Are there any substitutes for honey when trying to activate yeast? I have a bottle of corn syrup and was wondering if I could just use that.

4 Answers 4


Yes you can use 3/4 cup (180 ml) of light/dark corn syrup:

You can use any of the following substitutions:

  • 1 cup of honey

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) maple syrup plus 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) light or dark corn syrup plus 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) light molasses plus 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams - 265 grams) granulated white or brown sugar plus 1/4 cup (60 ml) additional liquid in recipe plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Courtesy of Joy Of Baking

  • 1
    I prefer the last method, as it is the best substitute IMHO
    – dassouki
    Commented Aug 29, 2010 at 23:59
  • 2
    These are substitutions for honey in general. Activating yeast is much simpler if you don't need to replicate the flavor of honey. You just need something for the yeast to munch on. Any kind of sugar or milled starch will work nicely. Commented May 24, 2011 at 16:26

Well, what about good old white or brown sugar? Yeast needs just warm + sweet + wet place to live.


Anything sweet works. Maple syrup, molasses, sugar....


Splenda, Honey, Molasses, Granulated or white sugar, Maple syrup, agave syrup and corn syrup all work with yeast. I've done a science fair project testing which sugar substitutes activate yeast, and these were my results:)

  • 2
    Splenda? Somehow, I severely doubt that.
    – Marti
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 22:53

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