The Best Corn Syrup Swap For Shiny, Decadent Sauces

If you're an avid baker, then there's a good chance corn syrup is sitting in your pantry. Corn syrup is a sweetener used to make candy, jams, cakes, pies, and more. The syrup is known for adding shininess to candies and sauces. Corn syrup is an inverted sugar, which prevents sugar from crystallizing. Adding corn syrup to sauces and fudge helps keep the smooth texture. 

But if you're not a fan of corn syrup or don't have access to it, there is one particular substitution that works just as well as corn syrup: Agave syrup. The syrup may be regarded as a healthier sweetener alternative for some, but the truth is a little sticky.

Agave syrup is artificially made; the agave nectar is harvested from the agave plant and then processed into syrup. During the process, glucose is produced by exposing the nectar to heat. Most of the agave's health benefits disappeared during this process. Still, agave syrup is still praised among some as a sweetener alternative for vegans and people with diabetes. Here's what you need to know about agave syrup before making it your go-to baking ingredient.

Agave syrup is nearly identical to corn syrup

Agave is a great substitution for corn syrup when making many desserts. "It's a bit more neutral in flavor than honey, is still a liquid at room temp, and is similar in sweetness level," recipe developer Janine Desiderio tells Epicurious. Agave syrup has also been described as sweet and fruity.

Because agave has a neutral flavor, it can be incorporated into sweet creations, such as pies and sauces. While corn syrup is typically used to make lollipops and other hard candies, agave syrup has a different composition than corn syrup making it not suited for candy. If you're swapping corn syrup for agave syrup, there's no need for any major adjustment — it's simply a one-to-one ratio.

Whether you add agave to chocolate sauce or even barbecue sauce, just be mindful of how much you add. Agave syrup tends to be sweeter than sugar, so if you don't have a sweet tooth, less is more in this case.

Agave is also great for savory dishes

Agave isn't just only for desserts; the sweetener can be incorporated into nearly any dish that needs an extra kick of sweetness. The type of agave syrup to use slightly depends on the flavors and fare you're making, though.

There are three main different types of agave syrup: light, dark, and raw. If you're whipping up desserts or sauces, it's best to use light agave syrup. Light agave's neutral flavor also lends well to beverages as well. Perhaps you should make frozen corn syrup, which transforms into a sweet jelly snack, one of the many TikTok's obsessions, with light agave syrup instead.

Amber agave syrup has a slight caramel flavor, making it great for dessert and savory dishes. If you want an intense caramel flavor, reach for the dark agave syrup. Not only is it a great substitute for maple syrup and can be drizzled on pancakes and waffles, but the syrup also works well in meat and seafood dishes.