Runny, sweet and aromatic, this vegan honey substitute is delicious for topping waffles, pancakes, toast and more. With apple and lemon juice, sugar, floral tea and some patience, you can make an amazing vegan-friendly alternative.
Sometimes our failures turn into a huge success. This recipe is based on the sadly discontinued Honee, a vegan alternative for honey that Katie Sanchez started in 2012. Honee was an apple jelly that went wrong, turning out in a tasty and gooey honey, with no bees being harmed in the process.
Vegan substitutes for honey
Nowadays, there are lots of products on the market that can be used instead of honey:
- Coconut nectar, made from coconut palms, it’s sweet and tangy, low-glycemic and has no coconut taste.
- Agave nectar, made from the agave plant, it’s sweeter than honey and not as gooey.
- Barley malt syrup, made from sprouted barley that is roasted and cooked down to a syrup. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to find.
- Maple Syrup, made from the sap of maple trees, is vegan and my favorite pancake topping. The taste, however, is unique, not exactly similar to honey.
- Molasses, made from refining sugarcane into sugar. Also tastes very different from honey.
All the honey substitutions above make a good job in replacing honey on a lot of recipes, but they will end up changing the final taste.
The vegan honey you’re about to make, however, tastes very similar to the real thing, and can be used in practically all my recipes that call for honey.
Apple Juice. You can use any apple juice.
Sugar. I use white sugar for this recipe, but you can use white or brown, raw or coconut sugar.
Lemon Juice. Can be substituted for lime juice. It will give the vegan honey a citrus flavor.
Chamomile or Orange Tea Bags. That’s what makes this recipe so close to the real deal! The tea bags will give this recipe a floral, honey-like smell. Feel free to use any floral tea you’d like and customize your vegan honey! Rose, dandelion, mint and lavender are also good choices.
How to make it
The secret for success is knowing when your vegan honey is done simmering.
Mix ingredients. In a saucepan, or in your Instant Pot, add apple and lemon juice, sugar, and chamomile (or the chosen floral) tea bags.
Simmer. If using stovetop, bring it to a boil over high heat, and lower temperature to medium. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until mixture is reduced by half. Take out the tea bags after 10 minutes.
Store. Wait for vegan honey to cool, then store it inside a clean jar with a lid.
If doing in the Instant Pot, select SAUTE, then MORE, and 25 minutes. Take out the tea bags after 8 minutes. After 25 minutes, it should be reduced by half.
Always keep an eye on the syrup so it won’t boil over. Stir every other minute.
Tips for getting it right
- You might need more or less time for your vegan honey to be ready.
- Check for doneness by letting the simmering mixture drip from a spoon. Are they forming a string-like shape? It’s done.
- Careful not to overcook. Cooking it for too long can make an overly thick honey. It can also caramelizes it, altering the final taste.
- When hot, this vegan honey will look thin and runny, but it will get thicker as it cools.
Storing and freezing
After cooled, place it in a clean jar with lid and store in the fridge. I treat this recipe like jam, it should last for about 6 months if stored correctly, in a clean jar, closed and refrigerated.
You can freeze this recipe. For that, use a freezer-safe jar and remember to fill it only up to ¾. Let it thaw on the counter overnight.
What to do with vegan honey
You can substitute honey for this vegan honey in a lot of recipes:
This delicious apricot ginger granola - you’ll get amazing clusters with no animal ingredient!
Top these amazing vegan pancakes with vegan honey, or this healthy fruit salad.
More Vegan Recipes
Vegan Honey (Made with Apples and Chamomile)
- 2 cups apple juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 bag chamomile tea
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- In a saucepan, add apple juice, lemon juice, sugar, and chamomile tea bags.
- Bring it to a boil over high heat, and lower temperature to medium. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until mixture is reduced by half. Take out the tea bag after mixture has simmered for 10 minutes.
- Always keep an eye on the syrup so it won’t boil over. Stir every other minute.
- Wait for vegan honey to cool, then store it inside a clean jar with a lid. Keep refrigerated.