With this simple formula, you can easily swap out sugar and use honey in any baking recipe, like these Blackberry and Honey Cupcakes.
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?
- 16 oz blackberries, frozen, and thawed, divided
- 14 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup butter, unsalted, softened, divided
- 1 1/4 cup honey, divided
- 4 TBS amaretto, divided
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, large
- 28 whole blackberries, fresh, for topping cupcakes
- Prepare the frosting first to allow to chill at least 2-4 hours until ready to use.
- Place 8 oz blackberries in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse until blackberries are puréed and smooth.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour blackberry purée into the strainer. Using a rubber spatula, press the blackberry purée into the mesh. The juice will accumulate underneath the mesh, leaving the seeds on top. Use the rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the mesh so the juice will fall into the bowl. Continue pressing the blackberries until all of the juice is collected into the bowl, leaving mostly the seeds behind.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk together cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter until smooth and fluffy.
- Whisk in 1/2 cup honey and 2 TBS amaretto until fully incorporated.
- Slowly whisk in the strained blackberry purée and whip until completely mixed in together.
- Transfer frosting to a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325ºF and line two 24-cup MINI MUFFIN PAN with liners.
- In a small pot over low heat combine remaining 3/4 cup honey, 8 oz blackberries and heat until honey is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, purée blackberries with the honey.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup butter, 2 TBS Amaretto and vanilla until fluffy.
- Whip eggs into the butter, one at a time.
- Alternate adding in the flour mixture with the blackberry mixture, until just combined, scraping down sides of the bowl between mixes.
- Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin pans. Bake until edges of the cupcakes are lightly golden, 17-20 mins.
- Cool cupcakes completely prior to frosting with chilled frosting.
- Top each cupcake with 1 blackberry.
- Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve.
Serving Suggestions: For a stiffer frosting, prepare frosting as directed, transfer to pastry bag, and chill at least 4 hours before frosting.