Does King Syrup have molasses in it?

King syrup is a popular pancake syrup brand that can be found in many households across North America. With its distinctive flavor and affordable price point, King syrup has become a breakfast table staple. But what exactly gives King syrup its unique taste? The main ingredient that sets King syrup apart is molasses.

The short answer

Yes, King syrup contains molasses as a key ingredient, which gives it a more robust, bittersweet flavor compared to pure maple syrup or corn syrup-based pancake syrups.

What is King Syrup?

King syrup is a commercial brand of pancake syrup made by the King Company, which was founded in the late 19th century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The original King syrup recipe was developed in the 1880s and has remained relatively unchanged since then.

King syrup has a dark brown color and a rich, molasses-like taste. It has a thicker, more viscous consistency compared to pure maple syrup. King syrup is made from a blend of corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cellulose gum (for thickness), salt, preservatives, caramel color, and natural and artificial flavors.

But the key ingredient that gives King syrup its distinctive sweet yet tangy flavor is molasses. King syrup contains approximately 2% molasses in its ingredient list.

What is molasses?

Molasses is a thick, brown syrup that is derived from the processing of sugar cane or sugar beets into table sugar. It has a very sweet, rich, and slightly bitter taste.

There are several types of molasses:

  • Light molasses – Made from the first boiling of sugar syrup
  • Dark molasses – Made from the second boiling and concentration of sugar syrup
  • Blackstrap molasses – Made from the final boiling and concentration of sugar syrup

Of these, blackstrap molasses has the strongest flavor and is what is typically used in baking or as an ingredient in foods like King syrup. Blackstrap molasses contains vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

How molasses gives King syrup its flavor

Here’s how the addition of molasses impacts King syrup:

  • Deep, dark color – The dark brown-black hue of molasses gives King syrup its dark color.
  • Rich, bittersweet taste – Molasses has a rich, sweet yet slightly bitter taste that balances out the sweetness of the corn syrup in King syrup.
  • Slightly sulfurous aroma – Molasses can give King syrup a subtle sulfurous smell.
  • Thick texture – The viscosity of molasses helps give King syrup a thicker, more syrupy consistency.

The small amount of added molasses has a big impact by giving King syrup a more complex, less-sweet, and more robust flavor compared to pure maple syrup or corn syrup-based generic pancake syrups.

Nutrition facts of King syrup

Here is the nutrition information for a standard 1⁄4 cup (85g) serving of King syrup:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 200
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 135mg
Total Carbohydrate 53g
Sugars 52g

As you can see, King syrup is high in sugar and calories and does not contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein or healthy fats. The small amount of molasses does provide trace amounts of iron, calcium and magnesium.

Molasses content in other common syrups

For comparison, here is the molasses content of some other popular syrups:

  • Maple syrup – Does not contain molasses
  • Corn syrup – Does not contain molasses
  • Golden syrup – Contains approximately 2% molasses
  • Brown rice syrup – Does not contain molasses
  • Agave nectar – Does not contain molasses
  • Honey – Does not contain molasses
  • Cane syrup – Contains approximately 5-10% molasses

So molasses is unique to King syrup and a few other commercial pancake syrups like cane syrup. Maple syrup and corn syrup do not have any molasses content at all.

Health impacts of molasses

Molasses can offer some potential health benefits when consumed in moderation, including:

  • Iron – 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains about 3.5mg of iron, which is 19% of the RDI for adults. Iron helps transport oxygen around the body.
  • Calcium – Blackstrap molasses also contains 135mg of calcium per tablespoon, which is about 13% of the recommended daily value. Calcium is important for bone health.
  • Magnesium – There are 48mg of magnesium per tablespoon of molasses, which is about 12% of the RDI. Magnesium plays a role in muscle and nerve function.
  • B vitamins – Molasses contains small amounts of B vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.
  • Antioxidants – Blackstrap molasses has a high antioxidant content which can help combat oxidative stress.

However, the small amounts of molasses found in King syrup would not provide significant amounts of these nutrients. And the high sugar content can be detrimental in excess.

Alternatives to King syrup

If you want to avoid the high sugar content and artificial ingredients in King syrup, here are some healthier alternatives:

  • Maple syrup – Pure maple syrup has about half the calories of King syrup. It has a light, clean sweetness.
  • Honey – Honey is an unprocessed natural sweetener with antioxidant benefits.
  • Fruit syrups – Syrups made from fruit like berries or dates have a mild sweetness.
  • Blackstrap molasses – Using a small amount of blackstrap molasses can provide flavor and nutrients.
  • Stevia – Stevia extract or syrups made from stevia are zero-calorie sweeteners.

You can also make your own healthier pancake syrup at home by combining pure maple syrup with things like vanilla, cinnamon, orange juice or almond extract to boost the flavor.

Does King syrup go bad?

An unopened bottle of King syrup has a very long shelf life. Like other high-sugar syrups and jams, the elevated sugar content creates an environment inhospitable to microbial growth. King syrup has a best by date of 3 years from the manufacturing date when sealed.

Once opened, King syrup will last for about 1 year stored in the refrigerator. Signs that opened King syrup has gone bad are mold growing on the surface, an unpleasant sour or bitter odor, a change consistency, or separation of liquids.

Storing King syrup properly in a sealed container in the fridge will extend its shelf life after opening. But it’s best to use it within a year for optimal freshness and flavor.


King syrup does indeed contain molasses as one of its key ingredients. Specifically, it contains around 2% blackstrap molasses. This small amount of molasses gives King syrup its distinctive dark color, rich bittersweet taste, thick texture, and slight sulfurous aroma.

Molasses provides trace amounts of nutrients like iron, calcium and magnesium to King syrup. But the molasses content is not high enough to make it a significant source of vitamins and minerals.

There are healthier syrup alternatives to King syrup if you want to reduce sugar intake. But King syrup’s affordable price and nostalgic taste means it continues to be a beloved breakfast staple on many tables thanks to its molasses content.

So next time you pour King syrup on your Sunday morning pancakes or waffles, you can savor the flavor knowing it comes from a hit of molasses!


  • King Syrup Original Syrup Nutrition Facts.
  • Difference Between Blackstrap Molasses and Regular Molasses.
  • Molasses nutrition facts and health benefits.

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