Need a quick honey substitute? Learn all things honey from raw to fake to homemade to vegan. You’ll never have to worry about having honey on hand with these 16 honey replacements. Check out the recipes at the end that can be honey-altered without a problem!

Honey in a glass bowl on the countertop with the original container in the background.

The Best Honey Substitutes for Baking

A cup of honey here and there in baking is a very common ingredient. Because it’s a kitchen staple, it’s super easy to accidentally use it up and forget to purchase more. Have no fear! There are plenty of substitutes that can easily take the place of honey. Let’s start with the 12 baking substitutes:

Maple syrup in a glass bowl on the countertop with the original container in the background.
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1. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is one of the best substitutes for honey in any baked good. It has a slightly different taste, but it will not change the overall flavor or appearance of your sweet recipes.

Use equal parts of maple syrup to honey, and you’ll be good to go on this one. Know that if you don’t have 100% real maple syrup, the consistency will be thinner, and might not hold up as well in baked goods like cakes.

2. Mashed Banana

The easiest substitute for honey might just be mashed bananas. They are sweet, have a thicker (and chunkier) consistency, and taste delicious. Adding the same amount of mashed bananas as you would honey will do just the trick.

Bananas are added to a blender.

3. Dark Molasses / Light Molasses

Up next is molasses as a honey alternative. It’s a bit more bitter with a lesser sugar content, but it will work well in any baked good! Use a 1:1 ratio, and you might have to add a tad bit of water to thin it down so it’s not too thick. Avoid blackstrap molasses, as it is too bitter and salty to be used as a substitute.

4. Greek Yogurt

Believe it or not, Greek yogurt can be a great honey substitute. It’s commonly used in baked goods recipes like muffins and loaves, so it’s nothing to be afraid of. It has a slightly sour taste, but the other sugars you add to your recipe will balance it out. Use ½ cup Greek yogurt for every 1 cup honey for this one.

An opened plain Greek yogurt container with its lid ripped off with a spoon inside.

5. Brown Sugar

Brown sugar has a similar sweetness to honey, and it brings on a caramel flavor when it’s baked. While it’s dry, you can easily make it into a syrup by adding the same amount of water to it and letting it boil and cool off before using (just like this method for making simple syrup). For the brown sugar ratio, every ¾ cup honey is equivalent to 1 cup brown sugar. If you make a syrup, the ratio is 1:1.

6. Light Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a great substitute because it’s a common kitchen staple for most people. If you ever run out of honey mid-recipe, grab your corn syrup to finish it off. It has the same consistency to honey, and it has a more neutral, sweet flavor. 

Using a 1:1 ratio with this one will be just fine. If you use dark corn syrup, it will provide a deeper, richer flavor, but might change the overall taste of your recipe. 

Top view of Karo light corn syrup.

7. Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is almost the same as corn syrup, but it looks almost identical to honey. It’s not as sweet, and has a bland flavor, but it’ll help hold any baked good together. Use a 1:1 ratio with this substitute.

8. Yacon Syrup

Ever heard of yacon syrup? It’s a great natural sweetener alternative, and it’s less sweet than honey. With a similar consistency, it’s a great vegan alternative. Use the same amount the recipe calls for, and know that putting this in bread recipes is great because it’s not as sweet.

Make no sugar applesauce in your instant pot with this easy and quick recipe.

9. Applesauce

Apple sauce is not only a common egg substitute, but it’s also a great honey substitute because of its sweetness. Since applesauce has a high-water content, you’ll want to gently filter it through a cheesecloth or paper towel to get rid of that extra moisture. Using a 1:1 ratio will work great with this substitute.

Try out this Instant Pot Applesauce recipe that is full of sweet flavor for this substitute!

10. Rice Malt Syrup

Rice malt syrup might not be in your pantry, but if it is use it for a honey substitute! This is a healthier alternative since it doesn’t have any added sugar. Its consistency and taste are very similar to honey. Like many substitutes, you’ll use the same amount that the recipe calls for. 

11. Date Paste

Date paste is a great vegan and gluten-free option, and you can easily turn it into a date syrup. This excellent honey substitute is very sweet, and works well in both sweet and savory dishes (like sauces and marinades).

To make date paste, soak 1 ounce of dates in water and 1 cup lemon juice. After a few hours, mash the dates and it’s a paste. You can then boil it down to a syrup by adding more water. Use a 1:1 ratio with this one!

12. Homemade Alternatives: Simple Syrup & Homemade Honey

You can also make your own honey substitutes. Use our Simple Syrup recipe which is simply water and sugar boiled down into a syrupy form. It won’t add any depth of flavor, but to change that you can use brown sugar instead of white sugar to make it more of a homemade honey.

Cooled simple syrup is poured into a glass jar.

The Best Honey Substitutes for Cooking

While what you use for a honey substitute is based on your own personal preference, here are a few options that work especially well when cooking. 

13. Agave Nectar / Agave Syrup

With its high-fructose content, agave nectar is sweet and caramel-like. It browns faster than honey, so putting it in recipes that don’t require heat will be the best way to use it. Use equal parts on this one for sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and drink sweeteners.

Agave nectar in a glass bowl on the countertop with the original container in the background.

14. Coconut Nectar or Coconut Syrup

These coconut alternatives are non-processed and plant-based, so they are great for a vegan diet. They have a unique flavor but are sweet like honey. They’re great for baking too, but especially delicious in dressings, marinades, and sauces at a low heat. 

Are there sugar-free honey substitutes?

If you’re wanting to cut the sugar completely, here are honey sugar substitutes that still bring on sweet taste:

15. Liquid Stevia

Stevia is an excellent substitute in small amounts for drinks, sauces, or salad dressings. It’s very thin, so you’ll need to adjust the consistency of your recipe. A little goes a long way!

16. Monk Fruit

Monk fruit is extremely sweet when used in small quantities. Add a teaspoon or two to taste before adding more when using this for a honey substitute. 

Top view of maple syrup, agave nectar, and honey poured in clear glass bowls.

17. Raw Honey & Altered/Vegan Honey

Buying honey at the store can be different than getting the real deal, from-the-beehive honey. Raw honey, (some refer to it as real honey) is straight from the beehive, unaltered and a natural sweetener. 

Altered honey, sometimes referred to as fake or vegan honey, is when it is processed with additives to create a smoother consistency. Some altered or processed honey brands add white sugar, preservatives, and even synthetic products. For example, synthetic honey can look and taste like real honey, but it is not the raw, real stuff. 

It’s important to always check the labels on your preferred honey brands if you don’t purchase raw honey from local bee farmers. Altered honey, is a great vegan alternative since it doesn’t have actual bee nectar. You’ll be able to enjoy the taste of honey while not actually eating an animal product.

When it comes to substitutes, there are many options out there that look and taste like honey. You most likely have one of them as a pantry staple at home!

5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.


Is honey straight from the beehive safe to eat?

Yes, eating honey in its raw form is completely safe when you’re older than 1.

How long does honey last?

Honey lasts indefinitely.

How can I tell if honey is unsafe to eat?

If you see any visible mold (which is highly unlikely) or if it smells off, toss your honey out.

Should honey be refrigerated?

No, honey should not be refrigerated. It is best stored at room temperature. 

What is the best honey substitute?

The best honey substitutes are maple syrup and mashed bananas. They are a consistent kitchen staple in everyone’s home, and have they perfect level of sweetness. Use maple syrup when cooking and when consistency matters, and use mashed bananas for anything else.

A spoon drizzles homemade hot honey over oven-fried chicken.

The Best Honey Recipes

Honey gives an amazing texture and flavor to the following recipes, but the alternatives above will also work well! Try them out:

5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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