Corn syrup is a misunderstood ingredient that is actually one of our pantry go-tos. Here are three reasons you should always have it on hand.

Karo light corn syrup
Photography by Jennifer Causey
| Credit: Photography by Jennifer Causey

1. It Buys You Time

Cakes and muffins stay moister longer if you add a tablespoon or two of corn syrup to the batter. They'll taste as fresh as the day you baked them for up to a week!

2. It Combats Crystallization

Crystallization is the enemy of smooth caramel and creamy ice cream. Just a few tablespoons of corn syrup will keep everything silky.

3. It Adds Shine

You know how store-bought frosting and hot fudge have that gloss? Get the same look at home by adding a little corn syrup to your sweet toppings.

What's in a Name?

Corn syrup from the supermarket is different from the high-fructose corn syrup used in commercial foods. Corn syrup is 100 percent glucose and comes from corn the way sugar comes from sugarcane. The high-fructose version is a combo of glucose and fructose, resulting in an even sweeter product; a little goes a long way, meaning less bulk for manufacturers.