Baking with Honey

Honey can add a beautiful golden hue and light nutty and caramel flavour to your baking, setting it apart from typical cakes and other baked goods. But can you substitute honey for sugar in just any recipe? 

There are many good reasons why you would want to substitute honey in your baking. For one, honey is a more complex sugar in that only 30% of it is glucose, the simplest form of sugar (compared to table sugar that is 50%). The remainder if made up of other types of sugars, most of which are more complex meaning the body takes longer to break it down. Because of this, you don’t experience the same blood sugar spike as you would after consuming simple table sugar. 

Honey has some other benefits too including trace elements such as vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes which contributes to its additional nutritional benefits. 

But you can’t just substitute honey 1 for 1 for sugar in recipes as it will caramelise and burn faster plus it is a liquid so it can leave your baking wet and soggy. Here are a few tricks to help when you are wanting to make the switch in your favourite recipe.

  1. Do not substitute in recipes that require the sugar to be creamed together with butter- it just doesn’t work.
  2. Honey can be acidic- to balance this, add an additional ½ tsp of baking soda for every cup used.
  3. To prevent burning the honey, reduce the oven temperature for 10°C (25°F).
  4. For every cup of honey used, reduce other liquids by ¼ to prevent your batter from being too wet