Homemade golden syrup is easy to make, and it’s what I prefer to use in recipes that call for corn syrup. Homemade golden syrup keeps for a long time on the shelf, and isn’t over-processed like typical American corn 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. (And Lyle’s is darker than what I have here – but more on that later.)
Homemade 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:
Tips for Caramelizing Sugar
First, make sure you use a heavy saucepan. The sugar syrup has to heat evenly to prevent the sugar from burning, which it will do if your pan has hot spots.
Second, stir to dissolve the sugar completely as you bring the syrup to a boil. Once it’s boiling, however, I find it’s best to let it be. Some recommend a tight-fitting lid until you see an amber color begin to develop. Others swear by a quick brush around the rim now and then to re-dissolve any crystals that form on the edges.
(If your caramel crystalizes before it starts getting dark, no worries. Just add another 1 3/4 oz. of water and start over again.)
Third, aim for the level of caramelization you desire. If you want a full-bodied caramel, wait for a darker amber color. I wanted very light syrup just to replace corn syrup and not to impart a heavy caramel flavor, so that’s why mine is so light.
Here’s a great video with tips on getting the right level of caramelization:
Golden Syrup in US and Metric Units
- 7 oz. Granulated Sugar or 200 grams
- 1 3/4 oz. Water by WEIGHT, or 50 grams
- 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
- 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. Keep the heat fairly high until the mixture starts to carmelize and turn a golden or amber color. What to do if all the water boils off during the first stage? You can save it. If the water boils off, it's not a problem. Just add another 1 3/4 oz. of water, swirl to dissolve the sugar again 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.
- 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.
Use this golden syrup in my recipe for Millionaire’s Shortbread or Homemade Twix Bars. They are a real treat.