How to Substitute Honey for Sugar to Elevate Your Baking

Have you heard the buzz about using honey instead of granulated sugar?

Guess what: For cooking and baking, honey might be sweeter than sugar! It doesn’t spoil (honey lasts forever), makes your home-baked rolls delicious and has some incredible health benefits that make it a great substitute for refined sugar.

Here’s how to substitute honey for sugar—and what to keep in mind while you’re baking:

1. Use the right honey

The darker the honey, the stronger its taste. You’ll want to choose a light-colored honey to keep the sweetness as neutral as possible. Skip the darker buckwheat honey and go with a golden clover honey. (Before you buy honey from the supermarket, here’s what you need to know about honey-laundering.)

2. Make your measuring tools non-stick

Honey is sticky, so when using measuring cups and spoons, coat them with water, oil, egg white or non-stick spray.

3. Use less honey than sugar

Because honey is sweeter than sugar, the rule of thumb is 3/4 cup honey for every cup of sugar. If the recipe calls for less sugar than one cup, Billy Bee Honey has a handy converter to do the work for you.

4. Add baking soda

When your recipe calls for at least 1/4 cup sugar, you’ll need to add a pinch of baking soda. Why? Baking soda reduces the acidity of the honey and adds lightness to your baked goods, which is needed because honey is more dense than sugar.

(Is there anything baking soda can’t do?)

5. Cut back the liquids

If you’re using more than one cup of honey, decrease the liquids in your recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey you’re using (starting with the first cup). Honey retains more moisture than sugar, so there’s no need to add extra milk or water.

6. Lower the temperature

Honey causes baked goods to brown up faster than sugar does. To keep your baked goods perfectly golden brown, lower your oven temp by 25°F and monitor your baking time carefully.

7. Make smart substitutions

We love honey, but it may not make for the ideal texture in recipes that call for creaming butter and sugar (like your classic chocolate chip cookies). You want those perfect air pockets that come from creaming butter with granulated sugar!

We’re all for making honey work in homemade bread (here are 100 amazing recipes), any 13×9 dessert for a picnic or potluck and even golden pancakes. To bring honey into our recipes, we’re happy to experiment!

Honey Recipes to Sweeten Your Day
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Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.