11 Best Malt Syrup Substitutes That Taste The Same

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So, you are here for the names of the best malt syrup substitutes. You might have wanted to surprise your loved ones with a bagel, but then you realize you don’t have malt syrup. 

Different Types of Malt Syrup

What can possibly get you out of this miserable plight is what we are going to talk about today – the best malt syrup substitutes. Do you know which are those? Some of the best malt syrup substitutes are honey, molasses, maltose, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and agave syrup.

Malt syrup or barley malt syrup is a sweetener prominently used in the food and beverage industry. It is also important in the baking industry, often used to prepare pretzels, bagels, sauces, and so on. Being a healthy ingredient, malt syrup holds a special place among those who love to cook and eat.

But when miserable unavailability knocks you down, you gotta stand up and fight back, right? We are going to look at malt syrup, its culinary uses, health benefits, and a bunch of the best substitutes for malt syrup that can help you with your recipes.

Quick Peek: Malt Syrup

Malt Syrup

The following scribbles tell you what malt syrup is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Malt Syrup and How Is It Made?

Malt syrup is a thick, sticky syrup made out of barley grains. Fresh barley grains are collected and soaked in water until they germinate. The sprouts are separated from the grain and then dried for over eight hours. These sprouts are then heated until they obtain a thick, syrupy consistency. 

Describing Malt Syrup: Flavor and Consistency

Malt syrup looks dark brown in color and has a moderate, sweet taste. No doubt, it has a malty flavor, close to that of caramel or raisins. It is not as sweet as sugar. Its taste can be deemed similar to that of molasses. 

Uses of Malt Syrup

You can use malt syrup as a sweetener in baking, confectionery, cereals, sauces, hot drinks, and dairy products. When added to yeast, malt aids the fermentation process due to the presence of concentrated enzymes. One of the best alternatives to caramelized sugar is malt syrup.

Malt Syrup has extensive usage in producing beer. The addition of malt syrup or extract helps in quicker fermentation and intense flavoring. Malted beer is simply adored by beer lovers.

Malt Syrup on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

The major ingredient in malt syrup is sprouted barley grains. You know the saying, “Anything that’s sprouted is the healthiest edible food ever!” Consequently, malt syrup is a healthy ingredient. 

Malt Syrup comprises sugar which is 65% maltose. Did you know that maltose gets absorbed very slowly into our bloodstream, unlike other sugars? This is very beneficial for our overall health. Wow! It looks like we have a clear malty wave on the health radar! *chuckle* 

Malt is an essential source of amino acids, vitamin B, and proteins. It can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and boost your bone health.

Why Should We Substitute Malt Syrup?

Malt syrup is an incredibly healthy ingredient with so much goodness.*bowing in gratitude*. But what to do if you need to replace it during an important cooking process? You need the help of a bunch of ingredients that can replace the essence of malt syrup in your recipe.

Of late, the demand for natural sweeteners has risen pretty well. High demand is followed by less availability, and if that is the case, you need to be well aware of the best malt syrup substitutes.

So, with no more chit-chat, shall we look into the best malt syrup substitutes right away?

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

11 Best Malt Syrup Substitutes

Now that you know everything you need to know about malt syrup, let us discuss the eleven best malt syrup substitutes.

1. Honey


Honey is a viscous and sweet liquid extracted by honeybees that source nectar from flowers. Honey is gluten-free and one of the closest substitutes for malt syrup. Honey’s color and texture are very similar to malt syrup.

It is an easily available sweetener and is priced less than malt syrup. You can boldly swap malt syrup with honey in your recipes without any compromise.

2. Molasses


Molasses is a thickened, glossy syrup obtained from refining sugar or sugarcanes. With sugar as its base and a strong sweet flavor, it is undoubtedly the best alternative for malt syrup.

You can use molasses as a sweetener in recipes that call for malt syrup. Mild molasses, blackstrap molasses, and dark molasses are the three varieties of molasses. To replace malt syrup, opt for black molasses.

3. Maltose


Maltose is produced by the breakdown of sugar. It is less sweet than table sugar and has a neutral flavor. It has a thick consistency and brownish color akin to malt syrup. 

Maltose is actually a double sugar that is rich in fiber, iron, and a substantial amount of protein. It has been used as a medicine for enhancing digestion and boosting the immune system. When out of malt syrup, you can use maltose, which is a healthy alternative, in bread, bagels, and beers.

4. Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is obtained from boiling the sap of maple trees to obtain concentrated sugar content. It is a natural sweetener that is categorized using various grades, which are based on the color and time of sap collection. 

Maple syrup has a unique, nutty flavor and can be used as a substitute for malt syrup in recipes without overpowering other ingredients. It is less thick than malt syrup but can be a very good addition to baked desserts.

5. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown Rice Syrup

Looking for a gluten-free, vegan alternative for malt syrup? You have the ultimate answer; brown rice syrup! It also goes by the names ‘rice syrup’ or ‘rice malt syrup.’ Brown rice syrup is derived from fermenting and reducing brown rice into enzymes, resulting in a syrupy structure.

You can also use brown rice syrup as a table sweetener, and it can replace malt syrup in baking recipes. It tastes less sweet than sugar and has a nutty flavor. 

6. Agave Syrup

Agave Syrup

Agave syrup or agave nectar is produced from blue agave. It has a taste very similar to honey but is much less thin than honey. It has a balanced flavor and lacks the aftertaste which comes with most sweeteners.

With respect to color and sweetness, malt syrup and agave syrup share similar profiles. Thus, agave syrup can be used to replace malt syrup.

7. Date Syrup

Date Syrup

Date syrup is a natural sweetener made using dates. It has an intense caramel-like color and taste. It has a soft liquidy texture which makes it easy to add to recipes. Malt syrup and date syrup almost have the same sweetness, and thus they can be used interchangeably in recipes.

8. Sugar


There is no kitchen without a jar of sugar. If you run out of malt syrup, choose to add sugar which is like the king of sweetness. You can go with white or brown sugar to replace malt syrup. However, in baking recipes, it is better to use any syrup alternative to malt syrup than sugar. Here’s how you can make some flavored sugar for your drinks and desserts.

9. Korean Rice Syrup

Korean Rice Syrup

Korean rice syrup is made using rice and barley malt powder. It is a classic rice syrup used by Koreans for ages before the advent of white sugar. The presence of the enzyme amylase in sprouted barley gives Korean rice syrup the characteristic sweet taste.

Korean rice syrup has a dense, viscous texture with an intense, grainy, earthy flavor. Korean rice syrup tastes less sweet than honey or sugar, making it a considerable malt syrup substitute.

10. Coconut Syrup

Coconut Syrup

Coconut trees are tapped to obtain the sap, which is further boiled down to a concentrated syrup, which is simply the coconut syrup. It is a healthy alternative to sugar since it has a low glycemic index and is devoid of refinement.

Coconut syrup has a mild, sweet flavor similar to caramel. It has a consistency that is very similar to that of molasses. The sweet flavor and thick consistency of coconut syrup make it a considerable substitute for malt syrup.

11. Golden Syrup

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is a sugar syrup obtained by refining sugarcane or sugar beet juice into sugar. That is, treating sugar with acid gives you golden syrup. It has a thick amber-colored appearance and a unique buttery, caramel-like flavor. Though it has a similar consistency as that of honey, it tastes nothing like it.

Golden syrup works as a good alternative to malt syrup due to its sweet, buttery flavor. Since it tastes sweeter than malt syrup, you have to add it in low amounts while replacing malt syrup.

Short Recap

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best malt syrup substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Flavor: Honey, molasses, maltose, maple syrup and, brown rice syrup, sugar are the best malt syrup substitutes in terms of flavor.

Consistency: Honey, molasses, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and agave syrup are the best malt syrup substitutes in terms of texture.

How To Use Malt Syrup Substitutes In A Recipe

Different Types of Malt Syrup

Malt Syrup Substitutes

Malt syrup or barley malt syrup is a sweetener prominently used in the food and beverage industry. It is also important in the baking industry, often used to prepare pretzels, bagels, sauces, and so on. Being a healthy ingredient, malt syrup holds a special place among those who love to cook and eat. Thus, you should know all of its best substitutes.
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  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Maltose
  • Maple Syrup
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Agave Syrup
  • Date Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Korean Rice Syrup
  • Coconut Syrup
  • Golden Syrup


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Musings

Finding the best substitute for malt syrup can be done in a jiffy. Choosing which one to use among them in your recipe largely depends on the demands of your recipe.

Consider the flavor, color, and texture before adding a substitute, and make your recipes a wonder in the annals of cooking! Do tell me in the comments which substitute you think is the best. Happy eating! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use honey instead of malt syrup?

Honey can be used instead of malt syrup due to its sweet, floral flavor.

What can I use instead of malt syrup for bagels?

Malt syrup can be easily substituted with honey on an equal basis in bagels.

Is malt syrup necessary for bagels?

For an authentic, tasty bagel, malt syrup is a necessary ingredient.

Why is malt extract used in baking?

Malt extract is used to enrich the color and flavor of the bread and also for its antioxidant and phytonutrient content.

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