Honey Substitute: See 16 Recommended Alternatives

If you are vegan, you are probably always on the lookout for substitutes to use in place of honey. Cheffist’s got you here. Whether you are out of honey or you simply just want to know what you can use as a honey substitute, this is for you. 

It’s natural to run out of ingredients sometimes when preparing a dish. Several baking dish recipes and even cocktails require the use of honey. The best way to avoid being stranded is to have the best alternatives available at reach.

This article will provide you with 16 different alternatives of honey and why you need to know and have them around. 

SEE: Get a Free Sandwich At Honey Baked

What Is Honey?

Honey is a raw liquid extracted from a bee’s hive into a bottle. It contains about 80% of sugar along with traces of yeast, wax, and pollen. You can find it available in a variety of color grades whether raw or pasteurized. 

Consuming raw honey may help with allergies, and can also help your wound heal faster. It contains nutritional benefits that are beneficial to overall health.

SEE: What is Liquid Glucose – Definition, Uses, Alternatives, and Benefits

What Is the Purpose of Honey in a Meal?

The primary purpose of honey in a meal is to add sweetness to it. The sugar content of honey will help to give your dish a savory taste. Additionally, you can use honey to bind ingredients to your dish and retain the water content. 

You can also add honey to your recipe for its nutritional benefits. Therefore, be sure to pick alternatives that can serve the purpose of honey in your recipe. It is important to take note of how the ingredient impacts the overall taste of the dish. 

SEE: Chili Powder Substitutes That Suits Your Needs

Honey Substitutes

1. Maple Syrup

100% pure maple syrup is one of the best available options to use in place of honey. It will work as a sweetener and help retain the consistency of your dish. Use equal parts of maple syrup instead of honey in any of your favorite recipes. 

However, ensure that what you use is a “100% real maple syrup” and not any other kind of maple syrup. Likewise, you should be aware of the fact that the syrup has a taste of its own. Therefore, the flavor of your dish can change slightly. 

2. Molasses 

Molasses is a sugar-based product. However, the production process breaks down the sugar content in it, making it a popular sweetener with less sugar. You can use light or dark molasses as a honey substitute in your baking recipes. 

Molasses have a thicker consistency than honey and possess a distinctive flavor. It will add a rich sweetness to your baking dish. However, be sure to avoid blackstrap molasses.

SEE: Why You Should Substitute Molasses for Honey

3. Brown Sugar

Brown sugar provides rich sweetness and flavor to your baked items, which is why you should consider it as a great honey substitute. The level of sweetness and flavor it offers is close to that of honey. 

Ensure that you use a cup of brown sugar to replace every ¾ cup of honey in your baking recipe. 

4. Light Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a popular ingredient in making candies and other sweet treats, which is why you may have it in your kitchen. Thanks to its sweetening effects, you can have it as a honey substitute if you ever run out of honey while you bake. 

Corn syrup has a similar consistency and is as sweet as honey. However, they have different flavors as corn syrup offers more sugar flavor than honey. You can use equal parts of corn syrup in place of honey in your favorite dessert recipe. For a more distinct and rich flavor, use dark corn syrup. 

5. Golden Syrup

This is a honey substitute that looks like honey. If you need an alternative that looks like honey, this is the one for you. However, it is not a natural product like honey, as it is made from refined sugar. 

Although they have a similar level of sweetness, golden syrup does not have a distinct flavor like honey. However, you can use equal parts of golden syrup in place of honey. 

6. Rice Malt Syrup

This is an uncommon honey substitute you should consider. If you are looking for an easy replacement for honey, get yourself a rice malt syrup. 

Rice malt syrup is made from cultured rice and has zero sugar content. However, it has a similar taste and consistency to honey. This makes it a great honey substitute in your recipes. All you need to do is replace your honey with equal parts of rice malt syrup.

7. Barley Malt Syrup

If you are looking for a natural sweetener to use in place of honey, this is a good one for you. 

Barley malt syrup is made from sprouted barley. It has a similarly rich flavor, sweetness, and consistency to honey. You can also use the same amount of barley malt syrup in place of honey in your recipes.

8. Yacon Syrup

Here’s another all-natural option you can opt for. The yacon syrup is made from the root of a yacon plant, which originates from Peru. Even though it is less sweet, it has a similar consistency to honey. Likewise, it has several health benefits. 

For your vegan dishes and recipe, you can use equal amounts of yacon syrup instead of honey for your favorite recipe.

9. Date Syrup

Dates are natural versatile food sweeteners that serve as great replacements for honey in a dish. However, you can only use dates in the form of syrup as a form of living. While you may not be able to get a date Syrup at a mainstream grocery store, you can make one. 

To make your date Syrup, blend 2 parts of date and 1 part of water till you get a smooth liquid. While you can add it to your recipe, you can also spread it on your bread to enjoy the sweetness.

10. Agave Nectar

As a tequila drinker, you already know of the agave plant. Agave nectar serves as a sweetener that comes from the agave plant. You can replace your honey with agave nectar if your recipe does not require much heat. 

You can also replace honey with equal parts of agave nectar in sauces, marinades, toppings, icings, and drinks. Note that agave nectar is sweeter than honey. You can decide to reduce the amount of agave nectar to half the amount of honey you would use normally.

11. Coconut Nectar

Coconut nectar is made from the flowers on coconut trees. This can serve as a long-term substitute for honey as it has its unique flavor. It is also as sweet as honey so for all your sweetener needs, choose Coconut nectar. 

Be sure to taste it before using it if you are not familiar with the taste. It is the best honey substitute you can hope for in dressings, marinades, sauces, and other recipes that require little to no heat. Use equal amounts of coconut nectar to replace honey in your recipes.

SEE: Is Honey Gluten-Free?

12. Vegan Honey

Vegan honey is a specially made honey substitute for vegans. It is synthetic honey made from sugarcane, lemon, and other plant-based ingredients. There are several vegan Honey brands to choose from for your vegan diet. 

13. Stevia

Stevia is a sugar-free sweetener that is made from the stevia plant. This is a natural substitute for honey that you can use if you need a sugar-free alternative. 

Although it will add sweetness to your recipe, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste. Only use this substitute in small quantities in your drinks, sauce, or dressings. 

14. Monk Fruit

Monk fruit is another all-natural sugar-free honey substitute you can use. It tastes more like real sugar and doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste. However, it is more expensive but worth it. Just a little pinch of it will give your drink or dish a powerful boost of sweetness. 

15. Applesauce

Applesauce has a sweet and tarty taste that will transform the taste of your dish just as honey would. Additionally, apple sauce has nutritional properties that are beneficial to health.  

For baking and cooking, applesauce is your best honey substitute. It is healthier than honey and also helps the dish taste better.

16. Jaggery

This is another uncommon honey substitute that you should know about. Jaggery is a sweet caramel-flavored unrefined sugar that is made from sugarcane. It also has several nutritional benefits. 

SEE: Cointreau Substitute You Should Know About

Why Does Honey Need Substitutes? 

For the sake of your vegan diet, honey needs substitutes that work similarly. Additionally, you need to have substitutes around for times when you run out of honey in the middle of your cooking or baking. 

Consuming too much honey can lead to weight gain, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and other blood sugar issues. Therefore, you need alternatives to help reduce your intake of honey. 


What can you substitute for honey in bread?

Maple syrup. You can use maple syrup as a honey substitute for your bread. Only use a little quantity of maple syrup and less water when baking your bread. 

What can you substitute for honey in tea?

Brown rice syrup. It is a great honey substitute for tea as it has a mild taste and will not change the taste of your tea. It also has a thicker consistency than honey. 

What is a vegan substitute for honey?

Applesauce. Applesauce is the best vegan substitute for honey as it is healthier and gives dishes a better taste than honey.


While you need to cancel honey out of your vegan diet, there are several alternatives you can use to replace honey in your diet. Some of these alternatives include Maple Syrup, Rice Malt Syrup, Barley Malt Syrup, Coconut Nectar, Agave Nectar, Applesauce, and others. 

You can also get any of these alternatives available for cases where you exhaust your honey and need a sweetener for your recipe. 

Thanks for reading.

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