Drizzling the syrup on top of your pancakes or waffles must be one of your favorite things of the day. In this article, we hope to bring you about the different types of culinary syrups and their ingredients.

Syrup is a widely used condiment and ingredient used with sweet dishes, beverages, and some savory preparations. They typically contain high amounts of sugar, along with other ingredients. Commonly used culinary syrups include:

So, use this guide to update your knowledge and know what you want to learn about the different syrups you use at home.

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Syrup And Its Ingredients

What Is Syrup?

The syrup is liquid sugar typically deriving from various sources such as:

  • Plant juices like raw sugar cane or agave
  • Trees like date palms or maples
  • Grains such as corn, sorghum, and rice
  • Different fruits

The juice is extracted from miscellaneous parts of the plant (stalks, tree trunks, kernel, etc.). The extracted juice is put through a refining process where the juice is filtered to get rid of debris, mold, and fibers. 

The remaining contents resume being distilled as they are simmered and then refiltered. At this point, the sugar is extracted if wanted, and the thick concentrated content remaining becomes the syrup.

Syrup And Its Ingredients - SpiceRally

Types Of Cooking Syrups- Ingredients| Uses

The syrup is used for flavoring both before the preparation of a particular food as well as after when the food is served. For example, baked goods will have syrups included as an ingredient to sweeten the baked item. At the same time, this is used with other foods such as pancakes, waffles, and French toast as a topping. 

In addition, syrups are widely used in beverages such as tea, coffee, malts, cocktails, and mocktails to sweeten or enhance the flavors. Numerous plant sources produce syrups. Still, there are a group of common syrups for baking, cooking, garnishing, and sweetening.

01- Simple Syrup

This syrup is a very simple combination of ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Water

These two elements are incorporated in a 1:1 ratio and boiled to get the simple syrup which is widely used in beverages and baking.

Simple syrup is known as the “stock” or “plain” syrup in many restaurant/ hotel kitchens or bakeries. This syrup is usually improved with assorted flavors like vanilla, mint, ginger, cinnamon, and lemon.  


Simple syrup and flavored simple syrup create the preferred taste for various food preparations such as:

  • To make iced drinks and cocktails
  • Used as a glaze
  • Drizzled over desserts
  • It improves the texture and sweetens the sponge cake when making gateaux.

02- Golden Syrup

Although golden syrup is often confused with honey in terms of its appearance, it is an entirely different sweetener. This is produced by inverting sugar during the refining process to form a viscous, amber-colored liquid. Basically, golden syrup includes:

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Citric acid

This syrup is popular in British and American cuisine, while other parts of the world, like Asia cuisine, also use this to sweeten rich cakes and desserts. In addition, golden syrup is consumed in ways such as:

  • Drizzling over pancakes, granola, warm bread, scones, and cut fruit
  • Sweetens desserts like tarts
  • Added to beverages like tea, coffee, and iced tea

03- Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is made from refined corn starch by putting through the wet starch to enzymatic hydrolysis or acid, which transform the starch into maltose, dextrose, and dextrins. There are two main types of corn syrup: dark and light. 

Dark corn syrup contains molasses, resulting in a more profound, decadent sweetness and caramel coloring, while light corn syrup is transparent, milder in sweetness, and often vanilla-flavored.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that you might find in many commercially prepared sweets, candies, soft drinks, etc., is different from what you get to buy from the local stores. This corn syrup has a more potent sweetness and naturally occurring fructose, while it can be harmful to health when consumed in large amounts.


Light and dark corn syrup are used in general cooking or baking in ways such as:

  • In making homemade ice creams, sorbets, and pies
  • In commercial bakery-items and condiments like jams and jellies
  • To make candies, chocolates, fudges, and biscuits
  • In making frostings like fondant

04- Molasses

Molasses is a product of the sugar cane and sugar beet refinement processes. It is usually more sticky and thick than other sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, etc. This is the ingredient in brown sugar that provides it with its characteristic color, flavor, and moisture. 

The most refined molasses is known as “blackstrap” and is particularly called for in recipes where a more concentrated flavor is expected. This type is lower in sugar and higher in mineral and vitamin content than regular molasses.


Molasses  is popularly used in the Caribbean and southern United States to add moisture, texture, and crust to baked goods such as:

  • Dark bread
  • Cookies
  • Gingerbread
  • Pies
  • Rich puddings

Molasses is also incorporated into savory preparations like marinades, sauces, and baked beans. In addition, this is even used to make rum.

05- Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener derived from the concentration of the sap of the maple tree. In early spring, maple trees are dabbed, the sap is gathered, then it is simmered into a decadent, flavorful syrup. 

This syrup is widely used in the northeastern states of America and mainly in Canada. You can find different varieties of maple syrup, such as Grade A Golden, Grade A Amber, and Grade A Dark.  


This is commonly used as a condiment with:

  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Oatmeal
  • Other breakfast meals

At the same time, this is also incorporated into other sweets and used to sweeten glazes, salad dressings, sauces, vinaigrettes, and many other savory foods.

06- Agave Syrup

Agave syrup (also known as agave nectar) is a naturally transpiring sweetener similar in texture to honey. It is extracted from different species of agave plant, which grows mainly in Mexico.

 Agave syrup is easily dissolvable, indicating its suitability to use in smoothies and cocktails. This syrup is a top pick by the vegan community to replace golden syrup or honey in their diets.


Agave syrup is excellent as a topping for bread, cereal, or pancakes. It can also be used instead of honey in dessert recipes. And it functions well in chewy bakes like sticky muffins, cakes, or flapjacks that are cooked at lower temperatures. You can also use agave syrup in salad dressings, dips, and vinaigrettes.

07- Fruit Syrup

Fruit syrups have recently become popular in many places since it has been broadly picked as a substitute for sugar. Traditionally, these syrups have been produced from overripe fruits like:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Lemons

The fruit is pressed to extract the juice, the color and fruit flavor are then removed, and the leftover juice is condensed to a clear syrup to be used as a sweetener. But sometimes, syrups from fruits like strawberry and blueberry maintain their flavor and color. 


These fruit syrups can be used in baking, beverages, dessert or breakfast toppings, sauces, marinades, and when making your own granola.

08- Flavored Syrups

This type of syrup is a massive hit in the beverage and liquor industry. If you visit a famous coffee shop, you can find a wide variety of flavored drinks that include:

  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel syrup
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Pumpkin pie spice syrup
  • Hazelnut syrup
  • Coffee syrup
  • Butterscotch syrup
  • Lavender syrup
  • Rose syrup

Accordingly, these syrups include:

  • Simple syrup
  • Flavors (chocolate, vanilla, spices, herbs, flower extracts, etc)

These syrups are primarily used in household and commercial preparations such as sweetening and flavoring:

  • Ice creams
  • Glazes
  • Breakfast meals
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • These are also widely used in restaurants and bars to jazz up cocktails.

Is Syrup A Condiment?

Syrup is both a condiment and an ingredient since it is used during the preparation of a particular dish and after it is served. 

If you need to know what a condiment is and the difference between sauces, dips, and condiments, click on this link and refer to this article.

An Easy Homemade Simple Syrup Recipe

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Recipe by SpiceRally


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You don’t have to count on store-bought simple syrups when you can make it easy at home! Try this simple two-ingredient recipe and flavor your favorite mojitos, cocktails, and mocktails, or use it with your desserts!

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  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup 1 White sugar

  • 1 cup 1 Water

  • Equipment:
  • 1 1 Thick-bottomed Saucepan

  • 1 1 Long Spatula

  • 1 1 Glass jar


  • Put sugar and water in the saucepan, keep it on medium-high heat and constantly stir to combine until the sugar is completely dissolved in the water.
  • Let the mixture simmer; you do not want to allow this mixture to boil. The entire process will take about 10 minutes.
  • After 10  minutes, remove the pan from the heat, and allow the syrup to cool down.
  • Pour the content into the glass jar and pop it into the refrigerator.
  • You can keep this in the refrigerator for about one month and use it wherever you need it!


  • If you need to make dark-colored recipes with your simple syrup, we suggest going with brown sugar or demerara sugar instead of white sugar.
  • To make flavored simple syrup: make the syrup according to the instructions given in the recipe above. Then,  turn off the heat, and add in your citrus, herbs, or spices. Let the syrup cool. And allow your flavorings to steep. At last, strain the syrup and then use it as preferred.

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Is Syrup Vegan?

The answer to this question is a bit controversial. Some could say that all the syrups which come from a plant sauce can be vegan-friendly. But, some sources also claim that although syrups derive from plant sources, non-vegan ingredients like animal fat could be included in the process. 

However, agave syrup is considered a popular pick by vegetarians and vegans. However, still, we suggest that you should always make sure to inquire from the relevant parties before purchasing any syrup from the store.

Is Syrup Keto-Friendly?

Most syrups are high in sugar, so they won’t be a favorable choice for keto dieters. However, you’ll be able to find certain sugar-free syrup types. But still, we recommend you to consume any kind of syrup moderately if you are strict on your diet.

Does Syrup Contain Gluten?

Most commercially prepared syrups might have a probability of containing traces of gluten. So, always check the list of ingredients before buying if you track a gluten-free diet or have conditions like Celiac disease.

SpiceRally’s Thoughts About Syrups…

Syrup is nothing alien to Western cuisine and many other parts of the world. This viscous, thick, flavorful liquid ramps our dishes, coming in a variety of different flavors. Syrup acts as a condiment and also as an ingredient in our daily dishes and is considered a staple in baking and most fancy beverage preparations.

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