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substitute for golden syrup

  • d

I have a cake recipe which calls for "golden syrup"--I'm not certain what this is--more importantly, what might be a substitute for "golden syrup"? Thanks.

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  1. It's British. I've seen it in the syrup section of my local supermarket (but I haven't looked lately). I'm sure you can find it in a British specialty shop.

    It has a characteristic flavor, and while you could probably substitute some other type of syrup, the effect might be quite different.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ironmom

      Hi Dan -- Ironmom's absolutely right that no substitute will give the same result as Lyle's Golden Syrup. It's made by evaporating sugar cane until it thickens and has a rich, toasty and very distinct flavor. It's not especially difficult to find in NYC, since just about every major foodshop (Fairway, Balducci's, etc.) carries it. If you really want to substitute, combine light corn syrup and molasses in a 2 to 1 ratio, but I'd really recommend just picking up a tin of Lyle's.

    2. If "Karo" syrup is still around it might work.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gene

        might work but it's not the same...it has vanilla added

      2. See link below to a great site for all those kinds of questions. This is what they had to say about substitutes for golden syrup: Combine two parts light corn syrup plus one part molasses OR equal parts honey and corn syrup OR maple syrup (This is thinner, and not as sweet.) OR dark corn syrup (This is thnner and
        not as sweet as golden syrup. If you like, try reducing the corn syrup in a saucepan to thicken it.) OR light corn syrup (This is thnner and not as sweet or flavorful as golden syrup. If you like, try reducing the corn syrup in a saucepan to thicken it.)

        Good luck!

        Link: http://www.foodsubs.com/

        1. My British brother-in-law said that when he was growing up, the special treat his mum gave him for being very, very good was a teaspoonful of Lyle's Golden Syrup. I had some in the pantry and he pointed out the rather bizarre picture and slogan on the can: a dead lion surrounded by insects (supposedly bees), underneath which it says "out of the strong came forth sweetness" (supposedly honey). Never mind that bees eat flower nectar, not dead animals, but I'm just being picky. John Thorne's recipe for absolutely the best pecan pie ever calls for Lyle's Golden Syrup, and I can attest to the fact that it is much more delicious than a p-pie made with Karo. Whole Foods/Fresh Fields carries it, as well.

          6 Replies
          1. re: zora

            That lion with honey coming out of it is from the Bible. It's a story about how Samson kills a lion, then returns to find that the bees have made a hive in its corpse. He eats the honey and doesn't tell anyone, because it was a horrible sin for him to do that (he was a nazirite and touching anything dead was a big no-no. Judges 14: 5-9 for anyone interested.

            1. re: kawaiiflamingo

              Brilliant, kawaiiflamingo! I loved reading about that. But I wonder how that came to be the slogan for Lyle's since, as zora pointed out, it's not honey!

              1. re: roxlet

                According to the history on the Lyle's Golden Syrup site, no one knows why Abram Lyle chose that part of the Bible verse for the company's slogan.

                1. re: parrot1965

                  The bees also appear in Virgil's Georgics (4th part) swarming from a dead ox. If the bees represent making something good from waste (or life from death), it makes sense for Golden Syrup, because Lyle's inspiration was the treacle syrup produced by the sugar cane refining process - went to waste before Golden Syrup! See http://www.tateandlyle.com/aboutus/hi...

            2. re: zora

              That pecan pie idea is inspiring me to try to find some.

              1. re: zora

                About the bizarre picture and slogan. Back in the olden days when everybody went to Sunday Ice Sociables and whatnot, the picture would have made more sense.It comes from the story of Samson who on his way to somewhere killed a huge lion. On his way back some time later, the animal had decomposed baring its ribs from which a hive of bees had hung their combs. This means that the lion was SOME LION. Bigger than big. It's a good story. Though Samson was a total jerk, he was but evidently one tough dude. The reference is here: http://biblehub.com/judges/14-8.htm

              2. I have very successfully substituted golden syrup in recipes that called for corn syrup, so would think the substitution the other way would work also.

                Lyle's isn't the only brand out there. I use Roger's Golden Syrup, but have to buy it by the case from the outlet store as it's no longer available in Toronto. Used to get it at Safeway, but we don't have Safeway here anymore. I contacted Lantic and found out I could buy it at their outlet store.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sooeygun

                  I think agave syrup could work in a pinch. There are light and amber varieties. I'd buy both and mix and match until the flavour and colour were right. Agave has that toasted caramel flavour that would make a viable substitute, in my opinion.

                2. Golden Syrup is a thick syrup with a very distinctive buttery taste... I've heard of people substituting it with corn syrup but I would say for recipes where it's the star of the show (e.g. for traditional English treacle tart), it's worth tracking down...

                  You won't have a problem getting rid of the rest I promise... Great on pancakes, french toast, makes really good ginger snaps, steamed puddings etc etc...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NickMontreal

                    I like it on a warm buttered raisin scone. You have to eat with a spoon, but it's worth it.

                  2. If I had to substitute I'd do equal parts of Karo dark and light syrups. But I don't have to substitute. I get Lyle's at Cost Plus Market OR at the local beer and wine brewing store.

                    Don't know nuthin' about brewing but apparently it's something brewers use. I chanced to see it there when I was getting bottles for vinegar.

                    I use Lyle's in bread dough. If you find some here's a terrific opportunity to try it out in some bar cookies: http://www.slashfood.com/2006/02/21/f... Use dark brown sugar if you can't find muscovado.

                    1. I'm looking for a golden syrup substitute for an ANZAC biscuits recipe, and it sounds like golden syrup is just the stuff we call 'cane syrup'. Does anyone have any experience with how similar / different they are?

                      ETA: The foodsubs site linked below seems to say they are the same thing:
                      "golden syrup = cane juice = jus de canne = cane syrup = sugar cane juice = light treacle Notes: This amber-colored liquid sweetener is popular among British, Caribbean, and Creole cooks. It's made by evaporating sugar cane juice until it's thick and syrupy. Lyle's Golden Syrup and Steen's Pure Cane Syrup are popular brands."

                      Steen's Cane syrup is what I use for pecan pies. Half molasses and half light Karo syrup is a decent sub, but agree it's not the same.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: smcleroy

                        Since Lyle's is at it's heart essentially inverted sugar syrup it's quite easy to make a decent enough substitute at home. Invert sugar syrup is basically cane syrup that has been treated with an acid: phosphoric acid, cream of tartar, or even citric acid. I've made it to use in brewing beer; it is an important traditional ingredient in a number of British ales (including some top-of-the-line 'world class' ones).

                        The home made stuff also works equally well in baking, imparting identical qualities to what you'd get using Lyle's.

                        There's an explanation of exactly what it is as well as some good instructions at this website:
                        http://www.chefeddy.com/2009/11/inver...

                        1. re: smcleroy

                          Steen's and Lyles are not the same thing, I've used them both. Steen's is darker, a bit thinner, and more molasses-y. Lyle's is lighter and sweeter, closer to honey in color and viscosity, and more caramel-y.

                          1. re: smcleroy

                            I'd use honey in an Anzac biscuit / cookie recipe. Such a small amount (2 Tablespoons in the recipe I use) that it does not make a huge flavor difference. I calculate that the small jug of high-priced, imported, Lyle's that I bought for the recipe will make about 350 cookies. Unless it spoils first.