When baking, you’ve probably always reached straight for the sugar and never even thought about substituting it. Well, now you have an alternative!
With quality natural honey becoming more popular and readily available, you have a great opportunity to try your hand at using it in your baking. We researched how to change certain recipes and found there were some basic rules for doing this.
Some helpful rules and tips for substituting sugar with honey:
Sweet honey of mine
2/3 cup of honey = 1 cup of sugar
The level of sweetness of your honey varies depending on the variety of honey you purchase. Some honey can actually be a lot sweeter than sugar due to the fructose in honey. You will have to taste test your honey and add it to your recipe accordingly. We’ve found that anywhere between half a cup to two thirds of a cup of honey adds the sweetness value of one cup of sugar. This will take some experimentation due to the varying compositions of honey (fructose vs glucose), however the rough ratio can be remembered easily by the saying “two thirds, one cup.“
A dance of wet and dry
Subtract 1/4 to 1/3 cup of another liquid per 1 cup of honey
Honey is about 1/5 water and therefore adds to your wet ingredients, making them higher than needed. While this doesn’t affect some recipes, it can ruin others.
To counter for the extra liquid from your honey, you need to reduce one of the other wet ingredients (such as milk or water). So, if you were to add 1 cup of honey you’d need to subtract 1/5 to 1/4 cup of another liquid.
A honey trip
Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per 1 cup of honey
Honey is naturally acidic, so when you add honey to your recipe instead of sugar, you’re also adding extra acid. To balance this out and allow your dish to rise correctly, you can add a small amount of baking soda to your recipe. So, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of honey, you would add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
Lower the oven temperature by 14°C (25°F)
Honey is quicker to caramelise and quicker to burn than sugar. When baking with honey, always check your dish before the timer goes off, as it is often ready sooner due to the honey caramelising quicker than sugar would have. Healthier cookies that bake quicker?! What more could a girl want!
As a guide though, if you are baking cookies at 160°C (320°F) you should turn your oven down by 14°C (25°F) to save your cookies from burning.
Get your honey, and get baking!
Grab some honey and have fun experimenting baking with honey instead of sugar. Feel free to comment below and let everyone know how you went. We’re always open to hearing any tips, tricks or special honey recipes that you may have as well. Head over to our store and get yourself some honey, or support another local beekeeper. Either way, happy baking!