Sweet, thick, and easy to make, this Vegan Honey will be your new favorite sweetener. Make up a batch and use it in everything--it’s especially delicious with fruit or on toast!
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Hey Internet, maple syrup is awesome, and agave is pretty good, but sometimes I really miss honey.
And while I’m not going to get into the specifics of why honey isn’t vegan today (check out this reputable article), just know that most vegans do not consider honey to be vegan. If you eat honey, you’re more likely to be called “plant based.”
Anyway, that’s not the point of today’s post. I don’t want to debate what is or is not vegan. That is a divisive issue and I feel it creates a lot of drama in and around the vegan community.
We are here today to MAKE vegan honey. Whatever drove you to this page--whether you are serious about making it or you’re just curious what’s in it… let’s just talk about the recipe.
This stuff is actually pretty easy to make. You take apple juice and boil it down with some organic cane sugar until it’s thick and syrupy, a lot like making a balsamic reduction or a simple syrup.
But… doesn’t it taste like apples?
There’s a hint, yes, but there are ways to counteract that which are included in the recipe below. Hint: other flavors!
My apple honey takes about 30-35 minutes to make on the stove top, and a few hours to thicken a little more in the fridge. But it makes a big batch (about a cup and a half, which is a decent sized jar of honey!) and it’s SO good!
This stuff is my new favorite sweetener--I’ve started using it in my morning iced matcha latte, my evening hot tea, on toast (with a little peanut butter and banana? YES PLEASE), and of course I had to try it with some apple slices.
This vegan honey is PERFECT for Rosh Hashanah. I can’t wait to try it with my homemade vegan Challah later this week, and also with some tofu in a new recipe idea I have.
Alright, I can’t literally take a bath in this stuff, but it is so completely amazing. Let’s dive right in.
What You’ll Need
- Apple juice: It’s really important to get additive-free apple juice. I got mine from Trader Joe’s and the only other ingredient is ascorbic acid which just keeps the apple from browning due to oxidation. Definitely stay away from added sugars or ingredients you don’t recognize. You’re also welcome to make your own apple juice (make sure to remove the fiber or your honey won’t clarify.
- Chamomile tea OR water: So, did you ever notice that bee honey has a slightly floral flavor? Chamomile really helps add that to this tea and I think it’s delicious. Feel free to just use water instead. To use chamomile, just brew 1 cup of tea before starting the honey process and add it to the pot instead of water.
- Organic cane sugar: While you could use coconut sugar here (your honey will be darker), I thought the cane sugar helped the flavor taste the most like honey. I say organic cane sugar because some non-organic cane sugars are filtered using animal bone char, and they’re not required to tell you, so I always just buy organic.
- Agave: I used some agave here because I feel it really contributes to the honey flavor, but it’s not a necessity; feel free to leave out if you prefer.
- Lemon juice: Brightens the flavors and counteracts the apple flavor. SO good. Use fresh if possible.
- Orange extract: This is optional but orange extract is actually crazy good here. I made this apple honey a few times without it and was missing just a little hint of something. I tried the orange and that was EXACTLY it, and I was so pleased with myself when I figured it out, lol.
How to Make Vegan Honey
- If using chamomile tea, go ahead and brew that up. Just boil a cup of water, turn off the heat, throw in a chamomile tea bag and let it steep for about 4 minutes.
- Add all the ingredients to a medium pot and heat the burner on medium high--on my stove I turned the dial to 7.5. Stir well with a whisk constantly until the cane sugar dissolves, then stir it occasionally after that.
- Let the mixture come to a boil, then cook for about 30 - 35 more minutes, until the mixture has darkened considerably and reduced in volume by about half. Whenever mine was close during the numerous tests I did, it would bubble up almost to the top like it was going to boil over. I’d then whisk it until the bubbles disappeared and look at what’s at the bottom of the pot. There will be around a cup (or a little more) of liquid in there and it will seem slightly thicker, though it won’t be sticky and honey-like yet. It should be quite a bit darker with a very caramel-sweet kind of flavor.
- Pour your vegan honey into a glass jar and allow it to sit with the lid off for about 10 minutes, then add a lid and refrigerate for a few hours until cool and thick.
- Use as you would animal honey, and keep in the fridge when not using.
- Refrigerate your vegan honey for up to 3 weeks, but please smell the honey before using it after 2 weeks have passed. It will smell and taste very sour if it has gone bad.
More Vegan Sauces
Sauce is the vegan’s answer to everything. Sauce can make anything exciting and delicious. Here are some of my favorite vegan sauce recipes:
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Vegan Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Vegan Honey Mustard
- Vegan Ricotta
- Vegan Tzatziki Sauce
- Tofu Cream Cheese
- Quick Vegan Gravy
- Mushroom Gravy
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants. We were basically eating it while photographing it, it was so good.
This vegan honey is:
- Sticky (I mean, what good honey isn’t)
- And the perfect addition to fruit, toast, ice cream, oatmeal, lattes, and more!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!