This syrupy and delicious vegan apple honey is the perfect honey alternative for vegans. It's incredibly easy to make, requiring just 3 ingredients and 30 minutes!
Why Avoid Honey
First off, you're probably wondering "do vegans eat honey?" Bees produce honey for themselves, and commercial honey operations often exploit these insects by providing sugar water as a replacement for their honey. As honeybees are animals, avoiding honey aligns with the principles of Veganism, which advocates against contributing to animal exploitation. Therefore, honey is not vegan.
Instead, many vegans seek delicious and ethical alternatives to traditional honey. In fact, there are so many vegan honey alternatives to enjoy that look and taste like the real thing! Quick substitutes include maple syrup, agave nectar (agave syrup), date syrup, and golden syrup, but to get something that truly replicates the taste of honey, you've got to try apple honey!
Why this apple honey works
This apple honey makes a great honey replacement for vegans or non-vegans alike! If you have apples going bad, or just want to experiment with a new sweet syrup, this recipe is for you! The apple honey is sweet, syrupy, and boasts a delightful caramel-like flavor that perfectly emulates real honey.
Here are more reasons to love this vegan honey recipe:
- Easy to make - No hard-to-find ingredients and the simple process makes this plant-based honey a no-brainer!caramel-like
- Versatile - Use this vegan apple honey in the same way you would use traditional honey. Its pourable consistency makes it ideal for drizzling over your favorite breakfast bowls, beverages, or desserts. Plus, it can serve as a thoughtful and unique homemade gift for your loved ones!
- Incredible flavor - The result of this recipe is a sweet and caramel-like vegan honey with a subtle apple flavor. It's truly the perfect honey substitute!
Ingredients for vegan apple honey
This easy vegan honey recipe only requires 3 simple ingredients! Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements.
- Apples—Any kind will do! I used Gala. If your apples are going soft, they can still be used, just make sure they're not moldy.
- Sugar—For a lighter honey color use regular table sugar. Coconut sugar can also be used but will produce a darker honey color.
- Lemon juice—Brightens the flavor and acts as a natural preservative.
Optional: For a more honey-like flavor, some people like to include a chamomile tea bag in the recipe, though the subtle apple flavor is delicious on its own. I personally like the subtle apple flavor, but this is an easy addition if you're looking for a more similar honey substitute.
How to make apple honey
This step by step walk-through shows the process of making this vegan honey recipe. Exact times and temperatures are available in the recipe card at the bottom.
Wash. Start by washing the apples under cold water to remove any lingering pesticide residue, dirt and wax.
Chop. Roughly chop apples into fourths and remove seeds and stems. No need to peel the apples as the pectin in the skin helps to naturally thicken the apple honey.
Blend. Add the apples to a blender or food processor and blend until almost smooth. Small chunks of peel are fine.
Combine. Add to pan along with the lemon juice and sugar and set temperature to high, stirring constantly for the first couple minutes until the sugar dissolves. If adding a chamomile tea bag, add in now and then remove after 10 minutes.
Boil. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle boil until the liquid reduces by half.
Cool. Remove from heat and allow to cool before transferring to a sealable glass container. The vegan honey will thicken as it cools so don't worry if it's not syrupy when you first remove it from heat.
- Want to make this even faster? Use store-bought organic pressed apple juice (no sugar added) instead and use 2 cups as recipe is written.
- Make sure to stir every couple minutes to prevent it from burning. It can take 20-25 minutes for the liquid to reduce.
- If your mixture is too thick, add a little boiling water to thin it out. If it's too thin, continue cooking until desired consistency is reached.
- When the vegan honey coats the back of a spoon or spatula and drips in a more stringy-like fashion, it's ready.
How to store apple honey
Store your apple honey in an airtight container, such as a glass jar. Make sure the jar is sanitized first, then transfer the vegan honey to the jar and allow to cool to room temperature before covering and storing.
Store in a cool dark place like a pantry or in the refrigerator. If stored in the refrigerator, it will have a thicker consistency but can still be warmed and thinned or stirred into hot drinks easily.
How to use
Use this vegan apple honey as you would normal honey. Drizzle over oatmeal bowls, stir into coffee or a cup of tea, spread on toast with jam or drizzle over some pancakes. The options are endless! Whenever you need a liquid sweetener, this apple honey is a delicious option!
This also makes a great homemade gift! Package it up in a cute jar with a ribbon and give it to family or friends for a unique gift that they can enjoy daily.
Enjoy your perfect vegan honey alternative made with love from apples, sugar, and a touch of lemon juice!
Easy Apple Honey (Vegan Honey)
- 5 apples
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 chamomile tea bag, optional for more authentic honey flavor, if wanting more apple flavor, omit the tea bag
- Start by washing the apples under cold water to remove any lingering pesticide residue and dirt.5 apples
- Roughly chop apples into fourths and remove seeds and stems. No need to peel the apples as the pectin in the skin helps to naturally thicken the apple honey.
- Add the apples to a blender or food processor and puree until almost smooth. Small chunks of peel are fine.
- Strain the apple puree over a bowl or pan with a nut milk bag or mesh strainer to separate the juice. It should result in 1.5-2 cups of apple juice. If you have a higher amount of juice, increase sugar to ¾ cups.
- Add the apple juice to pan along with the lemon juice and sugar and set temperature to high, stirring constantly for the first couple minutes until the sugar dissolves. If adding a chamomile tea bag, add in now and then remove after 10 minutes.½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 chamomile tea bag
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle boil (about medium heat) until the liquid reduces by half; about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before transferring to a sealable glass container. The vegan honey will thicken as it cools so don't worry if it's not syrupy when you first remove it from heat.
Nutrition Per Serving
This recipe was originally published November 30th, 2021 and was updated July 20th, 2023 with additional tips and photos.