Homemade Golden Syrup (for Americans)

Homemade Golden Syrup

If you peruse a lot of recipe sites, you’ll probably run across an ingredient that’s unfamiliar to most Americans: “Golden Syrup.” Folks in the UK will recognize it immediately, as it’s sold in every store under the brand name “Lyle’s.” Sometimes it’s referred to as “treacle,” though real treacle is darker than what you’d get in a can of Lyle’s.

Golden syrup is something I make myself and use in recipes that call for corn syrup. Homemade Golden Syrup is easy to make, keeps for a long time on the shelf, and isn’t over-processed like typical American corn syrup.

Golden Syrup Recipe in English Measurements.

In searching for recipes, you’ll often find them written in the European metric weights. I’ve included both metric and English measurements for you. The English measurements are in WEIGHT, not volume, so you’ll need to weigh them on a scale and not in a measuring cup.  If you’re lucky enough to have a metric scale, just use those measurements.  If you’re like me and have only an English-system scale, I’ve converted the grams into ounces.  Just remember, these are WEIGHT ounces, which are not the same as volume ounces! Don’t mix the two; everything must be weighed to get the right proportion.

Stick to all English or all metric units. I’ve balanced out the ounces to match the proportions of the metric version, but they’re not exactly the same.  And if you need a good kitchen scale, here are several good-quality options:

Escali Pico Colored Digital Scale, 11 Lb / 5 KgEscali Pico Colored Digital Scale, 11 Lb / 5 KgEscali Pico Colored Digital Scale, 11 Lb / 5 KgSoehnle Page Profi Digital Kitchen ScaleSoehnle Page Profi Digital Kitchen ScaleSoehnle Page Profi Digital Kitchen ScaleCDN Digital Scale, 11 lb/ 5 kg - WhiteCDN Digital Scale, 11 lb/ 5 kg – WhiteCDN Digital Scale, 11 lb/ 5 kg - White

 

Homemade Golden Syrup
Homemade Golden Syrup

Golden Syrup in US and Metric Units

If you peruse a lot of recipe sites, you’ll probably run across an ingredient that’s unfamiliar to most Americans: “Golden Syrup.” Folks in the UK will recognize it immediately, as it’s sold in every store under the brand name “Lyle’s.” Sometimes it’s referred to as “treacle,” though real treacle is darker than what you’d get in a can of Lyle’s.
Golden syrup is something I make myself and use in recipes that call for corn syrup. It’s super-easy to make, keeps for a long time on the shelf, and isn’t over-processed like typical American corn syrup.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert, Syrup
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Golden Syrup, Lyle’s, Treacle
Servings: 1 pint
Author: Don Herman

Ingredients

Step One

  • 7 oz. Granulated Sugar or 200 grams
  • 1 3/4 oz. Water by WEIGHT, or 50 grams

Step Two

  • 35 oz. Granulated Sugar or 1 kilogram
  • 28 oz. Boiling Water by WEIGHT, or 800 grams
  • 1 slice Lemon or 1 tsp lemon juice VOLUME

Instructions

  • Very important: Sterilize two 1 pint glass canning jars by boiling them in a pot of water. Let them dry with a canning lid set loosely on top.
  • Measure and have all your ingredients ready before starting, because once the sugar carmelizes, you need to move fast. Have the second-step items ready, including the hot water.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the 50 grams (1 3/4 oz.) water and the 200 grams (7 oz.) of sugar to dissolve. Turn heat very low and just simmer until the mixture starts to carmelize and turn a dark golden color. I stir with a wooden spoon fairly constantly, but others just give it a swirl now and then. This will take about 45 minutes and is the only labor-intensive part.

    What to do if all the water boils off during the first stage?  Keep the temperature as low as possible, for a very low simmer.  But if the water boils off, it’s not a problem.  Just add another 1 3/4 oz. of water, swirl and keep heating until you reach the right color.  
  • Once you’ve reached the right hue, slowly add the boiling water and the lemon.  It must be boiling, it’s very important.  Stir in the 1 kilogram (35 oz.) of sugar and stir to dissolve. Bring this mixture to a very low simmer, then start your timer. You shouldn’t need to do anything after this but give it a swirl now and then. Simmer this mixture for 45 minutes.  If it’s still too pale, let it go another 30 minutes or so.  
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Some recipes call for straining it into the jars, but I’ve never needed to do that – it comes out very smooth and clear just as it is.
  • Seal the jars and that’s it! You can store this on a shelf for months. Use it 1:1 in recipes that call for corn syrup. Or use it in this recipe for Millionaire Shortbread. It’s great stuff.

Notes

In searching for recipes, you’ll often find them written in the European metric weights. I’ve included both metric and English measurements for you. The English measurements are in WEIGHT, not volume, so you’ll need to weigh them on a scale and not in a measuring cup.  If you’re lucky enough to have a metric scale, just use those measurements.  If you’re like me and have only an English-system scale, I’ve converted the grams into ounces.  Just remember, these are WEIGHT ounces, which are not the same as volume ounces!  Don’t mix the two; everything must be weighed to get the right proportion.
Stick to all English or all metric units. I’ve balanced out the ounces to match the proportions of the metric version, but they’re not exactly the same.
 
 

Comments are welcome! I’d love to hear from you.

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14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fantastic! I always struggled to find a suitable substitute for golden syrup when I lived in the US. Thank you for your recipe.

  2. Avatar

    Never heard of glass canning jars. Can’t you just store the sauce in a bowl with cover in the refrigerator?

    1. Avatar

      Glass canning jars are the only kind. Storing in the fridge might be possible, but it would make the syrup very stiff and hard to work with. I don’t recommend it.

  3. Avatar
    Tammi MacClellan Heupel

    Thank you for posting this. Question though… doesn’t this crystallise by stirring it? Like caramel does if you stir it while bringing to a boil, etc.?

    1. Avatar

      I haven’t had that happen in the times I’ve made it, but it’s certainly possible. If it happens – easy fix. Just add about 1/4 cup more water and start again. You won’t have wasted your time completely, as the sugar in the pan will probably be starting to caramelize already, so no harm done.

  4. Avatar

    Great post and good info.

    This looks very nice actually, but honestly, never heard about it. 

    I was in the UK for a travel not so long ago, but never heard the name falling, is it quite uncommon? 

    And you only find it in the US and UK? Since we don’t know this in Belgium, which is sad, because it really looks nice. 

    Waiting for your answer. 

    And thanks for sharing! 

    1. Avatar

      I would bet if you mentioned “Lyle’s”, most people would know what you were talking about.  It’s fairly common, but perhaps as the population ages, the use is starting to die down.  It’s an ingredient in a lot of baked goods in the UK.  In Belgium, you might know it as “light cassonade.”  

  5. Avatar

    What a wonderful post on Golden syrup! The fact that your able to make it from home and also show us how super easy it is to produce from home makes me commend you for a job well done. Thanks for also clearly indicating the differences with the English measuring system (in weight pounces) with that of the united states (Volume ounces). I have noted the two steps to prepare the ingredients and also the six instructions you gave and i will work on them also to prepare mine. Nice post once again. Kudos!

  6. Avatar

    Hey awesome post men. From your explanatory write up I think it looks easy enough. I’ve never made any syrup before or even try to make one but I dabble in a lot of pastries though, so maybe I will give it a try and see how good my first attempt would be. 

    1. Avatar

      I think you’ll find it useful.  And it keeps for quite a long time on the shelf.

  7. Avatar

    I am unfamiliar with golden syrup. I enjoy baking at times especially when a special occasion happens. Now, I’m not the best baker and baking from scratch is something I want to peruse. Since I’m unfamiliar with golden syrup, what recipes would I use golden syrup for? Does it replace an ingredient like sugar? thanks! 

    1. Avatar

      I use it to replace corn syrup, which I find to be terribly over-processed.  Plus, golden syrup provides a lot more flavor than bland corn syrup.  I use it mostly for caramel if I’m making it from sweetened condensed milk.  You get a denser, richer flavor from golden syrup.

  8. Avatar

    I’ve made various “homemade” items before, but syrup? It’s never crossed my mind! Interesting too, because I make pancakes quite often! Not only does this show how simple and fascinating making syrup is, but it’s motivated me to give it a try! If this turns out better than the syrup I get at the store, then I already know what I’ll be doing from now.

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar

      Making syrup is a kind of meditative little task for me! Just keep stirring, just keep stirring . . . LOL! But I can tell you the product is beautiful and tastes delicious

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