Homemade Ingredients

Perfect Golden Syrup Substitute

4.74 from 76 votes
If you're out of Golden Syrup or find yourself with a recipe that calls for it but you can't get any, I will teach you to make the Perfect Golden Syrup Substitute!

Hi Bold Bakers!

A homemade version of golden syrup was hugely requested once I released my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook because it makes an appearance in a few recipes. I heard you, Bold Bakers! So I’ve come up with the Perfect Golden Syrup Substitute.

Golden syrup is a very popular baking ingredient in Ireland. We use it in cookies, steamed sponge puddings, and also it’s a key ingredient when making Homemade Honeycomb. It’s a thick, caramel-colored syrup and often used in recipes where you would use corn syrup. A substitute can be made easily at home using just 3 ingredients.

What Is Golden Syrup?

It’s a thick amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup made in the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into sugar. It is used in a variety of baking recipes and desserts that you can see below. A very popular baking ingredient in Europe and Australia.

What Is Golden Syrup in America?

The best other syrup to liken it to for color and texture would be dark corn syrup. Although personally I believe golden syrup has a more caramel flavor to it. This substitute will work perfectly if you can’t buy it.

What Uses Golden Syrup?

A lot of yummy European, Australian, and New Zealand recipes call for golden syrup as we don’t have access to corn syrup like the US and Canada. Mostly we add it to Sticky Toffee pudding, treacle puddings, biscuits and one of my personal favorites, Homemade Honeycomb.

What spurred me to make this substitute was that I have a few recipes in my cookbook that call for golden syrup, so if you have my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook then you will find this substitute really useful.

Golden Syrup Substitute dripping off a spoon into a jar, showing consistency.

What Can Be Substituted for Golden Syrup?

This exact recipe is the best substitute for a tin of golden syrup. It’s the same texture, thickness, and caramel tone and flavor that is unique to golden syrup. If you are looking for another option then you can also use dark corn syrup. I don’t recommend substituting it with maple syrup as it will not react the same way.

How do I store it?

You can store your substitute in a jar or any airtight container at room temperature. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated just like you don’t refrigerate honey, corn syrup, or maple syrup.

It will also last a very long time. I write in the recipe it lasts a minimum of 8 weeks but honestly, it should last a lot longer than that. If you think of it like corn syrup and store it properly, it will not ever go bad.

Tips and Tricks for making a Golden Syrup Substitute

  • Caramel making is a low and slow process, don’t turn up the heat and try to rush it
  • Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan to make this golden syrup substitute as it’s best for caramel making
  • Watch the video so you can see the same color and texture of my syrup
  • Store in an airtight container with a proper sealable lid
  • This golden syrup substitute will last for months in your cupboard

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Watch The Recipe Video!

Perfect Golden Syrup Substitute Recipe

4.74 from 76 votes
If you're out of Golden Syrup or find yourself with a recipe that calls for it but you can't get any, I will teach you to make the Perfect Golden Syrup Substitute recipe!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
If you're out of Golden Syrup or find yourself with a recipe that calls for it but you can't get any, I will teach you to make the Perfect Golden Syrup Substitute recipe!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 cups


  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (2floz/57ml) water
  • 2 ¼ cup (18oz/507g) sugar
  • 1 ½ cup (10 ½floz/296ml) boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Heat ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium/low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to a simmer and caramelize until an amber/golden color forms, about 8-10 minutes. If needed, brush the sides of the pan with water to clean away the sugar build up so the caramel doesn’t crystallize.
  • Once your caramel has formed, add the remaining sugar. Slowly add in boiling water and lemon juice. Be careful when adding the liquid because the caramel will bubble rapidly. Whisk to combine. Note: The sugar will clump but don't worry, keep whisking and those lumps will dissolve.
  • On medium/low heat, continue to simmer for about 17-20 minutes. You are looking for a rich amber color and a slightly thickened consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. The syrup will thicken significantly when completely cooled.
  • Pour the thick, cooled homemade golden syrup into a jar and keep at room temperature in a cupboard for a minimum of 8 weeks. Important note: If your syrup is TOO stiff then put it back on the heat and thin it out with some water until you get the consistency of thick syrup. Likewise, if it is still TOO thin once cooled completely then pop it back on the stove for another few minutes to thicken up further.

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11 months ago

I’m not sure if you know it or not, but the left menu that shows tips, video, recipe, comments, etc. hides a good portion of the text on the left side of the screen on my iPad Air 2.

9 months ago

The syrup I ended up with looks exactly like Lyle’s and the consistency is spot on however, the flavor and sweetness are not. I find the Lyle’s to be considerably sweeter and far more flavorful. I used pure cane sugar.
Also, I have viewed other videos on golden syrup and they all say to simmer for 45 minutes where you say around 18 minutes. Just wondering if I didn’t understand?



11 months ago

So, Gemma, one needs to plan ahead when thinking of using this syrup. It looks like you need to make it 8 weeks before you need it. Or did I misunderstand? Either way, it looks delicious, and I cannot wait to try it.

Ronald William Martin
Ronald William Martin
3 months ago

I made it today here in Thailand where Golden Syrup is almost non existent. It’s excellent. Thanks for the recipe and video.

Alina A
9 months ago

Loved this! Turned exactly as pictured! ❤️

Stephen Murdoch
Stephen Murdoch
7 months ago

What should the finish temperature be?

11 months ago

Does the last paragraph mean we have to wait 8 weeks to use it? Or did you mean to write we can keep it in the cupboard for a “maximum” of 8 weeks?

6 days ago

Hi, Gemma. Can I use lime juice instead of lemon for substitute? Will it affect the taste and texture? Lemon is not cheap in my country and harder to find. Thanks.

1 month ago

Great recipe–thanks!

Making it my way Diane
2 months ago

Gemma, just a question please. I want to make the golden syrup a bit healthier is there a way to substitute the white sugar for something not a processed.

I like to use a couple of slices of lemon in mine when making the syrup, it gives the cook a little treat in the end, candied lemon.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

Buy the Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook by Gemma Stafford