This quick and easy substitute for agave syrup will work in any recipe that calls for agave nectar or syrup. Just 2 ingredients and 7 minutes is all you need.
What is Agave Nectar?
Agave nectar is extracted from the heart of the agave plant. You may also see it labeled as agave syrup, but these syrups sometimes have other ingredients added. Agave nectar has just one ingredient – agave.
Short of finding an agave plant and boiling it down to syrup, there are ways to make a quick agave nectar substitute with ingredients you have at home.
Agave Nectar Alternatives
There are other ready-made liquid sweeteners you could substitute for agave. Honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar and date syrup are other options but most of these syrups have a stronger flavor profile than agave. Using one of these syrups would likely have an effect on the flavor of whatever you’re cooking or baking. So I prefer this simple recipe that works extremely well in place of agave nectar.
Light brown sugar, like agave has more depth of flavor than plain sugar and works well as the base for this DIY syrup. I don’t recommend using dark brown sugar which has more molasses. The flavor of the molasses will come through.
Now to turn it into a syrup – Simply place the sugar with some water into a small pot. Heat it over low stirring often with a wire whisk. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Pour it through a mesh strainer to remove any small chunks of brown sugar that did not dissolve.
It will seem a little thinner than agave syrup at this point, but the mixture will thicken as it cools. If you need to use it in a baking recipe right away, pour the syrup onto a large baking sheet to cool. With more surface exposed, it will cool it faster.
How to Use Agave Nectar Substitute
This agave nectar substitute can be used in any recipe that calls for agave syrup or agave nectar. It may give a slightly different, barely noticeable flavor to the recipe. It is also darker in color. But it will work with any baked good, cocktail recipe or savory dish.
The syrup would also be wonderful on pancakes, waffles or French toast if you happen to be out of maple syrup. My husband loves to pour it over ice cream.
Easy Homemade Agave Nectar (Syrup) Substitute
- 1 c light brown sugar, packed firmly in the measuring cup
- ⅔ c water
- Place the brown sugar and water in a small pot.
- Place on the stovetop over low heat and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Continue heating, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes. Do not let it bubble too much and do not boil.
- After 6 minutes or so, all of the brown sugar should be dissolved.
- Pour through a mesh strainer into a large bowl.
- Let it cool before using in baking recipes. To cool it more quickly, pour the syrup onto a baking sheet. With more surface area exposed it will cool in a few minutes.
- Store at room temperature in a sealed jar or container.