With its unique taste and thick texture, you might not think that there’s much you can use as a honey substitute. But in reality, there are quite a few other ingredients that you can swap in for honey — whether you’ve run out or you follow a vegan diet.
In many cases, you probably already have a suitable honey substitute sitting in your cupboards. If not, these ingredients are all easy to pick up at your local supermarket. Keep reading to find the best honey substitute options for whatever you’re whipping up in the kitchen.
With a similarly sticky consistency, maple syrup makes sense as a honey substitute — although the two foods taste quite different. Maple syrup is a particularly good alternative to honey when used in sweeter recipes, like baked goods and granola.
When using maple syrup as your honey substitute, try adding a small amount at first. Then taste your recipe and see what you think about the flavor. You can always add more syrup, but remember that you can’t take it away when it’s already mixed in.
As another vegan option on our list, agave syrup is a versatile honey substitute that can be used in many different ways. If you like honey in your tea, for instance, agave syrup presents an excellent replacement. In fact, agave syrup dissolves much easier in hot water than honey does.
At the same time, agave syrup can also take the place of honey to make vegan baked goods. When switching out honey for agave syrup, you should use a bit less (⅔ of the amount that the recipe calls for). You should also reduce the other liquid in the recipe and turn your oven down about 25° since agave burns more quickly than honey.
Granulated sugar and water
If you are more of the DIY type, you can create your own honey substitute with a couple of basic ingredients: sugar and water. To make it, all you need to do is combine the correct amount of sugar and water in a pot over medium heat. Then simply stir until the sugar dissolves, and you end up with a sticky and sugary concoction.
You can make it in any quantity you’d like, as long you adhere to a 5:1 ratio of sugar to water. For example, let’s say you need ½ cup of honey in your recipe. By mixing together ½ cup of water and 2 ½ cups of granulated sugar, you’ll end up with ½ cup of this honey substitute.
With one of these three honey alternatives, your recipe should turn out just fine (but perhaps with a slight difference in taste). If none of these substitutes strike your fancy, there are other options you can try as well, including brown sugar, light corn syrup, and date paste. It’s just a matter of finding a honey substitute that provides the right balance of sweetness and syrupy consistency.
For more recipe tips and suggestions, check out the Tastessence blog.