Best Agave Nectar (Syrup) Substitute

Agave nectar may sound like a fancy ingredient to many, but there are several agave nectar substitutes you can use that you likely already have in your kitchen. Some examples are honey, white sugar, and maple syrup.

People gravitate to agave nectar since its a sugar derived from the Agave plantthe same plant that tequila comes from! Agave nectar has a low glycemic index, but its high in fructose. So, like all the agave substitutes well be covering here, its important to consume it in moderation.

Agave nectar tends to be sweeter than many sweeteners. So, we surveyed several agave alternatives, accounting for their ratios, texture, and nutritional makeup. So, well share the five agave substitutes that mirror agave the closest.

Below are the top five substitutes we recommend when you run out of agave nectar or want to experiment with changing your sweetener.

1. Honey

Honey is easily the closest substitute for agave nectar. It has a similar color and usually comes in a squeezable bottle like agave, making it great for sweetening tea. It also has a similar sugar content and has about 60 calories per tablespoon like agave.

You can use honey in any recipe that calls for agave nectar, such as:

  • Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Marinades

When using honey as a substitute for agave nectar, you can use a 1:1 ratio. That said, honey has a thicker consistency than agave. Therefore, it can make it more challenging to mix it in recipes. However, you shouldnt have to make any adjustments because of it.

Another factor to consider when using honey as an agave substitute is its taste. If your recipe calls for a large quantity of agave, using honey may cause your dish to take on a slightly honey-like flavor.

If youre on a health kick, consider using raw honey. Unlike regular honey, which is heavily processed, raw honey only gets strained before bottling. As a result, it keeps more nutrients and antioxidants.

2. Simple Syrup

Theres no need to run to the store if you dont have simple syrup in your houseall you need is some granulated sugar and water.

What makes simple sugar such a great agave syrup substitute is that almost everyone has this ingredient in their homes, and its an excellent option for vegans since they cant eat honey.

While you can use simple syrup in any recipe calling for agave nectar, we find that it tends to work best in cocktails and other drinks you want to sweeten. Part of the reason for this is that simple syrup is thinner than agave nectar. Therefore, you wont notice this difference as much in a drink as you would in a recipe.

If you dont have a bottle of simple syrup on hand, you can make it by following these steps:

  1. Mix equal parts of granulated sugar and water.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and place the mixture on the burner.
  3. Wait for the mixture to dissolve, then let it cool (theres no need to bring it to a boil).
  4. Place the mixture in a glass jar and place it in the refrigerator.

When using simple syrup, add the same amount to your drinks as you would agave nectar. You can expect your simple syrup to last around one month, so get your agave nectar recipes ready to make use of it.

3. Maple Syrup

If part of your reasoning for wanting to use agave nectar as a sweetener is because of its nutritional content, such as riboflavin and vitamin K, maple syrup is an excellent choice. Like agave, maple syrup is a source of riboflavin. It also contains manganese, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals.

As with so many great things, theres a catchmaple syrup has a strong flavor. Some people love the richness it brings to the food or drinks theyre eating. Others feel put off by how much it changes the taste of their food or drink.

For this reason, using a substitute for agave nectar such as maple syrup is often best when a recipe doesnt require a large amount.

The good news is that you dont have to run complicated math equations to figure out how much maple syrup to use. Whatever the recipe calls for in agave nectar is the amount you can use in maple syrup.

Nevertheless, if youre using maple syrup in a dessert, you might want to add a little more syrup than what the recipe calls for in agave nectar. The reason being is that maple syrup contains less sugar than agave.

In fact, agave nectar has a 90% fructose content, making it the highest fructose product of any commercial sweetener.

Cant find maple syrup? See maple syrup substitutes.

4. Coconut Nectar

With the word nectar in its name, coconut nectar is an excellent agave nectar substitute. The product comes from a coconut trees flower sap. Furthermore, it undergoes little processing, making it a great choice for people wanting some nutrition with their sweeteners.

Coconut nectar is an excellent substitute for baked goods. You can use coconut nectar as a one-to-one replacement for any recipe that calls for agave. That said, if your recipe calls for a large quantity of agave nectar, you might find coconut nectars high cost a bit prohibitive.

Its also worth considering your recipes flavor. Coconut nectar tends to have a strong coconut flavor, although the degree of that flavor depends on the brand.

Nevertheless, if youre making coconut or chocolate-based desserts, you might find that coconut nectar enriches the flavor. On the other hand, it could be a jarring ingredient to use with certain other flavors.

If you use it in moderation, coconut nectar can offer a unique flavor to sweeten drinks. It has a slightly floral flavor, mixed with some earthy tones. If you let it linger on your tongue, youll often notice a bittersweet sensation.

5. White Sugar

White sugar deserves its spot on this list because of its conveniencemany people have white sugar lying around their house, and unlike simple sugar, you dont have to do anything to prepare it.

However, even if white sugar werent convenient, it still makes for an excellent agave alternative. As you likely guessed, white sugar is a great agave nectar substitute for sweet baked good recipes. But you can also use it in sauces and salad dressings that call for agave.

3 cup of white sugar for every cup of agave nectar.Sugar is also more economical than agave nectar, so its a good choice for larger recipes. Unlike the other substitutes we covered here, you may need to pull out your calculator to figure out how much white sugar to use; youll need 1

Theres another key difference between white sugar and the other agave alternatives on this listwhite sugar isnt liquid. Therefore, youll need to introduce liquid into the recipe by adding one of the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Oil

3 cup of white sugar.You can expect to need about cup of your liquid of choice for every 1

Frequently Asked Questions

If youre still curious about how agave nectar substitutes work, we answer some common questions here.

What’s the difference between agave nectar and agave syrup?

Agave nectar has minimal processing and no additives. Agave syrup undergoes heavy processing and has a makeup similar to high-fructose corn syrup.

What is the nutritional content of agave nectar?

Agave nectar has trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and selenium. While it contains more nutrients than agave syrup, it would require a large consumption to get a substantial amount of these nutrients.

Can I use agave syrup instead of agave nectar?

Yes, you can. However, many people use agave nectar since it doesnt undergo as much processing as agave syrup. Therefore, sweeteners like maple syrup and honey often make for better agave nectar substitutes than agave syrup.

Is honey or agave healthier?

Honey is healthier than agave because it has less glucose. It also helps to boost the immune system. Therefore, some people choose to use honey instead of agave even when they have agave in their kitchen.

Is agave good for diabetes?

Since agave syrup has a low glycemic index, it doesnt cause a large spike in blood sugar. According to research, mice that consumed agave nectar had lower blood sugar levels than those that ate white sugar. Therefore, agave nectar is a better sweetener for people with diabetes than traditional sweeteners.


What can I substitute 1 tablespoon of agave nectar with?

2 teaspoons of simple syrup. The nectar of coconut.To substitute one tablespoon of agave nectar, use 1 and 1

Can I use maple syrup instead of agave nectar?

While the two components may be used interchangeably in many recipes and applications, there are times when you should use one or the other. Keep in mind that agave contains around one-third the sweetness of maple syrup, so keep this in mind when determining which sugar alternative to employ.

What can I use in place of agave simple syrup?

4 tablespoon of agave nectar.2 to 3In simple syrup recipes, reduce the agave nectar measurement by one-half to one-quarter. For example, if a recipe asks for 1 tablespoon of simple syrup, use 1

What is a substitute for agave syrup in cocktails?

Recommended Agave Nectar Substitute
Honey. Honey. Honey is the most similar replacement for agave nectar.
Simple Syrup. Simple Syrup.
Maple Syrup. Maple Syrup.
Coconut Nectar. Coconut Nectar.
White Sugar. White Sugar.

Why avoid agave nectar?

Agave is not a healthful replacement for table sugar. While it is less harmful and more natural, people who are closely managing blood glucose should avoid agave. The high fructose content can reduce insulin sensitivity and may worsen liver health. Agave is also a higher-calorie sweetener than table sugar.

Why not to use agave nectar?

Because agave syrup contains much more fructose than regular sugar, it is more likely to have negative health consequences such as increased belly fat and fatty liver disease.

How much maple syrup to replace agave?

If substituting maple syrup with agave or vice versa, the exact same amounts are to be used – for example, if you use a cup of agave for a dish, you need to replace it with a cup of maple syrup.

Which is healthier maple syrup or agave nectar?

Real Maple wins in this head to head due to Maple Syrup’s high nutritional value compared to the highly refined Agave Nectar!

Which is healthier honey maple syrup or agave?

If you must choose between honey and agave, honey is the healthier option. Honey is mostly composed of fructose, while agave has much more glucose. Honey has a unique set of health advantages that no other natural sweetener can match.

What is same as agave syrup?

HFCS, like agave syrup is anything but natural. Unfortunately, in the agave industry, the terms nectar and agave syrup, are often used interchangeably.

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