How to Make Vegan Honee

I love the taste of honey, but do not use it as a vegan. (If you are new to veganism, and want to know why vegans don’t use honey, read this article or watch this video.) I missed honey in tea and on oatmeal, and my granola recipe just wasn’t the same without it. I thought about buying vegan honee, but it is $5.99 for just one cup! I decided to make my own, and looked for recipes online. There are a number of them, but none gave precise directions on how to get consistent results, nor did any use this exact combination of ingredients. After quite a few test batches, I can say this recipe is perfect! It is also very easy to make, and much less expensive than buying it. My cost for four cups of homemade vegan honee is just $4.35, compared to $23.96 to purchase the same amount.

You only need three ingredients! (Four cups of vegan sugar, eight cups of apple juice, and four chamomile tea bags):

For consistently good results, you will need a digital kitchen scale for this recipe. If you do not have one, read my post on Why You Should Use a Kitchen Scale. You can make the honee without a scale, but there is a good chance it will be too thin or too thick. This only really matters if you will be baking with your honee, so you’ll have to decide how important the right consistency is for your use.

To make the honee, start by weighing 800 g (4 level cups) of vegan sugar into a large saucepan:

Next, add 1,920 g (8 cups) of apple juice. I was too busy taking photos to remember to not just add the whole bottle of juice, and my honee ended up a little bit too thin. Weigh or measure your juice, even if the bottle says it contains 8 cups. There is usually a bit extra in the bottle, and that bit is enough to make your honee too thin. So, don’t make my mistake!

The keys to getting the right consistency are to weigh your sugar and juice, and to cook your honee until 1,360 g of water have been evaporated from the mixture. To do this, you need to know how much it weighs at the start. Turn on your scale and add a hot pad, then place the full saucepan on the scale. You want the combined weight of the hot pad and the pot. Write down the weight:

Now, subtract 1,360 g from your starting weight, and circle the number. This is your target weight:

Place your saucepan on a burner or induction cooktop, and heat on medium-low heat while stirring continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. This takes about five minutes:

The key to the perfect honey flavor is steeping chamomile tea in your hot mixture for the right amount of time. I like to use four tea bags and boil the mixture gently for 30 minutes. Looping the tags around your pot handle keeps them from falling in. (Make sure the tags are nowhere near the flame, however, if you have a gas burner!)

Bring the mixture to a boil, but not this strong:

This is just right:

Boil gently for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes just to be sure there is no scorching on the bottom of your pan. Remove the tea bags:

Now, you need to continue cooking the mixture until the right amount of water has evaporated. You will also want to give it a stir about every 20 minutes during this time. I turned on a stopwatch to see how long this took for those without a scale, and it ended up being two hours and six minutes:

For those with a scale, I would start checking the weight after about one hour and forty-five minutes. To do this, turn your scale on, put the hot pad on the scale, and then the saucepan. Check every few minutes when you are getting close to your target weight. Remove from the heat and cool until lukewarm once you hit the target weight:

You can see that your honee reduced quite a lot from the start. It will still be pretty thin, but will thicken some as it cools and then much more as it chills in the fridge. This is why you can’t judge the doneness by appearance, and why using a scale is so helpful! This is what it looks like while still very hot:

Once your honee has cooled sufficiently to not risk burning yourself if it spills, pour it into clean jars and refrigerate for several hours:

You have four cups of beautiful vegan honee! This amount scantly fills three pint-size mason jars:

That’s all there is to making vegan honee! This is what it looks like after chilling for several hours (yours should be a bit thicker if you remember to weigh your apple juice!) Enjoy your honee!


10 thoughts on “How to Make Vegan Honee”

  1. How long will a batch (say your batch of 3 jars) hold under refrigeration? Can you actually *can it* (as in Vacuum Seal it in a canning pressure cooker) for shelf storage and longevity if you have the proper knowledge and equipment? Even if canned properly, do you have any extra tricks for longevity (like me making vegan honey for family/friends that are vegan as a Holiday Gift?) DYING to know!


    1. Hi Lori! Thank you for commenting! The longest I have kept a jar in the fridge is three to four months, but that is because we ate it all! I think that it would last at least six months refrigerated, but I would check it for mold prior to use past three or four months just in case. I love your idea of giving the honee as gifts! If you know what you are doing with canning, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t can it the same way you would a jelly. It is really just juice and sugar so it seems like it should work! I have never done any canning, though, so please ask someone experienced to be safe.

  2. I’m not a huge chamomile tea fan… is the chamomile flavor strong, or does it just give it that flower/honey taste?

    1. Hi Melody! The chamomile really only gives the honee a honey flavor, but another blog reader used dandilion root tea with success and orange blossom tea would also be good! Just look for a flower tea with only the one ingredient. Please let me know how your honee turns out!

    1. Hi Penny! If you could keep your scale on the whole time the honee is cooking, taring the scale with the pot on it would be easier. My scale that plugs in can’t handle the combined weight of the pot and the honee, though, so I have to use my large capacity scale that has auto shut off. Since I need to repeatedly weigh the pot with the honee in it, the math is unavoidable since the scale has shut off each time.

  3. My first attempt at apple jelly ended up being a honey like concoction that I was able to can. I am hoping to recreate my accident again this year, as last year’s supply is long gone! I like the flower tea addition, and will give it a try…

I love hearing from you! Please leave a comment!