Karo Syrup

Karo is a leading brand of liquid sweetener known as corn syrup. It's made from a concentrated solution of dextrose and various types of sugar derived from cornstarch.

Unlike other sweeteners, corn syrup doesn't crystallize when cold, so it's ideal for making cake frostings, fudge and candies. In the oven, corn syrup turns out super-moist baked goods that tend to stay fresh longer than those made with sugar. Used to make everything from jam and popcorn balls to the ever-classic pecan pie, Karo has had a place in American pantries since it was introduced in 1902.


It is believed the chemist who formulated the syrup named it "Karo" in honor of his wife Caroline. Until Karo syrup was produced, the typical American housewife carried her syrup jug to the grocery store to be refilled from the grocer's barrels.


Karo is available in light or dark varieties. Light is almost clear, mildly sweet and flavored with real vanilla. It's typically used in more delicate recipes like sauces, jams and beverages. Dark has a rich brown color and a molasses-like flavor. Ideal for baked goods like pecan pie, it's also a common ingredient in Asian dishes where it balances sweet and sour flavor profiles.

Storage Tips

Before and after opening, Karo may be stored at room temperature indefinitely. Light corn syrup may turn yellow as it ages, but it's still safe to use. Bottles may also be refrigerated, but the syrup will be thicker and harder to pour.

Usage Tips

Karo adds sweetness and smooth texture to a wide variety of American dishes. Try it as a simple topping for French toast, pancakes and waffles or mix it with canned or fresh fruit to make a quick topping for ice cream and cakes. Give vegetables a warm, caramelized flavor by brushing with Karo before cooking or grilling. Or combine equal parts corn syrup and apricot preserves to create a delicious glaze for turkey or ham.

Substitution Tips

  • In general, light and dark corn syrups can be used interchangeably.
  • An equal amount of Karo syrup can be substituted for honey or molasses in most recipes.

Try one of our favorite Karo syrup recipes:

Pumpkin-Pecan Pie with Whiskey Butter Sauce
Baby Back Ribs with Barbecue Sauce