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There are many recipes (or recipe variants) that require honey as ingredient.

  • Barbecue Spareribs
  • Honey Lamb Chops
  • Honey Raisin Choc Drops
  • Honey Shortbread Biscuits
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Krispie Shortcake
  • Honey, Lemon and Rosemary Marinade
  • Pear and Almond Tart

May I generally use maple syrup in recipes that call for honey?
Are there guidelines for when that substitution will work well?

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4 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Generally speaking, maple syrup will work fine in any recipe that calls for honey. They may have slightly different viscosities and water content, but that could be true between two honeys as well, so I wouldn't worry about it a lot. The only thing I think you really have to consider is whether the flavor of maple syrup is appealing in the dish you would substitute it in. In most cases, I think it will be fine, especially if the dish would have worked well with a dark, fully flavored honey. You might also like to try sorghum syrup, molasses, or agave nectar as other possible replacements.

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If you do use maple syrup, be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup. Any imitation or partial syrup will have a significantly different viscosity and a much, much higher water content and you're not going to get the results you want. The first 3 ingredients in Aunt Jemima Original are: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, which is going to be pretty far from the taste and consistency of honey.

Otherwise, I think a 1 to 1 substitution will be fine, I've done it before in a few dishes and it worked out well. As Michael said there are other options as well, just be sure to taste them and make sure they have a similar flavor profile as the dish you're trying to make. For example, I believe molasses would sub into chocolate chip cookies great, however maple syrup would probably taste a little strange. But, if I was making honey oatmeal cookies and ran out of honey, I would gladly sub in maple syrup.

The Wikipedia page for molasses says the following about substitutions:

For a given volume of molasses, one of the following may be used (with varying degrees of success): an equal volume of honey, dark corn syrup, or maple syrup, or 3/4 that volume firmly packed brown sugar.

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9  
Anyone who calls Aunt Jemima maple syrup should be beaten with a platypus. –  hobodave Sep 1 '10 at 4:45
2  
+1 for the platypus, which made me actually snort. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 1 '10 at 5:22
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@Michael, if you are snorting platypus, you need help. –  Sam Holder Sep 1 '10 at 15:14
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You just have to grind them finely enough. But I'm a vegetarian, I only snort mock playtpus. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 1 '10 at 15:26
    
I was wondering what a platypus was, and I discovered it is the animal that we Italians call ornitorinco. For once, the English word doesn't come from Latin. :-) –  kiamlaluno Sep 1 '10 at 19:18
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It will work, but it will add a significant maple flavor. Many vegans I know substitute agave syrup for honey—same consistency and sweetness, very mild flavor.

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Vegan's don't eat honey? Checks the Google. So they don't. Wow. –  Satanicpuppy Sep 1 '10 at 19:06
    
Depends on the vegan, but it's generally safer to assume a vegan doesn't eat honey unless they tell you otherwise. I do know one vegan with a "no honey except on apples for Rosh Hashanah" rule. –  In the Booley House Sep 2 '10 at 13:55
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100% pure maple syrup is a great substitute for honey. I use it all the time in my vegan baking.

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