After I posted the Dutch honey cake recipe, I received some questions about honey and sugar in baked goods. Here I’m going to answer some of them.
Q: Is a 1:1 sugar:honey used in recipes for baked goods a traditional or essential ratio?
A: If a recipe calls for a specific ratio, it is essential for the right texture, taste, and sweetness.
Q: Can I substitute sugar with honey?
A: In theory, you can. Sugar has been used in cooking only since the 18th century. Before that, honey was used as a sweetener.
But you should understand that honey makes any baked good more dense and wet, so you might have to adjust the amount of other ingredients as well.
When swapping honey for sugar, use more honey, reduce the amount of eggs and liquid, add more baking powder, reduce the baking temperature by 10-15C and increase the baking time. And even with all that, the texture will be different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.
Q: Can I reduce the amount of sugar?
A: You can. If you want to reduce it like by 25-30%, you don’t have to adjust other ingredients (depends on a recipe though) but the baking time and temperature. If you want to reduce it by more than that or substitute it with honey, you should adjust other ingredients as well.
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