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Best Substitute for Honey

If you are looking for the best substitutes for honey, check out all the options in the article below and find the best that works for your needs!

What is Honey?

If you have a sweet tooth and want something that leans towards the healthier side, know that honey is one of the biggest sources of organic sweeteners present in nature. It’s a thick, golden, sticky liquid produced by bees by extracting the nectar of flowering plants. The bees store this nectar in the form of honey in their hives.

Best Honey Substitute

Honey has been a substitute for white sugar for many centuries. Here is a list of the top 9 things you can use as a honey replacement:

1.Date Paste

Dates are natural sweeteners and of the healthiest replacements of honey. They can be used to make date paste. It’s extremely easy to make it at home, or can be easily bought from stores.

To make your date paste, soak a handful of dates in lukewarm water overnight. Remove the date pits and blend them with water or fruit juice in a food processor. The liquid can be added according to your liking. You can use it in desserts as well as a substitute for honey as a breakfast topping.

2. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is considered the primary substitute for honey as it has the same color, texture, and sweetness as honey. It is considered to be the ‘vegan’ alternative to honey and is consumed by various people all over the world.

This honey alternative is a little runnier but can replace it in baking or any other recipes without any problems.

However, make sure that the maple syrup you and your family may consume is natural and not a flavored high fructose corn syrup.

3. Coconut Nectar

Coconut nectar is derived from the flowers of the coconut tree. It has a neutrally sweet taste to it and can serve as an excellent substitute for honey. Coconut nectar has a very low glycemic index and works as a ketone honey substitute.

This honey alternative can be used at a 1:1 ratio. If a recipe calls for one cup of honey, then one cup of coconut nectar can be used in its place.

4. Apple Sauce

Applesauce is one of the most delicious substitutes for honey, Unfortunately, it cannot always be used in place of it where cooking and baking are involved. Otherwise, it substitutes incredibly well for honey.

Applesauce has greater water content than honey and can be used in a 1:1 ratio. But because of the high water content, other liquid ingredients may have to be deducted from the recipe.

5. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a sweet liquid that is extracted from the core of the agave plant, known as Pina. It’s made by heating and filtering the sap of the agave plant. There are two types of agave nectar respectively, light and dark. The light nectar requires less heat and greater filtration while the darker requires the opposite of these processes.

Agave nectar is easily available at organic grocery stores and can even be ordered online from Amazon. It can be used in a 1:1 ratio as a replacement for honey. Agave nectar is sweeter than sugar and is also considered to be vegan friendly.

6. Molasses

Molasses can make for an excellent honey substitute as they have the same amount of sweetness and the same sticky texture. It is a by-product of the process of refining sugar and it is normally used as syrup by many people.

Molasses has a distinctive flavor that is very different than honey but it can be used at a 1:1 ratio very easily. Please, note that if using Blackstrap Molasses you might find the flavor a bit overpowering.

7. Ripened Bananas

One of the best alternatives of honey in recipes is ripened bananas, especially if you are trying to cut back on processed sugars while enjoying the occasional dessert. Ripened bananas are great not only because they serve as a honey replacement but because they are filled with nutrients which have also made them the healthier option.

Normally, half a cup of ripened bananas can replace one cup of honey but it also depends on how ripe the banana is. The appropriate ratio for mashed ripened bananas to honey is 1:2. This means every tablespoon of mashed banana can replace two tablespoons of honey.

One great thing about using ripened bananas as a substitute for honey is that no food goes to waste and bananas are always in season. Another benefit is that you can get bananas everywhere and they don’t have to be ordered from a certain site.

8. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is a sweetener derived from breaking down complex carbs present in brown rice. It is a great replacement for honey because the consistency and the color of brown rice syrup are almost the same as that of honey.

The drawback of using brown rice syrup in place of honey is that although brown rice is full of healthy nutrients, brown rice syrup is consists of the carbs derived out of the rice which is turned into simple sugars.

One cup of brown rice syrup can easily replace one cup of honey in recipes as both have the same level of sweetness. However, this substitute of honey is extremely high in calories.

9 Sugar

Sugar is normally used as a substitute for honey despite them having different states. One is liquid and the other solid crystals, they provide the same results in recipes especially in terms of sweetness.

Sugar can be used in place of honey at a 2:1 ratio. This means that to equate to one cup of honey, two cups of sugar must be added. In other cases, the recipe must be altered. More liquid ingredients must be added to reach similar consistency as with honey.

In recipes where cooking is not required, you can use sugar water syrup in place of honey to reach your desired sweetness.

To make the sugar water syrup, take the ratio 5:1 which means five cups of sugar dissolved in one cup of water. Heat the mixture until a sugary brown state is obtained.

10. Jaggery

Jaggery is a mixture of sugar and molasses and is obtained by heating sugar cane or palm tree juice till the water evaporates and a golden pasty liquid is left behind. When this liquid cools down, it turns into a soft stone-like compound called jaggery.

Jaggery can be used as a common substitute for honey but it has a very distinct caramelized taste to it. It can be used at a 1:1 ratio in recipes. Certain alterations, like the addition of more liquid, must be made for the recipe to work.

11. Yacon Root Syrup

Yacon root syrup is another one of the naturally obtained honey-like sweeteners which can work amazingly as a substitute for honey. It is extracted from the root of the yacon plant and is all-natural. It is considered vegan-friendly and has the same texture as honey albeit a little less sweet.

Yacon root syrup has the same consistency and stickiness as honey. It can be used in the ratio of 1:1 in recipes. It is a little less sweet so you may want to add sugar to balance the sweetness. The only major drawback of the yacon root syrup is that it cannot be cooked. The heat breaks down the complex sugar in yacon root syrup making it useless in terms of consumption.


We need to consider that honey will need a replacement sooner or later. There are multiple options present in nature that work as great alternatives for honey. Most of these alternatives are healthy, vegan-friendly, keto-friendly, and safer to extract than honey.


Can I substitute Maple Syrup for Honey?

The maple syrup would make a great substitute for honey, it has a slightly different flavor but a very similar texture. Use ration of 1:1 when substituting honey for maple syrup.

Can I substitute brown sugar for honey?

In general, honey will be sweeter than brown sugar so the best tip is to use 2/3-3/4 cup of brown sugar to 1 cup of honey.

Can I substitute coconut sugar for honey?

Since coconut sugar is not as sweet compared to honey, the best ratio will be 1 full cup of coconut sugar to 1/4 cup of honey.

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Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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