I’ve always loved honey, from it’s golden color to it’s silky sweetness. I’ve used it off and on in my baking, but I never thought much of it until I sat at Camp Blogaway and learned about the wonderous benefits of honey from the National Honey Board. It is a humectant and keeps your baked goods moist, as well as your skin when used in lotions and soaps. When used in cooking, it obviously adds sweetness, but it also reduces sourness and bitterness.
Honey is a fabulous cough suppressant and a great energy booster. Honey also has an infinite shelf-life. Just because the forgotten honey in the cupboard has crystalized, it is still edible. You just need to melt it to bring it back to liquid form.
While at camp, I also tasted different varieties of honey. From the light and mild orange blossom to the dark and intense avocado. My favorite was the blueberry honey. You can find what varieties are in your area here.
I brought home honey sticks for my kids to sample and they happily sipped up these little straws filled with golden honey. “Can we have more???”
But, what really got my head spinning at camp was the basic formula for substituting honey in my baked goods.
For every cup of honey you add to replace a cup of sugar, reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup, add 1/2 tsp baking soda (to neutralize the acid in honey) and reduce the baking temperature by 25ºF.
So, when my niece requested some cupcakes for her purple-themed bridal shower, I knew exactly what to make. I made these beautiful Blackberry & Honey Cupcakes.
They are mildly sweet, with a hint of amaretto and plenty of sweet blackberries in the cupcake, in the frosting and also on top! Honey is used to sweeten both the cupcake and the frosting.
I can’t wait to experiment with more honey in other recipes, both sweet and savory!
Have you tried substituting sugar for honey in your recipes?