How to make homemade light corn syrup

Updated February 21, 2017

Corn syrup is made using cornflour and glucose and is commonly used in baking and cooking as a sweetening ingredient instead of sugar or honey. This liquid sweetener is available in light and dark varieties. Light corn syrup, also called white corn syrup due to its clear colour, is a combination of corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, flavoured with vanilla and salt. Dark corn syrup has molasses, caramel colour and sodium benzoate added. Dark corn syrup is warm brown in colour and much stronger than light corn syrup.

Combine water and cornstarch in a bowl and stir with a spoon until it dissolves completely.

Pour the mixture in saucepan and bring to boil. Continue stirring until boiled.

Reduce the heat, cover with lid and allow it to simmer three to five minutes.

Add sugar and stir until it dissolves completely.

Remove from heat and add powdered alum, vanilla and salt to the mixture.


The recipe will make up to 2 cups of light corn syrup. As it cools, the syrup will thicken. Allow it to cool and store at room temperature. To test if the corn syrup is ready, drop a little of the mixture in a glass of cold water. If it goes to the bottom of the glass, the corn syrup is ready. The powdered alum keeps the syrup from forming crystals and cornstarch gives it smoothness.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Saucepan
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp powdered alum
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
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About the Author

Tom Don has been a freelance writer and editor since 2005. He covers topics such as small business, health and fitness for various online publications. Don holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and Master of Science in website administration from Johns Hopkins University.