10 Best Substitutes for Brown Rice Syrup


Brown rice sugar is also called rice malt syrup or simply rice syrup. It is produced by exposing cooked rice to enzymes.

It includes three sugars: maltotriose (52%), maltose (45%), and glucose (3%). Although brown rice is highly nutritious, its syrup contains very few nutrients.

It is an alternative to the common white table sugar or refined sugar. The flavor is slightly nutty and can have an almost butterscotch aftertaste, with half the sweetness of refined sugar and contains some fiber.

Like most refined sugars, brown rice syrup contains a lot of sugar and almost no essential nutrients. That’s why people tend to seek alternatives to using this syrup in cooking.

10 Best Substitutes for Brown Rice Syrup

Brown Sugar syrup has a high Glycemic Index, lacks nutrients, and has a risk of arsenic contamination. Therefore, In this section, we are going to list ten substitutes for Brown Rice Syrup.

The substitutes discussed are natural, have low-calories, and don’t raise blood sugar levels.


Honey is made using the nectar of flowering plants and is collected from wild bee colonies or domesticated beehives.

It’s natural and very rich in nutrients. It contains many different minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and zinc.

It gives us Vitamin B and Vitamin C and is also rich in antioxidants. Use ¾ cup of honey in place of a cup of brown rice syrup, because honey is much sweeter.


Agave syrup is also known as agave nectar. It is a sweetener that comes from several species of the agave plant, native to arid regions of the Americas.

The production of agave syrup starts from the extraction of the juice from the core of the plant.

This has a slightly thinner consistency than honey.

The colors range from light to dark brown, depending on the specifics of the process. Light agave syrup is milder and neutral while amber agave nectar has a medium intensity. Dark agave syrup has a strong caramel flavor.

It can be used as a sweetener for drinks or as a topping for breakfast. Half a cup of agave
can substitute a cup of brown rice syrup since agave nectar is sweeter.

Date Syrup

Date syrup is made from date palm fruit. The process consists of heating dates in water, blending them, and filtering them through a filter to strain insoluble parts.

When the water evaporates, sweet nectar is left behind which contains many nutrients. These are Minerals and Vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Fibers, and a whole lot of antioxidants.

To substitute brown rice syrup with date syrup, two or three tablespoons of date syrup for every cup of rice syrup can be used. This depends on the recipe and sweetness that one would want to achieve.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is another good substitute for brown rice syrup, which is made from the sap of sweet maple trees. The liquid that comes out of the maple trees is boiled to get rid of the impurities and water content.

This syrup is generally low in nutrients, but it has high levels of manganese and riboflavin.

Like honey and agave, maple syrup is also sweeter than brown rice syrup. To substitute brown rice syrup with maple syrup, use ¾ cups of it for every cup of rice syrup.


Molasses is a dark and thick syrup by-product made during sugar production in the sugarcane industry. Like honey and date syrup, molasses is one of the oldest known sweeteners.

Molasses is rich in minerals and has high calcium, magnesium, and iron content.

There are different molasses types. But the two best brown rice syrup substitutes are light molasses and dark molasses.

The former has the highest sugar content and the less thick consistency. The latter is less sweet and with a thicker consistency.

Substitute with ½ cup of molasses for each cup of rice syrup based on your culinary needs.


Stevia is another alternative to brown rice syrup. It is a sweetener that comes from the leaves of a perennial plant native to Paraguay.

Stevia is generally known as a zero-calorie and zero-carbohydrate substitute for refined sugar or other sweeteners. However, it is much sweeter than regular sugar.

Therefore, If it has to be used as a replacement for brown rice syrup, it has to be used only in spare amounts. This is both for the added sweetness and the slight aftertaste of licorice that stevia has.

It can be a good alternative for sweetening drinks or in cooking, as long as the aftertaste isn’t a problem.

Corn syrup

Among all the different substitutes for brown rice sugar syrup, corn syrup is one of the best
Choices. That’s if you’re looking for something that has the same effect in cooking and baking.

Corn syrup is made from the starch of corn and is very high in fructose. It has a thinner consistency than brown rice syrup but has the same amount of sweetness. The two most known corn syrup products are light and dark.

Light corn syrup is seasoned with vanilla, tastes sweeter, and looks clearer. Dark corn syrup is made of a combination of corn syrup and molasses. It has a darker color and tastes of caramel.

Since the two syrups have the same qualities, corn syrup can be used in equal amounts of brown rice syrup.

Glucose syrup

Another good brown rice syrup alternative is glucose syrup, primarily used in commercial foods as a sweetener and thickening agent.

Glucose syrup can be made of different ingredients: starch (in this case it’s called corn syrup), wheat, potatoes, or rice. This is a good rice syrup substitute because it has the same characteristics as corn syrup.

Just like corn syrup, when substituting brown rice syrup with glucose syrup, you can use an equal amount.

Barley malt syrup

Barley malt syrup can also be a good brown rice syrup alternative. Malt syrup has a dark brown color similar to molasses. It has a very thick consistency and a strong distinctive flavor.

This syrup is less sweet than sugar but a lot sweeter than brown rice syrup. So, it’s better to use it as a substitute when cooking, especially if you want a very distinctive malt flavor.

Keep in mind the thicker consistency and the color, because it might change the appearance of your dish. You can use ¾ cup of barley malt syrup for 1 cup of rice syrup.

Brown sugar

Among brown rice syrup alternatives to using as table sweeteners, one of the best solutions is brown sugar. It is made of unrefined or partially unrefined sugar.

When combined with molasses, it gives the characteristic color and the particular flavor. It’s easy to find as it’s produced and sold almost everywhere. Consequently, it can be used as a sweetener on almost every occasion.

For baking, it’s probably better to use another kind of syrup, because the different consistency could alter the final result.


Is brown rice syrup better for you than sugar?

Brown rice syrup is much higher than table sugar (GI of 60–70). It’s also higher than almost any other sweetener in the market. If you eat rice syrup, then it is highly likely to lead to rapid spikes
in blood sugar.

Brown rice syrup has a Glycemic Index (GI) of 98, which is higher than almost every other sweetener.

Does brown rice syrup go bad?

Rice syrup has a shelf life of about a year. Once opened, should be stored in a cool, dry place.

Can I use honey instead of rice syrup?

Honey is sweeter than brown rice syrup. Therefore, use ¾ cup of honey in place of 1 cup of brown rice syrup.

How do you make homemade rice syrup?

Turn off the rice cooker. You will have about 1½ cups of rice. Thereafter, put the rice in a bowl and cover it with cold water, then drain the water. Fluff the rice with a wooden spoon. Add 4 cups cold water and stir well.
Set the rice cooker on a warm setting, cover, and let stand for 6 hours.

Bottom Line

Brown rice syrup can be healthy but not entirely. In a way, it does contain some healthy nutrients. But they’re not enough to make it a stand-alone sweetener or integrate it into our daily diets.

Other substances can be used instead that have equal or greater benefits and properties.

Honey, Agave, Maple Syrup, Stevia, Corn Syrup, Glucose Syrup, Brown Malt Syrup, and Brown Sugar are some substances that could be used as alternatives to brown rice syrup.

Show Some Love by Sharing!

About Betty Ellis

Betty is a food researcher who spends most of her time analyzing the nutritional aspects of various foods. She also researches methods to enhance taste, as well as how to store certain types of foods. She enjoys cooking for herself and her three dogs even though she doesn't have a lot of free time outside work.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.