Honey is an incredibly delicious, sweet syrup gifted to us by the hardworking honey bee. While it’s a widely used, versatile ingredient, occasionally we need a substitute.
Though it is perfect when drizzled over pancakes, mixed with peanut butter, or used to make a sweet smoothie, we don’t always want to use honey.
Some of us may be allergic, while others are on restricted diets. Some of us might just want to watch our sugar intake.
No matter what reason you have, there is an abundance of great honey substitutes out there. Today, we want to show you the best. The 17 substitutes on this list are our favorites so if you want a quick and easy honey substitute, be sure to keep reading!
1. Maple Syrup
One of the most obvious substitutes for honey is maple syrup. The chances are you’ve used this ingredient as a substitute for honey already.
This could be on pancakes or on a biscuit. This sugary food is great because it can be used in any recipe that requires honey. A vegan alternative is also readily available in most local stores.
Maple syrup has a slightly neutral sweet taste that can be effortlessly used as a 1-1 substitute.
Any type of sugar can be used as a great substitute for honey. Both white and brown sugar dissolves easily, making it a good replacement in all forms of cooking.
Often used as a flavor enhancer, sugar doesn’t usually come in a liquid form like honey, so you will first need to dissolve the sugar in milk, eggs, or water.
Always ensure you taste as you dissolve the sugar to prevent your recipe from being far too sweet.
3. Barley Malt Syrup
Another great substitute is barley malt syrup. A vegan alternative, barley malt syrup has a very similar sweet flavor and taste to that of honey, going well in tea and coffee.
If you’re looking for a healthier honey substitute, this is your best option. Barley malt syrup is a brilliant source of fiber and protein and isn’t as sugary as honey.
4. Coconut Nectar
Coconut syrup or nectar is found within the coconut blossoms. This raw nectar is a great vegan substitute loved by those looking to follow a healthier diet. If the nectar is also palm oil-free, it is even better for an individual’s health.
We love to use coconut nectar as a honey substitute when we want a less sweet flavor and one that tastes more like caramel.
Use the coconut nectar as a 1-1 substitute.
5. Greek Yogurt
Okay, so this one may seem pretty strange, but Greek yogurt is actually seen as an excellent honey substitute. Coming with great health benefits thanks to a lack of calories and high levels of protein, Greek yogurt has a slightly sour taste that isn’t as sweet as honey.
When you substitute Greek yogurt for honey, you should use approximately ½ cup of yogurt for every cup of honey.
6. Corn Syrup
Though corn syrup isn’t as sweet as honey, it is one of the best ingredients for trying to hit a similar flavor. Both light and dark corn syrup are great for replacing honey and luckily for us, it is readily available in most local grocery stores.
Super easy to use, you can substitute corn syrup with honey on a 1-1 basis.
If you’re cutting back on sugars but still want that divine sweet honey taste, corn syrup should be one of your go-to ingredients.
7. Artificial Honey
For those of you who have allergies or seek a more suitable vegan substitute, you could buy yourself some artificial honey. Artificial honey is produced by mixing corn syrup with sugar.
It has a strikingly similar taste to honey, often being seen as the perfect alternative. The only downside to this honey substitute is that it contains almost none of the health benefits we get from honey.
You can use artificial honey as a 1-1 substitute.
8. Agave Nectar
Another fantastic vegan substitute is agave nectar. Also known as agave syrup, this nectar is unsurprisingly found in the agave plant. The nectar contains high levels of fructose and a beautifully sweet, almost caramel-like flavor.
When using agave nectar you should use a substitute ratio of 1:1. It is important to taste as you add the nectar to any recipe as it is quite easy to make your dish too sweet.
Made from the juice found within the sugar cane, light and dark molasses are great honey substitutions. This incredibly sweet, caramel-flavored liquid can be used in any recipe that requires some honey.
It is worth noting that blackstrap molasses is a lot more refined than other types of molasses. It has a more bitter taste that won’t suit many recipes that need honey. You can use light and dark honey as a 1-1 substitute instead.
10. Date Paste
Best used in baking and as an ingredient in fresh smoothies, date paste is a sweet jam-like ingredient made by pulverizing Medjool dates. Suitable for vegans, this substitute can be bought in-store or quite easily made at home.
You can also use this substitute on a 1-1 ratio.
11. Apple Sauce
If it’s a healthy honey substitute you’re looking for, apple sauce is hard to beat. Apple sauce is typically a relish or dessert made from stewed apples that have been pulped and sweetened.
While they have a sweet taste similar to that of honey, they are much healthier thanks to their lower levels of glucose.
This substitute can be used at a ratio of 1:1 in any baked dish. Just remember to remove ¾ cup of liquid from your recipe.
12. Yacon Root Syrup
Yacon root syrup is a sticky sweetener with a similar texture, appearance, and taste to honey. Its primary use is to be used as a sweetener so, for us, it makes the perfect honey substitute.
Used anywhere honey is, yacon root syrup is used as a 1-1 substitute. Coming with great health benefits and a less sweet taste, this could be a good option if you want to cut down your sugar intake.
We completely understand if you’ve never heard of jaggery before because, for a long time, neither had we. Jaggery is a sugar cube-like mix of molasses and sugar. With a caramel-colored appearance, it is usually used to add sweetness to a recipe.
As this substitute isn’t a liquid, in most honey recipes you will have to increase the liquid content.
If you want the best result, use this honey substitute in tea and coffee on a ratio of 1-1.
14. Mashed Bananas
Surprisingly, mashed bananas are a great substitute for honey. Just as sweet as honey, mashed bananas give us everything we need without guilt.
Aside from offering amazing nutritional benefits, the advantage of this substitute is that it can probably be found in your kitchen right now.
To make 2 tbsp of delicious honey, use 1 tbsp of mashed bananas.
15. Liquid Stevia
If you seek a substitute for honey that is low in calories but still provides the sweet taste we all crave, try using liquid stevia. Liquid stevia is actually a natural sweetener made from stevia plant leaves. Containing zero calories, this substitute is also available in dry form.
The general rule for using liquid stevia is to replace a cup of honey with 1 tsp of liquid stevia. This substitute is sweeter than honey, so you will want to take care when adding it to your dish.
Erythritol is usually found in low-calorie foods containing small amounts of sugar. Its most common uses are found in the making of low-calorie meals, chocolate drinks, and cakes. It is a sugar alcohol that contains fermented glucose. It is collected from wheat corn.
You can use erythritol to add a sweet flavor to any recipe honey is used in without adding any additional carbohydrates or calories.
17. Monk Fruit
One of our favorite honey substitutes is the monk fruit. The monk fruit is a small green melon, native to Thailand and China. The monk fruit makes such a good honey replacement simply because it is so sweet. In fact, the monk fruit is sweeter than honey.
While it can’t be used as a honey substitute in every dish, the monk fruit goes great in sauces, beverages, baked goods, and salad dressings. You can buy this fruit in powder and liquid form.
Due to its sweetness, you should only replace a cup of honey with 1 tsp of monk fruit juice.
That concludes our list of honey substitutions. Our list just goes to show how many ingredients we can use to substitute for honey.
While most of these substitutes are perfect for helping you when you’re out of honey, others are great for those who have specific needs and requirements.
If you need to cut down on the amount of sugar you eat, have certain allergies, or simply want to try something new, we have something for you on our list.
Now you’ve been through our list, we hope you’ve found the substitution that suits you best. If you’re still unsure, why not try a few from our list and see what you think. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.