The Ideal Honey-To-Corn Syrup Ratio For The Easiest Substitution

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Corn syrup (and its more processed cousin, high-fructose corn syrup) is a sweetener derived from corn that can be found in products labeled "natural" in America, according to The Atlantic. However the process behind its creation would make your head spin. When you head to the store for a bottle of Karo syrup, you don't think much about the long journey it makes from corn kernel to supermarket shelf. It's also a fairly modern product, first manufactured in 1866 per World Food History.

In contrast, honey is literally older than history. It dates back beyond our first records: Spanish cave paintings from 7,000 BCE show beekeeping (via The Honey Association). The ancient Egyptians used it both as a sweetener for cakes and in their embalming process. The ancient Greeks and Romans both made honey cakes to offer to their gods. According to The Nibble, honey was the only sweetener in the game in much of the world until the modern era, except for the very wealthy.

It was only in the mid-19th century that refined sugar, and yes, corn syrup, became affordable and available to all. Prior to that honey sweetened many things, so virtually any recipe that can be made with one can be made with another. The secret is to make sure you swap in the proper amount of honey for corn syrup.

Easy corn syrup swap

So what can you do if you're staring down a pecan pie recipe and only have a quarter of a bottle of corn syrup left? Or you're making a recipe that calls for say a tablespoon of the stuff and you don't want to go out and buy a whole bottle that will take up valuable pantry space. Or maybe you just don't feel all that super comfortable with a product with that much complicated science behind it going into your food. While corn syrup is perfectly healthful in moderation, it does pack 10 grams of sugar per two tablespoons (per Target).

Luckily, you don't need to worry, because there's an easy substitution for corn syrup that's totally natural and you probably already have it in your cupboard, so there's no need to make an extra trip. You can easily swap in honey for light or dark corn syrup (per Mental Floss). In fact, you can use this swap the other way, as well, swapping corn syrup for honey as both are sweet and mildly flavored. Even better news, there's no need to worry about following some complicated formula — the swap ratio is as easy as 1:1. However, if you're watching your sugar intake, it's important to remember that honey actually has way more sugar. According to the USDA, an equivalent two tablespoons of honey would pack a whopping 34 grams of sugar.