumption philosophy is that, like other foods that don’t fulfill a nutritionally desirable profile, I limit my intake but don’t stress about it. I consume both alcoholic beverages and coffee. I occasionally consume red meat and cheese, as well as chocolate, ice cream, sugar, and marshmallows, which all have their skeptics. I try to walk and ride my bike as much as possible, and I attempt to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, proteins, and whole grains to balance out my indulgences.

Corn syrup is an invert sugar, which means it resists the formation of sugar crystals. Sugar has jagged edges under the microscope, and when melted, it liquefies. However, if you continue to simmer it until it becomes a syrup, those jagged-edged-fellas will seek to re-attach themselves to others. Corn syrup works as an interfering factor, slowing down the process. Honey, agave, and other similar plants do not have the same qualities as honey.

If you’re cooking a caramel and the recipe calls for corn syrup, a splash of lemon juice or cream of tartar will suffice.

Corn syrup is utilized in various recipes, such as my Best Chocolate Sauce, to give it a glossy finish. (For more information, see below.)

Is corn syrup at the supermarket identical as high-fructose corn syrup?

No. High-fructose corn syrup, according to Harold McGee, goes through an additional step to make it sweeter than regular corn syrup. Karo, the firm that produces the majority of corn syrup on American supermarket shelves, has released Karo Lite, which is free of high-fructose corn syrup. They’ve also just altered their corn syrups, both light and dark, to remove high fructose corn syrup from the equation.

Yes. Sugar, as well as other sweeteners, will be affected. If you consume too much of them, so will French fries, red meat, chocolate, bread, dried apricots, kale, heavy cream, honey, almonds, beer, wine, maple syrup, martinis, croissants, and tacos.

Corn syrup, like the aforementioned chocolate sauce, is used to provide gloss and body. To avoid crystallization, no. If you’re not cooking a recipe like caramels, where corn syrup is the best crystallization inhibitor, you can substitute another liquid sweetener. Agave nectar, malt syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, molasses, sorghum, cane syrup, and Golden syrup are all liquid sweeteners that can be used in place of corn syrup. Keep in mind that each of these has a distinct flavor, with some being stronger than others (like honey and molasses), so keep that in mind if you wish to substitute corn syrup for one of them.

Corn syrup isn’t used in any of my cake recipes, but it is used in my Butterscotch-Pecan Cookie Cups to keep the mixture smooth and ensure that the cookies caramelize correctly in the oven. I wouldn’t use additional liquid sweetener in that recipe.

When is it impossible to replace something for corn syrup in a recipe?

I strongly advise sticking to the recipe when creating candy. If a recipe calls for boiling a sugar syrup, use corn syrup unless otherwise indicated. Especially those that have been cooked at a higher temperature. When honey and other sweeteners are boiled down, they have a tendency to burn, so be careful.

You can try with alternative liquid sweeteners if the recipe calls for cooking a syrup to a low temperature (below 230F, or 110C), but I can’t advise in every situation. You’ll have to give it a shot and see what happens.

What proportion of another liquid sweetener, such as corn syrup, honey, or golden syrup, can be used to replace granulated sugar?

If substitute for granulated sugar, liquid sweeteners should be used in a 3/4s ratio. That is, instead of 1 cup sugar, use 3/4 cup honey or another liquid sweetener in a recipe that asks for 1 cup. Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup every cup of liquid sweetener you’re using and lower the baking temperature by 25oF if you’re making a cake or cookies. If you’re replacing corn syrup with another liquid sweetener, make sure to use the same amount.

Corn syrup is rarely used in sorbets, and it is never used in ice creams. Corn syrup is used in some recipes to keep churned and frozen sorbets and ice creams smoother and creamier since it has a higher viscosity than sugar.

This is rarely done in my recipes for sorbets with a lot of water, such as lemon, lime, or grape sorbets, which tend to freeze hard and become ici. When a recipe calls for corn syrup, it’s usually only a small amount. In some circumstances, granulated sugar or another liquid sweetener can be utilized. If you’re using sugar, up the amount by 25%.

Most experts use glucose, which may be swapped 1 for 1. It can be derived from a variety of sources, including corn and wheat. You can either hunt for it online or go to a local professional baking supply store. It’s worth noting that because it’s a Korean cooking component, businesses that specialize in Asian ingredients may stock it. You can also use granulated sugar to produce your own cane syrup.

They are, in fact, available. Wholesome, for example, makes an organic corn syrup that can be found at various Whole Foods locations, on Amazon (for some reason, it costs roughly twice as much as buying it in a store), and in natural food stores. It’s worth noting that it has a hint of natural color, so it might color things like homemade marshmallows.

What is the corn syrup-to-sugar ratio?

Sugar-based sweeteners are unhealthy mostly due to the significant amount of fructose they provide.

The liver is the only organ capable of metabolizing large amounts of fructose. When your liver is overworked, fructose is converted to fat (4).

Some of the fat can get stuck in your liver and cause fatty liver. Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type 2 diabetes are all connected to a high fructose diet (5, 6, 7).

The fructose and glucose content of high-fructose corn syrup and ordinary sugar is nearly identical, with a 50:50 ratio.

As a result, you’d anticipate the health effects to be similar – which has been proven multiple times.

There is no difference in sensations of fullness, insulin response, leptin levels, or effects on body weight when equivalent quantities of high-fructose corn syrup and ordinary sugar are used (8, 9, 10, 11).

From a health standpoint, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are identical.

Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have similar impacts on health and metabolism, according to numerous research. When ingested in excess, both are dangerous.

Is it possible to substitute sugar for corn syrup?

Corn syrup doesn’t contribute flavor to a recipe; it merely adds sweetness, thus sugar is the ideal flavor alternative. You may make a concentrated simple syrup by dissolving it in water. This liquid version works well in pies (such as pecan) and covered fruits. Sugar crystallizes at high temperatures, unlike corn syrup, therefore it’s not a viable choice for candy recipes that need to be taken past the softball stage (235 F).

A cup of sugar equals how much corn syrup?

To replace sugar with maple syrup, use 3/4 cup (6 oz / 175 ml) maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and reduce other liquid in the recipe by 3 tbsp for every cup (8 oz / 225 g) sugar called for.

To replace sugar with molasses, use 1 1/3 cup (10 oz / 300 ml) molasses, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 6 tbsp of other liquid in the recipe for every cup (8 oz / 225 g) of sugar called for. Substitute molasses for no more than half of the sugar in a recipe.

To replace sugar with corn syrup, use 1 1/4 cup (10 oz / 300 ml) corn syrup for every cup (8 oz / 225 g) sugar called for, and reduce other liquid in the recipe by 4 tbsp.

To make icing sugar, substitute 2 cups unpacked icing sugar (14 oz / 400 g) for each cup of sugar asked for.

If you want to reduce the amount of sugar in your baking, you can replace up to 25% of the white sugar with powdered milk.

You can replace 1 cup (225 g / 8 oz weight) of sugar with 150 ml (5 oz) of honey. According to the BeeMaid honey website, you should also add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and reduce the amount of other liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons during baking (40 ml). They also recommend lowering the cooking temperature by 15 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) to avoid overbrowning.

If I don’t have corn syrup, what can I do?

The sweetness of most candy recipes comes from cane sugar, but a teaspoon or two of corn syrup is frequently added. The solution gets supersaturated as the candy cools, and crystals can develop. If a few crystals form on the pan’s sides, their pattern will spread throughout the solution like cat content on your auntie’s Instagram, giving your desserts a sandy texture. You’re considerably less likely to encounter issues if you disturb the crystal formation with molecules of a different shape. Corn syrup’s glucose does a good job of keeping hard candy, caramel, and chocolate glaze smooth, and this is the quality we’ll need to duplicate when substituting.

Glucose syrup

Although corn syrup is a glucose syrup, there are many different starches that can be broken down into glucose. Outside of the United States, glucose syrup made from wheat and potatoes is more frequent.


Honey, like modern corn syrup, is made by breaking down complex sugars into simple sugars using enzymes. Unlike corn syrup, which uses isolated fungal and bacterial enzymes, nectar is turned into honey by bees regurgitating it repeatedly. Honey contains both glucose and fructose, another simple sugar, unlike normal corn syrup. It’s also effective in preventing sucrose crystallization, although it has a distinct flavor.

Golden syrup/light treacle/inverted sugar syrup

Golden syrup and light treacle are created from “inverted” sugar, or sucrose that has been broken down into glucose and fructose. They don’t have the same flavor depth as honey, but that’s usually a good thing when you’re looking for a subtle substitute.

Birch syrup

Birch syrup, which is similar to maple syrup but is predominantly made up of glucose and fructose rather than the more complex sucrose, is another good corn syrup option when crystal disruption is desired. It’s expensive, as it takes more than twice as much sap to make as maple syrup, but it’s worth it.

Date honey

Date honey is rich, dark, and much sweeter than corn syrup since it is extracted from the fruit of the date palm (rather than bee regurgitation). It is, nevertheless, high in the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. It can be used to make caramels or candies with a Middle Eastern flavor or in substitute of dark corn syrup. To avoid an overly sweet outcome, try substituting a smaller amount than the recipe calls for.


You’re probably thinking, “This guy is a butter fanatic who will stop at nothing to impose his radical philosophy on everyone who will listen.” You are correct. Fats, like glucose and fructose molecules, are great in interfering with sugar crystallization. In Alice Medrich’s unctuous butter glaze or this chocolate caramel nut dessert, use this to your advantage.

Lemon juice

Here’s another trick you can utilize. If cane sugar is the only sweetener you have, your best bet is to channel Gottlieb Kirchhoff and do your own hydrolysis. Hydrolyzing (or inverting) sucrose is much easier than hydrolyzing starches, which requires a lot of time, pressure, and dangerously powerful acids. You can make it by heating sugar and water with a little lemon juice until it acquires a light golden hue.

Cream of tartar

Another acidic chemical that can be used to invert cane sugar into fructose and glucose is cream of tartar, which is a by-product of wine production. To do this, cream of tartar and lemon juice are frequently combined.

Is corn syrup and Karo syrup the same thing?

Karo syrup is a well-known brand of corn syrup that is made from maize-derived corn starch. It is a concentrated solution of various sugars generated from maize starch, such as glucose (dextrose). Corn syrup has a naturally moderate sweet taste due to the many sugars it contains.

Karo corn syrup is offered in two different flavors: light and dark. Karo light corn syrup is a colorless, clear liquid with a little sweet flavor. It’s made consisting of a corn syrup mixture scented with salt and vanilla.

Karo dark corn syrup has a dark brown hue and is made comprised of corn syrup plus a little percentage of refiners’ syrup, a form of molasses that gives dark corn syrup its dark color and flavor. Other chemicals, such as caramel flavor, salt, sodium benzoate (a preservative), and caramel color, are used to give it its particular flavor.

Is corn syrup a sweeter alternative to sugar?

Corn syrup is the most commonly used sugar substitute in processed foods. This sweet chemical is used in large quantities by manufacturers to sweeten everything from soft beverages to canned meals to sweets. Have you tried Coca-Cola Life, Pepsi True, or Berghoff or Goose Island Root Beer, all of which are prepared with real sugar? When you compare a drink sweetened with corn syrup to one sweetened with cane sugar, you’ll find that the one sweetened with real sugar is significantly sweeter. Sucrose (table sugar) is actually 2-4 times sweeter than corn syrup.

Corn syrup is less sweet than table sugar for what reason? The sugar molecules in table sugar are sweeter to our tongues than the sugar molecules in corn syrup. Corn syrup is formed of pure glucose, whereas table sugar is made of two-part sugar chains consisting of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule. Table sugar is sweeter than corn syrup because fructose is sweeter than glucose.

Corn sugars also don’t start out sweet. They’re found in the form of starches, which are lengthy, branching molecules that aren’t tasty at all. In truth, carbohydrates make up the majority of bread, pasta, and cereal, and they’re not sweet unless you add table sugar! Because individual glucose molecules are wrapped up in lengthy starches, your tongue is unable to “see” them. As a result, it’s as if there’s no sugar present for them, and so no sweet pleasure for your brain. Manufacturers must break down these lengthy chains into tiny parts that your tongue can detect in order to make cornstarch tasty.

Corn syrup is made by treating cornstarch with acid, which breaks it down into smaller chains of 3-5 glucose molecules. These chains aren’t particularly sweet at this point, but with a little more time in acid, they break down even more into single glucose molecules. Finally, something familiar to your taste buds!

By manipulating how much the starch molecules break down, manufacturers can control how thick and sweet the syrup becomes: the more short chains left behind, the thicker and less sweet the syrup becomes.

What do food makers do when they need a sweetener that isn’t as sweet as sucrose but is less expensive than corn syrup? They turn corn syrup into high-fructose corn syrup, the sweetener that everyone despises (HFCS). Chemists transform glucose into fructose by putting corn syrup through a sophisticated chemical procedure to make HFCS. HFCS is sweeter than ordinary corn syrup because fructose is sweeter than glucose. Because of its low cost and sweetness, HFCS was the sweetener of choice in most prepared foods until recently. However, despite this benefit, HFCS has been linked to obesity and heart disease (primarily because the obesity epidemic in the US spread at the same time has the use of HFCS). However, just because two events occur at the same time does not entail that one caused the other, and it turns out that there is no conclusive proof that HFCS is more harmful than table sugar. If you need something sweet, nutritionists advocate using non-caloric artificial sweeteners like Splenda (learn more here).

If you have any additional questions about sugar and whether or not it is healthful, consult the American Heart Association’s FAQ.

Corn syrup is used instead of sugar for a variety of reasons.

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been identified as one of the primary causes of the obesity epidemic in the United States in recent years. Is science, on the other hand, truly supportive of this viewpoint? We wanted to take a closer look at how HFCS compares to other types of highly refined sugar before painting it as the dietary villain, given all of the public shaming and campaigns against it.


Sugar can be present in a variety of foods, including fructose in fruits and lactose in milk. Added sugar, on the other hand, originates from a variety of places and is used to enhance the flavor of your food. Natural sugar sources such as bee honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup are examples. Others, such as sugar cane and sugar beets for white and brown sugar, stevia, and corn syrup, must be highly processed.

Sugars are carbohydrate molecules that are broken down into glucose (blood sugar) and used as fuel by your body. Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down and might cause a surge in blood sugar levels, but complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and absorb. According to the American Heart Association, added sugar should be limited to 25-37 grams per day, or around 100-150 calories. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans go well above this recommendation.

High fructose corn syrup is a liquid sweetener that is commonly used as a substitute for table sugar in a variety of meals and beverages (sucrose). HFCS does not need to be dissolved in water like sucrose because it is a liquid. HFCS was first used in foods and beverages in the late 1960s, and its use has grown tremendously since then, owing to its ease of production and use. Sucrose is obtained from sugar cane and sugar beets, both of which are largely farmed in equatorial regions, hence its price and availability are subject to significant fluctuations due to political and climate instability. Corn, on the other hand, is more widely available and less expensive in the United States.

Foods and beverages that include a lot of added sugar of any kind have very little nutritional or fiber value. Non-diet soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks, cake, sweets, pastry, syrup, fruit-flavored drinks, fruit juices, and other items fall into this category. Empty calories can be found in products with a lot of added sugars, but they can also be found in items with a lot of saturated fat and alcohol. Sugar may be added to sauces, soups, and a variety of other common foods.