13 Great Malt Extract Substitutes (For Best Results)


Here are 13 substitutes for malt extract that can be used in baking and brewing.

I have myself tried and tested many of these substitutes with good results.

Let’s get straight into the list of substitutes.

Malt Extract Substitute

1. Brown Rice Syrup

A Gluten-free substitute

Brown rice syrup works as a great alternative because it contains low calories, and its sweetness level is much less than that of sugar.

Hence, it is not only an amazing table sweetener but fits perfectly well into Asian cuisines as well as in other cooked and baked goods.

It is a vegan product produced naturally, but it is not an ideal substitute for people who are trying to balance their blood sugar levels.

How to Substitute

For every 1 cup of barley malt extract, take 1⅓ cups of brown rice syrup. 

See this video to make Peanut Butter Cookies Using Brown Rice Syrup:

2. Molasses

There are three types of molasses: light, dark, and blackstrap. Among these, the blackstrap molasses has the thickest consistency, lesser sweetness, and a bit of bitter taste.

They are the most suitable alternative to malt extract in terms of flavor, consistency, and color.

You can use it for making barbeque sauces and baked dishes.

But molasses has a much stronger flavor profile than malt syrup, so you must use it in moderation.

How to Substitute

Take ⅔ cup of molasses for every 1 cup of malt extract.

Watch this video to make Molasses Cookies:

3. Honey 

Honey is another gluten-free substitute that closely resembles malt extract in both color and texture.

It is two times sweeter than malt extract. Hence, it plays a great role in baked dishes like bagels. 

But honey isn’t a vegan product, plus its glycemic index is also high. So, it is not recommended for people having diabetes.

How to Substitute

You can take half to ⅔ cup of honey to replace every 1 cup of malt extract. 

Try this Honey Bagels Recipe:

4. Maple Syrup

A great substitute for baking 

The nutty flavor of maple syrup is similar to that of malt extract.

Its distinct taste and golden color go well with most dessert dishes, including pancakes.

Grade A dark maple syrup is the most recommended type of maple syrup for cooking.

Because it has a sweeter taste than malt extract, you can also use it as a bagel and bread spread. 

How to Substitute

Substitute 1 cup of malt extract with 1 cup of maple syrup.

Here’s how you can make maple syrup chicken:

5. Maltose

Maltose and sugar have similar tastes.

Except, the intensity of sweetness in maltose is lesser than that of sugar. Maltose is a good substitute for malt extract when you cannot find other better options.

It can be used to make a variety of baked goods, desserts, and beer.

The best quality of maltose is that it dissolves very easily in both hot as well as cold fluids. So, you can add it to literally any dish you like.

Check out this video to make Fried chicken with maltose sugar: 

6. Korean Rice Syrup

Korean rice syrup contains barley malt powder as a major ingredient. It has a characteristic taste with earthy, sweet, and slightly grainy flavors with a thicker consistency than both honey and sugar.

That is why it is a great alternative to malt extract.

It is mostly used as a sweetener in Korean cuisine in dishes like kimchi pork ribs, sweet and crunchy tofu, cinnamon rolls, rice cakes, braised black beans, etc.

Try this recipe to make a Crunchy nut candy using Korean rice syrup:

7. Sugar

Most easily available substitute

Sugar is one ingredient that you can always find in your kitchen. To substitute malt extract, you can use both brown sugar and white sugar. 

Make sure you choose a granulated form of sugar, as this will provide you with better results in bread glazes and other desserts.

However, it is not a good substitute for baking.

How to Substitute

Take ½ cup of sugar for 1 cup of malt extract.

Check out this video to make Soft sugar donuts:

8. Agave Syrup

Agave syrup or agave nectar has a lightly sugary taste and goes well with baked dishes like cupcakes.

It acts like a good table sweetener for desserts and fits well as a topping for bread, cereals, and pancakes.

You can also put it into cocktails, iced tea, and other hot and cold drinks.

Try this recipe to make an Agave Margarita:

9. Sorghum Syrup

Sorghum syrup is quite similar to malt extract, but it has a much sweeter taste.

It has a distinctive earthy, woody, and smoky flavor. 

You can use it as a sweetener for making many baked items, coffee, oatmeal, marinades, as well as barbeque sauces. 

It is a healthier alternative than refined sugar and other processed sweeteners.

How to Substitute

For every 1 cup of malt extract, take ½ cup of sorghum syrup.

Try this Sorghum Syrup Cookie Recipe:

10. Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is an amber-colored thick liquid that has a sweet, buttery, and caramel-like flavor. Its consistency is similar to honey, but its taste is much different from it.

You can use it for making desserts like cookies, tarts, and pies.

Using golden syrup as an alternative will not only help you achieve the desired sweetness but will also add an extra caramel touch that can quickly elevate the taste of any dessert. 

But since it is much sweeter than malt extract, you must use it only in a limited quantity.

See this video to make a Golden Syrup Cake:

11. Coconut Syrup

Coconut syrup contains a mildly sweet flavor very similar to caramel, and it has a thick consistency.

Its sweet taste with a slightly nutty flavor makes it a good substitute for pancakes, ice creams, and cakes. You can also use it as a table sweetener.

Here’s how you can make Pineapple Pancakes with Coconut Syrup:

12. Date Syrup

A vegan substitute 

Date syrup is a great substitute because it mimics the sweetness level of malt extract. 

Its color and taste resemble caramel, and its texture is smooth with a liquid consistency.

It goes well with ice creams, BBQ chicken, mousse, brownies, cookies, nutrition bars, and tofu salad, and you can also make a low-carbohydrate almond bread using date syrup.

Here’s how you can bake a date syrup cake:

13. Corn Syrup

There are two types of corn syrup: light and dark. While the light version has a vanilla flavor with mild sweet sweetness and transparent color, the dark one is sweeter and has a caramel coloring. 

You can use both of these to substitute malt extract. It fits well into sugar pies, sorbets, ice-creams, desserts, bread, cereals, and soft drinks.

Here’s how you can make an Easy Glass Candy using corn syrup:


Q1. What is the ideal malt extract substitute in malt loaf?

Ans. In malt loaf, you can use 2/3 cups of molasses to substitute for one cup of malt extract because its sweetness level is much higher than that of malt extract. 

Q2. Which malt extract substitute to use for making beer?

Ans. Sugar syrup is a good alternative for making beer. 

Q3. What can I use as a malt syrup substitute for bagels?

Ans. For making bagels, you can go for honey, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, or molasses to substitute for malt syrup. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a malt extract substitute, look no further than this list of the 13 best substitutes.

From honey to molasses, there’s a malt extract substitute for everyone.

So, whether you’re baking or brewing, be sure to give one of these substitutes a try. And don’t forget to share this list with your friends and family.

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About Tammy J

Tammy is currently studying in college. While attending, she has broadened her horizons by experimenting with food from all over the world, but she has a special love for Mexican and Indian cuisine. She loves traveling with her friends, and enjoys nothing more than packing up a few backpacks and hitting the open road to explore natural beauty.