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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Honey in Flourless Cakes

    I would like to replace white sugar in your flourless cake recipes with honey. Would this work or be a disaster? Thank you, Angela B

    From the nigella team:

    Unfortunately it is quite difficult to switch sugar completely for honey in many baking recipes and not something we would recommend. Honey has slightly different qualities to sugar and so can affect the finished taste and texture of the cake.

    If the cake is made using the creaming method then air will not be incorporated quite as well as the structure of sugar tends to help with beating air into fat. Also if honey is used with egg whites to make a meringue (often used in flourless cakes) then the meringue can be a little more dense or can weep fairly quickly.

    Honey will also tend to make cakes more moist and generally if switching some sugar for honey you need to reduce other liquids in the batter to offset. This is not always possible in flouless cakes so they may end up becoming wet. Finally honey tends to colour at a lower temperature than sugar so the cake may tend to scorch slightly, unless the recipe is adapted for oven temperatures and times.

    It may be possible to switch some of the sugar for honey in a recipe but you would need to experiment a little and switch a couple of tablespoons at a time.

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