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How to Substitute Honey for Sugar

These are the easy steps for using honey instead of sugar!

By: Amy Jackson, Editor,
How to Substitute Honey for Sugar

Have you ever considered the benefits of honey vs. sugar? Everyone loves a touch of sweetness, but as we all know, too much sugar can wreak havoc on our bodies. Honey, on the other hand, has more nutrients, is less processed, soothes the throat, and is easier to digest than granulated sugar. So why not learn how to substitute honey for sugar in recipes?

Whether you're looking to get rid of processed sugar or if you want to substitute honey for brown sugar, this how-to article has the solutions. You'll love the healthy, homey taste in any honey baking recipe, and your blood sugar levels will thank you for making the switch. We know you have some honey lying around in your pantry (probably in a bear-shaped squeeze bottle, right?), so this easy cooking hack is right at the tip of your fingers. Learning how to substitute honey for sugar will give you many more options in your cooking life.

Read on and see what all the "buzz" is about!

How to Substitute Honey for Sugar

There are four things you want to keep in mind when learning to substitute honey for sugar: taste, sweetness, liquids, and baking soda.

​​​​​​​Taste: While white granulated sugar has an extremely neutral flavor, honey does not. This floral, nutty, earthy sweetener will impart its taste in any recipe you use, just like similar sweeteners such as molasses or maple syrup, so be prepared for that! In general, the darker the honey, the stronger the taste. If you want something subtle, purchase a pale, golden honey; if you really want the honey flavor to shine, go for something dark and murky. Beyond that, there are all kinds of gorgeous honey flavors out there such as orange blossom or wild raspberry. Experiment with the type you use and have fun with the full spectrum of honey flavors!

Sweetness: Believe it or not, honey is sweeter than granulated sugar! That means that as a rule, you need to use less honey than sugar. Here's an easy sugar to honey conversion chart:

Honey/Sugar Conversion Guide

Liquids: Honey is actually 20% water, which can seriously throw off the balance when you're learning how to substitute honey for sugar in baking. As a rule, for every 1 cup of honey you're adding into a recipe that doesn't originally call for honey, you're going to want to take away 1/4 cup of other liquids. View the chart below for specific measurements!

Baking Soda: Honey is a very acidic material, which can interfere with baked goods rising properly. Unless your aim is to bake hockey pucks, you'll want to add some extra baking soda to counteract this. Here's a handy chart for how to handle liquids and baking soda according to how much sugar your recipe originally called for:


Honey/Sugar Conversion Guide

Substitute Honey for Brown Sugar

Can you use honey instead of brown sugar? Yes, easily! In fact, because brown sugar has molasses in it, it's far more flavorful than white granulated sugar, meaning that the extra flavoring that honey brings to the table makes less of a difference. To substitute honey for brown sugar, all of the same above rules should be followed. Honey is sweeter, so use less of it, and you will probably have to reduce liquids and add baking soda if you are baking. Enjoy!

Substitute Honey for Brown Sugar

What are your favorite usages for honey? Let us know in the comments!

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