Honey is one of the most commonly used ingredients for baking. After all, it is a versatile sweetener. It can be used to make food sweeter. It can also be used to make a marinade for meats, as well as dressings for salads. It can even be used as a topping for cornbread and muffins.
Truly, honey is a must-have for every kitchen. But what if you run out of it while in the middle of baking? Worry no more! There are many other ingredients that you can use as a substitute for honey. Here are some of them:
- Maple Syrup
- Brown Sugar
- Corn Syrup
- Rice Malt Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
- Yacon Syrup
- Golden Syrup
- Simple Syrup
- Barley Malt Syrup
The list is quite long and we will share the full list with you shortly.
But first, let us understand a bit more about the benefits of this common baking ingredient.
18 Best Substitute For Honey
When using honey for your baking recipes, honey is rich in antioxidants, contains a variety of nutrients and is better for blood sugar levels than regular sugar.
Studies also suggest that honey might offer antidepressants, anticonvulsants and anti-anxiety benefits. In some studies, honey has been shown to help prevent memory disorders. Wound care. Topical use of medical-grade honey has been shown to promote wound healing, particularly in burns.[Source]
In terms of sweetness and texture, some of the best substitutes include maple syrup and barley malt syrup,
Feel free to also test out the other alternatives mentioned below.
Maple syrup is regarded as the best substitute for honey. Not only is it as sweet as honey, but it also has the same consistency and texture. If you are a vegan, you will even be more delighted because maple syrup is a great vegan substitute for honey. It is naturally sweet, and is ideal for recipes such as muffins, cookies, and granola bars.
If you taste maple syrup on its own, you will notice that its taste is different from that of honey. However, such taste will no longer be noticeable if you mix it with other ingredients.
Remember to use the same quantity of maple syrup as you would with honey when baking. Also, see to it that you only use 100% maple syrup. Do not use the ones that have added water or flavors.
Refrain from using manufactured syrups because they are very sweet and their consistency is not good for baking.
You can use either light or brown sugar since it is rich enough to add sweetness and flavor to baked goods. You can even achieve a good caramel flavor using brown sugar. So, your baked goods may turn out much more delicious.
Then again, brown sugar is actually dry. So, you may have to use other ingredients that can make your bread or pastry moist. Otherwise, your baked product will be dry.
In addition, you have to use more brown sugar in place of honey. For instance, if you need to use ¾ cup of honey, you have to use one cup of brown sugar.
You can use either light or dark molasses in place of honey, but not blackstrap molasses.
Even though molasses comes from sugar, it does not have as much sugar content as actual sugar. It undergoes a process that allows the sugar content to break down. So, it ends up with less sugar than the sugar from which it came from.
Compared to honey, molasses is slightly thicker. It also has a distinct flavor. Nonetheless, it is still ideal to be used for baked goods. You have to use as much molasses as you would with honey when baking.
It is typical for sweet treats to contain corn syrup. Caramel and candies usually contain this ingredient. So, you can also use it as a substitute for honey.
While you can use either light or dark corn syrup, light corn syrup is much preferable for baking. Dark corn syrup has a richer and more distinct flavor than its lighter counterpart. So, using it may alter the flavor of your recipe.
Anyway, corn syrup is great for baked products because it has the same consistency as honey. It is also sweet. You can use the same quantity of light corn syrup as you would with honey in your baked goods.
Rice Malt Syrup(Brown Rice Syrup)
It may seem odd to use rice malt syrup as an alternative for honey, but it works. You can find this product in health food stores, as well as online stores.
Rice malt syrup also known as brown rice syrup comes from cultured rice. It does not contain any added sugars. Nonetheless, it is still as sweet as honey. It even has the same consistency as honey. You can use the same quantity of rice malt syrup as you would with honey.
Yacon syrup is made from the roots of the yacon plant, which can be found in Peru. It is a natural ingredient that has the same consistency as honey but is less sweet.
Even though yacon syrup is not as sweet as honey, it is still an excellent vegan substitute. It has plenty of health benefits and is great for baked products.
You can use the same quantity of yacon syrup as you would with honey. You will still get the same great flavor, but less sweet.
Golden syrup looks just like honey, except that it is made from refined sugar. You can use this ingredient if you are okay with using something that came from refined sugars.
Golden syrup is just as sweet and golden as honey. At first glance, you may not even be able to tell that it is not honey. Then again, even though golden syrup is sweet, its flavor is still not as rich as that of honey. So, you may simply opt for another alternative.
If you choose to go with golden syrup, you can use the same quantity as you would with honey.
If you do not have a lot of ingredients in your kitchen, you can simply mix sugar and water together. Boil these two ingredients to make a simple syrup that you can use as a substitute for honey.
Even though the consistency is not as thick as that of honey, simple syrup is still great to use for baking breads and pastries. Simple syrup is also not that sweet. So, for every cup of honey that you need, you have to use five cups of sugar and one cup of water.
Simmer the sugar and water mixture slowly in a pot. Make sure to stir the mixture once in a while to dissolve the sugar completely. Then, you have to allow it to cool before you transfer it to a suitable container.
Barley Malt Syrup
It is a natural sweetener that is made from barley. Its richness and sweetness makes it an ideal substitute for honey. It even has the same consistency.
You can find this ingredient in health food stores and online stores that offer natural foods. You can use the same quantity of barley malt syrup as you would with honey in your baking.
Date Paste or Syrup
It is another natural sweetener that you can use as a substitute for honey. It is made from dates, which are naturally sweet foods.
To make date paste or syrup, you simply need to blend water and dates together in a blender. You have to use a ratio of 2:1 of water to dates. If you think that the mixture is too sweet, you can add some lemon juice.
Compared with honey, date syrup is a bit thicker. So, aside from using it as an ingredient in baking, you can also use it as a spread for breads and other baked products. When baking, however, you can use the same quantity of date syrup as you would with honey.
Monk Fruit(Luo Han Guo)
Monk Fruit also known as luo han guo in chinese is a naturally sweet fruit that makes a great substitute for honey. In fact, its sweetness is much closer to that of real sugar. It does not have the slight bitterness of stevia.
Perhaps the only downside to using monk fruit is that it is pretty expensive. Nevertheless, it has a rich taste that adds a lot of sweetness to baked goods. With this being said, you may want to use just a small amount of monk fruit to achieve your desired level of sweetness.
It comes from the agave plant, which primarily grows in Mexico. It is another great substitute for honey. However, it browns a bit quicker than honey when exposed to heat. So, your bread or pastry may be darker than usual.
In addition, agave nectar is sweeter compared to honey. You can use a ratio of 1:1 in your recipes, but you can also cut the amount that you use in half. This way, your recipe will not be too sweet, and you can just add more agave nectar whenever necessary.
Coconut Syrup or Nectar
Both coconut Syrup and coconut nectar are regarded as an excellent substitutes for honey, especially if you are planning to use them as a long term replacement.
To get the coconut nectar, the sap is boiled down to a more viscous consistency while for coconut syrup, most companies use coconut sugar and add water to it.[Source]
Even though both are syrupy, coconut nectar is ideal if you prefer an ingredient that is plant-based and non-processed.
It is just as sweet as honey, but it also has its own distinct and unique flavor. So, you may want to do a taste test first. You can try using a small amount in your recipe to see if its taste goes well with the rest of the ingredients.
You can actually use a ratio of 1:1 since the level of sweetness of coconut nectar is similar to that of honey.
This product is the go-to ingredient of vegans when they need an ingredient that is similar to honey. Vegan honey is made from lemons, sugar canes, and other plant-based products.
You can find a variety of brands in the market. This product is available in most health food stores and online shops. It can also be found in many grocery stores.
If you are on a strictly pure vegan diet, see to it that you read the labels of the honey substitute products that you see in stores. They should not contain anything that comes from bee hives.
You can use either powdered or liquid stevia as a substitute for honey in baking. It is sugar-free, so you do not have to worry about getting sugar in your body. You can add just the right sweetness to your baked goods.
You can use one teaspoon of stevia liquid concentrate to substitute ¼ cup of honey. You may need to add or subtract the amount of stevia based on your recipe requirements.
Its consistency is also different from that of honey. So, if you use stevia in your recipes, you can expect the taste and consistency of your bread or pastry to change.