Cooking with Honey Instead of Sugar
Honey substitutes nicely for sugar and other sweeteners in most recipes,
although it's extra moisture needs to be compensated for, especially in baking.
How much Honey to Use?
When substituting honey for granulated table sugar in recipes,
keep in mind, honey has more fructose than table sugar, so it is
In general, use 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup of honey is equivalent to 1
cup of sugar.
It is a good idea to make a test run first; swapping honey for up
to half of the sugar called for in the recipe.
- Honey adds moisture that table sugar does not have; reduce
any liquid called for by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used
- Honey is acidic (pH 3.70 to 4.20) and ordinary table sugar is neutral (pH 7.0). So, if your recipe is sensitive to acidity, add 1/2 teaspoon
of baking soda for each cup of honey used in the recipe. This is not necessary for most recipes!
- Honey is much more dense (weighs more per cup)
- Honey adds its own flavor to the finished product
- Honey adds acid to a recipe,
- And honey can cause baked foods to brown more quickly. In
baking, reduce the oven temperature by 25°F to prevent
overbrowning; and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of
- For more specific directions for baking with honey;
see this page
about Baking with Honey
Substituting honey for other sweeteners
- Molasses: To substitute honey for molasses, use
exactly the same amount. The resulting flavor and color will be
a but lighter and less heavy. The reverse is true if you swap
molasses for honey.
- Corn Syrup: To substitute honey for corn syrup, use
exactly the same amount, but reduce any other sweet ingredients,
since honey has more sweetening power than corn syrup.
- Brown Sugar (Demerara sugar or dark brown sugar):
Follow the equation for plain table sugar under General
Recommendations, but also substitute molasses for a portion of
the honey to retain the expected flavor - (brown sugar is just
white sugar where the molasses have not been completely removed
by refining). Brown sugar, on the other hand, attracts moisture,
so it will keep baked goods from drying out so quickly. Also,
brown sugar has some molasses in it, which adds moisture, and
certainly changes the taste.
- Raw Sugar (Soft Brown Sugar): Basically, raw sugar is
similar to dark brown sugar, but has much smaller crystals and a
higher portion of retained molasses, so follow the guidelines
for substituting honey for sugar above. If substituting raw sugar
for regular cane sugar or brown sugar, use about 20% more raw
- Treacle is the British generic name for
molasses or any syrup made during the refining of sugar cane.
Common names used are Treacle, Black Treacle, Molasses, Golden
Syrup and Blackstrap. "Lyle's Golden Syrup" is the most commonly
used brand in cooking. Follow the same guidelines for molasses,
See this page for more detailed information about substituting honey
for sugar and other sweeteners.