Sugar-free Simple Syrup (2 ingredients!) Great Corn Syrup Alternative and More
This Sugar-free Simple Syrup comes together in just 5 minutes or less with no sugar, low or no carbs, and low or no calories! With so many great uses, this Keto Simple Syrup is sure to become a regular in your home.
Plus, you can use whatever low-carb sweetener you have--no need to run to the store!
What is Simple Syrup?
Simple Syrup (or "sugar syrup") is a liquid sweetener that typically is used to sweeten cocktails and cold drinks. Since it's a liquid, it's easier to dissolve into cold liquids than a granulated sweetener is.
However, simple syrup is also used as an ingredient in baked goods and other desserts, can be used as a base for fancier syrups, and is sometimes simply drizzled as a glaze over desserts.
Typical Simple Syrup is super easy to make--you simply combine sugar and water in ratios between 1:1 and 2:1, heat in a pan, and then simmer for about 10 minutes 'til reduced by about half.
This Keto Simple Syrup is made basically the same way, but even easier. No need to simmer that for a long time!
How to Use This Sugar-free Simple Syrup
As I mentioned, typically simple syrup is used for things like alcoholic and other cold drinks. But there are so many other ways to use simple syrup. And of course you can use this sugar-free simple syrup in all of these fun ways too--you'll just be doing them without the carbs!
Corn Syrup Substitute: This syrup is the perfect sub for corn syrup in all your recipes!
Coffee: Sweeten your cuppa (or your coffee substitute) without all the sugar - and it dissolves great!
Cakes: Simple syrup is often used on cakes to keep them moist--this keto simple syrup can be used on all your low-carb cakes (and cupcakes) to keep them moist without adding carbs!
Sweeten Desserts: Use this simple syrup in any dessert (like these Coconut Milk Mixed Berry Popsicles) as you would any other liquid sweetener.
Cocktails and Cold Drinks: Simple syrups are used in cold drinks to avoid issues of sweeteners not dissolving.
Dessert Drizzle: Drizzle this syrup on any dessert for a little extra sweetening power.
Dress Up Fruit Salad: Drizzle a bit of syrup on top of fruit salad to add sweetness and shine.
Homemade Infusions: Make blueberry, orange, basil, rosemary infused syrups for use in cocktails or mocktails--or simply use your imagination!
Candy Fruits / Peels: Use this simple syrup to candy fruit and peels.
Jellied Beans: What a fun idea to make a different kind of "jelly" beans.
Here's how to do it.
What Sweeteners Can You Use for This Keto Simple Syrup?
You can make this Low-carb Simple Syrup using all kinds of sweeteners--
Monk Fruit / Erythritol Blend (like Lakanto)
There are more options, but the above are some of the more common low-carb sweeteners.
Note: xylitol has some carbs and calories, so it should be used in moderation on a keto diet. The others listed above all work well for the keto diet.
For this syrup, I tried xylitol, Lakanto monk fruit blend, and a stevia blend. The first two worked out great, both in terms of taste and performance. The stevia syrup--not so much.
The xylitol simple syrup tasted really good, and xylitol is readily available and is one of the lower cost alternative sweeteners. However, since xylitol is really toxic to dogs in even small amounts, you might not choose to use it.
The Erythritol / Monk blend worked great. I used Lakanto, but you could use any similar blend. Get 20% off your Lakanto purchase using code wholenewmom.
I tried Stevia in the Raw and added some NuNuturals extract, but it still didn't taste good. Blech.
Low-carb Sweetener Options and How Much to Use for Each
Depending on your the sweetener you choose, you might need to vary the amount.
Allulose dissolves really well, tastes a lot like sugar, and will not recrystallize. However, it's a more expensive sweetener and not as readily available.
Xylitol dissolves well. You can use 1 cup, 1 1/2 cups, or 2 cups of xylitol for this syrup. If you take care when preparing the syrup (follow the instructions below to prevent crystallizing), you should be fine. I like the 1:1 recipe. It tastes and works great.
Erythritol will most likely crystallize if you use more than 1/2 cup of erythritol in 1 cup of water, so you'll want to enhance the sweetness of the syrup with some additional stevia. You might also wish to use distilled water to prevent crystallizing, but I think quality filtered water (here's my favorite water filter) is good enough.
Erythritol / Monk Blend (like Lakanto): This sweetener can crystallize easily, since it's mostly erythritol. However, it's sweeter so you might not need the added stevia.
Swerve: Swerve is similar to Monk / Erythritol. Will easily crystallize and no need to add extra sweetener.
Bocha Sweet: I haven't tried this sweetener. It's pricey, but I think a 1:1 ratio of this sweetener to water (or more) should work for this recipe.
Stevia Blend: Stevia will dissolve fine but again, I really didn't care for the results. Use about 1/8 cup of this for each cup of water.
Splenda: You can also make a simple syrup from Splenda, but I don't use this sweetener due to some health concerns. If you want to try it, you could use 1/2 cup for every cup of water.
Can You Freeze This Syrup?
Yes, you can but it won't freeze completely due to sugar lowering the freezing point. The product will be mushy and not completely solid. The shelf life will be somewhat longer, however.
Does Simple Syrup Need to Be Refrigerated?
Since this syrup has no added preservatives, and water is known for being a breeding ground for bacteria, it’s best kept in the fridge but it will only last for about a month.
Simple syrups made with a 2:1 sweetener to water ratio should last about 2 months in the fridge due to the higher concentration of sweetener, but the higher the sweetener concentration, the more likely you are going to end up with crystallization.
How to Prevent This Syrup from Crystallizing
As I mentioned, the allulose and xylitol syrups shouldn't crystallize easily, but it's still possible. If you want to go the extra mile to prevent this from happening, here are some tips to help.
Add the sweetener and water to the pot slowly to prevent granules of sweetener ending up on the sides or edges of the pot.
Use a pastry brush to push any granules into the mixture while heating.
Use a clean container to store the syrup with no traces of granulated sweetener.
Don’t stir the mixture once it's simmering.
Add acid: adding a dash of an acid to the mixture can help prevent crystallizing.
This recipe is so simple. Enjoy the ease and flexibility!
Sugar-free Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 - 1 cup low carb sweetener (see information in post about sweetener options and amounts.)
- 1/16 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional; for thickening)
- pinch salt (optional, for added flavor)
- dash vanilla (optional, for added flavor)
- dash stevia extract powder or a few drops of liquid stevia (optional; for added sweetness)
- Blend sweetener in a blender / food processor until finely powdered.
- In a small pot, combine the water and the low carb sweetener(s).
- Stir to dissolve (it's dissolved when the mixture is completely clear.
- Allow the mixture come to a simmer.
- Once simmering, add the optional xanthan gum, salt, and vanilla, if using.
- Cover and let simmer until the sweetener is dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and cool completely before using.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
I'd love to hear how you use this low-carb simple syrup in your home!
I've been desperate for a way to make sugar free simple syrup, but have been frustrated with the way it crystalizes with Lakanto. Looking forward to trying your tips and ratios in an effort to prevent this! One thing that I like to do is infuse simple syrups to make different flavors (i.e. lavender buds or a cinnamon stick). How do you think adding these items in would impact crystallization?
Hi there! Are you thinking you will still try the Lakanto to do it and just try to use the tips I offered? The erythritol is tricky. I think it's possible that the other things will make crystallization more likely since the sugar can latch on to other particles, but maybe you should add them after the heating? Sorry I'm not an expert at this!
Since I typically keep Lakanto on hand, I'd prefer to use that but am certainly open to suggestions. Doing a slower, cooler infusion is an idea worth exploring.
Hi there. I keep Lakanto here and xylitol and I have allulose too. If you really want to skip the crystallization you need to try another sweetener for sure but the erythritol can work if you work at it. Hope that helps and hope it works for you!
Finally a post with tips to prevent crystalizing!!! I've been having this problem and searching for ways to prevent it for quite some time. Thank you!
You are so welcome! I might have more to add to the post soon - what sweetener do you plan to use?
Hi, I'm about to try making xylitol syrup now ... why do you grind the sweetener first? Won't it dissolve even if not ground?
Hi there - just makes it easier to dissolve. Hope it works out well for you!
Hi the brand is stevia sweet ingredient erythritol 99% steviol glycosides (1%) from stevia plant Excess consumption may have laxative effect
Hi there. I talked about crystallization in the post--it's a common issue with a lot of sugar-free sweeteners. Sorry about that! You can try another sweetener under the section that talks about crystallization or follow the instructions about how to avoid crystallization. Hope that helps!
Hi I made this recipe when it’s cold syrup be comes like small pieces of sugar
Hi there - what sweetener did you use?
Hi I’m using stevia thank for your help
Hi again - what type of stevia? Can you tell me the brand and the ingredients, please? Thanks!
One of my family members was diagnosed with diabetes this year. It has been a tough learning curve for me adapting cooking and lifestyle. I make a sugarfree ketchup that calls for corn syrup, and this works beautifully in it. I feel like the whole family is benefitting from the changes we are making. I had some granulated Lakanto monkfruit sweetener on hand, and I used about 3/4 cup to make the syrup here for ketchup. The consistency is just right.
Hi Dodi - wow that is so great to hear that it turned out that well! LOVE the creativity. I'm happy to help however I can--I have another sugar-free recipe coming up soon - hopefully tonight or tomorrow.
If there's anything I can help with at all, please let me know.