I have a white bread recipe I use frequently I'm pretty happy with. It calls for 3tbsp (64g) of honey. I have a bottle of karo light corn syrup "with real vanilla" that I would like to use up, instead.

From the label, honey and corn syrup have the same calories per tbsp. Searching the web, they seem to be 1:1 substitutes for one another. But bread is a bit special, right? The sweetness isn't just for flavor—it also has to feed the yeast so the dough rises.

Is a 1:1 substitution (by weight, if it matters) appropriate here, or should I add more corn syrup than I would have honey?

2 Answers 2


Yes, I would do a 1:1 substitution. I think your recipe will work fine and should taste good, but the flavor profile will be different (obviously honey has a very different taste from corn syrup).

Second, there will be different proportions of sugars between the two, so even with the same number of calories the sweetness will be different (honey is sweeter than most corn syrups). Fructose, for example, is much sweeter than glucose, which in turn is sweeter than maltose.

Honey has about the same sweetness as sucrose (table sugar), but acids, enzymes, heat, and other processes can convert sugars into other sugars. Sucrose, for example, can be broken down into glucose and fructose, making it sweeter.

You may also want to try the recipe with dark corn syrup which has added molasses and a deeper flavor. You can add some vanilla to your recipe if you want that as well.


Retrospective answer from OP: Mechanically, a 1:1 substitution worked fine -- the dough rose, the loaf shape was perfect, and the bread had a good texture and mouth feel.

Taste-wise, the honey has a sweeter and subtly nicer flavor. If I were making bread to eat unadorned, I'd certainly prefer the honey. But for sandwiches and jams the nuance is lost, and the corn syrup is fine.


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