Can You Bake With Manuka Honey? Unlocking The Sweet Secret…


5 minute read

Essential Takeaways

Manuka honey is a great substitute for sugar when baking. It imparts a uniquely natural and delicious flavour.

But make sure to add less honey than you would have added sugar (about half to two-thirds), as it is much sweeter.

It’s best to reduce your oven temperature by around 10 degrees Celsius to avoid burning the honey.

Welcome to the delightful world of baking with manuka honey!

Renowned for its unique properties, distinctive flavour, and natural origins from the pristine landscapes of New Zealand, manuka honey has taken the food world by storm.

In this FAQ-style article, we aim to answer all your burning questions. So you no longer need to wonder, "can you bake with manuka honey?", and you can get onto your next baking creation with confidence.

Sounds good? Let’s dig in.

In this guide to baking with manuka honey:

  • What is manuka honey?

  • Can manuka honey be used for baking?

  • Is it safe to bake with raw honey?

  • Does heat destroy the benefits of manuka honey?

  • Which honey is better for baking?

  • Is it healthier to bake with honey instead of sugar?

  • How do you bake honey without burning it?

  • What happens to honey when you bake it?

  • Why is lower-grade manuka honey ideal for baking?

  • Delicious manuka honey baking recipes

  • Where to find the best manuka honey for baking

Understanding Manuka Honey in Baking

Let’s start by taking a look at the basics: what is manuka honey and can you actually use it in baking in the first place?

Q: What is manuka honey?

A: Known for its distinctive earthy flavour and potent health benefits, manuka honey is made when European honeybees collect nectar from the manuka bush. Genuine manuka honey is only found in New Zealand and is the most regulated honey in the world. If you’re considering manuka honey, make sure that you opt for UMF™ graded products to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

Q: Can manuka honey be used for baking?

A: Absolutely! Manuka honey is not just for drizzling over your toast or yoghurt; it's also a fantastic ingredient for baking, offering a rich, uniquely natural flavour to baked goods. If you’re looking for something different to add to your bread, cakes, slices and other baking recipes, look no further.

Q: Is it safe to bake with raw honey?

A: Yes, it's safe to bake with raw honey like manuka. It's a natural product that enhances your recipes without any safety concerns. As long as the honey has been properly processed and doesn’t have any added nasties, you should be fine. Our raw manuka honey undergoes a wide range of tests and accreditations to ensure that it’s safe for your consumption.


The Heat Factor - Manuka Honey’s Properties and Baking

What happens when manuka honey gets heated up? Let’s take a look.

Q: Does heat destroy the benefits of manuka honey?

A: It's true that high temperatures can affect some of manuka honey's beneficial properties. The enzymes and other delicate phytochemicals in manuka honey undergo changes and break down at higher temperatures. So whilst manuka honey does impart a distinctive flavour and natural sweetness, make sure to opt for the lower grades to get the best value for money (such as our UMF™ 10+ jars).

Q: Which honey is better for baking?

A: While there are many types of honey to choose from that offer a wide variety of flavours, manuka honey's rich and naturally sweet taste makes it an excellent choice for baking. Its robustness stands out even when combined with other ingredients, enhancing the overall flavour profile of your creation.

Bees often travel up to two miles (around three kilometers) for their nectar, so in order to be certified as organic, suppliers have to prove that plants within this radius are organically grown.

Organic honey isn’t necessarily raw, pure, or unfiltered. If you want these qualities as well, you’ll need to look for all of them on the labels.

By looking for the “organic” label alongside those mentioned above, you can trust that you’re getting natural honey, in its purest form.

However, not having a certified organic label doesn’t necessarily mean that the honey isn’t organic. It simply might not have been labelled as such, due to the challenges with proving that all plants within a two mile radius of the hives are organic.

Practical Tips for Baking with Manuka Honey

Here’s how to get the best results from your manuka honey baking ideas!

Q: Is it healthier to bake with honey Instead of sugar?

A: Yes, definitely. Substituting refined sugar for manuka honey can add more nutrients for the same amount of sweetness and add a unique flavour that tastes even better! Remember, honey is sweeter than sugar, so you'll need less of it. A general rule of thumb is to use half to two-thirds of a cup of honey for every cup of sugar. Make sure to test and tweak to suit your preferences.

Q: How do you bake honey without burning it?

A: To prevent burning, reduce your oven temperature by about 10 degrees celsius when baking with honey. As you get towards the end of your baking time, keep a close eye on the oven to prevent over-browning.

Q: What happens to honey when you bake it?

A: During baking, the complex sugars in honey break down under the influence of heat, leading to the Maillard reaction, which is responsible for the browning and caramelization of foods. This reaction not only intensifies the honey's flavour, making it more robust and caramel-like but also contributes to a distinct colour and aroma that can elevate the overall taste of your recipes.

Q: Why is lower-grade manuka honey ideal for baking?

A: Higher grades of manuka honey (like our UMF™ 26+, for example), are packed with powerful natural compounds that can break down when heated. By opting for lower grades of manuka honey in your everyday baking escapades, you’re able to enjoy the same delicious flavour at a fraction of the cost. We recommend the UMF™ 10+ grade for baking.

Explore These Delicious Manuka Honey Baking Recipes

By this point, you might be wondering what to try baking with manuka honey first…

Here are some ideas to get your started (click the links to go to the recipe):

For more inspiration, check out this mega list of 175+ ways to use manuka honey.

Sweeten Your Baking with Our Manuka Honey

Ready to transform your baking with the unique taste of manuka honey?

Check out our UMF™ 10+ manuka honey and start your baking adventure today!

By shopping with us, you can be confident that you’re getting the real deal: raw, unadulterated, gluten-free, dairy-free, glyphosate-free, non-GMO, UMF™ certified, NZ-made, independently tested, halal and kosher certified, and simply delicious.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


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