Substituting Honey for Sugar

Substituting honey for sugar in a recipe can be done with a few key adjustments. Keep in mind that honey contains water, so one cup of honey does not equal one cup of granulated sugar. The subtle flavor differences will also affect the final recipe in a way that adds depth to baked goods that sugar cannot provide.

Why make adjustments in the amount of honey?

There are several reasons adjustments are needed when substituting honey for sugar, but with a little bit of practice, it becomes easier with time. We have included a few rules to keep in mind as you begin to convert your recipes to incorporate honey.

Honey tastes sweeter.

Honey tastes sweeter than granulated sugar. Also, honey will have subtle flavor differences from the type of pollen bees collect.  For example, Orange Blossom honey will have a slightly citrus undertone while Desert Wild Flower will have a more traditional honey flavor. Decrease the amount of honey by 2/3 cup for each cup of sugar in a recipe.
Substitute honey for sugar.

Reduce the amount of liquids.

Honey contains water, so the amount of total liquids in the recipe needs to be decreased. If you find that the recipe has too much liquid, add one to two tablespoons of flour to thicken your batter. Decrease the amount of liquids by 1/4 cup per cup of honey.

Add extra baking soda.

Honey is more acidic than sugar. According to, adding baking soda will reduce the acidity of the honey, as well as increase the volume of your baked goods. Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of honey.

Lower your oven temperature.

Baked goods will brown more quickly when using honey. By reducing the oven temperature and watching closely, your baked goods will come out nicely browned. Reduce your oven temperature by 25°F and watch the time closely.

Choose a recipe that already uses honey.

If you are unsure of substituting honey for sugar after reading the above, start by choosing a recipe that already contains honey as an ingredient. Absolutely Delightful has converted several recipes to incorporate honey. Try our Crowd-Pleasing Chicken with Cayenne Pepper Honey served with Honey Vanilla Lemonade for dinner and end with a great tasting Honey Pecan Pie. Browse through our recipes to get a feel for how honey works in a recipe, but most of all, have fun! Honey is a great way to sweeten and add flavor to any of your home cooked creations.

Life is sweet when there’s honey to eat.

Lisa Hamilton for Absolutely Delightful AZ Honey You can now subscribe to our posting! Be up-to-date on special events, keep current on in-season honey, and try new recipes using our local Arizona honey.  If you enjoyed this post, please share with friends and family.