howto: Cooking with Honey

Cooking with Honey

Cooking with honey is easy,
adds a subtle richness to many recipes,
and boosts the shelf life of baked goods.

Honey is roughly 25% to 100% sweeter than table sugar, so when replacing sugar with honey in a recipe, you will need to reduce the amount of sweetener called for in the recipe by one-third to one-half honey for granulated or table sugar depending on the variety of honey (this takes a bit of experience).

Since honey is composed of up to 18% water, you will need to reduce the liquid called for in baked goods by about 1/5th (cup for cup). E.g., If you are replacing sugar with 1 cup of honey, take out 1/5th to 1/4th of a cup of liquid from somewhere else in the recipe (if possible).

When baking sweets, you should also lower your oven temperature by 25°F (15°C).

If you are measuring honey by weight, 1 cup will weigh 12 ounces (.75 lbs).

To help that honey slide smoothly from your measuring utensils, simply lightly coat the utensil with a vegetable spray before measuring the honey.

Unless the recipe calls for sour milk or cream, some cooks add a pinch of baking soda to the recipes of baked goods to counteract the slight acidity of the honey which may cause over-browning.

Since it has the ability to absorb and retain moisture, honey is used in the industry to keep baked goods moist and fresh. Use honey in baked goods you plan to mail to keep them bakery-fresh.

Honey is also an excellent choice to use in salad dressings, since its emulsifying qualities make it a perfect stabilizer.

Honey will make most recipes richer in flavor.


    • Note: If your honey has granulated, place the bottle in hot water to re-liquify it – honey, if stored in a sealed container, never goes bad. Ever. Really!
    • Also take a look at the National Honey Board's fact sheet called How the Experts Use HoneyDadant (beekeeping supplier) also has an excellent document, Cooking it Right with Honey Every Day (honey information and some recipes).

    Cooking with Honey by The Carolina Bee Company is licensed under a
    Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License