A Selection Of Tasty Barley Malt Syrup Substitutes You Must Try

From bagels and pretzels to various sauces and tasty baked treats, barley malt syrup is often the key ingredient in some of our favorite treats.

This sweetener is commonly used in many recipes, particularly in baking.

It is made by extracting the syrup from sprouted and roasted barley grains, and has a rich, complex flavor profile that is a popular ingredient in foods including bread, granola, and is even part of the beer-making process. 

However, it can be challenging to find barley malt syrup in some grocery stores, and it may not be suitable for everyone’s taste buds due to its distinct taste.

A Selection Of Tasty Barley Malt Syrup Substitutes You Must Try

If you are unable to find barley malt syrup or prefer not to use it in your cooking and baking, there are many substitutes that can be used to achieve similar results.

These substitutes can provide a similar level of sweetness and depth of flavor to your dishes while catering to different dietary requirements and preferences. 

In today’s post, we will explore some of the best barley malt syrup substitutes and how to use them in your cooking and baking.

Whether you are a vegan or simply cannot find barley malt syrup, we have got you covered with our list of sumptuous alternatives. Who knows? You may decide you like the alternatives better!

Barley Malt Syrup Explained

Extracted from barley grains through a sophisticated process that involves sprouting and slow heating in brewing containers, barley malt syrup is a type of sweetener that has gained popularity in recent times.

Its sticky and thick consistency adds a distinct nutty flavor to recipes, while also providing the right level of sweetness. As a result, many people have started to substitute barley malt syrup for white sugar in their cooking and baking.

This versatile sweetener that can be used in a variety of dishes, particularly in baking.

Its unique flavor profile, which is slightly nutty and caramel-like, adds depth and complexity to recipes.

Here are some common uses of barley malt syrup:

  • Baking – Barley malt syrup is a popular ingredient in baked goods such as bread, bagels, and muffins. It provides a natural sweetness and enhances the flavor and texture of the baked goods.
  • Beverages – Commonly used as a sweetener in beer brewing, barley malt syrup is added to the boiling wort, which is a mixture of water and malted grains, creating the desired flavor and color of the beer.
  • Sauces and glazes – The syrup can be used to make sauces and glazes for meats and vegetables. It adds a unique flavor to the dish and can help to caramelize the outer layer.
  • Granola and cereal bars – It is a great ingredient to use in granola and cereal bars as it provides a natural sweetness and helps to bind other ingredients together.
  • Candies and confectioneries – Barley malt syrup is a common ingredient in candies and confectioneries, providing a rich, caramel-like flavor.

Let’s take a look at some barley malt syrup alternatives below. Whilst they have a lot of qualities to live up to, these are the best to use if you need a quick substitute. 

Barley Malt Syrup Alternatives 

1. Golden Syrup

Most of us have golden syrup in our kitchens. If not, you can usually pop to the local store and find it easily. This is what makes it a great alternative to barley malt syrup.

This popular syrup is produced by boiling and evaporating the juice extracted from sugar cane or Sugar beet. 

The resulting thick, golden-colored syrup possesses a distinct flavor that is commonly used in sweet and savory dishes, and can be used as a like-for-like replacement for barley malt syrup in many recipes.

Its popularity extends to baking, where it enhances the moisture and richness of cakes and biscuits. 

Golden syrup can also be utilized as a glaze for meat and vegetables or a sweetener for drinks.

Its widespread usage in a range of traditional recipes has made it an indispensable ingredient, and its demand continues to grow globally. A must-try if you want to use something different to barley malt syrup.

2. Honey 

Honey, that magical ingredient that has been used by different cultures for thousands of years.

Retrieved from a flower’s nectar by honey bees, this thick, sweet liquid is one of the most excellent alternatives for barley malt syrup.

It is wonderfully versatile, acting as a sweetener in beverages and baked goods, and it is available just about anywhere! 

Honey is one of the most cost-effective alternatives to barley malt syrup. It tends to be much lower in price than the syrup itself and its consistency is very close to that of barley malt syrup.

The flavor-profile of honey is a little different so you won’t get that distinctive nutty taste that barley malt syrup provides. Nevertheless, honey has a unique floral flavor that works just as well in many recipes. 

It’s important to keep in mind that honey is generally two times as sweet as barley malt syrup. Therefore, when used as a replacement in a recipe, you should reduce its amount, usually by around half. 

3. Korean Rice Syrup

You may have never heard of Korean rice syrup but trust us when we say that it is a great barley malt syrup substitute. One reason for this is that barley is used in the making of traditional Korean rice syrup.

Thick and runny, this syrup is a common part of most Korean sweet dishes. It is usually used as a finishing glaze in Korean cuisine and adds some beautiful sweetness to a range of dishes.

Because it consists of rice and barley malt powder, Korean rice syrup is one of the best alternatives to barley malt syrup. It sports an earthy, sweet flavor that substitutes the nuttiness of barley malt syrup extremely well. 

If you want an alternative with the perfect percentage of sweetness, then Korean rice syrup can be used in the same proportions as barley malt syrup.

You can usually find this product in Korean grocery stores or the International aisle at supermarkets and grocery stores. 

4. Maple Syrup

Replacing one syrup for another syrup just seems like good logic, right? Well, it is when you consider maple syrup.

This type of syrup is obtained when you boil sugar maple sap until it thickens into a syrupy texture, becoming a great alternative to barley malt syrup.

Maple syrup is a versatile ingredient that can replace barley malt in a variety of dishes, especially desserts. Its rich, nutty flavor resembles that of malted barley syrup and helps add a delightful sweetness to any recipe.

While maple syrup may have a slightly thinner consistency compared to barley malt syrup, it can be used as a substitute in equal quantities.

5. Sugar Syrup

Another syrup for syrup swap, sugar syrup is made by mixing sugar and water, before boiling together until the sugar dissolves. This results in a thick and viscous syrup.

Moreover, both white and brown sugar can be used to create this kind of tasty syrup.

Because of its sweetness, sugar syrup is a prominent substitute for barley malt syrup, and the fact that most kitchens have some sort of sugar.

However, it is important to note that barley malt syrup is not as sweet as sugar syrup, so when using this as a substitute, only half the recommended amount should be used in recipes to avoid making the dish overly sweet.

In Summary 

Barley malt syrup is responsible for giving many of our favorite treats their distinctive sweetness. But, when it’s not readily available, you can try one of our five substitutes above.

Some other worthy mentions include maltose, molasses, agave syrup, and date syrup, to name just a few.

Happy substituting! 

A Selection Of Tasty Barley Malt Syrup Substitutes You Must Try

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Golden Syrup

  • Honey

  • Korean Rice Syrup

  • Maple Syrup

  • Sugar Syrup


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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