The Mistakes You're Making When Baking With Honey, According To Carla Hall - Exclusive

It's no secret that the world's bee population needs a little help, and according to Chef Carla Hall — renowned for her work on "Top Chef" and Food Network's "Baking Championship," and who is also a new ambassador for the National Honey Board — there's one great way to offer that help: eating more honey. However, beyond stirring some honey into your tea (or favorite cocktail) or drizzling a little hot honey over your fried chicken, you may find yourself stumped as to how else to incorporate more honey into your cooking. And if you go so far as to try baking with honey, you may find your baked goods come out ... well, less than perfect.

According to Hall, who spoke to Tasting Table in a recent exclusive interview, if you want to start using honey in your baking recipes, there are a few tips and tricks you need to know in order to avoid a disaster. First, she noted, "You have to know that you can't [substitute honey for sugar] one-for-one. You can't [swap] equal parts honey and sugar. You have to reduce the honey by half a cup ... In baking, you would [also] reduce any liquid that you have by a quarter cup per each cup of honey used, because honey is a liquid. You don't want to add more liquid."

Getting it right

It's not just the reduced sugar and liquid you have to worry about when baking with honey. You also have to add extra baking soda to balance out your baked goods' pH and help them rise against the extra weight of the honey. Additionally, you'll want to lower your oven's temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

"There's a lot of science involved, but there are very simple techniques to help you [achieve] a successful product," Carla Hall encouraged.

The good news? If you're not so keen on the science, you can still use honey in other places around the kitchen without worrying about being so precise. For example, Hall said if you're making something like a barbecue sauce, salad dressing, or marinade, you can taste it as you go and adjust from there.

"One of the things that I love about honey [is that] it's all about the taste of that particular honey, so I encourage people to put some [honey in their recipes] and then taste it," she said. "Then [they can say], 'Oh, this is great,' or 'I need a little more bitter,' or 'I need a little more acid,' or 'I need a little more salt.'"

Learn more about Carla Hall's work with the National Honey Board and the Honey Saves Hives program at