Golden syrup(invert syrup or inverted syrup) is made with sugar, water and acidic material (lemon juice). It is also known as artificial honey usually used in mooncakes and other cakes to replace sugar. It can add sweet taste, create a deep dark color of the final cakes and maintain the moistness.

invert syrup for mooncakes

syrup for Chinese mooncakes

Ingredients for homemade golden syrup

  • 300g castor sugar
  • 180ml water
  • 40ml fresh lemon juice (well strained)

How to make it at home

  1. In a stainless steel pot, mix castor sugar and water. Bring all the content to a boil on medium heat. Stir from time to time to help the sugar dissolve. Add lemon juice in. Keep cooking until it boils again. Slow down to lowest and let the mixture to simmer. Do not stir it from this point.
  2. At the beginning stage, if you find there is sugar crystallized on the pot, dip a brush in water and brush along the walls. The crystallized sugar will drop along with the water.
  3. Stop the fire when the syrup becomes amber. This whole process may need 40 minutes to 1 hour for this small batch.


  1. If you plan to make invert syrup at home, prepare it several days before making mooncakes. The best using time for homemade syrup is 15 days after making.
  2. The longer you simmer the mixture, the dark the color will be. Please note that the syrup becomes thicker after cooling down, so don’t over-simmering. If you find the syrup is too thick, add some pure water and re-boil may help to save.
  3. It can be kept for quite a long time in a clean and air-tighter bottle.

invert syrup for mooncakes

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