Notes on Baking with Honey

Don't do it!

If you have some wonderful honey, the best thing you can do is to eat it in its unadulterated state, perhaps with yoghurt or good bread. But, in case you have some less exciting honey and feel like some baking, here are some suggestions.

Generally, items containing honey should be cooked at a lower temperature than other baked goods, because the honey will burn more easily than sugar. The right temperature can be hard to judge at first, because a little bit of a dark burnt taste is what gives many honey cakes their charm, especially those which also contain spices.

If you wish to substitute honey for sugar in any of your own baking recipes, you should, as a rule of thumb, use 25 per cent more honey than sugar by weight (e.g. 125 g instead of 100 g) and reduce the added liquid slightly. Tempting as it is to discard sugar wholesale in flavor of honey, in most sweet recipes, it is best - for texture as well as flavor - to retain some sugar. But just a little honey added to any of your favorite cake recipes can be very successful, making the crumb more tender and the cake keep better.

Do not use your very finest honeys for cooking. They would be wasted. Use mild, all-purpose honeys such as acacia.


Food Recipes from "The Hive" by Bee Wilson.
Published by John Murray

Enlighten Media