10 Excellent Substitutes For Honey When Cooking

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If you are out of honey, but your recipe asks explicitly for this ingredient, STOP RIGHT NOW. We have a list of substitutes for honey you can use when cooking almost any recipe.

In this article, we will discuss what you can do with honey. And why this ingredient should be a staple in every home.

So, before you do something you might regret, take a quick look at the list below. Try one of these fabulous honey alternative options to sweeten up your next meal.

What is Honey Used For?

image of Honey on Bananas

Honey is a naturally sweet ingredient that comes from a group of honey bees. Honey starts as flower nectar collected by bees, then broken down into simple sugars. These sugars are stored in the bees hive and ultimately collected for human consumption.

So what do you do with it? Well, honey can be used for many different things when cooking. It can be used to bake sweet desserts or added to a cup of tea to soothe a sore throat.

You can use raw honey on top of fresh seasonal salads or mix it into soups or sauces. This product is extremely versatile and can be helpful in the kitchen in a multitude of ways.

All the Things that you can do with honey
– Use a glaze on top of salads or desserts
– Add to sauces or soups
– Sweetens up a cup of tea (and can soothe a sore throat)
– Binds together other ingredients in things like granola bars
– Offers a great flavor profile to baked goods
– Makes a delicious glaze on ham and other meats

Why Would You Want to Substitute Honey in Any Recipe?

There are several reasons why someone would want to find an alternative to honey when cooking.  These reasons include, but are not limited to,

  • They an out of honey and in the middle of a recipe.
  • Honey is expensive
  • Some people have allergies to honey
  • Some people don’t like the taste of honey
  • Wanting to try different options

These are all good reasons for someone to go looking for honey replacements. And we are too happy to help with the great list of options we have compiled. 

What Can You Use In Place of Honey?

If you are here, you are probably looking for a way to get through your recipe without using honey. So, let’s get right to the point and get into each great option we found. 

1. Maple Syrup is Just as Sweet Replacement

(Use a one to one ratio when substituting).

Maple syrup makes a great alternative to honey because it provides a similar sweetness and consistency. This is also a natural ingredient that comes from the maple tree.

Remember, when using maple syrup instead of honey, that its flavor profile is very distinct and can change the way your recipe tastes. Nonetheless, it will get the same natural pop with a delicious end result.

2. Brown Sugar Works Wonders 

(Boil 1 cup of brown sugar and 6 cups of water, use this instead of one cup of Honey)

Brown sugar is another fantastic option to use when you find yourself low on honey. In fact, brown sugar is often the go-to honey substitute for many people. This is because of its super sweet flavor and thick consistency when melted. 

However, you obviously can’t use brown sugar in any recipe that requires uncooked raw honey. So this option is best if left to use only when baking and cooking are required.

3. Corn Syrup is a Simple Solution

(Use a one to one ratio when substituting).

You can use light corn syrup instead of honey in many recipes. This is a popular option for fruity drinks, candy, and BBQ sauces. 

Corn syrup is 100% glucose that comes from milled corn. This makes it very sweet.

Corn syrup, like honey, has a very thick consistency and might provide a sweeter flavor profile than natural raw honey.

4. Maybe Use Some Molasses

(Use a one to one ratio when substituting).

Molasses comes from sugar during the refining process. It is dark colored, viscous substance that is used frequently in baking.

Molasses provides a much stronger flavor profile than honey and can change the overall taste of your recipe. If that isn’t an issue, you can evenly exchange the measurements for one another. (*)

5. Simply Add Some Sugar

( Use 2 TBSP of sugar for 1 TBSP of honey.)

Many people reach for the sugar jar when looking to sweeten their food or drink. This is a good substitute for just about any dish. whether you want to mix up your fruity drink or you need to tame your spicey soup, sugar will work.

This is a popular option because even though they come in different forms (liquid and solid), you can still interchange them easily.

If you are looking to substitute sugar for honey in liquid form, you will have to do a little work. Sugar must be boiled down with water to get a thick, rich consistency. 

6. Apple Sauce is Pretty Sweet

(Use a one to one ratio when substituting).

Apple sauce is only a good honey substitute when cooking and baking. You obviously can’t use it to replace the drizzle you typically use on your salad or ice cream. But you can use it when making cookies, bread, and other desserts.

Apple sauces aren’t nearly as dense as honey and have a lot of water. To counteract the extra water, reduce another liquid in the recipe. For example, instead of 1 cup of water, use ½ cup.

7. Date Paste is Another Option

(Use a one to one ratio when substituting).

Many home bakers are unaware of this ingredient. And honestly, it doesn’t sound like it would taste all that great. But it is actually a very good alternative to using honey in many dishes.

You can buy date paste, or you make it. If you make it at home, you can store it in bulk and use it for future meals.

Dates are super sweet, similar to honey, and will give your recipe a unique and pleasing flavor profile.

8. Ripe Bananas Are a Healthy Alternative

(Use 1TBSP of banana for 2 TBSP of honey.)

If you have a bunch of bananas sitting around and getting ready to pass their prime, use them now. Especially if you are out of honey and your recipe asks for them.

Bananas provide a sweet flavor and offer plenty of health benefits. Using bananas is a guilt free option when eating something to curb your sweet tooth.

9. Agave Nectar is a Vegan Fav.

Although honey is a natural ingredient, it is not a vegan friendly option. That is why agave nectar can be what you need. 

Agave nectar is a very sweet substance that comes from the agave plant. It has a strong flavor that might be too much for some people. If this is the case, you can cut the amount you use in half to reduce the sweet profile just a little.

Agave nectar is delicious in baked goods and desserts and mixed into fruity drinks.

10. Liquid Stevia is Something You Should Try.

If you need a substitute for honey and trying to cut out the calories, pick up some liquid stevia. While this ingredient is two hundred times sweeter than sugar, it is not nearly as bad for you.

Stevia sweetener comes from the Stevia plant.  While it has a similar sweet flavor to honey, it gives off a bitter aftertaste. Because of this, it can alter the taste of your meal.

Because stevia is so sweet, it is recommended you only use a small amount where honey is required. 

Honey Recipes You Don’t Want to Miss Out on

Before we go, we wanted to leave you with a few great recipes that call for honey. These are some of the best out there are will make your mouth water.

  • Whipped Honey Butter- After making this recipe, you will never look at your biscuits the same way again. Honey butter can turn a dull, bland bun into a delicious treat.

  • Homemade granola– If you want a sweet treat without ruining your healthy diet, try granola. This homemade granola will curb your sweet tooth without a ton of calories.

  • Honey Ginger Grilled Salmon- This honey ginger grilled salmon will impress your family and friends. It is the perfect mix of sweet and savory that everyone will enjoy.


What is the Best Sugar Free Honey Substitute?

Both agave nectar and liquid stevia are great sugar free substitutes for honey in a variety of recipes.

What Can You Use in In place of Honey When in Baked Goods?

Most options listed above are great substitutes for honey in baked goods. For bread and pastries, apple sauce, bananas, and brown sugar are great. Molasses, maple syrup, and sugar work well for cookies and candy.

What is the Healthiest Honey Substitute?

Date paste has to be one of the healthiest substitutes on our list. It is full of vitamins and nutrients and other health benefits.

Up Next: Your Top Guide For All Food Ingredients Substitutions!

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