Maple Syrup vs Golden Syrup


As two similar-coloured syrups with a sticky consistency, golden syrup and maple syrup are often confused with one another. While it’s true that the syrups share some similarities, they are distinguished by a greater number of differences. 

Learning about the key differences between the two will help you understand which one to use when baking and also allow you to make more informed decisions about your diet. 

But what are the main differences between golden syrup and maple syrup? And can you use maple syrup instead of golden syrup? Below, we answer all these questions and more! 

Is maple syrup the same as golden syrup?

No, maple syrup and golden syrup are two different products that vary in taste, texture and ingredients.  Golden syrup is an inverted sugar syrup comprised of sugar, water and citric acid, while maple syrup is a natural product derived entirely from the sap of maple trees. 

Both syrups can be used as a sweetener in cooking and baking, but their distinctive qualities lend themselves to different uses in the kitchen. 

Golden syrup is normally used in desserts, while maple syrup can be used in everything from cake batter and cookie dough to sauces, glazes and marinades.

What are the differences between golden syrup and maple syrup?

The main difference between golden syrup and maple syrup is that golden syrup typically has a higher sugar content, which gives it a much sweeter taste. Golden syrup also contains less water than maple syrup, which is the reason for its thicker consistency.


In terms of flavour, golden syrup is often described as having a mild, buttery-sweet taste. The flavour of maple syrup is more refined, with hints of caramel and a slightly woody taste.  

It’s worth noting that there are four different maple syrup grades, with each possessing its own distinctive flavour. Golden syrup may vary based on the type of sugar the syrup is derived from.


Golden syrup contains around half as much water as maple syrup, which is why it has a thicker and somewhat gloopy consistency. Maple syrup, on the other hand, is runnier and more pourable.


Differences in flavour and consistency are the result of two distinct production processes, with maple syrup made by boiling the sap from maple trees and golden syrup by boiling water and sugar together with citric acid.


Maple syrup is made solely from the sap of maple trees and features no artificial additives. As such, it is perfectly suitable for vegans. 

Some of the refined sugars found in golden syrup are made using animal products, so some brands of golden syrup may not be vegan-friendly. 


Nutritionally, maple syrup is generally considered the better choice for a healthy diet, owing to its lower sugar content and glycaemic index, along with a higher level of vitamins and minerals. 

However, both syrups are still relatively high in sugar, and therefore should only be enjoyed in moderation.

Learn more about the nutritional profile of maple syrup below.

Can you use maple syrup instead of golden syrup?

Yes, maple syrup can be used instead of golden syrup in many recipes, however this will result in a slightly different flavour. Golden syrup and maple syrup are generally substituted in a 1:1 ratio, however you may choose to use slightly less maple syrup to maintain texture and consistency. As maple also has a stronger flavour, a little goes a long way! 

Substituting golden syrup for maple syrup works well when using small quantities, however in recipes where larger amounts are required, the differences in flavour and consistency become more pronounced.

Golden syrup vs maple syrup: which is best?

We may be slightly biased, but in our view, there’s only one winner in the debate between golden syrup vs maple syrup! 

Made solely from maple sap, maple syrup is a completely natural sweetener that offers greater nutritional value than golden syrup. 

Not only that, but maple syrup is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide range of dishes. Check out our collection of maple syrup recipes for inspiration!