Homemade vanilla honey is easy to make—and the results are delicious! You can use vanilla infused honey in almost anything. All it takes are two ingredients and five minutes of your time. Vanilla bean honey looks especially pretty packaged in a glass jar, so it's a perfect homemade gift for the holidays!
How to make
To make this recipe, all you need are two ingredients: vanilla pods and honey. The vanilla pods get scraped to release their fragrant beans, which gets mixed into honey. When buying vanilla beans, look for plump and pliable beans—ideally from a store with good turnover, so you're getting fresh ones (source: Fine Cooking). For good measure, we toss the pods into the honey too, to extract every last drop of flavor.
There's no cooking involved in this recipe. All you need to do is mix everything together and let it sit at room temperature. This no-cook method means that you can preserve the benefits of raw honey (if you prefer to use it). The honey takes 5 to 7 days to steep—but you can let it infuse for as long as you'd like. The vanilla beans will float to the surface of the honey, so flip the jar every couple of days to keep them submerged.
How to use
Vanilla bean honey is really versatile. You can use it in almost any sweet application where you'd use regular honey. Here are some of the ways we like to use vanilla honey:
- Slathered on top of toast, scones, bagels, muffins, etc.
- Swirled into tea (it's especially delicious in a milky Earl Grey or Chai tea)
- Spooned over a bowl of yogurt, granola, and berries
- Mixed into butter to make honey butter (also perfect for slathering on muffins, etc.)
- Shaken into cocktails (see below for more details)
How to use honey in cocktails
Vanilla bean honey adds delicious flavor and sweetness to cocktails. But on its own, honey is thick and can be difficult to mix into cold beverages. To prepare honey to use in cocktails, first make it into a syrup by combining equal parts honey and water in a small saucepan over the stove. (Note: For a stronger and sweeter syrup, you can use a 2:1 ratio of honey to water instead of 1:1). Warm on low heat until the honey melts and combines with the water, stirring occasionally. Let the mixture cool, transfer it to a container, and refrigerate. For storage, we especially love these small glass resealable bottles, because they make pouring easy and don't take up a lot of fridge space. If you love making cocktails, you can make a few different types of simple syrups and keep them in the back of your fridge until it's happy hour!
Other infused honey recipes
Check out this post to read more about making other flavors of honey at home. Some of our other infused honey recipes include:
- Lavender Honey
- Orange Honey
Vanilla Bean Honey
- 1 cup honey (mild, see note 1)
- 2 vanilla pods
- Mix: Slice each vanilla pod in half lengthwise. Run the back of a knife against the cut side to scrape out seeds. Transfer seeds to a clean jar or resealable container. Cut the scraped pods in half, then add the 4 pieces to the jar. Pour in the honey.
- Steep: Seal the jar and let steep at room temperature. Shake or flip the jar every couple days to ensure the beans are submerged under the honey (after a day or so the vanilla pods tend to float to the top). Let steep for at least 5 to 7 days. Once desired flavor is achieved, remove the pods (optional, see note 2).
- Mild honey: There are many varieties of honey and they all have different flavor profiles. For this recipe, we recommend a mild tasting honey that'll allow the vanilla flavor to shine through. Light colored honeys, like Clover and Orange Blossom, tend to be mild. If in doubt, give it a taste!
- Straining optional: You can leave the vanilla pods in the honey for longer if you'd like. We find it easier to use the honey after the pods have been scooped out—but you can skip straining if you prefer.
- Yield: Makes 1 cup of honey. Nutritional estimate based on 1 teaspoon per serving.