13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute For Bagels

A vital component in recipes for authentic bagels is barley malt syrup. Therefore, don’t worry if you’re looking for a suitable replacement for barley malt syrup in your bagels but can’t locate it at the shop. We’ve researched for you and identified some excellent alternatives that will give your bagels the familiar, authentic flavor we all enjoy. 

Bagels require barley malt syrup, which can be challenging to locate in supermarkets. Barley malt syrup can, however, be replaced in your bagels with malt extract, brown rice syrup, or honey. So, what is the most incredible possible alternative to barley malt syrup in bagels? 

For more options, keep reading.

How Does Barley Malt Syrup Work? 

Barley grains are subjected to a laborious process to extract the sweetener known as malt syrup from them. Barley must first be sprouted before being slowly heated in brewing vessels to prepare the syrup at the end. 

This syrup is thick and sticky and gives the dish the perfect amount of sweetness and a beautiful nuttiness. Recently, substituting malt syrup for white sugar has grown to be a common preference among many people. 

Are Barley Malt Syrup Alternatives Available? 

You might believe that finding a suitable replacement for the distinctive flavor of the barley malt syrup is challenging or nearly impossible. But no, several sweeteners can perfectly replace barley malt syrup. They can mimic or even share characteristics with those of barley malt syrup. 

Please be aware that these replacements won’t give you the same flavor. They can, however, be used in place of barley malt syrup and go well with other sweet foods. 

13 Alternatives To Using Malt Syrup In Bagels 

Barley malt syrup must first be understood to be substituted in bagels. Sweetener made from malted barley comes in the form of barley malt syrup. It is produced by germinating barley that has been pre-soaked and dried. 

Following drying and grinding, the barley undergoes a fermentation process in which enzymes change the starch molecules into sugars. The end product is a light brown syrup that can be used to flavor or color meals. 

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There are 13 primary options to consider when choosing a substitute

1. Honey

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Barley malt syrup can be replaced with honey because it is almost as sweet, has a comparable amount of sugar, and aids in the rise of the dough’s yeast. Since it isn’t as thick, you might need more barley malt syrup than usual to get the desired consistency. 

2. Corn Syrup

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Barley malt syrup can be replaced with corn syrup since it has a similar sweetness and sugar content to honey, which aids in the yeast’s rise in the dough. In terms of thickness, it is comparable to barley malt syrup, so you should have no trouble substituting one for the other. 

3. Brown Rice Nectar

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute


Although brown rice syrup isn’t as sweet as barley malt syrup, it more than makes up for its thickness. Using brown rice syrup will produce a similarly sticky dough and simpler to handle. 

4. Light Honey

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Light honey is the best option if barley malt syrup needs to be replaced. Light honey has the same sweetness and earthiness balance as barley malt syrup, so it won’t alter your flavor profile. This is its most significant advantage. However, light honey might not be the most excellent option if you’re trying to save money or if you want to make your recipe vegan-friendly. 

How exactly do I utilize it? When creating bagels, use it as a 1:1 swap for barley malt syrup. Simply replace the same volume of light honey with barley malt syrup. Make sure to modify the salt you use to compensate for the barley malt syrup’s saltiness. 

You can sweeten the taste by adding more honey, but only up to a tablespoon at a time. 

5. Molasses

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Molasses is an excellent alternative to barley malt syrup in bagels because of its rich, dark color and flavor. If you decide to utilize it, your dough’s structure won’t be harmed because it also works well in baking. 

6. Black Treacle

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

The molasses kind known as “black treacle” is delicious, thicker, and darker than other molasses varieties. This can be advantageous when using it in place of barley malt syrup because it guarantees that your bagels will still possess the same depth and variety of taste during baking without losing their structural integrity. 

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7. Agave Nectar

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Due to the intense sweetness of agave nectar, this alternative is better suited for those who enjoy sweet bagels. It also has a silky consistency, similar to syrup, making it ideal for spreading on your preferred bagel. 

8. Brown Sugar 

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

The enzymes that turn starches into sugars are abundant in sprouted barley, used to make barley malt syrup. Molasses, a component of brown sugar, tastes much like barley malt syrup. 

To have a runny texture, you’ll need to add a little water and use roughly 1/3 cup of brown sugar for every cup of barley malt syrup. 

9. Maple Syrup

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Because it is a liquid sweetener that can be added to baked goods and shares specific flavor notes with barley malt, maple syrup is another excellent alternative to barley malt syrup. 

10. Date Syrup

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Dates are boiled in water to make date syrup, which is then strained through a screen. Despite being a lower-carb alternative to barley malt syrup, this can be more challenging to locate in grocery shops because it is less well-liked than alternatives like agave nectar or honey. 

11. Malt Milk Powder

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Similar to the malted milk powder made from dairy, barley malt syrup is a frequent component of bagels and adds flavor, color, and a little sweetness. Malted milk powder is a fantastic option if you need to replace barley malt syrup, and it’s simple to locate in your neighborhood grocery shop. 

Simply substitute 1 tablespoon for every 2 tablespoons of barley malt syrup specified in your recipe. 

12. Korean Rice Syrup

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Did you know that traditional barley-based Korean rice syrup is created in Korea? This syrup is used in Korean cuisine to offer a beautiful sweetness and the final glaze. Any sweet dish would be incomplete in Korean cuisine without this thick, sticky syrup. 

Korean rice syrup, made from rice and barley malt powder, is a close substitute for barley malt syrup. The earthy, rich, and sweet taste of Korean rice syrup effectively replaces the nutty taste of barley malt syrup. 

The perfect quantity of sweetness is provided by Korean rice syrup. Therefore, we suggest using it in identical amounts as barley malt syrup. 

13. Gold Syrup

13 Suitable Malt Syrup Substitute

Simple components like water, sugar and citric acid are used to make the thick syrup known as “golden syrup.” All traditional British pastries have this syrup as a key ingredient. As a result, it is popular in the UK. 

Because of its sweetness, the golden syrup can take the place of barley malt syrup. It also gives the meal a buttery caramel flavor, which is a nice twist. Compared to barley malt syrup, golden syrup is sweeter. As a result, add less than what the recipe calls for when you use it in place of the barley malt syrup. 

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How to Choose an Alternative to Barley Malt Syrup for Bagels 

The bagels are screaming your name, but you don’t have any more barley malt syrup. What should you do? 

Here are six things to consider while selecting a stand-in: 

  • What qualities am I looking for in my bagels? Choose a replacement that gives your bagels a fluffy, airy feel if you like a softer texture. However, if you prefer a chewier texture and a deeper color, you’ll want something that mimics those qualities. 
  • Observe the additional substances you’re utilizing: Choose a barley malt syrup alternative with a more neutral flavor if you use a sweetener like an agave or honey in your bagel recipe. Choose a substitution to add extra sweetness to your bagels if you’re not using other sweeteners. 
  • If you’re using yeast to make traditional bagels, choose a liquid substitute: It will aid in the activation of your yeast and create a fantastic, airy dough because liquid alternatives will include more water than a solid substitute. 
  • Use a trustworthy replacement like a flaxseed meal to increase the fiber in your diet. Because flaxseeds are ground into a meal, your bagels will have more nutritional value and contain the same fiber as eating whole flaxseeds. 
  • Consistency: Consider whether a thick, liquid syrup or one that is more akin to a spreadable paste is what you like. In contrast to honey, which is more like a paste, molasses is a thick syrup. 
  • What flavors are you seeking, you can ask yourself? Many people enjoy the deep caramel flavor that barley malt syrup imparts to bagels, but if you prefer something with a smoky flavor, molasses would be helpful. 

Last Word 

One of the most well-liked American-style bread, bagels are consumed by millions nationwide. Some individuals prefer their bagels plain, while others adore spreading cream cheese or jam on top of them. 

However, given how widely used barley malt syrup is in bagels, it’s crucial to know what a good alternative might be.

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