One of the hardest parts of becoming a vegan is finding alternatives to your past favorite non-vegan foods.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth for honey and are looking for alternatives, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ve included recipes for honey alternatives. We’ve also included popular dishes/desserts typically made with honey. Before we jump into the recipes, we have to discuss a controversial topic.
Is honey vegan?
A vegan is defined as a person that does not eat or use animal products or byproducts. This means that honey, as an animal byproduct, is not classified as vegan. While honey production is moving into more sustainable practices in some regions, in current trends, reproduction of bees, trapping bees and harvesting honey are not always ethical in commercial farming.
Bees can be injured and killed during the honey-making process, making it pretty clear that honey isn’t vegan. Having said that, we do support ethical beekeeping and well being of bees everywhere. Bees are absolutely critical for the worlds food supply, especially for vegans.
While the debate seems to rage back and forth, if something sweet and sticky is what you’re after, you can get your hands in another non-animal jar.
Still get the sweet end of the stick
Be kind to bees and get your sweet fix with these delicious (and vegan) honey alternatives:
- Agave nectar
- Coconut nectar
- Maple syrup
- Barley malt syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Date syrup
- Butterscotch syrup
- Golden syrup
Easy and Delicious Vegan ‘Honey’ Recipes
If you’re after a honey substitute and feeling handy in the kitchen, check out the following recipes that show you how to make vegan honey. No honey, no problem. We’ve rounded up plenty of delicious honey-free recipes.
NOTE: All photos and recipes are published with permission from the original recipe creator in accordance with copyright law.
Crunchy, crispy, sweet and surprisingly moreish, they bite-sized treats are no mess to dole out and dig into, and super easy to make. Perfect for a slightly sweet snack that suits your crisp cravings.
- 4 cups of Corn Flakes, or similar corn cereal
- 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup (or sweetener of choice, like maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup of dairy free margarine or coconut oil
- Melt margarine or coconut in a large a saucepan on medium heat.
- Add sweetener until boiling.
- Turn of the heat and add cornflakes.
- Stir together thoroughly, then spoon into muffin pan.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for 10 min or until golden.
- Cool and store in airtight container for up to a week.
Sink your teeth into layers of melt-in-your mouth sticky sweetness that doesn’t cost the earth, using honey alternative as a sweetener. The construction is well worth the effort when you taste how delicious this treat is. Bring in to work to be the office hero, or enjoy at home for a light after meal dessert or snack. We guarantee that these won’t last long.
A thick, Manna-from-the-Gods style fruit puree with the texture of apple butter. It looks decadent and tastes even better, plus it only has 3 necessary ingredients.
- 1-1/3 cup water or black tea
- 1 cup pitted dates (Deglet Noor or Medjool)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange flower water (optional)
See full recipe here.
Dense and delicious, without the guilt of regular, calorie-dense fudge, this cruelty-free dessert almost looks too good to eat. Easy and simple to make, you may have to restrain yourself from making these too often!
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup roasted almond butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao
See full recipe.
Make bee food, not bee byproducts with this flowery bouquet of sweetness. It smells beautiful and has a golden bright color. You’re sure to impress your dinner guests by presenting them with this floral sweet option.
- Dandelion blossoms (200 grams or about 1 cup)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 medium lemon (juice only)
- 2 cups jam sugar
See the recipe here.
Try your dandelion jam on a vegan biscuit or spread across a Chocolate Puffed Quinoa Snack Bar.
Like a bit of crunch? Try this healthy, chocolate-y Rice Krispies Treat alternative. Pack the nutrients punch with the following healthy ingredients, and never feel guilty about an afternoon sweet pick-me-up snack again. You won’t be buying ready-made granola bars when you have these readily available at home.
Do it Dutch. Applestroop is a lesser-known topping and sweetener, unless you have visited the Netherlands. It’s so delicious, you will probably start finding reasons to top its goodness on anything. Reduce sugar for a more natural taste since apples have a high natural sweetness.
- 6 1/2 cups apple juice
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 star anise
- 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Combine apple juice, lemon juice, star anise and cinnamon in a simmering saucepan.
- Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then slowly reduce the heat down to a quarter of the original volume, stirring occasionally. Please keep in mind, that this process can take up to two hours.
- Extract the star anise pods from the mixture.
- Add sugar and boil until the sugar has dissolved. You can tell when the syrup is ready if it coats the back of a spoon but still drips off like the consistency of honey.
- Store the apple syrup in a cleaned jam jar. Recipe makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
Apple syrup goes deliciously with Vegan Muffins with Apple and Pecan (dairy and gluten free). Find out more about the Dutch food scene by checking out @karininamsterdam on Instagram or Facebook.
From the Dutch book, Easy Vegan with Julie…these muffins are sure to rock out your next brunch, or will take you through the working week breakfasts on-the-go in healthy style. Add some applestroop on top for a kind kick of yumminess to your mouth. Vegan never tasted so good!
- 1 tablespoons chia seeds + 3 tablespoons of water
- 2/3 cups rolled oats
- 2/3 cups almond flour
- 4 tablespoons rice flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 small teaspoons sea salt
- 2 pinches of vanilla powder
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 cup almond milk
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 large apples, in small cubes
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
See full recipe.
Just like honey and perfect on a biscuit, muffin or in a loaf! This ‘honey’ also makes great holiday gifts or housewarming gifts for your vegan (or non vegan friends). You can make large batches and divvy out to friends and neighbors, or just steadily work through on your toast, baked good, treats and breads.
- 1 cup chopped and cored pears
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
See full recipe.
A fruity pear paste to use in or spread over Pear & Coconut Cake (Sugar and Cinnamon).
A vegan Bundt cake perfect for tea time and an easy inclusion for dinner parties, this cake is dense and delicious, moist and textured, packing a healthy sweet treat pick-me-up with nutritious ingredients. Power to the pear!
- 1 1/2 cups of pears (2 large pears) cut in chunks (after preparing cake batter)
- 1 cup plain white flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup vegan pear honey
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water, or 2 eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk (you can substitute light milk without difficulty)
- ¼ cup coconut butter
See full recipe here.
Sweet and sticky delicious, this tropical ‘honey’ alternative using the natural sweetness of pineapple to make a divine syrup. Pineapple has been shown to regulate weight in some findings and also has many added bonuses like helping the body detoxify and hydrate. Plus, it’s tasty!
Ingredients & Recipe
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup coconut sugar
Naturally sweet and naturally golden, date paste has the consistency of creamed honey, without costing any animals in production. Even more simple is the fact that the paste only requires two ingredients: dates and water. Dates are naturally very sweet and provide the added benefit of fiber. Boil, combine, mix and set – voila!
- 1 cup pitted dates packed
- 1/2 cup boiled water
Thick, dark and decadent date paste tastes amazing on its own or use in Salted Dark Chocolate Tahini Fudge for a daring kick in the mouth.
A moist and melt-y spreadable to top the crunchiest of toasts and muffins. Using a combination of dairy free spread and agave, you’ve got a slightly salty, slightly sweet thick and spreadable that looks just as dreamy as it tastes creamy.
So nice they don’t even need any added sugar! This vegan take on a classic dish doesn’t use any eggs and has a subtle sweetness that requires none of the negative additives of artificial or excess sugar. Try swapping it with your regular cornbread recipes, or adding it to soups and casseroles as a hearty side.
- 1/2 cup cornmeal flour
- 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or dairy free alternative)
- 1/4 cup agave butter
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a muffin pan, or use muffin papers.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients (cornmeal flour, flour, bicarbonate of soda, and salt in a large bowl); stir in the applesauce, soy milk, and agave nectar. Slowly add the oil while stirring. Pour the mixture into the muffin pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer or small knife inserted into a muffin comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes.
A staple breakfast treat and touted as a hedonist dessert, if you’re vegan and/or gluten free, this recipe means that you don’t need to miss out on crispy, chewy scrumptious-ness. Customize how you like and go nuts (or add them!)
Dress your ‘honey’ up in salads and dishes with a sweet and savory offering. Sauces can make or break a dish, and mustard based sauces with a sweet and tangy hit are a diverse inclusion for salads, rice dishes, as dipping sauces and sandwich spreads.
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine and mix all ingredients in a jar.
- Seal the jar lid and shake until combined.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to preference.
Just because you’re dairy free, doesn’t mean you can’t have ice cream! We all scream for ice cream, and this recipe is no exception to a satisfying after meal finish to abate any sweet tooth. Read the full recipe. Be sure to follow Eileen on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter too! You will love her posts!
It’s hard to believe that this ‘honey’ is actually from apple juice. Go organic and preservative free to make the most of health benefits and maximize taste. Save time by making a large batch and storing in the refrigerator for all of your sweetener needs.
What do you think? Are you happy to bee vegan and not eat honey?