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How to Substitute Honey for Sugar in Baking

By Eric Mohrman

While honey isn't packed with nutritional value, it does offer some antioxidant benefits that give it a step up on table sugar. It's also sweeter to taste, which means you can get away with using slightly less honey than sugar in your recipes. Honey is a healthy substitute for sugar when cooking, and typically makes baked goods more moist, flavorful, chewy and darker, notes The Cook's Thesaurus. To avoid burning your food, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit when using honey in place of sugar.

Purchase a darker honey for a sweeter, more potent flavor, or a lighter-colored honey for a more subtle flavor, advises Cooks.com.

Lubricate measuring spoons and cups with water, oil or egg white to prevent honey from sticking, facilitating easy and accurate honey measurements.

Include the same amount of honey as sugar called for in a recipe if the amount of sugar is 1 cup or less. Use two-thirds to three-fourths as much honey as sugar for all quantities beyond the first cup. Stay near two-thirds to temper sweetness, or use up to three-fourths for significantly sweeter baked goods.

Reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used after the first, depending on the recipe.

Mix in 1/4 tsp. baking soda for every cup of honey if baking soda is not already included in the recipe. You cut honey's acidity this way, and also increase the heft of your baked goods, according to Cooks.com.

Monitor baking time closely, as baked goods with honey tend to brown faster than those with sugar.

Tips

Replace every cup, even the first, of granulated sugar syrup in a recipe with 3/4 cup honey, advises The Cook's Thesaurus.

When planning and shopping for your recipe, remember that a 12-ounce jar of honey is equivalent to an 8-ounce cup for liquid measurements, says Cooks.com.

Store honey in an airtight container to prevent absorption of atmospheric moisture, and it will stay good indefinitely. Keep it at room temperature to facilitate use in baking, as cold honey thickens and hot honey's flavor can become distorted.

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