Have you been tempted by all the cooking with honey recipes on our website? If you’d like to try creating healthier versions of your high-sugar family favourite recipes, these cooking-with-honey tips are for you.
Why you should try cooking with honey
Pure honey is an entirely natural sugar substitute. It is available in a range of varieties, each adding distinct flavour notes and aromas to your cooking and baking according to the types of flowers and trees the bees have been foraging.
Honey also has a lower glycaemic index than sugar, potentially making it a healthier choice for diabetics.
Five tips for cooking with honey
- Honey has a greater sweetening power than sugar. This means fewer calories when cooking with honey.
- The natural fructose in honey increases the browning effect. If you substitute sugar with honey in a traditional oven, cook at a temperature 5°C less than the recipe recommends.
- Food baked with honey tends to be lighter and more moist. Honey is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture, so honey baked goods stay fresher longer.
- Generally lighter honeys are milder in flavour and darker honeys stronger. Use light coloured honey for white cakes, biscuits, ice creams and jams, and darker honeys for gingerbread, fruit cakes, marinades and meat dishes.
- When cooking with honey you may well find that the recipe lists a certain amount of honey in ml, however honey is sold by weight. So before you go to the supermarket to buy honey for the recipe you may want to look at the table at the bottom of this blog which provides the conversion of liquid measurements of honey to weight and vice versa.
Raw Honey Products
Substituting Honey for Sugar in Recipes
You can substitute honey for sugar in most recipes. There are a few guidelines that you need to be aware of:-
- You only need half to three-quarters the sugar weight in honey. If the recipe calls for 200gm of sugar, you should only use 100 – 150gm of honey. Alternatively, if a recipe has liquid in it (e.g. 1 cup of milk) you can replace sugar with the same weight of honey and reduce the liquid quantity by one-quarter (i.e. one cup of milk becomes 3/4 cup milk). Honey is a liquid, too!
- Adding about half a teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey used when baking will help the baked goods to rise and make your cakes lighter.
- When whisking or beating honey into a mixture, ensure even distribution by pouring it in slowly and whisking from the bottom to the top.
- If adding honey to liquids, add the honey to room-temperature or slightly warm liquids. Honey mixes slowly when cold.
- When substituting sugar for honey in baked goods, remember to reduce the oven temperature by 5-10°C to prevent over-browning.
- Try a flavour-infused honey to give your cooking and baking an extra-gourmet twist!
Cooking with gourmet honey blends and natural bee pollen
Our gourmet honeys have been naturally infused with flavours to compliment sweet and savoury dishes.
Honey infused with real pieces of soft ginger is perfect for use in meat glazes and biscuits.
Our Coffee-infused honey has real Merlo coffee beans and is delicious whipped into cream for layered desserts, or added to recipes with cream cheese.
Our Vanilla-infused honey is naturally flavoured with a whole vanilla pod in every bottle. It’s wonderful in cakes and ice creams.
Bee Pollen is a sweet-tangy addition to smoothies and desserts. Try it sprinkled on an acai bowl, or swirled into desserts.
Cooking With Honey Measurements
|Tablespoons of Honey||Cups of Honey||Grams||Millilitres|
Honey Measuring Tips
For small quanitites of honey measured in a spoon – Dip the spoon in hot water first, and the honey will easily slide off.
Additional tip for measuring quantities of honey – Lightly oil (or spray with cooking spray) the spoon, cup or dish that you are going to measure the honey in. The honey will slide off the surface easily.
Cooking with honey inspiration
If you need a little inspiration for cooking with honey, take a look at our honey recipes page. We have recipes for cakes, biscuits, desserts, drinks, marinades, dressings, pickles, glazes, roasts and more!