Baking with Honey and Maple Syrup: How to Substitute Liquid and Granulated Sweeteners

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Changing sweeteners for a recipe can be challenging! If you are wondering about baking with honey or baking with maple syrup instead of sugar in a recipe, you have come to the right place.

Here are some handy dandy tips to make your baked goods and more turn out right!

honey and different types of sugar in bowls, scoops, and wooden spoons for post about baking with honey and baking with maple syrup

There are several reasons that you might want to change up the sweeteners that you are using for a recipe.

One is that you ran out of the sweetener that you needed.

The second is that you are using sugar substitutes for health reasons.

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Using Healthier Sweeteners

One of the ways that our family started moving towards more whole foods was to move away from white sugar and start baking with honey, sucanat, and other sweeteners.

Now, instead of making my Homemade Jello, Homemade Chocolate Chips, and Gluten-Free Cupcakes with granulated sugar, I moved to other, more wholesome sweeteners.

If you’ve been wondering about baking with honey or baking with maple syrup,  or what to do about substituting sugar in your baked goods or other sweet (or not-so-sweet) dishes, then this post should help.

Never Run Out Again of Sweeteners Again

One of my pet peeves (and probably yours too) is running out of something when you are in the middle of the recipe.

And one of my best time and money-saving cooking and baking tips is learning how to substitute one thing for another.

That way you’re not running out to the store at the last minute because you ran out of something.  You spend extra time (a lot), extra money on gas, more money than usual because you are making a last minute purchase, plus you might end up buying other things that you don’t need, which really add up.

When you need to substitute a liquid for a granulated sweetener, how do you do that quickly and easily?

Mainly, you just need to make up for, or take away from, the liquid part of the liquid sweetener, when adding it to a recipe, and adjust a little for the different sweetness of the sweeteners you are substituting.

If the recipe we are talking about is a dish with very little sweetener (like my Focaccia Flax Bread), then it really doesn’t matter.  Just substitute one sweetener for another and don’t worry about it.

Additionally, with some non-baking recipes like

you can use whatever sugar substitute you wish (liquid or granulated).  The result won’t differ that much regardless of which sugar substitutes you use.

However, when you are dealing with a sweet baked good, things get more complicated.

Here’s how to make a sugar substitute in baking and have the result turn out well.

honey, sugar, and brown sugar in bowls with spoons for post about baking with honey and baking with maple syrup

Baking with Honey / Baking with Maple Syrup

Here are some helpful tips for baking with honey and maple syrup and for substituting sweetener for sure.

Substituting Liquid Sweetener for Granulated

When substituting a liquid for a granulated sweetener (e.g. using honey when the recipe calls for sucanat or brown sugar, or subbing in a liquid low carb sweetener like this sugar-free simple syrup for xylitol, etc.), for every 1 cup of liquid sweetener, subtract 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe (likewise, for every 1/4 cup of honey, subtract 1 tablespoon of liquid).

Substituting Granulated Sweetener for Liquid Sweetener

The reverse is then, when substituting a granulated for a liquid sweetener (e.g. using sucanat, coconut sugar, or xylitol when the recipe calls for maple syrup or honey), for every 1 cup of granulated sweetener, add 1/4 cup of liquid to the recipe (likewise, for every 1/4 cup of granulated sweetener, add 1 tablespoon of liquid).

Adjusting for Sweetness

Honey and maple syrup are about 25 percent (or more) sweeter than sugar.
So you’ll want to use less honey or maple syrup (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup) for each cup of sugar. And if you are substituting another “sugar-equivalent” sweetener for honey or maple syrup, you’ll want to use at least 1.25 times as much.

Oven Temperature Adjustments

If baking with honey or maple syrup, reduce the oven temperature by 25 °Fahrenheit, since maple syrup and honey will tend to caramelize and burn faster than granulated sweeteners. If you are substituting another sweetener for honey or maple syrup, you might wish to raise the oven temperature a bit.

The Acidic Component

Since maple syrup and honey are somewhat acidic, when baking you will need to add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon baking soda per cup of honey or maple syrup to the batter so it will rise.
You might want to remove that same amount of baking soda from a recipe when substituting another sweetener for maple syrup or honey.

Baking with Stevia

If you’d like to use stevia in your baking and cooking, check out Stevia-What It Is and How to Use It for helpful tips.
Stevia is super sweet. In general, 1/32 of a teaspoon is the equivalent of 2 tablespooons of sugar. However, it is a little tricky to bake with it. The bulk that you lose by moving to a sweetener that is this concentrated makes it difficult.
Typically I will replace half of the sweetener in a recipe with Stevia Extract and the other half with another low-carb sweetener.

Pretty simple, isn’t it?

These tips are super helpful if you run out of the sweetener, but also if you’re trying out a new recipe and want to use the least expensive sweetener that I have.  Then if the recipe isn’t a winner, I’ve spent less money on it than I would have otherwise.

Other Substitution Tips

Here are some other great posts to help you make easy substitutions in the kitchen.

23 Vanilla Extract Substitutes
Homemade Powdered Egg-replacer

Hope these tips are helpful for you as well!

What sweetener do you most use in your home?

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  1. I love her recipes! We are online friends actually! You should be fine b/c it’s such a small amount but you could use the guidelines in this post to do small adjustments if you like!

  2. Hi there! I’m making a cake that calls for 2 tablespoons of stevia, I would like to use maple syrup instead. Would it change the whole structure if I use syrup?

            1. Hmmm I don’t know what happened to these comments. I thought I responded to this already but now I’m seeing it again. I do think you will be fine since it’s such a small amount. Enjoy – it looks amazing!

  3. Hello –
    In all of the notes and the recipe stuff, I’m STILL a little confused about your proportions/ratios for substitution.
    If I’m using Lakanto granulated monkfruit+erithrytol (sp) , how much would I need to substitute in if the recipe calls for 1/3 cup of honey?
    (I’m trying to make a diabetic-safe ginger lemonade)
    Thanks very much – I’ll be exploring this site a bit more in the future!

    1. Hi there. So the Lakanto (which I LOVE – did you see with my code wholenewmom you can get 20% off at their store?) is 1:1 for sugar so you would follow the information for subbing sugar for honey. You will use about 2/3 cup Lakanto and add about 1/6 cup liquid to the recipe – so that’s about 2 2/3 T. Hope that helps!

  4. Hello, I would like to know what you recommend me.

    I want to cooked a Ham and I am looking one recipe with honey glaze but I cannot eat sugars.

    The ingredients are:
    100gr demerara sugar
    50 ml Madeira
    25 ml sherry vinegar
    125g honey

    I have erythritol and lakanto maple syrup but I don’t know how to do it.

    Maybe de erythritol for the sugar and the lakanto for the honey?

    Thank you.

    1. Erythritol is 70% as sweet so you will likely want a little more, depending on your tastes. Honey is sweeter than sugar so you will need some extra there as well. Hope that works!

      1. 100gr is 1/2 cup of demarara sugar
        I think I should use 2/3 cup of Erythritol to substitute it.

        But then, with the honey I don’t know how to do it. It is better to use Lakanto syrup or more erithitrol? or both?

        Thank you,

  5. Hi! Love your blog. There is a great paleo recipe I am using for my Lactation cookies. I want to use Erythritol rather than maple syrup. Any advice on ratios? Thanks I had GD last pregnancy so really want to rid sugar from my life to stay around for a long time with my babies.

    2 cups almond flour
    1/4 cup coconut oil , melted
    1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

    1. Hello Pamela – thanks so much!

      That recipe looks great and congrats on your new little one! Maple Syrup is sweeter than sugar, as you can see in the above post. I would think that you will need 2/3 of a cup of erythritol, but you will need to adjust the liquid by adding at least 1T but I think more. Hope that helps! Did you see this post for Homemade Chocolate Chips?

        1. That’s a toughy since there isn’t really a liquid in the recipe. I would try a little coconut milk perhaps. Just go slowly until the cookies are the same texture as usual. The vanilla would be way too strong.

  6. Hi! I cannot use artificial sweeteners of any kind for health reasons. I found a wonder recipe that calls for 1/3 cup erythritol. How can I substitute honey for the erythritol? (I’m sorry to be dense, but I’m just not sure if the amounts.)

    1. You will want to remove about 1 T liquid (not a big deal) and honey is sweeter than sugar so consider about 1/2 cup sugar for the 1/3 cup erythritol but then about 1/4 – 1/3 cup honey should work.

  7. I’m making a pumpkin pie filling that calls for 1/3 c. maple syrup which I can’t use because of diabetes. Can I make a substitution using Swerve (erthritol) and maple flavoring? I have Swerve Brown, too, if that would help. Thanks!

    1. Hi there – you would be looking at the most at 1c sugar equiv so you would want 1 cup of the Swerve- hope it works well! I need to get my pumpkin pie up on the blog!

  8. I am substituting xylitol for 1 cup of maple syrup.
    So I:
    Use more xylitol (increase by 1/4 Cup?)
    Remove 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of baking soda
    Raise oven temp 25 degrees
    Add 1/4 cup of liquid for every cup of maple syrup being substituted with xylitol

    1. It’s the same as for liquid stevia to sugar. Just look up a liquid stevia chart and go from there. Xylitol and sugar are 1:1. 5 drops is about 1 tsp.

  9. If I want to use Swerve instead of honey or a sticky sweetner do I use the same amount and do I have to add water and heat the swerve to make it in liquid form?

    1. Swerve measures like sugar so you use the conversion amount that I shared for converting from honey using the liquid subs as well.

  10. I make granulated maple sugar as a brown sugar substitute. You can find instructions for making it on Pinterest. Its actually pretty easy! You can even turn it into powdered sugar too!!!

  11. i am making somethinng that uses 180ml maple syrup and i want to use coconut sugar, how much coconut sugar should i use and when you mention liquid what liquid do you mean …. water ???

    1. You’ll want to use double or 4 parts to every 3 of the sugar and any liquid is fine to remove. Whatever is in the recipe.

    1. Xylitol is considered to be a 1:1 sub for sugar so you do the same as you would for sugar :).

  12. I am making coconut yogurt in my Mealthy pressure cooker. The recipe calls for 4 Tbl. Maple syrup. How much stevia would I need? I have both liquid and powder Stevia. I do not have any other sweeteners at this point.
    Thank you for your help.

      1. Oh thank you. I cannot tell you how much you have helped me in this new road I’m on. You are the best!

  13. Great information. What about substituting coconut sugar? Can it be 1-for-1 with granulated or brown sugar?

  14. Thank you so much for your post. I’m wanting to make vanilla ice cream. My daughter’s insulin is higher than normal and we have been advised to try low carb to bring it down so I would like to substitute 1/3 cup of confectioners sugar for erythritol. Do I just swop them. Would this work? Many thanks

    1. Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar. Powdered sugar typically you need twice as much so you need 1/6 cup of sugar and then that would be about 10.5 tsp. Hope that works!