Homemade vegan honey is deliciously sweet and floral and has a very similar consistency to traditional honey. Vegan honey is simple to make and requires mostly hands-off time supervising ingredients while they simmer.
You can use this homemade honey any way you would use regular honey. It thickens in the fridge to an almost spreadable consistency and thins when brought to room temp. You can infuse this honey with different flavors, use it in baking, or use it as a sweetener for drinks.
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Ingredients & Process For Homemade Vegan Honey
To make homemade honey you will need 3 ingredients: Apple juice, sugar, and chamomile tea bags. In this recipe we are looking to recreate the flavor and texture of fresh, raw honey- it’s a sweet, thick syrup with a complex flavor of warm, floral, fruity, and slightly bitter notes. Those golden bear squeeze bottles just taste like liquid sugar but true, unadulterated honey has a multi-dimensional flavor.
Apple Juice: We prefer to purchase 100% apple juice with no added sweeteners- you can usually find a fresh, single-ingredient juice at the end of summer through early winter in the US.
Sugar: While we tried to reduce added sugar in many recipes, sugar is a vital ingredient here. It helps provide the thick, syrupy consistency in this vegan honey. We don’t recommend reducing the amount. You could also use half brown sugar or half coconut sugar for a deeper, molasses flavor.
Chamomile tea: Helps bring some wow floral factor to our homemade honey!
As in all things, you’ll also need a pinch of salt to bring everything forward.
Combine everything, bring it to a boil, and simmer until reduced by a third to half by volume. This will take about 20-30 minutes depending on the pot you use (wide vs narrow) and the heat. Once simmering the mixture will only need a stir every few minutes so it’s pretty hands-off.
After 15 minutes dip a spoon in the honey and let it cool at room temp or pop it in the fridge for a minute or two. If the mixture thickens up nicely, your honey is done! Check every few minutes from this point on to ensure the honey doesn’t thicken too much.
Why Apple Juice?
Interestingly enough, honey is considered an acid on the pH scale (3-4, based on variety). Most people don’t realize this as it’s deliciously sweet. Apple juice, especially when concentrated down as we are doing here is also acidic (3-4.5 pH, again- depending on the variety).
Apple juice is a great fit for this reason but also due to the color, clarity, and flavor! Citrus juices have too strong of a flavor, and pineapple juice is very strong and lacks floral components. Apple juice is mild and has a bit of subtle floral qualities- it’s a winner.
How To Infuse Floral Notes Into Vegan Honey
Traditional honey made from bees has a lovely and delicate floral aroma and flavor. It’s part of the nuance that makes honey, honey. You can replicate this at home with a few easy-to-find ingredients, our favorite being chamomile tea as we already had some at home in the pantry.
Chamomile tea bags: This gives a nice complex floral and bitter flavor, very similar to honey. We like using 2 tea bags for the duration of the simmer!
Lavender buds: Dried lavender buds will impart a lavender flavor so we only recommend 1 teaspoon but they will pass on that ‘something floral’ quality!
Orange Zest: Gives a warm, mildly orange flavor reminiscent of florals. Use 1 tablespoon (the zest from 1 orange).
Uses For Vegan Honey
The beauty of this recipe is that you can use it however traditional honey is used! Make up a batch of infused lavender honey or super healing turmeric honey! Use this honey to make honey syrup for coffee, tea, or lemonade.
- Stir into yogurt or oatmeal
- spread onto English muffins, toast, or biscuits
- make a vegan honey butter
- Drizzle over roasted veggies
- Add to smoothies as a sweetener
- Use in baking recipes in place a regular honey
- Use instead of syrup on vegan pancakes or vegan waffles
- Use to make salad dressings and marinades
- Add a small bowl and a honey dipper of it to a vegan charcuterie board!
How To Store Vegan Honey
For safety reasons, we recommend storing vegan honey in glass jars in the fridge. You could even be super fancy and pick up a couple of honey dippers to use 🙂 It will be a touch thicker and take on a spreadable consistency when cold. It’s difficult to measure the actual sugar and water concentrations of the finished vegan honey to know whether each batch is shelf-stable or not.
This lasts in the fridge for at least a month and in the freezer for several months. When we make a batch of this, we usually double it and freeze some for later.Print
Vegan honey is super simple to make and tastes floral, fruity, and sweet just like the real thing. This is a beginner-friendly vegan recipe that’s great to have on hand for elevating breakfasts, baked goods, and vegan sauces!
- 3 cups apple juice
- 1.5 cups cane sugar
- 2 chamomile tea bags (see note for alternatives)
- pinch of salt
- Pour the apple juice, sugar, and salt into a wide pot and heat to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is simmering, add 2 the two chamomile tea bags. (we tie the strings to the pot handle for easy removal.
- Continue to simmer until the mixture reduces by 1/3-1/2. Stir occasionally and monitor the heat to ensure the mixture doesn’t boil over- as it reduces you can reduce the heat with it to prevent boilover.
- At the 15-minute mark, dip a spoon into the mixture and let it cool in the fridge for a minute. Check the consistency, if it has thickened to your liking after cooling, the honey is ready.
- If the honey is still quite thin continue to simmer, and check every 3-5 minutes.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months!
Using a wide pot will help this mixture reduce more quickly. We use a large pasta pot to help prevent boil over and speed up the process.
In place of chamomile tea bags, you could use 1 teaspoon of dried lavender or 1 tablespoon of orange zest- we recommend straining the honey if you use these variations.
The sugar is a necessary ingredient to obtain a thick, syrupy consistency and we don’t recommend reducing it!
Keywords: Vegan Honey