Whether you just ran out of honey in the middle of a recipe or need a vegan-friendly replacement, these are the best substitutes for honey!
As refined-sugar free recipes become more popular, honey is becoming a key ingredient for these recipes. It's a natural sweetener that often replaces the sugar in these healthier recipes.
Since honey is made by bees, it is not vegan-friendly as veganism aims to reduce exploitation of all animals—yes, even bees.
Luckily, whatever your reason is for needing to replace honey, there are actually several substitutes that work great! Plus, many of them are pretty common pantry items so you're likely to have one of these honey substitutes on hand.
Since honey is a liquid sweetener, another liquid sweetener is a simple honey alternative. But which one is best? Let's dive into the best ones to replace honey and why!
Maple syrup makes an excellent substitute for honey since the consistency, color, and sweetness are very similar. Although the flavors are not exact, both are rather subtle, making whatever it's added to sweeter with the flavor undetectable.
You can replace honey 1 to 1 with maple syrup.
Agave syrup, also know as agave nectar, is very similar to maple syrup but comes from the agave plant. Yes, the same plant tequila is made from.
You may want to use slightly less agave syrup than honey since agave is more sweet. This is something to consider in baking recipes. Typically 75% of the amount of honey the recipe calls for is best when using agave syrup.
Homemade Vegan Honey
This homemade vegan honey is made from apples or apple juice and sugar. You only need 3 simple ingredients and 30 minutes to make! It has a delicious syrupy consistency with a subtle hint of apple or you can prepare it with chamomile tea which gives it a more honey-like flavor.
This vegan honey can be used 1 to 1 to replace honey.
Date syrup is made from boiling dates and blending then squeezing out the liquid from the date. Date paste which is the blended dates before extracting the liquid can also be used.
Date syrup is thinner than honey while date paste is thicker. Keep that in mind in baking recipes where you may need to adjust the liquids to compensate by increasing or decreasing.
In general you can use date syrup measure for measure to replace honey.
Brown Rice Syrup
This is a common honey replacement for vegans as the taste is one of the most similar. You may also see it referred to as Rice Malt Syrup. It is harder to come by but you can find it in most natural food stores.
You can replace honey 1 to 1 with brown rice syrup.
This viscous syrup comes from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. Molasses has a stronger flavor than most other syrups so you'll want to look for light molasses or cane syrup as it is sometimes referred to. This has a higher sugar content than blackstrap molasses which makes it a better substitute for honey.
Use a 1 to 1 ratio to replace honey with molasses.
It has a very similar color and consistency to honey. It is made from sugarcane or sugar beets and has a milder flavor than maple syrup.
You can replace honey 1 to 1 with golden syrup so for 1 teaspoon of honey use 1 teaspoon of golden syrup.
You can easily substitute honey for sugar. Any sugar will do! For baking, just keep in mind that honey adds a little moisture so if your batter comes out dry, you may want to increase the liquids in the recipe a little.
One way to add sugar to replace honey is to heat sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves and becomes a syrup consistency, also known as simple syrup. Use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water to create simple syrup. For example, use ½ cup sugar with ½ cup water.
Use this simple syrup measure for measure to replace honey in a recipe.
Recipes with honey substitutes
These recipes already use a honey substitute so you can see it in action within a variety of dishes! From dressings to dinner to dessert, honey substitutes work great in both savory and sweet recipes!
Let us know in the comments which is your favorite substitute for honey!