substitute sugar for honey

Substitute Sugar for Honey


When it comes to sugarless canning, one great option is to substitute honey for sugar. Honey is a natural sweetener that is not only healthy but also safe to use. Unlike artificial sweeteners, honey is a great alternative if you are looking to cut down on processed sugar intake. In this article, we will explore how to substitute honey for sugar in canning recipes and provide some helpful tips along the way.

Healthy Sugar Substitutes

Before we dive into the specifics of substituting honey for sugar in canning recipes, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. While honey is a great sweetener for adults, it is not recommended for children under 12 months old. It is also important to note that honey is a stronger sweetener than sugar, so you will need to adjust your measurements accordingly. Generally, 3/4 cups of honey will equal 1 cup of sugar.

Jam or Jelly

When making jelly or jam, substituting honey for all the sugar in your recipe can affect the gelling nature of the final product. If you want to use honey as a complete substitute, it is recommended to use a commercial pectin to achieve a better gel. However, if you prefer not to use commercial pectin, you can substitute only 1/2 of the sugar with honey. There are also tested recipes available that incorporate honey as a substitute. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even experiment with different sugar substitutions. The worst that can happen is that you’ll end up with syrup instead of jam, which is still delicious.

It’s important to note that when you add honey to your recipe, you are also adding liquid content. To compensate for this, you will want to reduce the other liquid content by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey added.


Honey can also be substituted in pickling recipes. However, it’s important to remember that honey is much sweeter than sugar, so you will need to adjust your recipe accordingly. Generally, 3/4 cup of honey is equal to 1 cup of sugar.

Canning Fruit

When canning fruit, it’s best to use a light and mild-flavored honey. However, if you’re making a sweet pickled product, a darker or stronger-flavored honey can work well. It’s important to note that honey may darken your fruit slightly more than sugar would, but this is normal. Additionally, honey will give your fruit a different flavor compared to processed sugar.

To make honey syrup for canning fruit, you can use the following ratios:

  • Light Honey Syrup: 1 1/2 cups of honey to 4 cups of water
  • Medium Honey Syrup: 2 cups of honey to 4 cups of water

Dehydrating Fruit

If you’re preparing fruit for the dehydrator or canner, you can also substitute honey for sugar when making syrups. To make a honey syrup, start by boiling your water and then remove it from the heat. Add your honey to the hot water and stir until well blended. You can then pour the honey syrup over your fruits or use it for dipping.

For honey syrup recipes for dipping or canning fruits, you can use the following ratios:

  • Light Honey Syrup: 1 1/2 cups of honey to 4 cups of water
  • Medium Honey Syrup: 2 cups of honey to 4 cups of water

Honey Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working with honey:

  • Tip: Lightly grease your measuring cup or spoon before measuring out your honey to make it slide off easily.
  • Tip: Honey is easier to work with at room temperature or slightly warmed. The colder it is, the stickier and thicker it becomes.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is an unprocessed natural honey that offers many beneficial factors. You can purchase bulk raw honey from local sellers, which can be a great option for those who use honey frequently.


Substituting honey for sugar in canning recipes is a healthy and delicious alternative. Honey brings a unique flavor and sweetness to your homemade preserves and pickles. By following the recommended measurement adjustments and tips provided in this article, you can successfully substitute honey for sugar in your canning adventures. So go ahead and give it a try, and enjoy the natural sweetness of honey in your homemade canned goods!

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