What can I use instead of black treacle? Molasses is the best substitute for black treacle, offering a similar thick consistency, rich caramel flavors, and mildly bitter and smokey notes. Dark corn syrup is a close runner-up if your budget allows it. But, then, maple syrup and light treacle are adequate replacements but lack bitter notes.
Black treacle is a thick, viscous sugar syrup made from the uncrystallized syrup of refined sugar, offering a sweet, rich, slightly smoky taste and mild bitterness. This dark syrup is often used in drinks, marinades, sauces, and baked goods. If you’re trying a recipe that calls for black treacle but you don’t have any available, consider the following four substitutes.
The Best Black Treacle Substitutes
Molasses (Dark Molasses)
Molasses is the top substitute for black treacle – they are both by-products of sugar refining. However, molasses is thicker, richer, and lends more intense bitter and smoky notes.
Dark molasses (boiled twice) is the closest alternative for black treacle in terms of color, flavor, and viscosity.
Molasses and black treacle can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
You can use molasses to replace black treacle in BBQ sauces, marinades, drinks, and baked goods. You can also use molasses as a natural colorant, preservative, or binding agent.
Follow a 1:1 ratio when substituting black treacle for molasses. We recommend avoiding blackstrap molasses as the intense bitter flavor can ruin your recipe.
Dark Corn Syrup
Dark corn syrup is a mix of light corn syrup and refiner’s sugar – a type of molasses – that lends a sweet, caramel-molasses and smoky flavor.
Dark corn syrup is a suitable substitute for black treacle. However, it isn’t commonly available and comes at a hefty price.
You can use dark corn syrup in desserts, baked goods, sweet sauces, meat glazes, and marinades. Dark corn syrup is delicious in pecan pies and does not crystallize, making it ideal for caramel candy recipes.
Follow a 1:1 ratio when substituting black treacle for dark corn syrup. You can also mix a 3:1 ratio of corn syrup molasses for homemade dark corn syrup.
Maple Syrup (Grade A Dark Amber or Grade B)
Pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener made from concentrated maple tree sap.
We recommend using Grade B or Dark Amber (Grade A) to replace black treacle in recipes. They are the darkest variety and offer a more intense flavor.
You can use maple syrup for baked goods, meat glazes, vegetables, sauces, or drizzled over breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes.
You can use black treacle and maple syrup interchangeably.
However, maple lacks the bitter notes of black treacle, offering a lighter and sweeter flavor to recipes. So, you may want to use a smidge less maple syrup if you don’t want an overly sweet dish.
Golden Syrup (Light Treacle)
Light treacle, better known as golden syrup, is a by-product of sugar refining. It is a lighter, sweeter variety of black treacle.
You can replace black treacle with golden syrup when in a pinch. However, it will lack the rich color and slightly bitter taste of black treacle.
You can use the golden syrup in sweet recipes like desserts, biscuits, gingerbread, treacle tarts, and toffees. You can also glaze meats, cure bacon, and sweeten drinks.
Follow a 1:1 ratio when substituting black treacle for golden syrup. However, expect a lighter dish and a sweeter taste.