We get calls all year long from consumers wanting to substitute honey for sugar.  Some people prefer the taste of honey, some feel that honey is a more “natural” product, and some think that honey is healthier than sugar.

Honey pot preserved with honeycomb on wood background

We help callers understand the facts surrounding honey and sugar substitutions.  If the substitution is in a baked product, you will substitute half of a cup of honey for one cup of sugar. Remember to decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used.  Sometimes this substitution will affect the overall quality of the product.  The best option would be to start with a recipe designed to use honey. 

If you wish to substitute honey for sugar in a drink, such as lemonade, use half the amount as listed above, but do consider using a bit of hot water to help the honey dissolve into the drink.

Honey is a natural product produced by bees using the nectar from flowers to make honey.  Raw honey contains pollen grains but is usually available in the store as processed honey.  This product may have been heated or filtered.  Sugar is also a natural product made by processing sugar beets or sugar cane.  We should avoid using an excessive amount of either product.

For our callers that think of honey as a healthier option, it does have a small amount of minerals but overall it is not really much healthier than sugar. The American Diabetes Association states that there is no advantage substituting honey for sugar in the diabetic diet.  Most of us would benefit by limiting our sugar intake. 

Liz Meimann

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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