Difference Between Molasses, Syrup and Honey

Molasses vs Syrup vs Honey

There are many different products that are used as sweeteners. These sweeteners are used to make food items tastier. Molasses, syrup, honey, agave etc. are some of the commonly used sweeteners. Many times people substitute one for the other for sweetening a recipe. However, molasses, honey, and syrup are not the same to be used interchangeably. There are differences between these sweeteners that necessitate using them cautiously in different recipes.


Molasses is a product that is obtained during the processing of sugarcane and sugar beet. While sugar is the main product, molasses is the dark brown syrup that is viscous and sweet. Its sweetness is dependent upon the maturity of sugarcane and the amount of sugar that has been extracted from it. Molasses from cane is called cane molasses, and the one obtained from beet is called beet molasses. In UK, molasses is called treacle. Molasses is the main sweetener in pumpkin pie though it is also used to make rum.

Molasses is made by extracting the juice of sugarcane and then crystallizing sugar from it. Crushing of sugarcane gives its juice that is boiled to obtain molasses and sugar. Sugarcane juice gives first, second, and even third molasses with sugar content going down in successive molasses.


Syrup is a thick and viscous liquid that is obtained by adding sugar to water and then boiling it. Syrup can also be made by reducing naturally sweet juices such as sugarcane, maple, or sorghum juice. Syrup is used to make the base in most medications sold in liquid form.


Honey is a thick golden liquid that is made by bees after collecting nectar of flowers. Bees are kept to obtain honey on a commercial basis. Honeybees make honey and keep it as their source of food in their honeycombs. Human beings have been consuming raw honey and also using it as a sweetener in many recipes since ancient times.

What is the difference between Molasses, Syrup and Honey?

• While syrup is made by adding sugar to water and then boiling it, molasses is a kind of syrup that is a byproduct of the process of manufacture of sugar from sugarcane and beets.

• Syrup is also made by reducing natural sweet juices of maple, corn, and sorghum.

• Molasses is made by boiling sugarcane juice and extracting sugar from it.

• Molasses is a dark brown viscous liquid, and there are first, second, and third molasses with reducing sugar content in them.

• Honey is a golden syrup that is produced by honeybees as their source of food. Hey make it from the nectar of flowers.

• Honey has a distinct flavor, and it is used as a sweetener in baking products and also eaten as raw food.

• Syrup is used to make bases of most of the medications available in liquid form.