Substituting Honey in Baking

To use honey in baking, the first thing to keep in mind would be the approximate ratio of honey to sugar. Generally, you want to use about one fourth to one third of the amount of honey to sugar, as honey in general is much more concentrated than granulated sugar. This would leave the conversion ratios looking like this:

1 cup granulated sugar = 1/4 – 1/3 cup raw honey

To determine just how much honey will be needed is going to take some practice and consideration on what other sweeteners are going into the product. If other sweeteners or sugary ingredients such as fruit are being used, you will not need as much. As a general rule, start with less and add more to taste. It is easier to start with less and add more to taste as undoing a mistake is pretty much entirely impossible in these situations.

Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that swapping out sugar for honey will increase the moisture content of the overall finished product. Generally, this will not be an issue if the amount of honey used is under 1 cup (128 grams or 4.5 ounces.) If however, that much honey is going to be used, you may have to scale back a bit on any liquids or high moisture ingredients being used (e.g. milk, water, yogurt, sour cream, etc.)

All general guidelines for swapping sugar for honey in summary:

  1. 1 cup granulated cane sugar = 1/4 – 1/3 cup raw honey

  2. Start with less, not more.

  3. Be prepared to mix 20-40% of liquids in recipes requiring over 1 cup/128 grams/4.5 ounces of honey.