Vegan Honey Substitute

Make this syrupy-sweet vegan honey substitute to use in recipes just like you would use honey. Need a plant-based honey alternative? Want a substitute for honey in baking? This will be your go-to favorite for tea, vegan honey mustard dressing, and more!

A wooden honey dipper drizzles over a jar full of honey substitute. There are fresh blueberries and pancakes in the background.

Honey is a great natural sweetener loved by many. It has a distinct flavor that can be noticeable, especially in hot teas or beverages.

When you’re baking and realize you’re out, or you prefer something completely plant-based (some vegans choose not to eat honey), having these tasty honey alternatives will be handy!

Make your favorite sweet recipes without honey!

Best Honey Alternatives

When you’re looking for a honey replacement, these options can work when you’re in a hurry:

  • Maple Syrup: Use maple syrup as a 1:1 substitute for honey.
  • Agave Nectar — It has a more neutral flavor, but agave nectar makes a great substitute for honey
  • Light Corn Syrup — Sure you may think it’s not healthy, but light corn syrup has a great consistency and is perfect for baking. It makes a great alternative to honey in most recipes that call for honey.
  • Molasses— You can replace honey with equal amounts of molasses in your recipes. Of course, molasses has its own distinct flavor, but it will create delicious and moist baked goods.
  • Other Options — You can consider barley malt syrup, rice malt syrup, or even date paste as good honey substitute options. However, these products are not as easy to find.
  • Make Your Own — Below is a beloved recipe for vegan honey that you can make and keep on hand. It creates delicious plant-based honey you can use for baking, serving with teas, and more!

How to Make Vegan Honey Substitute

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  1. Microwave water until fairly warm, but not hot.
  2. Add the tea bag, pushing it around in the water until the tea is saturated.
    A tea bag sits in a small amount of water.
  3. Pour the agave syrup into another bowl (or a saucepan if you prefer to thicken it).
  4. Gently squeeze the tea bag over the syrup, releasing the chamomile flavor. 
    A hand holds a tea bag, squeezing it over a bowl of syrup.
  5. Serve the syrup as is or thicken it by transferring to a saucepan and cooking until it simmers.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Chamomile tea bag — I prefer a chamomile tea bag, but you can substitute loose-leaf chamomile flowers.
  • Agave nectar syrup — This recipe was tested using agave nectar because of its neutral flavor. But you can substitute light corn syrup, maple syrup, barley malt, or brown rice syrup.
  • Sea salt — We’ll add a pinch of sea salt for a more complex flavor profile.
A bowl of vegan honey butter sits in front of a plate with dinner rolls.
In Focus: Drizzle vegan honey over vegan butter for a sweet bread topping.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • EASY — You’ll need only three ingredients to make this simple syrup that tastes remarkably like real honey!
  • VERSATILE — Add your favorite flavorings, such as vanilla extract, to create different flavor profiles.
  • SWEET — Use this plant-based syrup as a 1:1 substitute for honey in recipes, hot teas, and more!

Frequently-Asked Questions

What can I substitute for honey?

Some great honey substitutes include maple syrup, agave nectar, or even light corn syrup. However, you can make your own vegan honey in a few simple steps.

Why do vegans not eat honey?

From a technical perspective, vegans would not eat honey because it is a product of a honey bee. That said, you can adopt a mostly vegan diet and decide for yourself whether you will choose honey or not.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this vegan honey substitute with your favorite beverages such as:

Storage Tips

Transfer to a lidded glass jar. Close the lid tightly and store in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. It will keep up to 4 months when stored properly.

Vegan Baked Goods

Use this vegan honey alternative with any of these tasty baked goods:

A wooden honey dipper drizzles over a jar full of honey substitute. There are fresh blueberries and pancakes in the background.

Vegan Honey Substitute

Make this syrupy sweet vegan honey to use in recipes or drizzle over hot teas. It's perfect baked in or drizzled over vegan cornbread, toast, banana bread, and more!
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Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 19kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 chamomile tea bag
  • ½ cup agave nectar syrup (or maple syrup)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Add roughly a tablespoon of water to a small bowl. Microwave a few seconds until the water is fairly warm, but not hot. Add the tea bag, pushing it around in the water until the tea is saturated. Set aside.
  • Pour the agave syrup in another bowl (or a saucepan if you prefer to thicken it). Gently squeeze the tea bag over the syrup, releasing the chamomile flavor.
  • To thicken: Cook syrup over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Transfer to a lidded glass jar. Close the lid tightly and store in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. It will keep up to 4 months or longer when stored properly. Serve over your favorite slices of bread, cornbread, dinner rolls, or english muffins.

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Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 0.01g | Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 0.3mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 0.1mg | Iron: 0.01mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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